I’ve been to Hawaii a couple times throughout my life and absolutely love it. From the amazing beaches, great weather, endless amount of palm trees, tropical fruit, sightseeing, and total relaxation, what’s not to like!
I typically visit Maui or the big island of Hawaii, just because those are my favorite Hawaiian Islands and totally give off the Hawaiian island lifestyle. But this time, I traveled to Oahu to explore Waikiki Beach and Honolulu in the city. And being a total city girl, I loved it just as much, especially since it was in paradise!
Reflecting back on the trip, I’d like to share a roundup of some of my favorite things about the trip, including my favorite places to eat, see, visit, shop, etc.
Where to Eat:
What’s fun about traveling and going on vacation is eating at new restaurants that you don’t always see at home. As a semi-frequent Hawaii tourist, I have a few restaurants that I am always sure to visit each time I’m on the islands. Here is a list of some eats from my visit in Honolulu that I definitely recommend.
- Cheeseburger in Paradise
This is my all time favorite burger restaurant in Hawaii. They serve some of the best hamburgers I’ve had and pretty tasty french fries along side of that. Paired with a fruity tropical drink, Hawaiian Sunburn (consisting of raspberry, orange, vodka, and fruit on top), it’s one of the best Hawaiian meals.
- Lulu’s Waikiki
Overlooking Waikiki Beach, Lulu’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and some good views of Waikiki Beach. Right across the street from my hotel, my boyfriend and I came here for breakfast one morning and it was so delicious. Sitting at the bar top overlooking the beach was a total bonus with good food too. I basically consider myself a connoisseur of french toast so obviously couldn’t help but order it at Lulu’s when I saw it on the menu, and of course, it was delicious!
- Arancino di Mare
Conveniently located at the hotel I was staying at (Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa), Arancino di Mare offered probably one of the fanciest breakfasts I’ve ever had, because “treat yo’ self,” right? With such fine Italian dining, I couldn’t even pronounce half of the food on the menu. However, what stood out to me the most and what I could actually pronounce were the Frutti di Bosco breakfast crepes. Consisting of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, and whipped cream, it was seriously almost too fancy to eat, very high quality.
- Sarento’s At The Top Of The Ilikai
Sarento’s offered some great food and probably some of the best restaurant service I’ve ever received. With about five waiters/waitresses ensuring my boyfriend and I always had everything that we needed, we had a great full course meal from appetizers, the main course, desserts, and drinks. And a huge plus, the view is amazing. Located at the penthouse, very top of the Ilikai hotel, you have all around views of Honolulu and other parts of the island as well.
- Cuckoo Coconuts
A cute, little outdoor restaurant with live Hawaiian music was a fun restaurant to eat at to enjoy the Hawaii heat and listen to local music artists perform. Their teriyaki chicken and rice were super good as well!
Where to Shop:
Some great stores to shop at, excluding retail chains that aren’t typically offered around the rest of the country are:
- Honolulu Cookie Company
- ABC Stores
- Island Sole
- Angels By The Sea
- Cinnamon Girl
These shops are all very unique as they are not in every single state of the U.S. With cute island clothing and other little gifts, it’s so much fun to look around, even if you’re not planning on buying anything.
What to Do:
- Dolphin Encounter at Sea Life Park
One of my bucket list things to do has always been to swim/interact with the dolphins at some of the Hawaii parks, and I was beyond happy to finally have the experience on this trip. Sea Life Park in Waimanalo on the east side of the island is a really cool marine mammal park and aquarium that was a lot of fun to bus over to and spend a couple of hours interacting with the dolphins and exploring the park and nearby beaches.
- Hike Diamond Head
Probably one of the most popular things to do in the Honolulu area is hike up Diamond Head for great views of Honolulu/Waikiki and all of the ocean surrounding the island.