Everyone dreams about the perfect Hawaiian vacation. And bliss is everywhere on these magical islands, but my ideal vacation to Hawaii isn’t just about surf and sand. Our favorite island is Oahu and I’ve discovered the eight most alluring things to create a truly special Hawaiian escape.
- Start your day at Diamond Head. This famous location is ideal for inspirational exercise. You can feel the power of the island, either swimming in the cove, running the trail head or walking along the paths. Insider tip: Spend the morning burning calories and then head to Kapiʻolani Community College farmers’ market (Saturdays 7:30AM-11AM an Tuesday 4-7PM) for the best bites of the island from various local purveyors. 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu.
- Banán Food Truck. This organic banana based dessert food truck is my pick for a healthy island not-too-sweet, satisfying treat. The Spirulina bowl features bananas blended with spirulina in a carved –out papaya bowl topped with granola. It’s the Hawaiian spin on Acai. 3212 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu.
- Shangri-La. Heiress Doris Duke’s custom mansion is home to an extensive Islamic art collection and truly breathtaking. The oasis on the other side of Diamond Head sits above the waves and is a unique outing for anyone who loves art and design. Tours can be arranged through the Honolulu Museum of Art. 4055 Papu Cir, Honolulu.
- Azure. This delicious seafood restaurant is the ultimate date night location. Dine al fresco overlooking Waikiki from cabanas on the sand that feel like you’ve been transported to Greece or Morocco. Leave the kiddos at home and enjoy the upscale vibe. 2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu.
- Kaiwa. This teppan and sushi restaurant is a stunning teppanyaki bar with unusual combinations and authentic Japanese cuisine. Don’t be surprised if most of the guests are Japanese, it is that level of authentic. We love to sit in the leather comfy chairs at the large teppanyaki tables while watching the chefs create their amazing dishes. 226 Lewers St, Honolulu.
- Le Flowers. This tiny little flower shop has hundreds of leis and fresh flowers. It’s a must-stop on Oahu for celebrations, from birthdays to weddings, even just to celebrate your island time. A true locals destination, the shop is open to the public and has the most exquisite selection of leis. 2567 S King St # B, Honolulu.
- Nitrogenie: A specialty ice cream shop to cool off during your island adventure. All the ice cream is made from the magic of liquid nitrogen. The flavors are always rotating, but my favorite is the Lemon Meringue Pie, which is deconstructed: Lemon Curd ice cream, with a biscuit and toasted meringue on top. Ala Moana, Honolulu.
- Kahuku Farms. The perfect road trip stop along the North Shore serving warm banana bread that my daughter asks about even when we aren’t in Hawaii! The warm banana bread comes drizzled with caramel sauce and honey. It’s a must, but so is a passion fruit smoothie or their coconut ice cream. 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku.
Hawaii is about discover and enchantment and hopefully with these eight must dos, I’ve inspired your next trip.