Relaxing in Paradise: Oahu, Hawaii

When you’re looking for a warm, relaxing getaway from the Bay Area, Hawaii should be your top choice! If you’re on the lookout, prices can be as low as $350 round trip for direct flights from any of the Bay Area airports (San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose). We took advantage of one of these deals and spent a couple days in Oahu, Hawaii eating good food, playing at the beach, and relaxing. Here are some of the places we visited as well as some favorites from past trips!

Stay

If you’re looking to stay in prime location near Waikiki Beach, Shoreline Hotel Waikiki is perfect. It’s in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki area with tons of food and shopping options just steps away. Waikiki Beach is a few blocks away so no need for a car when staying here. The hotel is colorfully decorated with refreshing drinks available in the lobby 24/7. Make sure to check their calendar for fun activities happening every day- we got free henna tattoos during our stay!

Hilton Waikiki Village is the ultimate resort in Oahu. The place is huge and basically like a little village with its own shops, multiple dining options, a lagoon, multiple pools, and it’s own beach. It’s a one stop shop for your Hawaii vacation which makes it perfect for families or visitors who just want to relax. They have a lot of different tour options that can be arranged for you so you don’t have to worry about anything!

Eat

There are so many options to eat in Oahu with lots of the usual must eats such as poke, shaved ice, ramen, etc. We have included some more special and unique places that you don’t want to miss!

Heavenly Island Lifestyle is located next to Shoreline Hotel Waikiki. This small shop serves Hawaiian favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are well known for using organic local ingredients and have many different healthy choices to choose from. Make sure to allow some time for your visit since there’s often a line!

If you’re anywhere near Waikiki Beach, be sure to stop by Banan Waikiki Beach Shack. They serve up some delicious banana ice cream that’s perfect for any beach stop. They also have locations at Kahala Mall and across the street from the University of Hawaii.

If you decide to rent a car, be sure to head to the North Shore to check out their popular shrimp trucks. We visited Big Wave Shrimp Truck and got our fill of shrimp plates! Their recipes have been perfected and been around since 2006. They have also recently started selling their special seasoning so you can take your favorite flavors to add to your shrimp dishes at home!

Who can forget ice cream? We had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Uncle’s Ice Cream Sandwiches which can be found at over 40 locations throughout Oahu. These ice cream sandwiches are simple yet delicious with their premium ingredients and hand scooped ice cream. You can taste the love and dedication in every bite!

See

North Shore is where you go to escape the crowds of Waikiki. With a much more laid back vibe, the beaches are a lot less populated, the mountains line the shore, and the waves are huge. We loved cruising in our Jeep with the top off enjoying some sunshine and warm breeze!

The Pillbox Hike is a beautiful hike up to the top of some old military lookouts. The going is pretty steep and muddy at some parts but the views are totally worth it! You can do a little bit of exploring and rest inside and on top of the lookouts as well.

The Diamond Head hike is a popular one since it a located relatively close to the Waikiki area. Lots of steps but you’ll also see some Japanese tourists doing it in their heels so you know it’s doable! Great view of the Waikiki area.

Ala Moana Beach is where more of the locals go to hang out when they want some beach and sunshine. It’s connected to a huge park area where you will often see big families gathered for whole day picnics. There’s also a Marina at the end to walk around.

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