I have a long list of places I’ve wanted to visit my entire life, and Hawaii is right up there, well I should say was, since I recently had the distinct pleasure to visit, explore and experience one of the islands that make up Hawaii, the stunning O’ahu.
O’ahu is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu, which is where I stayed while visiting. It’s also part of the United Staes, for those who don’t know.
While it might be part of the US of A, it’s not like any place I’ve visited in the US or anywhere else for that matter, so I thought instead of bringing you a play by play of my wonderfully adventurous visit, I would share the ten reasons you may just want to pay a visit yourself.
Ready, steady, go!
Explore local food
The was no shortage of great food on the island, and while it was sad to hear that they do in fact import a massive amount of product, what they do with it is sure to tickle your fancy.
I paid a visit to KCC Farmers’ Market (4303 Diamond Head Rd | Honolulu) pictured above for a view into markets and what they had on offer. From delicious fruit to hearty breakfast, it really was the perfect way to start the day!
Along the way, I dropped in at North Shore Coffee Gallery for a delicious breakfast and smoothie, enjoyed a huge, nay, epic breakfast at Maui Brewing Co. Waikiki along with a superb selection of craft beer, some great eats at MOKU Kitchen – SALT at Our Kaka‘ako.
I also have to let you know that if you’re looking to relax, have some great drinks and food, you should check out Hideout Waikiki (The Laylow, Autograph Collection).
Swim with the sharks
Now, once you’ve mapped out the great food spots of which there are many, you’ll want to choose your own adventure so to speak. This time around, I wanted to push right outside of comfort zone and free snorkel with the sharks, so I did just that.
We met up with the gang from Shark Research Snorkel with One Ocean Diving for an afternoon I will never forget. There is something very humbling and really beautiful about diving into the ocean (in this case slowly crouching in) and being at one with the sharks.
Drink some delicious local rum
I’ve honestly never really been a big rum drinker, but as I’ve found out over the last year and a half of travelling, I do in fact enjoy it.
Not only that, I love a tour that has booze and when you add in amazing weather, a fun and interesting location and a thriving up and coming brand, well you have yourself a super afternoon!
We had a great tour and tasting at Kō Hana Distillery, as you can see from the shots above, it’s not hard to see why.
Chat with the locals
Along the way, I have to say I met some truly wonderful, kind, sweet and entertaining people. From our daily driver and tour guide extraordinaire Earnie to the lovely staff at the ‘Alohilani Resort, the locals we came across along the way, to the wonderful tourism team, I really was touched along my travel by how truly sweet and soulful the people I came across were.
Visit the beach over and over
It probably comes as no surprise that there were many, many beautiful beaches along the way, and it seemed that even off the beaten path, there was beauty, and somewhere to swing at every corner. I know it’s cliche but the shots above don’t even do the true magic of what it was like to take it in for myself.
Snorkel in the crystal waters
On another wonder day off the coast of O’ahu, I experience the Deluxe Wildlife Charter with Wild Side Specialty Tours.
Swimming with the turtles, seeing dolphins, fish, stunning views and so much more, I would highly advise you to get out on the water to experience this one for yourself. It was adventurous and relaxing while very special to see all the ocean creatures without disturbing them.
Visit a farm and plant a tree
If you like to be on the farm, plant trees, learn the basics of riding horses, then you too should make your way over to Gunstock Ranch.
Nestled in the countryside Gunstock Ranch offered us a really special Planter’s Experience Tour where we learned about the ranch, vegetation, wildlife and so much more, we also got to plant a tree and dedicate it to a loved one, it was a very salt of the earth experience.
Learn what makes O’ahu different while making a difference
It’s hard not to check out of normal life and move at your own pace when on O’ahu, whether it be in Waikiki or Ala Moana Beach Park where we took part in some outdoor yoga and then took some time that afternoon to clean up the nearby beach.
There seemed to be a more relaxed way of life, but also a change into a more mindful way of living that I really love the vibe of, which was perfectly showcased by Travel2Change who hosted that day.
See the local art, and get your steps in
What else did I love the vibe of along the way? The art tour we took with the mindful masters of Art World Escape and Wooden Wave. They took us through the streets to see some fantastic wall art that is made mostly as part of an art crawl festival they host each year, so make sure you take some pics, as these works of art don’t stay for long.
Experience shaved ice and have a cute moment
Grab shave ice at Matsumoto’s Shave Ice is family owned shop established in 1951, serves shave ice, sells original t-shirts, and goods and is located in the small historic town of Hale‘iwa on O‘ahu’s North Shore.
This was honestly one of the cutest experiences |I’ve had in a long time, to see people of all ages, races and staged all taking a moment to enjoy a treat, was actually a real treat for me.
ATV through “Jurassic Park” and feel like an adventurer
Honestly, one of my most fun-filled days was taking a UTV though Kualoa Private Nature Reserve.
It was adventurous, stunning, and really just absolutely breathtaking. I also laughed myself silly on our tour as I was the one tasked with driving. Thankfully you can only for 15 MPH, so I focused on the views and not the crews.
So, now that you have travel on the mind, maybe it’s time to take that trip to Hawaii. The food, the people, the weather, views, adventure, stunning waters, it will all take you away from reality and put a smile on your face the entire time, trust me, I’m still smiling.
Love you O’ahu, you have a piece of my heart!