Aloha from Hawaii!!

Are you looking for a vacation filled with beautiful beaches, amazing hikes and views, cool luau’s, and some of the nicest people you will meet? If the answer was yes, then Hawaii is the place for you. Pack your bags and experience an amazing trip to one of the eight beautiful islands.

I had the experience to explore Hawaii with my Ohana (family) for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. My mom and I thought what better way to enjoy Hawaii then baby girl’s 2nd birthday. My husband thought WOW, Hawaii for her 2nd birthday, but nonetheless he was in. We packed our bags and she turned 2 in Hawaii, baby!! This experience was one of a kind and I could not pass up sharing it with all of you! Although, there are 8 islands and I only visited one, here are a few activities and good eats during my adventure to O’ahu (Honolulu).

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THE ACTIVITIES

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1. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

O’ahu has some of the most amazing shoreline hikes. If you like beautiful views while enjoying a little exercise, then you will be in for a treat. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is the second most popular of all the O’ahu hiking trails, next to the Diamond Head hike. It is filled with some of the world’s most beautiful creations of mountains, greenery, and water. It is also a good climb to the top. If you are a workout freak or just like to monitor your daily steps, you will love this hike. Even if you don’t like to work out, it is still fun to hike up the trail with family and/or friends and enjoy the scenery along the way. The entire trial is concrete paved and provides clear access for good pictures and great memories. Grab a friend or two, fly to Hawaii, and get hiking!!

2. Beaches

When you hear the word Hawaii most likely the things that come to mind are surfers, poke, palm trees, luau’s and beaches. Throughout all the Hawaiian Islands there are tons of beaches to explore. I mean c’mon the islands are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. During our vacation we visited two beaches one being Waikiki Beach. We certainly had fun in the sun! The water is so clear and blue! In certain parts the water is very shallow and good for kids. The sand between our toes and the sounds of the waves made for relaxing and fun days at the beach.

3. Iolani Palace

Did you know royalty once lived in Honolulu at Iolani Palace? Iolani Palace represents a time in Hawaiian history when King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, walked the halls and ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii. If history is of interest to you, take some time to go and check out the Palace. They offer audio tours in which you walk around and view all the rooms in the palace. We did this tour and it was cool to see everything preserved so well and learn about the history of Hawaiian royalty.

4. Pearl Harbor Memorial

Pearl Harbor!! Most of us know that Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on December 17, 1941. The one attack that is in most history books and is taught about in school. Well, I finally got the chance to visit that very location that was attacked. Ohhh myy gosh, it was so cool to finally get to see and step foot on the very island that I once read about in my history book. So much history came to life in that very moment. It was such an honor to pay respect to the men that lost their lives in this attack as well as served in our United States Navy. I’m not usually a big history fan but this memorial had my full attention.

5. Germaine’s Luau

You can’t come to Hawaii and not experience a Hawaiian Luau. If you want a traditional backyard style Hawaiian luau, Germaine’s is the place to go. I had the pleasure of experiencing this fun Hawaiian party on a beach front property filled with great entertainment and food. They even roasted the pig the traditional way in a pit in the ground. They allowed us all to go back and watch them pull the pig out the ground pit. This was neat! From the dancing, chanting, food, beach front and experience, everything about Germaine’s was AMAZING!!

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THE  FOOD

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1. Honolulu Cookie

The cute little pineapple shaped shortbread cookie of the island. While walking around our hotel exploring what’s around, we found Honolulu Cookie. I have a big sweet tooth and my husband loves cookies, so of course this made sense. My oh my, these little shortbread cookies were amazing! They even offer samples in the store for you to try. Needless to say we tried all the samples they had to offer. We liked the cookies so much we bought a box of 20 intended to take home and enjoy AFTER we got back home. Well, that box didn’t last long. We ate all 20 cookies while in Hawaii. We then grabbed a 30 cookie box to take home on our way back to the airport. Talk about cookie LOVE!!

2. Nico’s Pier 38 Fish Market

Being in a location surrounded by ocean waters, one would assume fresh fish is a must. Apparently when in Hawaii, Nico’s is the place to be. They are a fish market that is also a restaurant that serves fresh fish everyday. They go to the auction every morning and buy the fish fresh local. I also enjoyed the views while eating. The windows of the restaurant were open, and you can look out and see the pier.

3. Prima

Pizza in Hawaii?! Yes, please! I know out of all things I could have eaten in Hawaii, you would think pizza wouldn’t be at the top of the list. Well, I can assure you Prima is a good pizza joint. Their pizza style reminded me of that of Italy. The perfect thin crust topped with simple goodness cooked in a pizza brick oven. The chef makes each pizza to order by hand. You can see him hard at work lightly tossing the dough around his hands with precision to provide you with a mouthwatering finished product. The location is small and cute but spacious enough to enjoy some delicious pizza.

4. Moku

Live music while dining do not go together – says no one!! Moku was a great dining experience. On certain nights, I believe the weekend, they have live music. I just loved this! The location is in a cute little area with a few other restaurants. This location reminded me of a southern inspired restaurant with a modern Hawaiian twist. Think farm to table but Hawaiian style. Talk about a cute concept. The food was amazing, and the live music was the cherry on top.

5. Matsumoto Shave Ice

While in Hawaii, I realized shave ice is a thing. A thing so much that a brick-and-mortar called Matsumoto serves nothing but shave ice. The line was long, but moved fast. OOH WAIT! I forgot to mention not just shave ice but shave ice that has ice cream in the center. I had never had shave ice and ice cream before, so I was excited. It is an interesting combination but nonetheless I enjoyed it because it was part of the culture. I got vanilla ice cream with white cake syrup on my shave ice.

6. Lucky Belly

I can say my belly was definitely lucky when I left! If you like ramen you are in for a treat. Lucky Belly consist of memorable chef inspired ramen and other dishes. The food here was very good, especially the Lunch Bento Box that came with salmon, seasoned rice, side salad, and lumpia. YYUUUUUMMMMMYYYY!!! Talk about good food! The others had the ramen and said it was very tasty. One person had fish tacos that were the bomb.com! Overall, Lucky Belly was a great choice. Everyone left with their bellies lucky, happy and full!

7. Hula Grill Waikiki

You can’t head back to the airport to leave Hawaii without first having brunch. If you know me or the other Tiff, you know we live for brunch! Being in Hawaii is no different, bring on the brunch! While there are many brunch locations to choose from a good suggestion is Hula Grill Waikiki. Not only do they have good brunch they have amazing views while you brunch. Who is going to say no to great beach views while they eat? The food here is amazing! After you brunch and before you go, make sure to grab a Kimo’s Famous Hula Pie. It is to LIVE for!!! 😉

While this post is filled with activities and good eats you can enjoy in Hawaii, it is time to say goodbye. We hope this helps when planning your next vacation to the great Hawaiian island of O’ahu. I know you would all love to stay and continue seeing more, but it’s time for me to go and prepare for the next travel expedition. We can’t wait to come back to Hawaii and add even more memories! Until next time, Aloha from Hawaii!!

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