Cruising Around Oahu with the top down on your convertible car is the best way to see the island.
We hired a topless Jeep to take around the Island of Oahu and what fun we had. We based ourselves out of Waikiki and had the car for two full days. Instead or prearranging our rental car, we waited until we had arrived in Waikiki so our rental was flexible with our schedule and the weather. There is so much to see and eat on Oahu and two full days was the perfect amount of time to see it all.
Here is our MUST SEES on the island of Oahu:
1. Manoa Falls Trail
This waterfall and hiking trail is an easy walk and rewarding when you reach the falls. The trail has a parking lot which costs $5 and then a 30-40min walk to the waterfall. We wore flip flops and probably should have worn our trainers. Remember the insect repellent. We bought some insect repellent wipes in the gift store as we forgot our spray.
2. Pupukea Beach Park
Snorkelling at Shark’s Cove in the Pupukea area was beautiful. The area is shallow,calm and sheltered enough for children to feel safe and relaxed while snorkelling. There is an open area next to Shark’s Cove for adults to explore. The area has many rocks leading down to the cove so I suggest having reef shoes to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
3. Chinaman’s Hat
Kāneʻohe Bay is the area to look at the iconic Chinaman’s Hat. The water in this area is an impossible blue and the backdrop across the road is green and luscious valleys where many movies were filmed.
4. DOLE Plantation
If you have never had a Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve) then stopping here is a must. If you don’t have the chance to stop at the pineapple plantation, we found a DOLE whip machine at Walgreens.
5. Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
After driving through the tunnels on the Pali Highway head off to this lookout over the Oahu Island. It seems like you can see forever. The view is the green mountains set against the ocean that goes forever. Have 3 x $1 bills for the parking.
6. Kailua Beach
A popular family area with a beach and small creek inlet for smaller children to paddle in. The sand here was so white and the water ridiculously blue and warm.
7. China Walls
A secret place that is only known by the locals but it is worth the find. Koko Kai Mini Beach is wedged between houses and has a public access path to the cliff walls. A beautiful quiet place that leads to exposed rocks and a great view.
8. Hanauma Bay
For an amazing snorkelling experience head to Hanauma Bay. Catch The Bus or drive then pay $7.50 entrance fee per adult. Take your food and drink as the snack bar is limited. It can get very crowded so head their as early as you can to avoid the crowds.
Here is our MUST EATS on the island of Oahu:
1. Leonard’s Bakery
Hot, delicious and made to order Porteguses donuts (malasadas). Sugary balls of goodness. They will leave you dreaming of their yumminess.
2. Dole Whip
Head to the Dole Planation for the sweet pineapple soft serve icecream. We also found a soft serve machine in Walgreens. This will transport you right back to Disneyland!
3. Matsumoto Shave Ice
Matsumoto shave ice is voted the best in Hawaii. A perfect way to cool day and be one of the locals on the North Shore.
4. Ted’s Bakery
Ted’s is the home of the original cream pie. We stopped off for a quick bite to eat in the bakery and refuel after snorkelling. This iconic bakery is part of the North Shore local history.
5. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
There are so many shrimp trucks around the island but this is the most famous. The garlicky goodness can be smelt as soon as you arrive. We shared a plate of 12 huge shrimps with rice. They are messy and so delicious. There is a hand washing area once you have finished – expect to get messy and enjoy every minute.
For more on our tips on Oahu head over to our post on Waikiki
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