When my school friend said that she was getting married in Hawaii, I couldn’t RSVP fast enough! The perfect reason to book a holiday, right? This was my first time in Hawaii and I’m not sure why I haven’t been there earlier. I stayed in Kona (on The Big Island) for the wedding and then back to Honolulu to celebrate life with some shopping.
I would definitely recommend hiring car when you’re in Hawaii. Everything is so spread out and, even for someone who is used to driving on the other side of the road, it was really easy to find your way and find parking etc. Plus it’s more fun to explore the island with the top down and just cruise alond the beautiful coastlines!
So here are some of the top things to do in Hawaii:
- Swim with the dolphins and Manta Rays: I had the best day out on the Kona Coast, we managed to spot a humpback whale, swim with the dolphins and even snorkel with some manta rays. More info here. We had super enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. The dolphins are so beautiful and their babies were super curious and came right up to us, which was absolutely amazing. My friends told me that the night manta ray snorkel is also amazing, but make sure you book in advance – I missed that one as it was booked out.
- Surfing: I’ve surfed a couple of times in my life and I suck at it. Hahaha. So when I was in Hawaii, I thought I’d give it another go. I managed to stand up and I actually surfed! YAY!!! Hahaha, but if you’re looking for a fun day out in the water, just give this ago. You’re out in the water all morning with your guide. I’ve never laughed so hard. The surf culture in Hawaii is amazing and it’s fun learn a Hawaiian slang phrases or two! Shaka, brah!!!
- Horse Riding: I’ve never been horse riding before so I was a little nervous but I ended up having so much fun. My horse was so beautiful. The drive to the ranch was also amazing, even if you have no interest in going horse riding – you should just go for a drive up the mountain. It’s breathtaking.
- Visit the Volcanoes: Definitely a must do when you are in Hawaii. I think the best way to see this is on a helicopter, so next time I’m there I will do that!
- Shopping: Waikiki is such a fun place to shop!! There are so many amazing boutiques on Ala Moana Boulevard and I guess it would be Hawaii’s equivalent to Rodeo Drive. Ala Moana is the world’s largest outdoor shopping mall and I love going there! I spent most of my time there. You can find good bargains in Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales! If you are a tourist like me, you instantly get 15% off all your purchases!! YAY!
- Hiking: I would recommend a hike when you’re in Hawaii! If you’re not much of a hiker (like me), just pick one! I wanted to do the diamond head hike but I think it gets quite busy so we skipped that one and went to the Lanikai Pillbox hike instead. By all means this was not that easy so you need good shoes and a bit of grit! The view from up the top is definitely worth the hike up.
- Pearl Harbour: Make sure you book your tour super early! I missed out on this one but you can still visit if you go early and still have a look around. More details here
- Drive to North Shore: This drive was so beautiful! Think top down, singing Justin Bieber songs at top of your lungs! Yes. Hahahaha. Worth a drive just for that! Apart from that you can visit Turtle Bay & Shark bBay. Watch some seriously big waves and all the surfers who dare to surf them!
- Experience Food Trucks: Let’s just say their food truck scene kinda kicks ass. So much good food – the acai bowls from Haleiwa Bowls were amazing. Just get to the North Shore food truck area and get ready for some yummy food while watching the sunset! OMG take me back already! Oh and don’t miss out on the shaved ice!!
- EAT REALLY YUMMY FOOD! I’m such a huge foodie and I was excited to try out Hawaiian food. We ate at so many yummy restaurants when we were in Hawaii. My fav will have to be Poke bowls! I seriously can eat this all day everyday! It’s so delicious and so healthy too. My fav one in Kona would be Umeke’s. For a great Brunch place check out Arvo Cafe and Sunny Days.
So there it is guys!! I had so much fun and will definitely be back in Hawaii again soon! For now, Aloha a hui hou kakou (goodbye – until we meet again!).