Hear about the best things to do in Oahu as the Amateur Traveler talks to Denny and Nikki from dennyandnikki.com about this Hawaiian Island they recently called home.
Denny says, “We ended up moving to Oahu during the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, I got a teaching job there. It was an absolutely amazing year. And we have seen so much and Oahu will always have a special place in the heart.”
“Let me start by saying that the beaches are incredible. We thought that we had seen pretty beaches. You’ll really see the crystal clear blue waters, turquoise color. The sand is incredibly soft. There are palm trees. The most beautiful thing that we have seen on the island is the beautiful mountain range that is sky-high. You really get that Jurassic Park feeling.”
They start us in Waikiki and recommend getting a hotel there and using that as a base to explore the rest of the island. We start with Honolulu and then create an itinerary proceeding counter-clockwise around the island.
The most famous beach on Oahu is Waikiki Beach, but not the best. They recommend two other beaches that are close to Waikiki Beach, which are Fort DeRussy and Ala Moana. They are not as crowded. Grab a less expensive bite to eat at Momason, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, or in the up-and-coming Kaka’ako area.
Learn more about the Polynesian culture at the Bishop Museum or about WWII at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Visit the Arizona memorial which was sunk in the first few minutes of the U.S. involvement in WWII or the nearby U.S.S. Missouri on whose deck the war came to a close.
Denny and Nikki recommend a number of hikes in the Honolulu area including the famous Diamond Head hike, the Kuliouou Ridge Trail, the Tantalus Point.
We then proceed to the east from Honolulu for great snorkeling at Hanauma Bay where you may spot Hawaii’s state fish the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Lern why the state ended up with such a hard to pronounce state fish. Take a hike to the lighthouse at the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail.
We then head north to the windward side of the island which has some great beaches like Lanikai Beach and Kaiona Beach Park as well as one you need to paddle to reach, Kaneohe Bay Sandbar. Denny and Nikki steer us towards some hikes to pillboxes, waterfalls, and overlooks. They encourage us to each malasadas, chocolate, kalua pork, steak, and a dessert made with poi.
They visit the Byodo-In Temple which is a replica of a Japanese UNESCO site and botanical gardens.
On the north shore, you can watch the surfers on the 7-Mile Miracle, visit a historic pineapple plantation, or the Dole Pineapple Plantation which is an ice cream stop.
As we continue around the island we learn of more hikes, and beaches without that many tourists. Oahu is the most populous of the Hawaiian Islands, but there are quiet corners away from the crowds of Waikiki. Whether you come for the beaches, the scenery, the food, or the aloha spirit, learn why Oahu should be on your bucket list.
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Denny and Nikki | Adventurous and long term travel
Fort DeRussy Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach
Puka Dog (moved to Kauai)
Bishop Museum – The Hawai’i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Helena’s Hawaiian Food
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Kuliouou Ridge Trail
Hiking the Koko Crater Trail
Manoa Chocolate Factory
Kaiona Beach Park
Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail
Kaneohe Bay Sandbar
Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens
Waiahole Poi Factory
Manoa Falls Trail
The 7-Mile Miracle
Turtle Bay Resort
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Hawaii’s Plantation Village
Ka’ena Point Trail
Turtle Beach (Papaoneone Beach)
Oahu itinerary (2021) | From 7 to 14 days on the island
On Travel to Sabah, Malaysia – Episode 771, Mark wrote:
Great episode, a lot of great memories all be it distant ones, agreed with comments on Turtle Island and Sepilok forest research centre and walks. Paganakan was one of the best places I stayed at on all of that SE Asia trip.
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