Having travelled to mainland America twice, visiting Hawaii was a new experience. I always thought it would be like the Gold Coast, and while it does have its similarities, you just need to look past the tourist Waikiki to see its real beauty.
Where to stay
I stayed at the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger which is located on Kaiulani Avenue and is in walking distance. Although this isn’t as flash as it’s sister, Outrigger Waikiki (pictured above), it still was an enjoyable stay in a fantastic location. The staff were so welcoming and hospitable and went out of their way to help me with various deliveries on my birthday. When I return to Waikiki, I will most definitely stay at the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger.
What to eat
Food and cocktails are in abundance in Waikiki. You will never go hungry or thirsty. I did find the food to be quite expensive and would definitely recommend taking it into consideration when budgeting your trip. For instance a cocktail was roughly $16, add tax and your tip and I would consider it more expensive than Australia. In saying that, you are on holidays, go crazy!
We enjoyed a lovely dinner at The Veranda, located in the Moana Surfrider. Our host looked after us, even bringing me a glass of pink bubbles to celebrate my birthday! The food was fresh and cooked to perfection.
Of course, we headed to The Royal Hawaiian for their pink pancakes! The Royal Hawaiian is one of my favourite buildings in Waikiki. Its pink! It’s also beautifully furnished and lush. My favourite shop is in there also, Malie Organics.
No trip to Hawaii is without a visit to The Cheesecake Factory. The food servings here were MASSIVE and the menu had all sorts of yummy things. You simply cannot visit The Cheesecake Factory without having a sample of cheesecake. We were so full after our main meals (they call them Entrees in America) we share one between three. So good!
Some other food to try while there is shrimp. Many food trucks sell these delicious morsels of garlic goodness. You can pick other sauces and they are served with rice and a small salad.
A quick visit to the Dole Plantation is recommended, even if it is to sample the Pineapple Soft Serve with fresh Pineapple!
Things to do
A visit to Pearl Harbour will move you and you will be glad you visited. This is a touching tribute to those that lost their lives. You will learn more as you watch a movie on the events that unfolded that fateful day, before boarding a boat that takes you to the memorial.
One of the most amazing things I did was visit the home of Doris Duke. Doris Duke completed the build of Shangri La, an Islamic-style mansion from 1936 to 1938 and has been filled with some amazing Islamic art. The home has the most wonderful gardens.
I absolutely adore Doris Duke, although she was an heiress, and a very wealthy one, she lived a grand life that seemed to hold no boundaries. That I admire. Tours must be booked in advance through the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Kualoa ranch was another fun outing we did. The package we purchased included transport and lunch. We selected to do an ATV tour as part of it, which was so amazing!! I haven’t had that much fun in ages!
We also did a movie set tour and got to see where they filmed part of Jurassic World! It was so cool!!
And of course if you have time after all of that, then hire a car and do a drive around the Island. It’s easy to do, car hire is reasonable and getting off the beaten track will show you more of what Waikiki has to offer.
I hope you enjoyed reading!