I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years on the relatively small island of Oahu, after years of exploring (and there is so much to explore) you learn to know the ins and outs of the island, the must see beaches, the Ono grinds (amazing food), the best waterfalls, and how to get around the loads of tourists. So knowing all that I know, and I only had 24 hours on Oahu, this is what I’d do…
7:00am. Get an early start! Coffee and acai bowls at Bogarts cafe. *BEST ACAI on the Island* And a large coffee is really a LARGE coffee. Believe me you need to caffeine up for the day I have planned !
7:40am. Kahala Beach
Just on the other side of diamond head, you can find the perfect little spot of beach. A nice quiet place to finish the rest of that coffee, feel the coolness of the tradewinds on your face and take a dip in the water.
Careful not to get too comfortable at Kahala, we have so much to see! Hoping in the car and heading east on Kalanianaole highway toward Hawaii Kai– you’ll see Koko Head, the dramatic hiking stairs that hundreds of eager fitness freaks flock to daily (try to say that 10 times fast, *fitness, freaks, flock*) . Any way just take a look at it , it’s quite a sight but doesn’t fit into my “perfect” Oahu itinerary. Moving on… continue driving along the coast and enjoy the views. Along the highway, you’ll pass a few tourist traps such as the blow hole, Hanauma Bay, and the famous Sandy Beach Park. All worthy cool spots to check out if time allows.
By this time, you should find yourself driving through Waimanalo, a local community with a some great beaches. But keep driving. Eventually turning off the highway onto the Pali and taking a right toward Kaneohe.
9:20am. Byodo-In Temple
Next I’d make our way toward the north shore, via the scenic route down the Kam Highway. You’ll get great views of ocean and mountains while you drive. Along the route you’ll pass by some tourist spots, like the Macadamia Nut Farm and Kualoa Ranch where many movies were filmed. I like to pop into the Mac nut farm for the free coffee and nut samples (donate a dollar or 2) then jump back into the car and head to my favorite hike, The Crouching Lion .
10:30am. The Crouching Lion Trail
This hike is my absolute favorite, I’ve done it several times and it never disappoints. The trail head is a little tricky to find if you don’t know where to look…but thats all part of the adventure.
SEE the views do not disappoint. ^^^^
Back in the car and North Shore bound! Cause it’s time for some tacos.
12:40pm. Sharks Cove Grill.
There’s a little food truck community across the street from shark’s cove beach, where you can get your munchie fix. I always bee-line to the taco truck, and order the fish tacos. So delicious!
1:15pm. Sunset Beach.
Time to work on that tan and relax. Sunset beach is a good place to hang out, snorkel, watch the surfers and just have your perfect Hawaiian afternoon.
2:30pm. Shave Ice in Haleiwa.
Its Hawaii’s snow cone, and its a must have.
Don’t forget to check out Collete Miller’s beautiful painted wings .
Shop around the local surf shops and art galleries .
4:00pm drive back down the coast toward Hawaii Kai , so you can get to the best place to watch the Oahu sunset.
7:30pm Waikiki Brewing Company.
Time for a well deserved beer and satisfying grinds .
My favorite pairing is the 808 Pale Ale with the shaved prime rib cheeseburger . #noregrets
So good, you cant have just one.
Its been a good day, if you’re still feeling froggy–head over to the Irish Rose Saloon for some live rock music and well-poured drinks.
(all photos taken by myself or my sister)