T is absolutely in love with Hawaii, if there was a place we could visit over and over again this would definitely be it for him. He loves it so much we've even considered living here for an extended amount of time and exploring all of the neighboring islands. I've gone a few times with my family when I was younger, and twice now with T and some friends, and with a local friend's help we've experienced some of the best things Oahu has to offer. Here are some of our favorite spots on the island.
If you're in Hawaii, you're obviously there for the beaches. We've been to a few but our all time favorite beach on the island is Lanikai, it's entrance is nestled behind houses and you wouldn't normally find it if you didn't already know what you were looking for so it's a little more private. We love to hike the nearby pillbox hiking trail for panoramic views of the island before walking back down to the beach to spend a couple hours with our friends. Our favorite shaved ice shop is also near by, so bonus!
We pretty much avoid Waikiki beach at all costs but favor Waimea for cliff jumping and Hanauma Bay for crystal clear water that's good for snorkeling.
If you know T and I, you know that we travel for food. Here are our go-to spots when we're visiting the Island when we're looking for affordable, local food!
Shaved Ice: Although Matsumoto's is famous for their shaved ice, we much prefer Island Snow which is luckily located near our favorite beach! Make sure to say yes to the macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom and the snow cap!
Poke: You can get poke anywhere on the island, the most affordable place is foodland but the spicy ahi poke over rice from Hibachi is hands down my favorite.
Malasadas: Leonards fries your malasadas to order, then they're pumped full of delicious custard!
Garlic Butter Shrimp: Giovanni's in the North Shore is a must try! The spicy one is too intense for me, but the original flavor is perfect after a long day of exploring and riding in the trunk of a truck!
Udon: The Japanese food in Hawaii is incredible, Marukame Udon is T's absolute favorite place to eat and he make's sure we're here at least twice each time we visit. It's delicious and super cheap!
Loco Moco: Rainbow drive in is a must! It's super affordable and it's easy to grab some loco moco and mac salad to take with you on your way to the beach!
The North Shore
I think one of our favorite memories from Hawaii was sitting in the trunk of our friend's truck and riding up to the North Shore to spend the afternoon. It's completely legal there and we felt pretty safe because the speed limit along the highways was fairly low anyway. It was incredible to experience the island that way.
We don't usually stay on this part of the island long, but when we do Giovvani's and Matsumoto's are our favorite spots!
All in all, we love love love Hawaii. If you're going anytime soon, i've heard the weather is pretty incredible year round. Pack a book, some sunglasses and some sunblock and be prepared to relax!