Review of Oahu, Hawaii – The Overall Experience

Trip Date: August 14th – 24th, 2019

This would be my second time going back to Hawaii, and my first time to the island of Oahu.  Amanda came with me this time, and this would be her first time ever being in Hawaii.  This helped influence how we were going to stay on Oahu, from activities to accommodations.  There were only a couple of days that I remembered where we weren’t doing much, but all other days we were busy out and about doing something somewhere on the island. 

Our stay in Waikiki sort of set the tone for what we were expecting elsewhere on Oahu.  With Waikiki being one of the main tourist areas on Oahu, it was very busy and it wasn’t something we were looking forward to which was why we only stayed a couple of nights.  We wanted to relax and not have to be in the middle of all the hustle and bustle so spending the rest of our vacation staying outside of Waikiki was a wise choice.  Our Airbnb in Waimanalo was great.  The host was very attentive and the location was perfect.  It was serene and mostly quiet in the area we stayed in with the occasional beach goers being loud.  

There were so many activities to do on Oahu that we didn’t think we would get to all of the ones we had planned to go do, but 8 full days was plenty of time.  Renting a car proved to be very beneficial in getting around the island especially if you plan to stay late in a certain area where buses don’t run late.  If we didn’t rent a car, I think we would have stayed mostly in the Waikiki area which we would have grown tired of after a few days.  

One thing that really stuck out to me about Hawaii this time around was the homeless population.  There were homeless camps wherever you went no matter how small the town was.  We saw many of them near the coasts though, right up against some beach parks, and the occasional forested areas around town.  But even with the numerous amount of homeless on Oahu, we didn’t see many panhandlers.

Overall, I enjoyed my time on Oahu with Amanda.  For me it was a different experience than when I went to the Big Island because Oahu was a bit more busy and touristy in all parts of the island whereas on the Big Island everything felt very local.  I think Amanda enjoyed her time there too especially since it was her first time.  Would we go back again?  We’ve both said we would, but next time it will probably be Maui.


Checkout the related posts for this trip:

Starting off the trip to Oahu, Hawaii right in Waikiki!

Hiking Diamond Head State Monument

Quick exploration of Waikiki Aquarium after a long morning hike

Tantalus Lookout, one of the best panoramic views over Honolulu

Stopping at Sandy Beach on our way to Waimanalo!

Catching glimpses of white sand beaches from Makapu’u Lookout!

One of the best beaches in Hawaii, Waimanalo Beach!

Hiking up to Makapu’u Point on the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Early morning snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve!

From here to eternity, Halona Blowhole & Beach Cove!

Getting to know the plant life at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Byodo-In Temple, a Japanese Buddhist temple located on Oahu in Hawaii

Hitting up Electric Beach and a beautiful lu’au at Paradise Cove

Pineapples at the Dole Plantation

Through the jungle to a waterfall, Manoa Falls!

An afternoon at Kualoa Ranch and Park exploring Hollywood filming locations.

Swimming with the sharks and Kuilima Cove snorkeling in the North Shore!

A historically significant cultural area for the Hawaiians, the Waimea Valley!

Kayaking to Popoia Island from Kailua Beach!

Exploring and learning about Pearl Harbor. Starting with the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Bowfin!

Site of surrender by the Japanese in World War II, USS Missouri!

Last stop at Pearl Harbor, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum!

Panoramas from our Hawaii adventure!