If you’ve ever been to the Hawaiian islands, you know how breathtaking the ocean and mountain views are, how AMAZING and fresh the seafood is, and how gorgeous the beaches are! Michael and I recently took a trip to the North Shore of Oahu and had the most incredible time together! I wanted to share the best places to grub, the MUST SEES and MUST DOS while you’re there, what beaches to bum at, and much more! Ready? Let’s go!
We chose to rent an Air bnb in Laie, Oahu and we are so glad we did! The host was wonderful and gave us tips on where to go, what to do, and even offered us a few surf boards to use. (UM YES PLEASE!) Not to mention, right down the street from the house was a private beach that had private access. Michael decided to go snorkeling there the last morning of our trip and said it was the best snorkeling he had seen so far! If you want more information on where we stayed, DM me on Instagram (brea.mcewen) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the location!
The North Shore, Oahu is definitely where people live the simple life. There’s not 5 start restaurants everywhere you turn nor is there even a WalMart or Target close by. And the locals and myself personally LIKE it that way. So, if you’re not scared to eat from food trucks or holes in the walls, this place is for you sister.
Have you ever had a Poke Bowl? I’m sure. But you’ve never had one from Pūpūkea Grill. And if you don’t know what Poke is, it’s raw tuna fish seasoned all sorts of ways. Literally it’s the most delicious piece of heaven in a bowl I’ve ever tasted. I’m craving one right now and might have to convince my hubby to take me there again in a few months. It’s THAT good. Order this with a Lemon or Mint flavored Yerba Mate for a nice refreshing and refueling meal. Located across the street from Pūpūkea Beach Park and Shark’s Cove, you won’t want to miss this gem!
Who goes to Hawaii without ordering some Banana Pancakes? Like Jack Johnson says, “there ain’t no need to go outside” when it’s raining and you just need some grub! Head over to Papa Ole’s for a super good and super unhealthy breakfast. Located in the middle of a grocery store parking lot, this little hole in the wall doesn’t look like much, but boy does it hit the spot. Order a 2 Stack Banana Pancake meal and a side of spam for a truly authentic Hawaiian experience. 🤙🏼
Alright I’m pretty sure this is a chain that started in Utah but dude it’s sooo good. It’s kind of hidden behind a shave ice place in the middle of a dirt lot filled with a ton of other food trucks, but I’m so happy we found this place! While you eat, I hope you don’t mind cats or chickens, because these cuties are everywhere! Order the Ahi Steak and the Coconut Shrimp for a filling and mouthwatering dinner for two and enjoy the sunset togedda.
On our last night in Oahu, we decided to meet up with some family at a well known food truck called Giovanni’s. Nestled near like 20 other food trucks, this one stands out with all of the signatures written on the face of the truck and the bold lettering. They have a simple menu, ITS ALL SHRIMP BRAH. And it’s oh so good. I got the lemon butter shrimp which was magnifico. My hubby got the spicy shrimp and I’m pretty sure he is STILL recovering from it. We love spicy foods but BEWARE this stuff is flaming hot. 🔥
First things first, there is SO much to do in Hawaii. Surfing, snorkeling, beach hopping, hiking, eating, just straight up adventuring. And A TON more. I want to share with you guys the best beaches we went to and which beaches honestly to AVOID, the best hiking spots, and more!
A local beach located in the heart of North Shore, you’ll find surfers and plenty of waves here. Known for its massive swells that come through in the winter time, Bonzai is a great place to watch the surfers ride the waves, sun bathe on the soft sand, or take a stroll along the water’s edge. Beware of the 10 foot crashing waves though, they can get up to 20 feet in the summer and swimmers aren’t usually found frolicking here…unless you’re like iron man and can hold your breath for 3 minutes.
This gorgeous sandy beach is one that both locals and tourists alike enjoy. Here, you’ll find bodysurfers, swimmers, beach bums, rock climbers, and thrill seekers. Located on the edge of the beach lies a large rock that only the bravest of heart dare to climb. Lol no I’m kidding it’s not that crazy but so much fun! Climb to the top of this 25 foot boulder and JUMP! Michael and I did it and had a blast! Just be careful of high tide, large swells, or you know people just chillin at the bottom. 🤙🏼
P.S. SORRY! No pictures on this one, we decided to leave our phones in the car and enjoy this one together.
There are countless spots to hike on the beautiful North Shore, Oahu, but Pillbox rounds them out to my top 5. Located across from Lanikai, this hike isn’t for just anyone. It was surprisingly steep and muddy at times, so be careful. Michael and I enjoyed the challenge and when we reached the top, we took in a picture perfect panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Try saying that five times fast.
P.S. I wore these adorable leggings on the hike and they were so comfortable and breathable. Also, it has pockets. BONUS!
POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Visiting this incredible place was definitely a highlight to this trip. Being that Michael served his mission in Samoa, he was so excited to show me all about the Samoan and Polynesian cultures. We purchased the “Ambassador” package and got to tour the six Polynesian islands throughout the center. It was remarkable to see all of the different traditions and practices each island displayed. New Zealand was my favorite!
Throughout our tour, Michael actually ran into three different people from his mission, over nine years ago. It was such a tender mercy and a beautiful reunion. I highly recommend touring the PCC at least once. The proceeds of your purchases go toward supporting the students of BYU Hawai’i. BONUS!
At the end of the night, we were treated to HA Breath of Life show and a scrumptious crab leg and steak dinner. I think we paid about $300 for all of this for two people and it was worth it! Plus your park admissions last for 3 days! So if you don’t get to see everything in one day, you can come back!
Be mindful that they are closed on Sundays!*
The Island of FIJI! ^^
Loving this time together!
The island of Samoa showing us how to properly climb a coconut tree! SO COOL!
There you have it loves! We had a blast touring the North Shore, Oahu and we never wanted to leave! All in all, enjoy your time and have a blast but PLEASE respect the island and the culture, respect the beaches and pick up your trash if you have any, and always try to use reef safe sunscreen !
*This post contains a link that I make a small commission off of (like $.025-$5.00) and it doesn’t cost anything to you! It just helps me to continue blogging and making my dream of becoming a full time blogger a reality! I so appreciate y’all following along with me on this journey! Please feel free to message me if you have questions!