In case you missed Part One of this series, click here. Today, I’m continuing the list of our favorites on Oahu!
7. Tour Dole Plantation. This is a cute stop on the island, which also serves a purpose for education about growing pineapples! It was drizzling when we visited, so we didn’t take a tour of all the gardens, but we did take the little train ride which takes you through the fields and explains the growing process. The gift shop is also cute, and full of everything pineapple, but the best part is, for sure, the original pineapple Dole Whip they serve. If you’ve had this famous treat at Disney, you already know it’s amazing. It’s basically soft serve pineapple ice cream, served alone or as a float on top of fresh pineapple juice. Yum! I have a friend who lived on Oahu as a little girl in the 50’s, and told me that back then, they actually had a drinking fountain here that dispensed pineapple juice instead of water! Although that’s gone now, this is still a charming little stop worth checking out!
8. Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center for a day of fun and a luau! Not far from the Dole Plantation is this fun cultural center that was suggested to us by many people. And we all loved it! It was described to us beforehand as being similar to the World Showcase in EPCOT, and it really was. Separated into Polynesian island areas, there were cultural demonstrations and shows that were very entertaining and educational at the same time! There was also a canoe ride, a river pageant show, and a marketplace full of restaurants and shops!
Also here at the Polynesian Cultural Center are a few choices for luaus. We went to one at 6:00, which we all really enjoyed! They gave us the flowers leis at arrival, then opened the ceremony with the uncovering of the roasted pig and of course a show during the meal.
The day concludes with a huge production after dinner in a partially open-air theater. The show is called “Ha, Breath of Life”, and was a very good show with special effects, singing, dancing, and the whole works! The kids enjoyed it as well as Dave and I, but I have no pics since they are not allowed during that performance. All in all, this is definitely a day to consider for your trip!
9. Drive up to the North Shore! Also in the vicinity of the Polynesian Cultural Center is the famous North Shore of Oahu, including the town of Haleiwa. This area is known for great surfing beaches, food trucks and fruit stands, and souvenir shops! Also in the North Shore area is the famous Turtle Bay Resort, where many people like to stay. (All the info on the resort we chose and why we loved it coming in a post later this week!)
10. Try the different kinds of shave ice! I had to resist the urge to call this “shaved” ice, as almost every shop we visited called it “shave” ice. And there were different types at different places. The most famous we kept hearing about is Matsumoto’s, which is in Haleiwa, and we had to add it to our list! As we were told, there was a line out the door, but it was worth it.
Their specialty here is the shave ice topped with azuki beans, which are sweet and not as weird as it sounds! The mochi balls were also piled on this particular special, but I had to pass on those! They weren’t our favorite!
Our favorite shave ice we tried was actually the first one we stopped into in the Kapolei area called Island Shave Ice and Creamery. We loved the unique texture of their ice! And we loved the taste of the sweetened condensed milk over the flavored ice! We loved this place so much we had to go back later before we left! So good!
11. Eat some malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery. We heard about this famous bakery online and friends had told us we needed to try the malasadas (which are Portuguese donuts covered in sugar or cinnamon or other deliciousness.) There was a line here, too, but also with the wait. We visited here twice as well, and would have gone back a third time if my husband had his way. So good!
If you’re not exhausted yet, I have one more post of our favorite things to do on Oahu to share next! And then at the end of the week, I’ll share all about where we stayed and why we loved it! Have you started planning your trip yet? As always, let me know if you have questions! I’ll do my best to answer!