After a very peaceful stay in Maui, Ania, Manu and I were more than ready to experience the liveliness of Oahu! Before hopping on the plane, we got drinks at Maui’s airport where the funny waitress suggested we get just one more drink to celebrate our upcoming adventures! We were pumped.
After landing in Honolulu, we walked on the large sidewalks ornamented by glorious palm trees and gazed at the tall luminous buildings we had never expected to see. Hawaii was supposed to be the state of nature, hikes and beaches. Who knew that a real city could hide among all of this?
On our first night out, we were determined to experience amazing nightlife. After eating late at a restaurant, we got in line for a rooftop bar but soon left feeling underdressed in our flowy dresses that couldn’t compete with the tight ones all around. We then tried a pub blasting bad rock music, which we left our ears in pain. But it was only when we talked to strange boys on the street who didn’t even know where Canada was on a map, that we got our cue to go home.
We decided we needed to relax and go with the flow; trying to find a specific experience would only leave us disappointed. We had to open ourselves to the hawaiian magic. And honestly, being in paradise with two amazing friends was more than enough happiness!
5 days in Oahu
Waikiki Beach is where the tourists hang! A lot of trendy restaurants and hotels with infinity pools are located beside the busy beach where people come to watch the sunset at the end of the day. However, if you’re looking for tranquility, let me tell you this is not it. It’s even hard to find a tiny spot to lay down and read on your beach towel. For this purpose, I encourage you to find your own secret beach elsewhere on the island!
Waikiki is the perfect central place to stay, eat and shop! Manu, Ania and I loved having brunch and dinner in the area, and chatting endlessly at night, while walking on the streets or sitting late on the beach.
But really, you should rent a car and venture outside of the crowded place to experience the true amazingness and wilderness of Oahu.
The North Shore
It feels amazing to find calm and beauty just outside of a busy city like Honolulu.
On our way to the North Shore, we first stopped to have lunch at a food truck paradise. According to their information signs, they had world famous everything…shrimps, fish n’ chips, smoothies, coconuts… Hungry, we shared seafood and rice and ate on a picnic table all warmed up by sunshine.
We then left to explore the North Shore. I fell in love with surfer town Haleiwa, where we entered every single small shop and marvelled at the idea of having ice cream every time we walked past a gelato place.
We decided to take our beach break at Waimea Bay, where we watched young cliff jumpers yell their joy before taking the plunge of their life!
Entering the ocean, we were so grateful for the turquoise water running on our sun-kissed skin and the joy of having nothing to do but gaze at the beauty of the place and enjoy the present moment. We spent hours alternating between lying on the sand and swimming as far as we could.
Diamond Head Crater
Our stay in Oahu was sadly coming to an end. But with us, it ain’t over till it’s over! A few hours before Manu had to leave Ania and I to go back home, we spontaneously decided to go on a hike. We had been running pretty smoothly for the last couple of days, taking the car to see beautiful views across the island, sunbathing and swimming … we now wanted to get our heart racing.
Starting our hike at the Diamond Head Crater, we didn’t expect to be so amazed by the beauty of everything. Everywhere we turned along the way, something more beautiful was awaiting us.
At the top, the city view was simply breathtaking!
Just when we thought it was all over, we saw a beautiful rainbow crossing the dazzling scenery. It was like a happy goodbye to Manu! Life can be pretty surprising sometimes.
Oahu Restaurant Suggestions for the Foodie
In Oahu, every brunch, lunch and dinner, was marvelously yummy! I am a pretty die-hard fan of brunch so I assembled our favorite brunch places in Oahu here for you…
Honolulu Coffee (at the Moana Surfrider)
Hawaiian Acai Bowl are heaven for smoothie lovers like me. They are a mix of Acai and almond milk, topped with granola, bananas, strawberries, honey… Try one at the Honolulu Coffee located at the Moana Surfrider, along with a large bowl of warm Macadamia Nut Coffee. You’ll just want to say awwww.
Leonard’s Bakery and Kaimana Farm Cafe
Leonard’s Bakery‘s sugar-crusted doughnuts melt in your hands and in your mouth. The fillings are so delicious, you’ll want to eat way more than your belly can handle! We picked up our pink box and brought it along with us to the Kaimana Farm Cafe. The place is so calm, cozy and cute, with its large wood tables and big chalkboards, where the healthy menu is beautifully drawn.
It was so heavenly that Heavenly was located right outside of our apartment! We went for dinner and…went again for brunch! They kind of had me at local and organic. And the surfboards hanging on the walls make the place look très très cool.
Delicious food is not hard to find in Oahu! From food trucks, to local and organic smoothies, to chocolate cheesecakes at the Cheesecake Factory, you won’t likely be disappointed. My own tummy was pretty satisfied! You should also give a try to…
- Bills for delicious brunch in a large space with bright light coming in from the big windows.
- Buho Cocina y Cantina for its amazing mexican food, drinks and very funny waiters!