Island Recommendations

This page will be Oahu heavy as that is where most of my adventures take place, but as I visit the other islands I’ll add more activities.

Big Island:

Kona Brewing Co.-Food and great locally brewed beer. The restaurant serves some varieties that aren’t available in store.

Manta ray swimming-many companies, just look into it what best fits the time you are looking for. The later the departure the less boats will be out there. We went with Splashers and had a great time.

Mauna Kea- Dormat volcano, highest peak in the state of Hawaii. Visit it for sunrise or sunset. WEAR *REAL* WINTER CLOTHES. Heavy jackets, hats, gloves recommended regardless of the season.

Ken’s Pancakes-Fabulous breakfast place if you are near Hilo. It’s been voted one of the best by many different magazines and groups.

 

Oahu:

Lanikai Brewing Company-By far my favorite brewery (so far). Its actually in Kailua so easy to stop by when you are in that area.

Kailua Beach-Great beach to hang out at. You can rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The beach is usually very tame and is great for kids.

Madre’s Chocolate-Bean-to-bar chocolate. There are two locations one shop in Kailua and one in Chinatown. They have classes where you can learn how they make their chocolate and classes that help you pair different alcohols with chocolate.

Tchin Tchin Wine Bar-Wine bar in Chinatown with a beautiful outdoor patio and live wall garden.

Diamond Head-A must do hike in with great views.

Turtle Bay-This might be a bit touristy, but I love Turtle Bay. The beach is open to the public and there are great seats in the pool area where you can watch people surfing on the ocean up close. The walking trails are public and if you like golf my uncle swears by the Palmer course. End your day at Lei Lei’s for fabulous food or try one of their other many restaurants.

Pearl Harbor-If you can get yourself to Pearl Harbor it is FREE. You can look through the museums (one with the US perspective and one with the Japanese perspective). There is also a video that they show you before they take you out to the Arizona Memorial.

Kaena Point-Easy flat hike, but there are many other activities to enjoy. One the hike we saw birds up close nesting on the ground. No pets allowed as to not disturb the wildlife. Take lots of water as there is very little shade.

Polynesian Cultural Center-A great place to take children, but adults can enjoy learning about the cultural as well. They recently put in an IMAX which has rave reviews, but my favorite part is the night show. It is outstanding!

Manoa Falls-Beautiful hike with large waterfall at the end.

Beer Lab-New brewery near the university. They don’t serve food, but there is a great Greek restaurant across the street that you can get food to-go and bring over.

Hanauma Bay-Fabulous snorkeling in a preserved. They are closed on Tuesdays so plan accordingly.

China Walls-A beautiful place to watch the sunset in Hawaii Kai area.

Kailua General Store-Two doors down from Lanikai Brewing Company. They have local Kailua and Hawaii finds as well as great shaved ice.

Sandbar-If you have access to a boat going out to the Sandbar any weekend is a small local party in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. My favorite way to spend the weekend.

Koko Head-This hike is straight up a 1,000 plus stairs, but it is a beautiful view if you make it.

Pu’u ma eli’eli-One of my favorite hikes for many reasons. It can be challenging, but not too hard, 3-4 miles, isn’t over run with people, and there is a great view at the end.

 

Kauai:

Koke’e-Surrounds Waimea Canyon. A great place to hike and camp while on Kauai

Waimea Canyon-Largest canyon in the Pacific. Great views from lookouts. Must-see.

Mahaulepu Heritage Trail-Leads you to Makauwahi Cave. Easy hike, not much tree coverage so take water.

Kauai Island Brewing and Grill-Great food and fabulous beer. Live music in the evenings. Highly recommend stopping in after any tours that leave out of Port Allen.

Glass Beach-Easy stop to see something very unique. The beach is full of seaglass that has been made so small it looks like course sand.

Ho’opi’i Falls-Fun hike through the jungle. There is a 15 Feet water fall to jump off of, and a second pool with a rope swing. Wear bug spray!

STREET-The menu will leave your mouth watering. Burgers and craft beers

Na Pali Coast Tour-The Na Pali Coast is breath taking. Any tour by sea to marvel at it’s beauty is recommended. We went with Kauai Sea Tours and did the Nualolo Kai A.M. Beach Land Day Raft Adventure tour. There are multiple companies and different varieties of tour, choose the one that works best with your group and vacation plans.

Swinging Bridge-This is just what it says, a swinging bridge in the town of Hanapepe. While the small town was closed when we drove through, the store fronts looked cute, and I plan on stopping in the next time I go back!