The most populated island in Hawaii, offers from fun city life with nice restaurants and shopping, to the most beautiful beaches in the world. It's truly a paradise!!!
There’s a lot to see and enjoy there! I would recommend driving Southeast/east in the morning, because in the afternoons the clouds are all over, and it usually rains in that area.
Waikiki Beach: The water is very clear and calm, great for diving. It’s also a good place for surf lessons. The beach is busy, tons of hotels & lots of people, but still fun.
Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki: This beach was named in honor of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a gold-medal Olympic swimmer who is credited with introducing surfing to the outside world. Kahanamoku Beach is bordered by the Ala Wai small boat
harbor and the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamaran pier. A shallow offshore reef protects this beach from big waves, making it a great swimming area for families with children.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is about 10 miles east of Waikiki just off the main coastal road (Kalaniana'ole Highway, Route 72). It’s gorgeous, but arrive there early (it opens at 6am), because parking is very restricted. Another option to get there is taking a bus on Kuhio Avenue to Hanauma
bay. Tuesdays the park is closed. I would also recommend going there in the morning, because in the afternoon are clouds everywhere, so the visibility
underwater is not as good. It’s THE place for snorkeling!
After Hanauma, don't miss stopping at the most beautiful scenic points of Oahu. These are actually my favorite pictures of the island. The first stop is Lanai Lookout, then Halona Blowout and then the Makapu'u Lookout. Don't miss the chance to drive until Makapu'u Beach and admire the amazing views. It's worth the stop. Watch out for the waves, this beach has very strong waves and currents.
Waimalalo Beach Park: off Aloiloi Street,Waimanalo - Southeast O'ahu. My favorite beach in Hawaii and one of my favorites in the whole world!!!! I loooooooooooovethis place! It’s SO beautiful & peaceful! Watch for Portuguese man-of-war, stinging jellyfish (depending on the season). If no signs are displayed, the water is great for swimming.
East & North Shores
About 10 minutes away from Waimanalo you will find Bellows Beach. This place is almost a hidden gem and well known by locals.
Kailua Beach: 450 Kawailoa Road, East O'ahu. This one is a beautiful beach with excellent swimming and wind surfing
Lanikai beach: Kailua Road, Kailua - East O'ahu Going east after Kailua beach, the access is only available by a public access walkways. It’s a residential area. The water is very clear, blue and beautiful.
From Kailua, you should visit the next beach called Lanikai. This is Hawaii's postcard and it has ben named number one beach in the nation for many years. This is a residential area with no local Beach park, so you will have to park in front of the local residences. This is a must, you shouldn't miss seeing Lanikai when in Oahu.
A little bit before Waimea, there is this beach where you can find turtles… I was lucky to see many in September, but none in December…
Waimea Beach Park: 61-031 Kamehameha Highway, North O'ahu. During the summer months the water is calm and great for swimming with a large sandy beach area. I was there in the winter as well, and the waves were huge. I heard they can reach heights of thirty feet! This is the home of
the largest, most dangerous and spectacular surf in the world.
Three tables: Small and pretty & clear water beach. It was great for swimming.
Pupukea Beach Park: 59-727 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa North Shore This is a very nice beach to go. There are many rocks forming small “pools”.
Pipeline: Just across a school, this location is the most world known between surfers. The waves are amazing in winter time.
Sunset Beach: 59-104 Kamehameha Highway One of the longest sand beaches in Oahu. In the summer it has crystal clear water and beautiful white sand. The area is great for swimming and snorkeling. When I was there in September it was one of my favorite beaches for swimming. But when
I was there in December, the waves were also pretty high like in Waimea.
Food & Shopping
There are tons of nice restaurants in Waikiki and others well-known like Roys, PFChangs, Cheesecake Factory, and fast food chains like the Buffalo Wild Wings, Dennys, etc.
Me’s BBQ: inexpensive Korean food. Very simple. Very yummy. 151 Uluniu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96805
A great option is Duke's Waikiki. They have a nice buffet (all you can eat), plus great selections of entrees.
Another great option:
1221 Kapiolani Blvd., #105
Honolulu, HI 96814
It’s delicious! It’s worth trying! They have happy hour EVERYDAY from 11:30am-6:30pm and from 9pm to close.
Haleiwa Joe’s (North Shore): Great food & service! I was there at least 3 times during my different visits to Oahu! My family loved the food as well!
Ala Moana Shopping Mall
Waikele Premium Outlets (Coach, BCBGMaxzaria, Saks, Barneys NY, Michael Kors, Guess, etc)