The whole week I looked forward to Saturday, our fifth day in Hawaii. I was so excited for it, because it was island tour day! I can’t take credit for this tour, my friend who used to live in Hawaii actually took me on this island tour last year when I visited. If you’re staying in Honolulu, I would highly reccommend getting out of the city, and checking out the entire island.
A: Depart from Waikiki Beach
B: The first stop is Tropical Farms – Kaneohe, HI. This is a great place to stop, strech your legs, and sample some goodies- they have a variety of flavored macadamia nuts, and coffee for you to try. I also liked showing G and my mom how to crack open the macadamia nuts so we could eat a few.
C: The next stop is right up the road the Kualoa Regional Park. When you pull in, the mountians behind you might look familiar if you’re a movie buff because that’s Kualoa and quite a few movies and shows were partially filmed there: Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, and Lost. In front of you on the left is a landmark that many call Chinaman’s Hat– can you guess why?
D: I hope you’ve worked up an appetite, because you’ll certianly want to make a stop at North Shore Tacos they have some amazing fish tacos. We swung by, picked some lunch up to go and ate it at one of the nearby beaches. G doesn’t do fish, and he got a quesadilla- he seemed pretty pleased with his lunch too, so don’t worry if fish isn’t your thing North Shore Tacos is still worth a stop!
E: Next up, I reccomend swinging by Laie Point State Wayside it’s a great off the beaten path place to stop. You can get a picture of the rock with a hole in it, and in general just soak up the beauty of the island.
F: If shrimp’s your thing, you should make some time to stop at one of the shrimp trucks, which are convienently right by the shrimp farms. We stopped at one, and my mom and I split a few shrimps. They were so fresh, and tasty. I don’t have one in particular I’d recommend just because I’ve only visited one- it was good but we passed quite a few others that were packed so maybe they’re better? Not sure, but it’s worth a stop if you like shrimp- it doesn’t get fresher than these stands.
Note: For the next two I just marked the beaches we stopped at on the North Shore- you’ll drive by quite a few. For us, if they were packed, we made the choice to keep on driving. If you do the tour, you can stop at as many of the beaches as you want to.
G: The first beach we stopped at was Three Tables, it was not very crowded. Signs were up advising that conditions were not good for swimming, there were a few brave souls who were in the water (with kids!) G took a nap, and my mom and I just relaxed and watched the waves crash on the rocks. It was really peaceful.
H: The next beach we stopped at was right up the road, Waimea Bay. Unlike Three Tables, it was pretty crowded. There were also signs advising not to swim because of dangerous wave breaks. There were a lot of people swimming, and somehow G managed to convince me to swim with him. I used to lifeguard (at a pool) but we learned about the ocean, I’ll admit I was nervous. Not because I wasn’t confident in my swimming abilities, I’m a pretty strong swimmer but because I know just how dangerous the ocean can be. We were fine for awhile, but then I got caught up by a shorebreak and was totally done with the water. All I could remember thinking was OMG my bathing suit top & bottom are flying everywhere while I was flipped around and up the beach by the waves. About 4 minutes after we got out of the water the lifeguards came on the PA and told everyone to get out of the water because it was dangerous and that ‘only swimmers with years, and years of experience on these beaches should be in the water.’ (obviously not us) We didn’t go back in, as much as I love Hawaii, I’d like to make it to 26.
I: The next stop is a great little surf town Haleiwa which is known as the ‘surfing capital of the world’ this is a great place to do some shopping if you have souvenirs to buy this might be a good place to pick them up.
J: Our final stop on the tour was the Dole Plantation we grabbed some pineapple ice cream- sounds weird, but SO tasty! I was also able to get a really cute ornament personalized for our Christmas tree. I don’t like to get random knick-knacks as souvenirs, so ornaments are my go to thing. It’s a great way to remember our vacations, and I feel like they give our tree a really personal feel.
From the Dole Plantation, you can head right back into Waikiki. We left around 8:30 am and were back to Waikiki by about 5:30- so you could totally make a day of this. If you don’t have all day, I think you could probably do this in 4 hours if you really hustled and maybe didn’t stop everywhere.
We actually continued our tour, because one place my mom and I wanted to show G was Hanauma Bay and the Halona blowhole, so we continued on to both of these sites after the Dole Plantation.
It was a great day, and I loved having the opportunity to show G and my mom around Oahu! If you’re visiting Oahu and considering doing an island tour- I would highly reccommend doing it! If you have any questions about the sites we visited, shoot me a message I’d love to help you plan your island tour!!