Oahu-Hawaii: 4 day itinerary

At the end of 2015, we went on a 10 day Hawaii vacation. 4 days in Oahu and 6 in Maui. It was a beautiful weather throughout with one or two sporadic drizzles. The temperatures were between 75F-78F(24-26 C) and 69F-75F at nights. I don’t remember one day when I felt too hot or too cold. It was perfect! If pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, big waves, vibrant mai-tais, fragrant leis is your thing, Hawaii is going to be your favorite destination! Plus, since we went towards the end of Christmas holidays, the flights, hotels were a bit cheaper than the peak holiday season.

Hotel: My husband and I are very easy going on the type of hotel. We prefer being in the heart of activities than spending on luxury accommodation. But if we get a class 5 for a reasonable price, we go grab that deal! We stayed at Bamboo Hotel and Spa – Booked via Airbnb. The room was very modern, clean and well-equipped with basic amenities, small kitchenette, kitchenware, wi-fi, TV, pool, mini pizza place. And most importantly – 1 block off Waikiki beach and close to the best eateries)

Food: Food is a very important part of all our trips. My husband and I are big foodies and love to try local cuisines and small local eateries and are in constant look-out for such places. I research Yelp, Trip-advisor and  DDD’s  (Diner Drive-in and Drives of Food Networks) in advance so we don’t miss out on favorite local hangouts.

Places/Sights/Activities: I prefer nature & parks/sights/architecture and my husband prefers adventure sports/activities and history/aquariums/zoos. So I try to balance a bit of both on our trips.

More Photos:

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Day 1

  1. Reaching Honolulu airport 1 PM. Pick car rental
  2. Waikiki beach – Swim/Chill/Relax
  3. New Years celebration at Waikiki Beach – Waikiki Beach hosts a spectacular fireworks show from a barge just off Waikiki Beach. The show starts at 11:55pm with one firework every minute before midnight. Then at midnight, the big fireworks show begins. If you have a radio nearby, tune in to Hawaiian 105 KINE FM to enjoy music timed with the fireworks. For more information, see this link.
  4. LunchMarukame Udon (4.5 star 4100 reviews). All broths are delectable.
  5. Dinner: Street Food (Garlic Shrimp and Hawaiian Chicken Wings)
  6. Mid-night supper (post fireworks): Alejandro’s Tacos Food Stand (5 stars)
  7. Next days breakfast: Mango chia pudding and fruits from street vendors

Day 2

  1. Hanauma Bay –  Take your snorkel gear. Rentals are available at the bay. You can see beautiful fishes and marine life through your naked eyes. Its a bay formed on a crater. The view is stunning! You could easily spend an entire day here. If you are planning more things to do on this day, spend more time here.
  2. Kailua Beach park – Swim/Stroll and relax. There are several scenic spots from Hanauma to Kailua. Just pull over as you please.
  3. Lanikai Beach (if possible)
  4. Drive on H3 back to Waikiki (if possible)
  5. Lunch: Teddy’s big burgers (4 stars Yelp) –  This was on our way to Hanauma Bay. Their umami sauce burgers are awesome!
  6. Dinner: Gyoza No Ohsho – This place was right behind our hotel. They aren’t highly reviewed on Yelp but we loved their food. Their carb omelette ramen, kimchee ramen and potstickers were brilliant!

Day 3

  1. Polynesian Culture Center – This a full day activity. We booked an ambassador package with steak dinner. You spend the day exploring the rich heritage of the Pacific Islands. Wander through 42 acres of tropical splendor and enjoy the adventure of traditional hands-on activities. Dine like royalty at an authentic Polynesian luau and top it off with the most spectacular evening show in the islands, Ha: Breath of Life. All of Polynesia in one exciting place.
  2. Lunch: There are food trucks outside and on the way to PCC, make a stop at any of those.
  3. Dinner: Polynesian Culture Center

Day 4

  1. Outrigger canoe rides – Do it from Aloha Beach services. The other guys are expensive. It $15 for 3 waves per person. You basically ride on 3 waves and this is a light-weight fun water activity.
  2. Hike Diamond Head – Once you reach the top, you have spectacular view of honolulu and the ocean. Its a 1.6 miles (1 to 1.5 hours) moderate hike. The park is open from 6AM to 4:30 PM. Post noon the sun can be harsh. So if you prefer do this earlier.
  3. Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial (if possible)
  4. Lunch: Aloha Terrace Loco Moco. This is a good place for local Hawaiian comfort food. We got Katsu and Curry Moco. If you get a chance go to Ono Seafood (4.5 star 1500 reviews). The day we wanted to go, it was closed.
  5. Dinner: Nico’s Pier 38 (4 stars 2000 reviews). This was a restaurant featured on Guy Fieri’s DDD show. Their Furikake Pan Seared Ahi and Herbed swordfish with clam cream sauce is scrumptous. Don’t forget to finish off with turtle brownie and mango cheesecake!

Day 5

  1. Leave for Maui. Took an inter-island flight. $80 per person. 40 min flight.
  2. Breakfast: Leonard’s bakery (4.5 stars 3500 reviews). We got some malsadas and coffee before hoping on our flight. They bake fresh Malasadas every 5 mins. A malasada is a portugese doughnut without a hole. They are generously-sized balls of dough, fried until it’s golden brown on the outside and light & fluffy on the inside. They take your order, bake it fresh and call out your name. We loved their pineapple, plain and custard filling malasadas.

List of all Restaurants:

  1. Marukame Udon (4.5 star 4100 reviews). All broths are delectable.
  2. Garlic Shrimp and Hawaiian Chicken Wings – Street Food
  3. Alejandro’s Tacos Food Stand (5 stars)
  4. Teddy’s big burgers (4 stars Yelp) – Their umami sauce burgers are awesome!
  5. Gyoza No Ohsho – This place was right behind our hotel. They aren’t highly reviewed on Yelp but we loved their food. Their carb omelette ramen, kimchee ramen and potstickers were brilliant!
  6. Nico’s Pier 38 (4 stars 2000 reviews). This was a restaurant featured on Guy Fieri’s DDD show. Their Furikake Pan Seared Ahi and Herbed swordfish with clam cream sauce is scrumptous. Don’t forget to finish off with turtle brownie and mango cheesecake!
  7. Aloha Terrace Loco Moco (4 stars). This is a good place for local Hawaiian comfort loco moco food. We got Katsu and Curry Moco.
  8. Ono Seafood (4.5 star 1500 reviews).If you get a chance go to this place. The day we wanted to go, it was closed.
  9. Leonard’s bakery (4.5 stars 3500 reviews). We got some malsadas and coffee before hoping on our flight. They bake fresh Malasadas every 5 mins. A malasada is a portugese doughnut without a hole. They are generously-sized balls of dough, fried until it’s golden brown on the outside and light & fluffy on the inside. They take your order, bake it fresh and call out your name. We loved their pineapple, plain and custard filling malasadas.
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