Hi there everyone! We’re traveling back home today after a week spent in the Hawaiian Islands – three days in Oahu and four days on Maui. Matt and I traveled to Hawaii for the first time on our honeymoon and we’ve returned many times over the years.
Spending time in Hawaii is really special and Oahu (like all the other islands) is incredibly relaxing. We tasted so much good food, we were again spoiled by all the beauty, and we had a ton of fun as a family.
The afternoon we arrived we just chilled by the pool at our hotel, but the next day we were out and about, traveling north to the surfer town of Haleiwa.
On our route, we stopped at the famous Dole Plantation – it’s here you can shop for all kinds of Hawaiian handmade goods, cookies, and candies too. We even learned the “proper” way to cut a pineapple and I highly recommend a pineapple soft serve while you’re here.
Haleiwa is a surfer town on the north shore, famous for its winter waves up to 40 feet that bring surfers from around the world.
We stopped at a favorite surf shops and also sampled some shave ice from Matsumotos down the street (which was highly recommended by readers!).
There are a couple really cute shops here in Haleiwa, with island and coastal themed clothing and décor, so it makes for a great day trip.
The next day we headed north east to sample some food at a place recommended by locals. It’s true, Ted’s Bakery has the BEST chocolate Haupia pie and BEST crab salad sandwich we’ve ever had.
We spent a few hours at the Polynesian Cultural Center where you see and participate in a ton of island and cultural activities. The PCC is huge and it’s pricey so you need to budget a lot of time for it to get your money’s worth but we really enjoyed it. If you can, stay for the Breath of Life show at night after the Luau, it’s fantastic!
Our final day before heading to Maui was spent in downtown Waikiki and at Waikiki beach, which is always scenic and so much fun.
It’s tradition for us to eat at Duke’s on the beach with a view of Diamond Head and the popular surfing and sunning spot. This is another place where visitors come to learn to surf for the first time from the experts.
Downtown Waikiki is always hopping, there are shuttles to take you where you need to go and you can shop till you drop at the boutiques from high end to casual inexpensive island wear.
And just like everywhere else on the islands, it seems everyone has a surfboard!
During our three days and nights in Oahu we “roughed it” (ha!) at the Disney Aulani resort in Ko’Olina after I found a deal online. This place is so fantastic and it deserves its own post… you parents are really going to love this place as much as the kids. We spent our late mornings and early afternoons exploring the island of Oahu and then the rest of the day and evening right here in Ko’Olina.
Each night we watched the sunset over the lagoon, Hawaii truly is paradise.
We’re flying home today and then it’s back to business as usual this week. This island getaway was exactly what we needed and we can’t wait to return again!
I’ll share more pictures of our adventures on Maui and the amazing Aulani resort next week….