I’ve spent a lot of time on the island of Oahu, and have been able to explore much of this beautiful place. This island is amazing, one of the most beautiful places in the world! The clear blue, warm oceans and towering deep green mountains provide so many activities to keep you busy forever. Here’s some of my favorite (and inexpensive!!!) places on this island that I recommend you visit on your trip to Oahu!
Sunset Beach, North Shore: This is my favorite beach for sure! It’s huge, and a nice place to watch the waves. A pretty big crowd usually gathers here to watch the sunset, but during the day it’s not as busy. This beach is also where there’s a lot of surf competitions, so if you’re there in the winter you could catch the surfers riding the waves!
Waimea Bay: This beach is a fun place to spend a day with family. It’s fun for swimming, snorkeling, and just hanging out on the beaches. There’s also a pretty big cliff you can jump off of into the ocean.
Nanakuli Beach Park: This beach is on the West side of the island, and has fun “Mermaid Caves” that you can climb in!
Haleiwa: This is a surf town on the North Shore, with lots of shops, beaches, and activities. Here is where you can find places to swim with sharks, rent paddleboards, and take surf lessons.
Kahuku Farm Cafe
North Shore Tacos
Angels Ice Cream (super good Acai bowls, smoothies, ice cream and shave ice)
Papa Ole’s Kitchen (for Hawaiian style food!)
Foodland (don’t underestimate the foodland poke bowl… amazing)
There's also lots of little food trucks all over the island that are all sooo good!
Crouching Lion Hike: A pretty easy hike with an amazing view! This hike is kind of off the side of the road, so maybe difficult to find, but if you look it up, Google Maps has it
Ehukai Pillbox Hike: I’ve done this hike so many times I can’t count. I love this hike for sunset, because it looks out over Sunset Beach and the view is spectacular. This is also a really easy hike!
Stairway to Heaven: This hike is more difficult than other hikes on this list. It’s also currently illegal to hike, and has a big fine if you get caught. However, there are ways to get around this law and do the hike. It’s definitely one of the best hikes I’ve ever done in my life!!
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best times to visit the island is probably in the spring, during the months of April and May. The weather will be nice and sunny. However, the weather is pretty stable throughout the year, not changing too much, and any time will make for a great trip.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Most people will rent a car to get around the island, which is a great idea and you can take yourself wherever and whenever you want. I loved the weekends when I could rent a car and drive around the island. However, car rentals and gas can get expensive! There is a bus that goes all around the island, and you can get a day pass for $5.50. They have an app too that can help you coordinate bus times and figure out where you want to go by taking the bus. It does take a little while longer to get around, but for the cheap price it’s worth it. I actually loved taking the bus around, and it’s a good place to get to know people that live on the island, and see how people live here.
THE COST OF OAHU
Hawaii is actually a lot more expensive than many places. For a meal it’s around $10-$15 each person. However, if you plan out your trip you should be able to save up more, and there’s always ways to make it cheaper. Most of the activities I put on this list are free things you can do, and you can take the bus, or make your own food to save money. It is expensive, but it is achievable!
The island of Oahu has a special place in my heart, and I’ll always look back on my time here with a smile. It’s unlike any other place you’ll travel. Hawai’i is an amazing place to visit, but we also have to remember it’s not just a playground for your vacation. This island is very important and sacred to many people, so just be careful and respect the land while you’re visiting, and remember Hawai’i is home to many people as well. I really hope that you’ll appreciate your time on this beautiful island, and that you're able to visit some of the places on this list!