north shore

Oahu Day 7 + 8 | Hanauma Bay, Ala Moana Mall, Shirokiya Japan Village Walk

 

Day 7

By 7:30 we were at Hanauma Bay, a huge tourist spot for snorkeling, but for a good reason. Here you have to pay an $11 entry fee, watch a video about the history of the bay and not harming the rocks and wild life. We wanted to arrive early to beat the crowd. This is a great spot for families, it’s shallow and you see tonssssssss of cool fish, photos just can’t do it justice. We spent a few hours here, taking breaks for lunch and napping in our hammock. We even saw a sea lion on the beach.

Post snorkeling, we headed to Ono Steak and Shrimp nearby. And they didn’t disappoint, nothing fancy, but really good food.

Lunch was followed by shave ice, not shaveD ice, from Shimazu Shave Ice. While most people rave about Matsumoto’s on North Shore but was recommended this spot by locals and it was so good, not to mention huge servings with so many flavor options, at least 60 different flavors. We got the matcha and milk tea in a kid’s size and it was huge!

Next we visited the Ala Moana Center, the largest outdoor mall in the world. We got an ube ice cream taiyaki at Somisomi in the food court. Followed by $5 pitchers and takoyaki at the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk.

Day 8

Day 8 was a lot of driving around the island and just hitting some last minute spots! Also, lots and lots of eating!

We got ‘brunch’ at Poke on Da Run, I would give it a 3/5, good food and great portions but nothing AMAZING. (We got the Poke Nachos)

We did some quick shopping at the Waikele Oulets and nearby was a Leonard’s truck so we took this as an opportunity to finally get our hot malasada (cream filled sugar donut). Delicious!

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We even casually did a walking tour of Disney Resort, Aulani, definitely a cool hotel but very removed from the rest of the island, you would miss a lot of the culture. Again great for families to just hangout and relax, but not for Jordan and I who wanted to see and do everything on the island.

Next, we went to the Dole Plantation, I had been as a kid so didn’t need to do the tour or anything but just wanted some original Dole Whip!

We continued our drive north on the island, back to North Shore for a third time. We visited the Patagonia store and went back to the spot we shot at with Keri and Brendan. (This was also right around midterm election so Patagonia was giving away these cool stickers.)

We were crazy enough to drive to the opposite end of the island after having driven all over the island already, for our last Helena’s meal. And oh was it worth the drive.

 

Oahu Day 3 + 4 | Lulumahu Falls, Shark's Cove, North Shore

 

Day 3

We spent the majority of Day 3 visiting both of Jordan’s grandpas cemeteries. Our first stop was Mililani Memorial Park. After that we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, which was a mix of stand after stand of souvenirs and people’s second-hand goods. We bought a few Ikaika Hawaiian Warrior Helmets as souvenirs for our car rearview mirror. I would recommend doing a lap around the place, although this will take a while before purchasing to get a sense of pricing.

For lunch we went to Button Up Cafe; since it was so small and the wait would be 30 minutes for a table we decided to take it to go. We found a nearby park just down the street to eat by the water (Neal S. Blaisdell Park). The nice thing about this park was that it was pretty empty and you could see parts of Pearl Harbor.

We ordered the Kalua Pork Hash and Tiramisu French Toast, both delicious! I wouldn’t say this was our most memorable meal on the island but well worth it!

Our next stop was Valley of the Temples to visit Jordan’s other grandpa. We planned on going down the street to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, which seems to be a spot everyone visits in Hawaii but we ran out of time and wanted to make sure we had enough time on our hike.

Lulumahu Falls wasn’t a challenging hike, I would say easy, about 1.5–2mi out and back. The only drawback was how extremely muddy it was, so be ready to wear shoes that you don’t care about. Also if you hate wet socks, don’t even bother wearing them. It is easy to get a little lost on the trail, but follow the pink plastic ties. We followed these the whole way and would have been the only way we found the waterfall.

Most hikes in Hawaii are private property, so I would recommend staying away most hikes out of respect to the land and risk of getting ticketed. This hike seemed visited by many and okay to go on.

Park at Nuuanu Pali Drive, and choose and entrance. There are two entrances, one where the the private property signs are that walks through a bamboo forest or through a wire gate that walks around the bamboo forest.

You end the hike at this 150 foot waterfall with a small pool at the end.

Day 4 — North Shore

We started another day early at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. While this spot was more crowded, it was a great snorkeling spot especially for families with kids. The water was shallow but you could see tons of fish. This area is enclosed by a rock barrier, but you can go beyond this barrier where the water is a little deeper and see more fish. I would recommend water shoes because it is super rocky and sharp.

Even though it’s called Shark’s Cove, there aren’t sharks, its because of the lava rock formations that look like a shark. We even found some great trees to hammock under for a bit.

We had to also make a stop at Haleiwa Bowls which was probably my favorite acai bowl of the trip.

We ended our day meeting up with Keri and Brandon to shoot for sunset. We even had a beautiful haku lei by Sky!

Here are a few of the photos they took for us!