One week in Honolulu, Hawaii

I was so nervous. A pit in my stomach.

My 23 and me results were in. Holy shit. I’d finally know what made up my DNA. I know you’re wondering how the hell this is related to my Oahu city guide, but… turns out, I’m actually half Hawaiian.

So ya… this trip was going to be special. On top of it, we were joining KJ and her bf Ryan for a week of fun under the sun.

STAY

The Laylow Waikiki - Honestly a 2 minute walk away from the beach, so I didn’t feel too far from the ocean.

It was truly a blessing that we’d booked that hotel off the main strip, because most (if not all) hotel employees at other properties were on strike. I’m talking like megaphones on the beach pointing towards the hotel rooms. While I completely take the employees’ side on this one - they deserve to be paid and treated fairly - it would have for sure put a damper on the trip considering it’s a 12-hour flight.

Waikiki is definitely touristy, but I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience. We rented a car and it was useful to discover the rest of the island. Which brings me to the next point…

DO

Kualoa Ranch - not too sure I’d book a tour here, but definitely worth the drive to check out the sites. The only way I can describe it is Jurassic Park meets Avatar.

Kailua Beach - I hear the Obamas vacation here, and I understand why. It’s the most beautiful clear water and white sand beach. Again, worth the drive and way less touristy, which is a plus.

Botanical Gardens - definitely beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but don’t expect much. Go if you have the time/a car and want a cute pic.

Waikiki Beach - since it’s so close, I do recommend spending some time on the beach. Plus, there’s great shopping if that’s your jam!

North Shore - drive around, get lost; there are tons of beautiful, scenic pit stops along the way.

Sunset Cruise - DO THIS! There are tons of catamarans on the beach and they all have a couple sails a day. I would do the sunset one (you might want to go check it out in the morning and reserve your spot with one of them on the beach)

EAT

Garlic shrimp truck on the North Shore - the reason I can’t link to one is because there are so many and I honestly can’t remember the name of it. Every local will tell you to get your hands on some garlic shrimp and you’ll smell the buttery goodness from miles away! Just follow your nose on this one ;)

Duke’s - get the fish; one of the best I had on the island. Also, I’d recommend the Lava Flow with an extra shot of dark rum (sooooo good!!)

Hula Grill - great spot for breakfast or lunch with a view of the beach.

Marukame Udon - so many noodle options! Don’t go there hungry, because there will likely be a long line.

Goma Tei Ramen - there are a couple locations, I would try the one in the International Market since the one at Ala Moana is in the basement.

Buho Cantina - rooftop Mexican cantina, great view, great drinks!

Surfjack - cute coffee + local shop = my jam.

*important to note: I didn’t take a lot of photos of my food… because I was too busy eating and being present lol*