IN OAHU, HAWAII
We got EXTREMELY lucky being able to go on this trip, because as you probably know, March of 2020 was when the world basically shut down. Borders were closed, travel was stopped, lock down had started and everyone was essentially ‘’trapped’’ at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Luckily for us, we had got back from this AMAZING trip the DAY BEFORE borders shut down and things were extremely serious. So now that it’s been a year since we were on this magical island, I decided to reminisce about our amazing trip to Oahu, Hawaii!!
We had a plan for our trip before getting there, and I would just like to say that it worked out PERFECTLY! I don’t think there is anything we regret doing, and we covered all the bases we wanted to. We got to travel similar to the locals, and live like them too! So if you’re thinking about travelling to Oahu, but want more of an adventure type of trip rather than a hotel vacation- keep reading ‘cause this blog is for you!
We decided that because there was so much of the island to see + explore, we rented a car + stay in 3 different airbnb’s ! It let us travel a lot easier around different parts of the island, and let us really experience a similar vibe to what a local would travel like around the island. We got to get off the beaten path, and find hidden gems through local hosts recommendations!
Our first home was located on the North Shore of Hawaii, which is super famous for surfing! We were located right in the area of the Turtle Bay Resort, that featured amazing restaurants, some shopping, and prime views of the sunset!
On the first day, after spending the morning roaming around the bay, we decided to go for a little drive up the coast to see where it took us! We knew Oahu had so many different views and terrains, so we wanted to try and see as much as we could.
We drove until the road ends, which is where you find one side of Ka’ena Point State Park! The highway stops at the parking lot, where there are a couple trail heads that you could take around the coast! We were easing into our trip, so we saved the hiking for later, and walked around the coastline on the rock + sand!
ONE THING I DEFINITELY SUGGEST: RENT YOUR OWN CAR! It’s essential for travelling around the island, and makes the experience 1000x more amazing! We were able to go where we want, when we wanted! We were on our own schedule, and really felt like locals. It was really hard for us to leave because we got so used to livin’ the surfer life !!
Also you don’t have to go as ‘full out’ as we did with the mustang. We used the app Turo, which has so many options for rentals- its basically airbnb, but for cars! BUT we did the mustang because Josh used to have one and he wanted to be nostalgic- but in no way do we regret travelling in style, especially with a sun roof.
Renting a car was also awesome, because we basically travelled to every corner of the island! We drove around a lot for our trip, but it was incredibly awesome. Its so convenient being able to go ‘where do you wanna go next?’ ‘Not sure, let’s see where the coast takes us!’
One one side we had the amazing coast, and on the other-Hawaiian farmland + mountains!!!!! No disappointments!
One of our favourite ways to unwind after the day would ObViOuSLy be to bring drinks to the beach and watch the sunset. And during our stay at Turtle Bay Resort we had a priimmmeeee spot to watch the sunset. And one the coolest experiences was watching the surfers catch the last waves of the day- I felt like I was in a movie.
Our little home for the few days was located within the resort in a group of condos owned by an Airbnb host. The location was amazing! And we were within walking distance of the beach, the resort itself, and restaurants around!
But the best part of all- they owned a surf school!!! I had asked them about it and they offer a discount for their guests, so Josh and I got to do the coolest thing and surf on the North Shore of HAWAII!!!!
Malaekahana Beach was like out of a dream, and it was the perfect day for a surf (well.. at least I think so. I had only been surfing once before. And that was a cold rainy day in Tofino, BC. I’ve always wanted to get good at it though!)
The last thing we got to experience at our first stay was the STARS!!! I’ve slowly been working on my astrophotography, and I was able to practice at the bay at night !
After a couple nights at Turtle Bay + the North Shore, we headed to our second airbnb and I am 100% on this- one of THE HIGHLIGHTS of our trip!
Josh and I are avid campers. We love sleeping + living in a space that as outside as possible. And this place was PERFECT. It was a beautiful clamping experience that was surrounded by what looked like a rainforest- but was actually surrounded by farmlands + mountains!
Close to Waialua + a secret gem- the town of Haleiwa.
Going for morning walks out here made me legitimately drop everything and move to this spot. My kinda life.
Also, fun fact: it was actually next to a peacock farm ….
Hawaiian clamping experience- something we didn’t know about but we are so absolutely thankful we found it!
Tip: buy some fresh fruit from the supermarket, and whatever breakfast you want- we had the ability to cook our own food, which let us have fresh mangoes every morning *chef’s kiss* This was a life I could live for the rest of my life.
We travelled around the town of Haleiwa, a small surfing town that was full of cute little shops, and some of the best food trucks I’ve ever had! We had fresh coconut shrimp and walked around the streets, thinking about how awesome it would be to be able to surf in all of our free time…
After touring the town, we headed to our first hike of the trip- Lulumahu Falls! Heads up: you need a permit to do this hike! It’s super easy to apply + important to have. If you use the all trails app, search ‘Lulumahu Falls’ + you’ll find the link to apply for the permit!
All my dreams of seeing a Hawaiian rainforest had come true on this hike!!!! Constantly amazed by the nature.
Also some of the funkiest tree’s I’ve ever seen!!
The hike was fairly flat for the most part, but as we followed the creek up, the terrain get’s a little more difficult with rocks + mud, but still doable and totally worth the ending point!!
It’s a very popular spot, and partaking in Leave No Trace Principles is extremely important to make sure places like this stay accessible for us!
But it was absolutely stunning swimming the in water by the falls + relaxing in the rainforest!!
One thing to remember when travelling to Oahu- the weather is a little all over the place. One second you have stunning blue skies, and its hot hot hot…. The next…
A random rainstorm will come out of no where… but then only stay around for 20-30 minutes and then it will disappear. So we got really good at guesstimating if we were ok to drive with the top off or not.
One of our other favourite beaches we found was here, where you had the perfect view of the famous Mokoli’i Island! Also know, as the Chinamen’s Hate!
And yes, we definitely fell into the fad of white claws. They were a regular beverage for us on this trip.
I know I’ve said this trip was awesome a million times, and I talk about how each part is so amazing, but I swear to you THIS NEXT PART WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TRIP!
We got to spend an afternoon ATV-ing in the mountains!!!!! But not just any mountains…
YUP! We toured around Jurassic Park/World!!! At Kualoa Ranch, they offer horseback riding, zip lining, ATV rides, and UTV rides (which is what we did and was even better than ATV’s, because I was able to take videos and pictures while Josh drove, and we would switch drivers at each stop so we both got to have some fun driving!) Honestly if there is one I would tell people to do on the island of Oahu- its go to Kualoa Ranch. The experience is like no other. It’s so beautiful, and was so cool getting to walk around where they’ve filmed so many famous movies! Some include Jurassic World (obviously), Kong, Magnum P.I, the new Jumanji, and Pearl Harbour just to name a few!
On the way home from Kualoa Ranch, we knew we had to find a good spot for sunset. Luckily after some quick searching, I found the perfect place: Sunset Beach.
The name gives it away, because the sunset view from this beach was like no other..
Leaving this airbnb was one of the hardest things we had to do the entire trip. It was totally the vibe we wanted- relaxed, unique, and kinda felt homey to us. But, we knew the next experience was going to be something different, which made us excited.
Our last Airbnb was right downtown Honolulu. Even though the city life isn’t for us, it was a great experience to explore a new city, and on the plus side- it was close to so many things we needed + wanted to see. Also, if you’re into shopping- we roamed around some crazy malls, and huge beautiful shops!
Our last stay was a 3 minute walk from the famous Waikiki Beach! We spent majority of the time relaxing on the beach, swimming in the ocean, watching beautiful sunsets, and trying all kinds of different foods. A must while on the island: Shaved Ice!!! They’re MASSIVE portions and the perfect way to cool off in the heat! Personally, pineapple was my favourite flavour.
For our last hike of the trip, we wanted something that reminded us of home a bit- so of course we hiked a mountain. Kahekili Trail is what I would consider a moderate trail. The hike up isn’t very long, and the elevation isn’t too crazy, however at the top of the trail you’re walking right of the ridge, where it can get very dangerous if you’re not careful. Not to mention it gets crazy windy, so definitely take precaution!
But it was absolutely beautiful at the top! Surrounded by green forest-covered mountains, and being able to look down at the coastal neighbourhoods that lined up along the beaches. The the HUGE view of the ocean surrounding the island, it was all too beautiful!
The wind was a little scary I won’t lie, but totally worth the views. We felt completely in our element.
This trip to the island of Oahu was one for the books. I love travelling to new places, but being able to experience so much there was a lot of favourite things we did, and places we’d love to visit again! So I’m happy I’ve kept all my notes from our travel this week, and I’m happy I was able to share our trip with all of you! If you want to ask me anything about the trip, or see mine + my clients adventures, head to my instagram here, or my blog here, or my website here. So let me know- where should we head next?!