Four Days in Oahu, Hawaii
Hello all! We had the pleasure of going to Oahu, Hawaii for my 25th birthday and 2 year blog-iversary. Seriously cannot believe it’s been 2 years already but I’ll save the schpeel for another post! We spent 4 days there and it was jammed packed with beautiful hikes, rainbows and beaches!
The Royal Hawaiian aka The Pink Palace
The Pink Palace
If you already know me then you probably would’ve guessed I’d be staying here since it’s all pink! Not gonna lie, this place is gorgeous and beachfront! However the service is not up to par with the five star standards. We had more than one poor staff encounter. Now I don’t know about y’all but one of the reasons we choose five star hotels is because of the superb customer service. Don’t expect that here and be sure to reserve your beach chairs!
I don’t mean to be ugly, I just want to give y’all an honest review of our stay. Once again, the hotel itself is extremely nice with wonderful amenities and toiletries! It’s also in a great location. Sure Waikiki is touristy, but it’s also easy to navigate to all of the destinations. If you’re a shopper this place is for you; steps within the shopping strip!
Yes we stood in a mile long line and yes it was worth it! We landed in Honolulu right around dinner time and this was our first stop! This is definitely a high tourist restaurant, as we ended up waiting about 45 minutes until we ordered our food. But the people we were in line next to were nice and talkative so it also felt like the waiting process wasn’t as bad. Once we got in the restaurant to order it was like an assembly line. We also saw the udon noodles being prepared! After you order your soup there’s tons of tempura options and we went a little overboard. I ordered the egg broth beef udon and it was so so good! The perfect amount of spice and flavor, highly recommend!
DAY ONE -
Crouching Lion Hike | Explore North Shore | Lunch at Giovani’s | Ted’s Bakery | Dole Pineapple Plantation | Pearl Harbor | Dinner at House Without a Key
Crouching Lion Hike
Sunrise Hike at Crouching Lion
Crouching Lion was one of my favorites hikes! It’s not a paved trail and can be very dangerous if it’s wet, so definitely take precautions. The view’s were so pretty upon sunrise
Exploring The North Shore
Matsumoto Shave Ice
This was actually our breakfast after our hike! I don’t have shaved ice too often, but I can say that this one was very good! Sometimes the flavor to ice ratio is off, but at Matsumoto that was not the case. I enjoyed it very much!
There’s an angel wing photo opportunity super close to here if you’re interested in that! To see what I’m talking about click here.
While we were driving to the North Shore we stopped many times along the way. There are beautiful beaches to check out the insane waves and one is popular to see sea turtles at! The one’s we stopped at were Sunset, Pipeline and Ali’l Beach. Ali’l is the popular sea turtle one! We saw one in the water, but unfortunately none were out because it was a bit chilly that day! Aria nearly lost his flip flop here!
Giovani’s Garlic Shrimp
This garlic shrimp is so so good! Giovani’s has two trucks on the North Shore and I can’t say if one is better than the other but we went to the one that’s by several other food trucks. I don’t know how they make the garlic shrimp, but I could eat it for days! It’s $15 for their signature plate, which I thought was a lot, but once I got it I was like this is a great deal! The shrimp are huge and they also give you a ton!
DOLE PINEAPPLE PLANTATION
Dole Pineapple Plantation
The dole pineapple whip is ahhhmazing! So so good and def a must get! While we were here we did the pineapple maze and that was so UN-spectacular. Definitely not worth the price and pretty lame, probably better for children! We did not go on the train ride, but I think that’s the best way to go. The gift shop is pretty cool though, it’s literally everything you can think of pineapple! I got some gummy bears and pineapple rings here and they were sooo good, but expensive. For reference it was $10 for a normal size bag of gummy bears.
We wanted to go to the US Arizona Memorial, but the wind/current was so strong they shut the tour down for the day. Instead we only saw the U.S.S. Bowfin and that was pretty cool, even if you aren’t a history buff. It was very interesting imagining people living there in such close corridors.
House Without a key
House without a Key
This restaurant is located in Halekulani Hotel. The hotel and restaurant are very nice! There’s live music and a hula dancer which adds to the traditional Hawaiian experience. Our food was very good and I even got a slice of birthday cake at the end! Although the food is good, I think it’s a tad overpriced.
Breakfast at Leonards | Diamond Head | Brunch at Orchids | Makapu’u Lighthouse | Halona Blowhole | Koko Head | Dinner at Rainbow Drive In & Side Street Inn
Pastries at Leonard’s
Another popular place! If you like pastries you definitely have to come here! We found out about this place from the guys we were standing in line with for Udon! The filled pastries are the best, don’t waste your calories on the others!
Oh man it was pouring when we started this hike, but thankfully about midway through it stopped! When we got to the top it was pretty cloudy/hazy, but gave it some time and it got pretty clear! However the winds were pretty strong, it reminded me of Cape Town!
This is a pretty easy hike! Worst part are the stairs at the very end.
Orchids Brunch Buffet
Orchids is also in the Halekulani hotel, which is walking distance from The Royal Hawaiian. The other night when we went for dinner I didn’t have a problem walking, but in this outfit I did. You probably can’t tell in the photo but the winds were 30 MPH that day!! I was wearing my tallest heels and nearly toppled over while walking a few times since they were so strong!
Anyway about the food - worth it! It is a little pricey ($75) but it’s a breakfast buffet and those are always a little expensive. There’s so much fresh fish for poke/sushi, charcuterie, roasted pig and traditional american breakfast (eggs benedict, pancakes, sausage). And don’t even get me started on the desserts! I probably tried 15/20 of them :D So so good! I mean we did three hikes this day so I think I burned off all the calories…right?!
Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike
Paved asphalt trail all the way to the top! Popular hike to spot some whales!
Halona Blowhole Lookout
Halona Blowhole Lookout
How pretty is this photo?! Would’ve been the perfect backdrop, but Aria’s scared of heights (which this wasn’t even high, he’s just a baby:D) so it was trying to get him to take a photo of me. It’s okay, because I got plenty of other good ones!
Koko Head Hike
AKA STAIRS OF DOOM!
Holy cow Koko Head was actually challenging, hence the yoga pants outfit! It’s nearly 2,000 steps to the very top! I thought it was never going to end, but when we made it to the top the views were beautiful. As you can see in this photo there’s dirt under the rail stairs, however there is a section where there’s nothing underneath! But if you’re scared of heights (like Aria) you can go around that part by taking a little rock climbing detour. It took about 35 mins for us to go up and 45 mins to go down. There’s locals that go up/down back and forth as exercise!! Like no thanks I’ll just go once :D
Side Street Inn
We ordered the fried pork chop and original fried rice. Nothing special about the pork chop but the fried rice was very good. Definitely a must order!
We originally had reservations at Duke’s for this night, but I wanted something quick so we went here instead. I heard Duke’s has good cocktails though!
DAY THREE -
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout | Pillbox Hike | Lanikai & Kailua Beach | Kuliouou Ridge Trail | Tantalus Lookout for Sunset | Shirokiya for Dinner
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
Wonderful view that you give your legs a rest and drive to!
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
I really enjoyed this hike too! I think it had one of the best views and I liked that there was a trail, but it wasn’t paved. I always enjoy those hikes more, makes me feel like I’m an avid hiker and know what I’m doing haha! But as you can see in this photo I’m wearing a dress and Stan Smiths, which mean the hike isn’t too intense. There are two viewing points (what I’m sitting on in the photo) and they both have great views of the turquoise water and pillboxes. This is a hike I would not skip out on!!
Lanikai & Kailua Beach
So so so pretty! Could not get over how pretty the water was and also thought the sand was very nice! Great to go to right after the hike (which is what we did). I don’t know how to swim so I hardly get in the water, however there were people in the water and lots of people sun bathing even though it was a bit windy!
Kuliouou Ridge Trail
Kuliouou Ridge Trail
I’m going to be honest with y’all I was very hangry during this hike, so I wasn’t soaking the hike in. In my defense it was 1pm and all I had ate were two scones :( Anyway, this is a serious hike. It’s about a three hour round trip, I didn’t think we were ever going to make it to the top! Especially because when you do reach the end/top there’s like 100 stairs you have to climb and that was awful.
However when we FINALLY got to the top the view was worth it! The hike down is also much quicker since it’s downhill!
Jewel or Juice
Jewel or Juice
After being so hungry and thirsty from all the hiking we needed something to replenish. We stopped here and got an acai bowl and guava smoothie. Both of them were soo good! We went to Bogart’s earlier in the trip for an acai bowl and this one was definitely better!
Perfect spot to watch the sunset! We were a late getting here because we drove 15 mins past it, but we somehow were able to still catch the sunset!
Note - you have to turn into Pu’u ‘Ulaka’a State Park in order to find the lookout.
Shirokiya - Japanese Food Haven
Highly recommend coming here if you love Japanese food! It’s basically a food hall of 50 different Japanese restaurants. We had pesto ramen which was actually quite tasty! There’s sushi, tempura, probably ten ramen places, ice cream, fondue, literally anything Japanese you can think of and I don’t think you can go wrong with any place you choose here!
DAY FOUR -
Koko Head Cafe | Moana Falls | Sunbathing | Byodo Temple
Koko Head Cafe
Highly rated and I would recommend! Came here for breakfast and it was so good!
Sunbathing at The Royal Hawaiian
While Aria went to Moana Falls I decided to lay out since I hadn’t gotten to the whole trip and it was our last day. Weather was so perfect! The Royal Hawaiian is beach front, so naturally I wanted to lay out on the beach vs the pool. Well I didn’t know you had to reserve a chair and got in trouble. So just be sure to reserve your beach chairs if you’re coming here!
Seriously felt like I was in Japan! The temple is so pretty and they even have a Koi pond! There’s a lady selling her photographs here and we bought one to hang in our living room!
Well that’s the end of my guide! I know it’s a little excessive, but I like tons of photos when I’m reading guides so I hope y’all find it resourceful! Have fun on your trip to Oahu!
All outfit items are linked below, happy shopping!
Oahu Quick Tips
+ Rent a car, it’s not too pricey but definitely a must to see everything Oahu has to offer
+ Credit cards accepted basically everywhere, just need cash for tipping at hotel
+ The hiking views are worth it, no matter how tired or hangry you are
+ I wouldn’t bother eating at the hotels, I think the food is overpriced and you can find just as good of food, if not better, elsewhere
+ Bring a jacket/sweater for night time / windy days and especially a rain coat