Hawaii has been filling up my Instagram feed for the last few months. The amazing wildlife, clear blue water and lush mountain ranges, all spoke to me. We finally decided to book a trip in February and I immediately started reading articles and blog posts to find the best spots to visit. Hawaii is unlike any tropical destination that I have ever been to, mainly because it is American. You can get all your creature comforts, Costco, Walmart, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, basically every major retailer you would need. The one thing that makes Hawaii different is the ABC Stores, which are essentially 7-11s with souvenirs thrown into the mix.
What to Know Before You Go
People told me that Hawaii was expensive but I thought we could do it on the cheap. My boyfriend and I fought back and forth on accommodation. We ended up booking a hotel, but if I were to do it again I would recommend booking an Airbnb. That way you can make some of your own meals and have more flexibility.
Every hotel has a resort fee, so we received an expected but unpleasant bill at the end of your stay. I have no idea what the resort fee covers because our hotel was very no frills and we paid over $200 a night. I know some hotels will include parking in their resort fee. Parking is quite expensive, so I would recommend choosing a hotel that includes parking in the resort fee.
- Water shoes ( 100 percent necessary, we forget them we picked up some from Costco)
- Hiking Shoes
- Sun Hat
- Snorkeling Gear
- Waterproof pouch
- Flip Flops
What to Eat
Unfortunately, none of the food blew our hair back while we were in Hawaii. You definitely have to try a Poke Bowl or a Acai bowl but to be completely honest, the ones in Vancouver are very comparable. You can find good poke at Safeway and it is pretty comparable to what you will get at most of the specialty restaurants. The must see places I would recommend visiting are Arvo for coffee and snacks. It is in a really cute area, with some cool murals to check out. The second thing I fell in love with was Dole Whip, it is amazing! Do not leave the island without trying it.
What to See
If you want to see some sea life make sure you go to Electric beach. It is easy to find with GPS and painless to do on your own. We went in the morning, which I would highly suggest, because right when we were leaving we ran into a tour group. We were lucky enough to see two turtles while we were there. I
To visit this attraction you do need to pay, but I would say it is still worth it.The beach is super crowded, but there are still quite a few fish to see in the water. It is a nice place to go even just for a beach day. I highly recommend walking the path by the entrance. There is a sign that says ‘do not trespass’ but like most things in Hawaii, all the good hiking paths are garnered with similar signage. The view of the bay is amazing from the top of the hill.
The caves are easily found through google maps. They are located in a residential area, the entrance is in-between two houses. It is a short walk to access them and the views are amazing. I would highly recommend checking them out. Apparently people cliff jump here, but the water was quite powerful while we were there, I wouldn’t risk it.
Another spot with a ‘Do No Enter’ sign but well worth the trek. In the blog post I read it was described as a walk, so I wore my bathing suit and a dress which I do not recommend; it is a short hike though, roughly 20 minutes to the viewpoint.
Even with the terrible weather this beach is amazing. It is so beautiful and apparently you can rent kayaks and kayak over the the island. There is also a view point hike close by, so you can easily spend a day checking out this area.
There are so many hikes, I don’t think I could even begin to list them all. These were the experiences that stood out on our trip. I did a lot of research on Oahu before we went, since it is a fairly small island, you can definitely hit most of the main attractions. I was thinking of putting together a post of all the Instagramable spots in Oahu? Let me know in the comments below if you would be interested!