True Hawai’i is on the North Shore and there is a lot to do there as well. If you’re traveling to Hawai’i and staying on the island of O’ahu, here are a few ideas on what to do and my personal top 10! O’ahu has unfairly been labeled, in my opinion, for being too commercialized and similar to any big city in the U.S. with it’s lavish shops and hotels but if you venture to the other side of the island you’ll find the country side to be a jewel worth visiting. It’s definitely a lot more laid back and not as congested as Waikiki or Ala Moana. However, fair warning, more and more people around the world have discovered the North Shore therefore traffic has become an issue. If you plan to go to the North Shore, make a day of it and head out from wherever you are staying by 7:30am. Traffic is at the world renowned surf spots during November through March, along the North Shore and most notably at Laniakea Beach where tourists stop by to see the turtles. Still truly beautiful and worth the visit. Here are my must do’s and favorites on the island of O’ahu…
Pearl Harbor- If you’ve seen the movie, to top it off and truly feel the patriotism and appreciation for our military, this is one tourist attraction you can’t pass up. You’ll leave appreciating what America is all about, unity & democracy…and why every veteran and active military should be held in such high regard. The sacrifice for our country and to be separated from family from time to time is enough to have my respect.
Romy’s Garlic Shrimp– A trip is not complete without going to a shrimp truck or stand on the North Shore. Try any or all, they are all delicious! You have three to choose from: Romy’s, Fumi’s or Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp. My personal favorite is Romy’s.
North Shore Shark Adventures– I will be on O’ahu in early September and plan to do this. I am super excited and can’t wait to update you with a review, after my trip, so please stay tuned. In addition, since you will be in Hale’iwa go to Guava Shop for some shopping and get a shave ice from Matsumoto’s. Be prepared for long lines at Matsumoto’s. Almost everyone who goes to the North Shore knows that they have the best original shave ice, on the island.
Kahuku Zipline – The other thing on my to do list is the zipline at Keana Farms, in my hometown of Kahuku. I have a few zipline adventures to cross off my list this year, and this is one of them. It is $169/pp. The great thing is that it’s about time Kahuku had something that our very own locals can enjoy in this great small town. I cannot wait for this adventure!
Polynesian Cultural Center- To have a true taste of Hawai’i, you have to visit the Polynesian Culture Center located in La’ie. They showcase Polynesian cultures through their shows and even host a luau. It’s been years since I’ve been but definitely an O’ahu must-see.
Turtle Bay– Located in my hometown of Kahuku is a beautiful resort that is truly relaxing and lovely. As a hotel guest you have access to golf, horseback riding, snorkeling, helicopter rides etc. Some have a cost attached but well worth the experience. Turtle Bay is open to the public, which a lot of people do not know. There is visitor parking for beach access readily available for locals and tourists.
Ko’olina– This is where I go every time I’m on the island. Parking is not the best because it fills up pretty quickly, however the lagoons are beautiful and the waters calm for the most part. It is also great for snorkeling. The earlier you head out to this beach park, the better your chances of getting a parking spot close to the beach.
Waimea Bay– This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset at the end of the day. Anywhere on the north and east side really, but this one is one of the world’s best surf spots and local chill spots. If you’re feeling brave and adventurous, go ahead and jump off the rock!
Aloha Stadium swap meet– If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that every time I’m home, I go to swap meet to get a Hawaiian Islands fake tattoo on my right leg. I’ve been doing this for awhile and my cousins always make fun of me because they say I could have already had a real one with what I’ve spent! Well, truthfully I love tattoos, especially the tribal ones. My polynesian brothers look good with them but permanent tattoos are not for me 😉 But…never say never right? I probably won’t be able to resist once I become a local again.
The other reason why I go is to shop for souvenirs to bring back for friends, customers and employees. If you want the greatest deal in souvenirs this is the place to go. You can get t-shirts for 6 for $20 and everything Hawaii at really great deals! One tip would be to go before 11am. It gets hot therefore be prepared to bring an umbrella for shade, and stay hydrated. Also, bring a backpack or shopping tote to store all your souvenirs. You will not be able to resist the great deals and souvenirs! I believe it cost only $1 per person to enter and parking is free.
After all that walking in the hot sun, treat yourself to an authentic coconut drink which I promise they’ll have at the swap meet…delicious!
So there you go…a mixture of shopping, swimming, local food, culture and adventures. All a great way to experience the island of O’ahu. Thank you for reading my O’ahu Top 10! Please feel free to share your Hawaiian island favorites below.
Haze- Blue Crush Travel
Pic: View from my hotel room at Turtle Bay Resort Kahuku, HI