O’ahu, Hawaii

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O’ahu, Hawaii
O’ahu, Hawaii

A great destination for tourism and relaxation alike the city of O’ahu is must go for anyone who likes beaches, a good Mai Tai, and a lot of sun!

Located just off the coast of the United States, Hawaii is an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. Filled with a Hawaiian and Asian centric population of around a million it creates a very diverse set of culinary options. One thing they all have in common however is their use of fresh fish. Hawaii is renown for their use of fresh fish and there is a good reason why. Whether you are into trying raw fish (Hawaiian Poke) or are willing to dive into one of their many taco trucks there are a ton of various options when it comes to fresh seafood.

In addition to the seafood options there are a lot of other choices also on their alcohol menu too. They are known for their Mai Tai and if you are the kind of person who enjoys a tropical drink this is one that is highly recommended and for good reason. Everyone has their own slight rendition of a Mai Tai but regardless of where you go you typically get island fresh pineapple juice included. Duke’s restaurant in Waikiki had one of the best Mai Tai drinks I had ever tasted during my stay in Hawaii and I definitely suggest checking them out for lunch and a drink if anyone is ever in the area.

As diverse as their culinary options the beaches of Hawaii are just as diverse too. There is a beach for every kind of person. Whether you enjoy surfing/body boarding (boogie boarding without the board) or just lounging around on the nice warm sand there is a beach for you. The shores in the Waikiki area are generally very tame however as you head more north on the island the waves tend to get larger and more aggressive. That isn’t necessarily to say that you can’t lounge on the beach up north (because you still definitely can) but if you are looking to get into the water and just splash around generally Waikiki would be a better option. If you are the kind of person that wants to roll around in the water or jump on a board then I would definitely recommend going further north. The North Shore offers some great waves if you are into that kind of thrill.

One of the nicest aspects of Hawaii is that if spending lots of time at the beaches isn’t your thing that is totally fine too. There are still plenty of other options which are equally as interesting or fun. Hawaii offers a lot of outdoor activities especially when it comes to hiking. Regardless of whether you are an amateur or seasoned hiker there are a good amount of places at your disposal. Despite being a bit of a tourist trap Diamond Head Peak is an extremely nice but basic hike which isn’t very physically demanding and has a decent view from the top. On the flip side of the coin if you are daring and interested in a more intense hike Hawaii offers hikes such as Keaau Ridge which are nothing short of breathtaking.

Another alternative to hiking is sightseeing at other locations. The Pearl Harbor monument is definitely a must see for anyone who is interested in World War II or American history. Filled with a rich recount of America and their involvement in the second World War the Pearl Harbor monument tells an interesting tale of how America’s involvement came to be. It does a great job of commemorating the service of the people of Pearl Harbor who fought back during Japan’s attack while also telling a fascinating narrative of how the events of Pearl Harbor unfolded. It has detailed stories of a lot of people and ships who were stationed at Pearl Harbor during the wartime. The best part about it is that it is a great completely free tourism option. The monument itself is entirely free of charge however if you want to explore Pearl Harbor’s other features such as going on some of their boats or taking a more formal tour approach those cost a bit extra.

To Recap:
Whether you are up for a hike or a stroll down the beach Hawaii is definitely a must see at least one time. Its reputation for great sights, great smells, and great food is definitely nothing short of stunning as it is one of the few places in the world where you can walk down a beach shore with some authentic garlic shrimp tacos while being able to watch ten foot waves come crashing into the seashore. It has a long standing reputation of relaxation and for good reason. Where else in the world can you get the opportunity to eat raw fish, drink a Mai Tai, and experience a defining piece of American history?

Talking points:
⦁ There are a lot of diverse options when you visit Hawaii. From culinary experiences to sightseeing there are a near endless supply of choices with a decent selection of bars, great hikes, great sights (zoo, Pearl Harbor Monument, aquarium, museums, Waimea Valley), and a beach to fit every kind of personality.

⦁ For people who are active tourists and like to travel Hawaii is best experienced in around a week to ten days.

⦁ Plan out the restaurants you want to visit ahead of time. There are a ton of options and during dinner time there are almost always waiting lines. It is best to arrive a bit early otherwise you will be stuck with long waits.

⦁ Don’t hesitate to indulge in the local produce. There are various food markets around the island selling lots of different fruit. I highly recommend checking some of them out. The Dole Plantation is also a great daytime trip too.

⦁ With so many sights to see on the island this is definitely a travel location where it is very valuable to rent a car. Bus services are not necessarily the greatest and being at the mercy of the public bus schedule is just not worth the amount of money that you save.