O’ahu Hawaii Guide

My friend Austin Ryde organized a trip to Hawaii with a group of friends to celebrate his 31st birthday and check off bucket list adventures. He visits Hawaii frequently and is definitely the resident expert. I said yes to every adventure and am grateful for friends who love nature, fitness, and adrenaline as much as I do. It was one of the most memorable trips I’ve taken and the perfect getaway to refresh, reset, and refocus on what matters most.

Skydiving, swimming with sharks, and adventuring in Hawaii: what an incredible experience! It’s no wonder that Hawaii is known as a haven for thrill-seekers, and my recent trip definitely didn’t disappoint.

Skydiving was a high point! As I soared above the clouds with the wind whipping through my hair, the thrill of the experience was truly exhilarating. The peaceful silence that I experienced as I began to fall, surrounded by the vast expanse of the sky, was unforgettable. The absolute thrill and rush of adrenaline that was coursing through my veins was amazing.

Swimming with sharks might seem like an activity that would give most people a sense of foreboding or even terror, but for me, it was an adventure to be had. The majesty of those powerful creatures that I was sharing the ocean with was awe-inspiring. As I explored the depths, I witnessed creatures of the deep in their natural habitat. It was simply unforgettable to be swimming alongside such striking creatures.

Lastly, adventuring in Hawaii was a fantastic way to truly experience the beauty of the island. With so many unique experiences to choose from, I was able to explore and really connect with Hawaii in a way that will stick with me for the rest of your life. Whether it was hiking up a lush, verdant mountain, taking in the incredible scenery from the cliffs, or discovering hidden gems along the coastline, Hawaii left a lasting impression on me.

All in all, my experience in Hawaii was absolutely amazing. Skydiving, swimming with sharks, and adventuring are just some of the incredible activities this stunning island has to offer. It’s safe to say that Hawaii will always hold a very special place in my heart.

NORTH SHORE:

CENTER NORTH:

  • Dole Plantation – a tourist hotspot for a good reason, learn about the history of Dole while eating some fresh pineapple and Dole whip.
  • Waialua Estate – Coffee and Chocolate Plantation.
  • Wahiawā Botanical Garden

WAIKIKI:

  • Waikiki Beach
  • Diamond Head Hike – one of the Islands most famous hikes on an extinct volcanic crater. Not too bad, but has a steep incline.
  • Wa’ahila Ridge Trail
  • Pearl Harbour Tour – something you should see at least once, especially if you’re a history buff.
  • Walk, Shop, Eat and Stay on Kalakaua Avenue – more high end luxury stores, amazing restaurants and prime hotel location when staying on the island.
  • Ala Moana Mall
  • Waikiki Shopping Plaza
  • Tanaka of Tokyo – the best hibachi and fried rice.
  • Diamond Head Grill – an amazing spot for lunch and dinner with some of the best homemade desserts.
  • Liliha Bakery 
  • Leonard’s Bakery – home of malasadas and pao doce, you need to try them both!
  • Honolulu Cookie Company – a tourist hotspot, but the freshly baked cookies are worth it.

MIDDLE OF THE ISLAND/EAST SIDE:

  • Lulumahu Falls – a nice hike with amazing views and the iconic waterfall.
  • Maunawili Falls – decent hike, another incredible waterfall and cliff jumping
  • Manoa Falls – a more touristy, easy hike.
  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike / Kaiwa Ridge – above Lanikai, easy 30-40 mins hike with the best picture-worthy views!
  • Lanikai Beach – a personal favorite, this beach is perfect with the sofest sand and the clearest water.
  • Kualoa Ranch – if you’re a big TV and movie fan you need to do the Kualoa Ranch Tour! See locations from famous sets like Jurassic Park, Lost and 50 first dates.
  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens – famous for photos on entrance roads? Locals Tip: go early!

WEST SIDE:

  • Pu’u O Hulu Trail / Pink Pillbox Hike – decent hike, 45 mins, amazing location and views
  • Mermaid Cave – go to the Nanakuli Beach Park, walk along the lava rock and drop into the hole. Locals Tip: go at low tide!
  • Hawaiian Electric Beach Park – the best sunset spot on the Island during the winter months.

SOUTH EAST SIDE:

  • Koko Head Hike – not a long hike but the path goes straight up.
  • Hanauma Bay – the perfect snorkeling spot to see some coral, limited to only 750 people per day. Open Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Makapu’u Beach Park – amazing strong waves and less touristy
  • Makapu’u Tide Pools

PLACES TO STAY ON O’AHU:

 

Hi! I'm Gracie.

I’m the former Miss Kansas USA! I’m an avid sports fan and fitness enthusiast. I hope this blog inspires your everyday and encourages you to go Live Gracefully!

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1 Comments

  1. Jerry Suarez wrote:

    Skydiving and swimming with sharks it is so awesome.

    Posted 4.24.23 Reply