The girls’ renewed passports have arrived and we’re ready to travel. There are a few places on our list of places that I want to see this year – Hawaii, again, and Europe in the fall, with a couple of weekend trips in between. Oahu has been one of our favorite destinations in Hawaii, with so much to do and see.
Rent a car while you’re there, you won’t regret it. Shop around to find the best rate, and cash in those Airmiles for gift certificates to reduce the cost of renting a vehicle. Renting a car, we were able to see the entire island, on our schedule, and exploring those places we may not have if we would have remained in Waikiki throughout the ten day trip. Waikiki beach is fine, and there are some fun events that go on through the evenings – but explore the entire island, it’s worth it.
Boogie Board at North Shore | One of our favorite places to visit on Oahu, the North Shore is home to surfing competitions, big waves, and sand that’s perfect for hunting for seashells. Though it’s not perfect soft sand like in Waikiki, it’s a must-see trip, if you’ve rented a car and are looking for an afternoon trip. Research before you go and check out a surfing competition while you are there, it’s a must see.
Surfing Lessons at Surf + Sea in Haleiwa | Surfing lessons were a must do on the list for Jamie while we were in Hawaii. Children are welcome in the surfing lessons, as long as they can swim and parents accompany them in the lessons. Individual lessons are $85, and all required equipment is included in the lessons, with a comprehensive lesson on land before heading out to the waves.
Sea Turtles at Laniakea Beach | At Laniakea beach, close to the North Shore, you can get up close and personal with the green sea turtles that come to the shore to bask in the sun. For adults and older children, you can swim and snorkel in the water with the turtles, but it’s reccommended to give the turtles at least ten feet of space between you and them. Parking is simple, on the opposite side of the two lane highway. It can be quite busy, so you’re not going to want to be making multiple stops back and forth between the car, take what you need to see the turtles and come back.
Sharks Cove Grill + Snorkeling | Roadside grill, at Shark Cove Grill included Ahi tuna skewers that were a delicious alternative to the hotel food that we had been eating for the first couple of days since we arrived in Honolulu. It was the perfect time to grab some snorkeling gear (easily rented close by, or save some money and grab the gear at Costco before you go) and snorkel at Shark’s Cove.
Shallow water is perfect for beginner snorkeling and the water was calm (and clear) enough to see some cool things while you snorkel. The next time? I would bring a small floatie for the kids to bring them along on the self-guided snorkeling experience.
Sunset Beach | One of the first beaches that we visited on the island as we drove around exploring was Sunset Beach. I wished that we would have brought a boogie board. It was a fantastic introduction to the beaches and was a fun free activity for a trip to Oahu.
Byodo-In Temple | The Byodo-In Temple is a non-denominational shrine located on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i at the Valley of the Temples. It was dedicated in August 1968 to commemorate 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It was a beautiful walk around, and a fun morning trip.
Pearl Harbor | A must see for history buffs, Olivia had decided not to cooperate it when we decided to go to Pearl Harbor and take part in one of the tours. It’s on our must-see list for next time, and the USS Arizona Memorial is full of history, see a submarine and visit the museum. There are lots of great tours available, from a few hours, to a full day. Check out one of those for the most comprehensive experience in Oahu.
Dole Pineapple Plantation | A great big maze, kid-friendly tour with the Pineapple Express and admission to the gardens are only a few of the reasons that you’re going to want to check out the Dole Pineapple Plantation. It’s quite the drive, if you’re staying in Waikiki, so you’re going to want to make sure that you plan for the whole afternoon. Don’t leave without trying the Dolewhip and use these coupons to save on admission + merchandise.
For accommodations on your next trip to Oahu, consider the Aqua Hotels for a kid-friendly hotel choice. They’re easy on the budget, and have a wide variety of properties to choose from,