The island of Oahu is known as the “gathering place” and is the third largest island of the Hawaiian chain. Most of Hawaii’s residents live here and the island is visited by travelers from around the world especially for those visitors looking forward to luxury vacations in Hawaii. It certainly lives up to its nickname. Hawaii is also a fusion of diverse ethnicities which can be easily seen in the island’s cooking traditions, entertainment, arts, and even languages. Basking in the sun on Oahu can mean admiring the island’s Flora and Fauna, hanging 10 in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking the thrilling steps of Stairway to Heaven. Whichever you like to spend your vacation, here are 10 things luxurious travelers should do in Oahu.
Travel along the North Shore
Aside from the bustling streets of Honolulu, travelers may seek tranquillity in a more peaceful environment – the North Shore. Good news! It takes about 25 minutes driving to reach the countryside with quiet beaches. Once you arrive on the North Shore, never miss trying the area’s best cuisine – Garlic Shrimp. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is the best-known and one of the island’s original shrimp truck, and Romy’s Kahuku Prawns, where diners can see prawn and shrimp farm pools up-close to the dining tables. Wrap up your North Shore adventure and face your fear of heights by jumping off the famous Waimea Bay Beach rock.
Eat the Street
Hawaii being a melting pot of cultures means there is a diverse combination of cuisines on the island. Food trucks play a big part with the locals. While some children in the West grow up chasing the ice cream truck, the children here chase after the “manapua man” or neighborhood food truck for a chance to grab a light snack. “Eat the Street” is a monthly themed event that happens in the hipster neighborhood of Kakaako on the last Friday of each month. More than 40 food trucks show up serving portions made for sharing – which means you’ll have more room in your tummy to try quite a lot of food. To add some music, there is a live DJ and interactive activities such as a life-size Jenga for the whole family.
Hawaii was ruled under a monarchical set-up and Iolani Palace was the official residence of their Majesties, King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani during the late 1890’s. Guests can walk through the corridors of the one and only royal palace on United States soil, feast in the state dining room, and imagine royal balls with dancing and music in the throne room. Visitors will see the room where the king used to play cards as well as the private chambers of the royal family. You can also see the room where Queen Liliuokalani was held under house arrest for five months and the quilt that she sewed during her stay in the Imprisonment Room.
Shop at Aloha Stadium’s Swap Meet
It is true that many visitors don’t want to create a big hole in their wallet when it comes to buying souvenirs and snacks for friends, family members, and loved ones. The Aloha Stadium’s Swap Meet has over 400 merchants with a wide selection of gifts to buy. Consider buying a dashboard hula girl as a souvenir or a nice beach towel. In addition, a kukui nut lei, or Li-hing mui (sweet plum) concentrate that gives an added flavor to cold fruits and also makes a good gift. Bring home Hawaiian-print shirts and even electronic gadgets. You’ll find something for everyone here, you may even find something for yourself. To make the shopping experience even better, drink ice-cold coconut water straight from the coconut while shopping from booth to booth.
Learn to Surf
Did you know? Hawaii’s pristine beaches and raging wave breaks make it a perfect place to surf. Everyone has a different way of learning some schools even offer private group classes. Whether you are a first timer learning to hang-loose on a surfboard or would want to learn new tricks to be a cool surfer, Hawaii’s waters will be able to teach techniques that will have you standing up in no time. If you’re lucky, dolphins, turtles, whales and probably other sea creatures will greet you at sea.
Have a road trip around the Island
Hawaiians like to go and “holo holo,” when translated, means to go out for a leisurely ride. One part of the adventure is having a leisure ride and it often leads to adventure, so why not seek one on Oahu? Driving around the island only takes about 2 hours. Head to the countryside and go around your way back to the city. A few stops along the way to take pictures will not hurt. If you don’t feel comfortable driving around the island on your own? You can book a “bucket-list” tour with Godspeed Adventures and they will be the one to take care of your custom tour around the island. Try and stop by the Pali Lookout for the scenic view as you are driving around the island. Want to experience tranquil spot in the island? Byodo-In Temple can offer a peaceful and Zen atmosphere. Finish up the road trip and drop by Dole Plantation for their Pineapple Whip and Pineapple Garden Maze.
Go to a Luau
The luau at Paradise Cove will surely take you back in time by creating a genuine experience that shows how the Hawaiian people ate, celebrated and lived. Guests can participate in activities such as weaving a headband, throwing a spear, and stringing a lei while learning about Hawaiian history. Sit back and relax as entertainers showcase Hawaiian music and hula’s progression throughout the decades after you eat their delightful cuisines. There is a real imu, or Hawaiian underground oven, on the premises of Luaus which the staff demonstrates how they use the imu to prepare meals.