8 nights in Honolulu
I recently spent 8 nights in Honolulu for my dad’s 60th birthday. This was my third visit to Hawaii however it had been 8 years since I was there last. And 8 years too long. Since my most recent trip I have vowed to visit Hawaii more regularly because it is such a fun and relaxing place to go for a holiday. Honolulu is one of those places suitable for everyone; for a family with children, for a couple’s getaway and for a group of friends. From relaxing on the beach with a Mai Tai to exploring the jungle terrain of the island, Oahu makes for both a chilled out and adventurous getaway.
Where to stay
My hotel of choice is the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach. Referred to as the first lady of Waikiki, the oceanfront hotel was built in 1901 as the first hotel in Waikiki. The beautiful, colonial style architecture and interiors makes you feel as though you are stepping back into yesteryear and its historical charm is mesmerising. As you walk up the stairs between gigantic pillars you see its infamous banyan tree courtyard and Waikiki beach through the white french doors. Dreamy ukulele music plays throughout the hotel and the air smells like fresh, sweet flowers. Just thinking about it makes me want to be there.
I could have spent everyday on Waikiki Beach. The colour of the water is gorgeous and the temperature is perfect. There is such a fun vibe with lots of activities like paddle boards and surfboards for hire and boats that have daily snorkelling and sunset trips. A must-do is to buy an inflatable tube or lilo from an ABC store that you can take to the beach everyday.
Explore the island in a Jeep
Hiring a jeep is a fun and adventurous way to explore the island and escape the crowds of Honolulu. Lanikai Beach is absolutely beautiful and would be my top recommendation for beaches to visit on Oahu.
North Shore food trucks
When driving up the North Shore, the best place for a pit stop is 56-505 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku. Here you will be in food truck heaven with the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck serving delicious garlic and chilli shrimps and you can pick up a fresh lemonade from Aunty’s Lil Green Hut.
My all-time favourite place to eat in Honolulu is The Cheesecake Factory (we ate there three nights in a row so that’s saying something). The Cheesecake Factory is an American Diner with over 200 locations but Honolulu is the chain’s biggest venue. I have never seen such an extensive menu, the food quality is amazing, service is great and the meal portions are enormous which is a novelty for Aussie travelers. They sell over 7000 slices of cheesecake a day and the original is by far the best (in my opinion). Duke’s is also a must – think OTT tiki style interiors which is completely mandatory when in Hawaii. For a good, Australian-style coffee, cool interiors and those infamous ricotta hotcakes, be sure to visit Bill’s Honolulu.
Hopefully there will be another Hawaiian holiday soon.