Six nights was not enough! I could say there are never enough vacation nights in Hawai’i. The excitement of this trip made the ten hour flight there seem like a cake walk. We had easy smooth traveling; we got lucky!
For the six nights in Oahu we stayed at the Disney Aulani Resort in Ko’Olina, an area I loved. I enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. We are Disney Vacation Club members and our six nights were covered by our saved points. The food is expensive though! We knew that going in; be prepared for that if you are going there.
Day One and Two
We stayed at the resort the first couple of days to adjust to the six hour time change and just enjoy the grounds.
The resort was amazing! Some of us did paddle boarding, some of us did the onsite snorkeling, we did the character breakfast and I loved relaxing by the pool. The lagoon made for easy paddle boarding and ocean swimming. Worth every penny in my opinion. We requested an ocean view room and called ahead a couple of days prior to the trip to request a room as high up as we could get; I wanted to see the ocean.
We had a rental car for the entire trip and made use of it on our third day. We headed for the south eastern coast of Oahu, starting at a hike at Lanikai Pillbox. We didn’t make it to the top, it was very difficult in the beginning! Only made it to the second “landing,” which was still a beautiful view so we decided to call it quits and head to the beach.
Parking near Lanikai beach is difficult, it’s all residential, so we parked at the Kailua Beach state park, which is very close by and has restrooms. After checking out that beach first we walked over to Lanikai Beach. They were both just gorgeous beaches and ended up being my favorite two on the whole island.
Being we had a full kitchen in our Aulani room we got groceries and packed sandwiches for our day. We ate out of the back of the car before driving down the coast for our next wandering. I still wanted to do some hiking, even after our failed morning attempt, so we drove to the Makapu-u Head parking area and
hiked walked the trail to Alan Davis Beach. The kids had fun exploring the tide pools.
We made one more stop before heading into Honolulu, at Diamond Head Beach Park to see the light house. Nothing too exciting so we didn’t stay long. We then drove around Diamond Head and headed into the city. Honolulu reminded me a lot of San Diego; the parts of the city we saw were clean and we liked walking around the shops, walking along Waikiki a bit and then we ate at Hulu Grill. Lots of people had recommended Duke’s but since we weren’t able to get reservations we opted for Hulu Grill, which is located on the second floor of the same building.
I was so glad it ended up that way! My kids don’t like loud music and Duke’s had a live band playing outside. We were just above it, still able to hear and enjoy the music, but at a lower volume. Still had an ocean view and watched the sun go down. I’m lactose intolerant and I had read about Banan in Honolulu, it was a delicious dessert stop after dinner!
We started day four at Pearl Harbor. Sadly we were never able to reserve the tickets to visit the Arizona so we ended up walking around the grounds, visiting the museum buildings and generally just exploring for two hours. I knew there was a standby line for the Arizona ferry boat but it was consistently long the time we were there. I heard after our trip the key for the standby line is to go at six a.m. FYI if you go there.
After a solemn morning we then drove up to the North Shore, visited the food trucks off Kamehameha Highway (we ate at Honos) and headed out in search of sea turtle viewing. Our fist stop was Laniakea Beach and there were many turtles swimming! It was so amazing. My husband got in the water where swimming is allowed and a turtle swam right up behind him. So cool.
We explored the coast there a bit but it was pretty busy, no wonder though with the turtles all over!
I fell in love with açaí bowls at Aulani and found a food truck with them, The Sunrise Shack. So yummy!
My kids love tide pools so we headed to Shark’s Cove, where I heard snorkeling was great. It certainly was! Bring water shoes! I had brought my own snorkel mask on the trip and I highly recommend doing that; this way you can stop and snorkel anywhere you’d like. Here are the water shoes and snorkel I brought.
After two busy days we decided to use our last full day on Oahu for relaxing. I still did not have any Dole Whip at Aulani yet! We sat by the pool, swam in the cove and had a nice dinner across the street at Roy’s. We ended with family photos on the beach at sunset.
My next blog post will be about our three nights on the Big Island, stay tuned!