Aloha from Oahu! This was our first time in Hawaii and I wish it wasn’t during a pandemic but we made the best of it. Traveling here, we knew things would be different than the norm but I never would have imagined just how different they were. I could have spent more time on Oahu but I am glad we only did three full days there given the state of the island. The most frustrating part was the restaurants operating at 25% capacity. There were many places we wanted to eat but didn’t want to dedicate waiting 2-3 hours per place to try. We fortunately were able to try a few places on my list but definitely not on all of them. Other than that, we were able to do everything else that we wanted in the time that we were there. As a side note, we did have Oakley with us so all of the below activities we did with her- she is 6 months old at the time of travel!
We landed in Oahu at 5pm on Friday and left at 10am on a Tuesday- so three full days! We did not do anything on the day we landed and we did not do anything on the day we flew out other than check in and out of the hotel, respectively.
On day one, we tried to have breakfast at both the Aloha Grill and Cream Pot- both a 2+ hour wait, outside, in the direct sunlight. Both have amazing reviews but I cannot speak to the food as we just decided to keep walking to find food. We eventually found a cute coffee shop and bakery called Dean and Deluca– I highly recommend the Hawaiian salted caramel latte!
We started exploring the island and wound up at the Wahiawa Botanical Garden! We spent about 30 minutes there (no cost for an entry fee) which was perfect for Oakley, before we headed to lunch at Maui Mike’s (which came highly recommended by social media). After lunch, we made our way to Laniakea Beach which is known for having a ton of sea turtles sunning themselves at high noon. We had an amazing time there, the waves were very rough so we unfortunately did not see any turtles on the beach but we did see a lot in the waves!
We ended the day at the Dole Plantation!
The second morning we set out to find breakfast, again. We fortunately were able to order food from Hula Grill– which turned out to be amazing! The wait was extremely long but being able to order food and taking it to go was the next best option. We tried to keep all breakfast places within walking distance of our hotel and while walking to the restaurant, we walked through some amazing designer stores!
I reserved our Pearl Harbor memorial time for later in the afternoon. You can reserve for free through the .gov website or you can spend $15 at the site for an audio tour. The USS Missouri was closed while were there but we were able to tour the USS Bowfin submarine on top of seeing the Arizona memorial.
We ended the day at the Lanai lookout and captured some amazing photos (where the cover photo from this blog came from)! I highly recommend always knowing the time for the sunsets to plan any photos you want accordingly!
The last full day in Oahu, we decided against trying to fight any traffic or crowds for breakfast. Again, highly recommended, was to get the malasadas from Leonards Bakery. We had planned to hike the Maunawili Falls so we loaded up on baked goods and hit the trails. It was a beautiful hike with amazing views. I do recommend the hike, with a baby in the carrier we had to take it much slower than if we didn’t have her but I am so happy we were able to take her- she absolutely loves nature and she had an amazing time.
For the first time on the trip, we were able to secure dinner reservations at BLT Steak. Easily one of the best meals either of us had ever had! We traveled to celebrate our birthdays and valentines day and the restaurant went above and beyond to ensure we had the best time!
We stayed at the Trump International Hotel and it was an amazing experience- from the exceptional service, amazing views, even down to the heated toilet seats. The location was perfect and I would highly recommend it to anyone!