When I find something good, I love to share it with everyone, tell all about it, and show all the pictures.  And that’s basically the story of how I became a blogger! So, when I visit a fabulous new place, I want everyone to be able to experience it, too. We recently visited Hawaii for the first time, and we brought back a boatload of the spirit of aloha with us.  And since so many friends and readers gave us so many great suggestions for what to do while we were there, I want to do the same for you for when you book your trip!  And after this, I think you’re going to want to!


We’re starting with Part One of this mini series today, and Part Two (and maybe Three) will follow shortly because it’s just too much goodness to share at once!  I’ll just be giving an overview of our favorite things we did, and I’ll also be sharing in a later post about where we stayed (the best choice ever!), but if you have further questions about these things, be sure to let me know.  So here’s what to do on Oahu!

1. See the sunrise and sunset! This was the first time we have been in a place to see the sun rise and set over the water in the same day! Because the whole island of Oahu is only about 30 miles across, no matter where you stay you can get to each side fairly easily!  We were staying on the west side (a.k.a. the leeward side), so we had amazing views of the sunset from our resort, but we wanted to see the sunrise one morning, so we got everyone up really early and headed for the east side (a.k.a. the windward side).  After researching the best spots, we chose to watch the amazing show from Makapu’u Beach Park.  I only wish the pictures could have done this justice!  So much beauty in every direction you look!


And a few sunsets we enjoyed from our resort at Ko Olina on the west side…




2. Breakfast at Duke’s Waikiki.  This was a perfect stop after our sunrise excursion to the windward side!  The buffet was amazing, the restaurant was adorable, and the views of the beach and the surfers, just perfect!





3. Hike Diamond Head Crater.  This inactive volcano is the most popular hike on Oahu.  It’s .7 miles up with a beautiful view as a reward at the top.  Here’s what to know about it– the path is paved for the first little bit, then it becomes narrow and uneven as you go up with a steep 99 steps straight up at the very end.  Yeah.  And it can get very hot because there is very little shade.  So– do it if you want to see the gorgeous view, but do bring water with you and do go early in the morning before it gets too hot!





4.  Take a Helicopter Tour!  Just do this!  At the end of our trip, when we all told what our favorite thing about this vacation was, everyone had a hard time naming just one thing, but the helicopter ride was definitely on everyone’s list.  It was amazing.  Our pictures will never be able to do it justice, but here are a few to give you a taste of what we saw…

These are a few of my son’s gorgeous photos…

We flew with Makani Kai Helicopters and did a one-hour flight with Pilot Jim, who was very experienced, very knowledgeable, and very entertaining as well! (He loved Lola’s pineapple sunglasses, and wanted to try them out!)


This flight was a definite treat for all of us, and one we will never forget.  And to top it off– they video each flight on this particular helicopter, so you can re-live your flight with the pilot’s comments over and over!  Great memory to take home!


5. Shop in Waikiki.  I know not everyone is a shopper, but this was lots of fun for the girls and I!  High end stores, cheap souvenir shops, restaurants, and beautiful hotels all line the beach in Waikiki, and it’s a fun place to hang out and grab lunch or dinner!





6.  Watch the surfers in Waikiki.  While you’re downwtown, take a stroll on the beach or grab a bench to watch the surfers!  If you’re really adventurous, rent a surfboard and try it out.  My husband and older kids wanted to try it, but we could never work it in.  I was totally happy just being a by-stander with an iced coffee!  (See Diamond Head in the distance in this pic?)




What are you putting on your list so far?? I’m pausing for now because I have a lot more to say and not enough time to post it at the moment, but stay tuned for more of What to Do on Oahu coming up next!