Holiday Highlights: Oahu, Hawaii

Over the summer, my family and I spent a week visiting relatives in Oahu, Hawaii. After being in St Andrews for the past year with its typical cloudy and rainy weather (although lovely at times), this trip was perfect to recharge. Hawaii offered my family comfortable sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Our flight landed in Honolulu from Seattle right around noon. Walking off the plane, you’re instantly welcomed with a scent that can only be described as distinctly Hawaiian – a sweet note in the humid, tropical air. Famished after our flight, our first stop was to find something to eat. We decided to follow the traditional route for Hawaiian food and find a place to grab some plate lunch. A quintessential Hawaiian meal with influences across Asia, plate lunch is infused with Hawaiian roots, making it unique to the islands. We decided to stop by Rainbow Drive-In, a classic for locals in the area, where we filled ourselves with plates of mahi-mahi and barbecue beef.

Afterwards, we decided to explore Waikiki. Being the typical tourist destination, with most of the island’s hotels there, it’s expectedly crowded. But the area offers some of the best shopping in Oahu. We wandered around aimlessly through tourist shops, including the cult-classic 88 tees shop, where they sell heaps of colorful Hawaiian themed shirts. We then found our way to Waikiki beach where we walked along the sand as we took in the view of Diamond Head.

The next day, that was exactly where we decided to go. Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone that offers one of the best hikes in Oahu. The top of the point allows for some of the best panoramic views of the entire island. The hike was relatively easy, though steep at times. It took my family about 40 minutes to hike up. The trail itself was originally built in 1908 by the US Army, and was used for many years as a military base. Cement bunkers and an observation deck were also built for the military at the summit of the Diamond Head crater. Tourists are now allowed access to these on their hike up the trail. The views from the top are stunning, making it one of my favorite things to do on Oahu.

Some other highlights from my trip include a trip to North Shore, home to some of the best beaches and food on the island. It is particularly famous because its large ocean waves grant superb surfing for professionals. On the way we stopped by one of the many food trucks in Kahuku which serve garlic shrimp. My family’s preferred spot is Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp where they offer some of our favorite food on the island.

When we reached the North Shore, our first stop was Lanikai Beach. Located in the town of Kailua, Lanikai is not only described as the most beautiful out of all the beaches in Oahu but is also ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. This small half-mile strip of beach is home to rich blue aqua waters and the softest sand on the island. I spent my time on this beach swimming in the water and laying out on the sand.

We decided to wrap up our trip to the North Shore with a visit to a lookout point called La’ai Point. This lookout features a “hole in the rock” which was created when a tsunami blasted through the middle of the rock. This spot is perfect for pretty scenic photos and fantastic views.

To conclude, no trip to Hawaii is complete without a visit to one of the local beaches and tasting some of the amazing seafood that Hawaii has to offer. The little island of Oahu offers some of the prettiest views and incredible experiences in the world and I cannot wait until my next trip back.