My first trip of 2017 was my honeymoon. Hawaii seemed like the perfect spot for me and my hubby to visit because it’s a perfect mix of relaxing on the beach and fun activities so you get the best of both worlds.
We stayed in Waikiki Beach neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu, in Hawaii. Our trip was only a week long, we had an activity planned for every day and there is still a million more things left to do. Overall I thought Hawaii had so many amazing activities to offer, I will definitely come back and explore more.
First order of business – explore the beach! Our hotel was located right by the waterfront so to get to the beach we just had to cross the road. There are no private beaches in Waikiki – only public, so we had miles and miles of white sandy beaches to ourselves.
For beach enthusiasts there are endless beaches all around the island perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling and diving. As far as organized water tours go you can book a tour for pretty much anything – whale watching, swimming with dolphins or sharks, fishing tours, submarine tours that take you to the bottom of the ocean where you can see all sorts of marine life.
Hawaii has lush vegetation and so many varieties of birds. Oahu has a zoo and an aquarium, plenty of city bus tours, helicopter tours, hiking trails, botanical gardens, museums and cultural centres. Basically anything a tourist would enjoy can easily be found in this paradise in the middle of the ocean. Also, there are so many birds and especially wild chickens and roosters that run around the city, the parking lots, the alley ways and parks. That was quite the site.
One of the first things we did in Hawaii was to hike to the top of the Diamond Head Crater from where one can see the entire Honolulu, endless ocean and mountains on the north side of the island. The hike took us about an hour each way, but it was totally worth it. Inside the dormant volcano crater lies an old military base and at the very top there is an observation deck.
Another fun way to explore local nature and culture is to rent a car and drive all the way around the island, which only takes about an hour or so (according to google maps) but if you abide by the local traffic rules (you can’t do over 20 or 30 miles per hour) the trip around the island actually takes you 3-4 hours. After chatting with some local folks, it became evident that Hawaii has one of the worst traffic jams in the nation. Most roads are rural or they wrap around steep mountain slopes, so slow speeds are necessary to keep safe.
My hubby and I rented a convertible which was a perfect choice for Hawaiian climate and drove through the north side of the island. We made stops at the beaches, by the famous blowhole, the Polynesian cultural centre and even made a detour thorough the mountains. We also stopped by the hidden waterfalls and walked through through the lush gardens of the local forest.
Aside form magnificent nature Hawaii is a home to one of the largest military bases in U.S. – Pearl Harbour. Still active today this naval base is a home to USS Arizona Memorial which marks the United States’ entry into World War II. It’s a final resting place of over 1,000 fallen sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona battleship during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. It was very interesting for me to learn the American history of the WWII.
As far as traditional Hawaiian cuisine goes I was surprised to learn that SPAM is widely used in Hawaiian dishes. You can see it everywhere in your breakfast, lunch, dinner and even sushi! There are many asian inspired dishes as well, with plenty of Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese restaurants all around. It was difficult to find salads or vegetables, however there are plenty of fruits – pineapples, coconuts, bananas, mangoes.
Overall I am extremely happy I visited this little slice of paradise in the middle of the ocean, I can’t wait to be back!