Oahu, Hawaii

Arrived in Hawaii on the heels of a major tropical storm and hurricane season that had soaked the islands throughout August and September.

Thankfully the damage was minimal and the islands, which are normally dry this time of year, were lush and green from the rains. While tropical systems still passed through on a daily basis, I was blessed with sunshine and clear waters throughout my island hopping.

First stop: Oahu

While Oahu was definitely the most touristy of the three islands I visited on this trip (Oahu, Maui and Kauai), there was also plenty to do and see- from sea turtles, to Jurassic Park scenes, pristine beaches and lavish resorts- it was a fun place to spend a few days at the start of my trip.

 Oahu
Hanauma Bay State Park coral reefs

Hanauma Bay State Park coral reefs

snorkelers enjoying the coral reefs

snorkelers enjoying the coral reefs

Volcanic rock formations at Makapuʻu Lookout

Volcanic rock formations at Makapuʻu Lookout

view of Makapu'u Beach from a nearby overlook

view of Makapu'u Beach from a nearby overlook

entering the tunnel off highway 61 near the Nu’uanu Pali overlook

entering the tunnel off highway 61 near the Nu’uanu Pali overlook

beautiful volcanic landscapes, epic 1000-foot waterfalls rushing down each ‘groove’ in the mountain

beautiful volcanic landscapes, epic 1000-foot waterfalls rushing down each ‘groove’ in the mountain

saw countless rainbows in HI, living up to it’s reputation as the rainbow state

saw countless rainbows in HI, living up to it’s reputation as the rainbow state

The legendary “Dole Whip” (lip-puckering pineapple soft-serve)

The legendary “Dole Whip” (lip-puckering pineapple soft-serve)

 Oahu
baby piña at the Dole Plantation, so cute and pink!

baby piña at the Dole Plantation, so cute and pink!

 Oahu
crowds gathering in the rain at Laniakea Beach to watch the sea turtles wake from their daily nap and head back out to sea

crowds gathering in the rain at Laniakea Beach to watch the sea turtles wake from their daily nap and head back out to sea

Switchbacking trail up the Diamond Head crater

Switchbacking trail up the Diamond Head crater

View of Wilhelmina Rise from Diamond Head

View of Wilhelmina Rise from Diamond Head

Diamond Head Lighthouse

Diamond Head Lighthouse

 Oahu
Views of Waikiki Beach from Diamond Head

Views of Waikiki Beach from Diamond Head

 Oahu
 Oahu
 Oahu
Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

The beautiful Royal Hawaiian Hotel

The beautiful Royal Hawaiian Hotel

so pretty in pink

so pretty in pink

Exquisite “Green Island” shaved ice at Island Vintage Shave Ice (matcha green tea, yuzu, frozen yogurt, mochi, azuki bean, strawberry and snow cap)

Exquisite “Green Island” shaved ice at Island Vintage Shave Ice (matcha green tea, yuzu, frozen yogurt, mochi, azuki bean, strawberry and snow cap)

Byodo-In Buddhist Temple, a replica of an 11th Century Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan at the Valley of the Temples

Byodo-In Buddhist Temple, a replica of an 11th Century Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan at the Valley of the Temples

the most fabulous rooster I’ve ever seen

the most fabulous rooster I’ve ever seen

beautiful black swans

beautiful black swans

the definition of ‘teeming’

the definition of ‘teeming’

Oahu Guide

EATS

  • Island Vintage Shave Ice - pricey yet opulent shaved ice sundaes

  • Seven Brothers - artery clogging, delicious burgers

  • Dole Plantation - eat a Dole Whip, see where pineapples are born

  • Poke - no recommendations here because I forgot to take note (sorry friends!). I just looked up “poke” and had it for breakfast, lunch & dinner

SIGHTS