Traveler: Danielle

Oahu in Photos

Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian island and home to the state capital of Honolulu. It’s also one of the most picturesque islands and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with my local best friend exploring Oahu.

Beautiful Beaches

Hawaii consistently tops the charts of the most stunning beaches. The sand is like fine powder, there’s always an island breeze, and the water is crystal clear and manifests in shades of blue they don’t even have names for yet.

No need to stay at a fancy resort to get a view of the Mokes! Take a ride to the public beach at Lanikai and set up your towel and umbrella. Paddle board and kayak rentals are also available nearby.

The Mokes in Oahu

Don’t forget to bring your favorite four legged friend!

There are also plenty of beaches where you swim and snorkel! Head to Turtle Bay to check both of these boxes.

Mailbox Culture

It doesn’t take too far of a walk to recognize all of the pretty mailboxes dotting Oahu. Mailboxes were mandated in the United States in 1912 so mail couriers wouldn’t have to wait for people to answer the door for their mail. How they transformed from a time saving container to the works of art they are today is far murkier. I can’t find a clear timeline of when the personalization of mailboxes began but I’m not the only one who noticed! I found an article from the Star Bulletin archives on the “Lanikai Wonderful and Weird Mailbox Walking Tour”. So go for a stroll in the local neighborhood and enjoy the quirky!

For the Foodies

You can’t beat the food in Hawaii. You just can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fancy dinner but it’s so unnecessary here! There is DELICIOUS fresh food everywhere, so indulge in the local dishes like…

Shaved Ice

Treat yo’self to the Hawaiian delicacy of shaved ice. This sweet treat initially came from Japanese workers trying to cool off after a long day in the pineapple fields. Today, you can customize your shaved ice to pretty much any flavor at shops all over the island. If you’re on Oahu, check out Island Snow which was a favorite of President Obama.


I could eat poke and/or a poke bowl every day. It’s a delicious combination of raw fish, rice, seaweed, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili pepper. Bowls have taken on a life of their own and contain countless combinations of sauces, fruits and vegetables! Don’t be afraid to get your raw fish from a truck side stop in Hawaii, the fish is so fresh and buttery it just melts in your mouth!

Shrimp Trucks

Focused on the North Shore of the island, Shrimp Trucks are a phenomenal way to eat a special local dish affordably. There are heated online debates about which truck is the best so to each their own as long as you try one of these amazing plates! On my most recent visit, we stopped at Giovannis (cash only) and ordered the scampi plate with a side of macaroni salad. It was heaven.

Fresh Fruit Stands

Sweet and refreshing, the fruit on Oahu makes the perfect beach snack. The friendly folks running their stands even have a selection already cut and ready to go into the cooler. These are pretty ubiquitous on the island and primarily accept cash only. Or grab a tasty acai bowl and top with your own favorite fruits!

Surfing the North Shore

Surfing here is not for the faint of heart. The waves are ROUGH, so it’s critical to pay due attention to the warning signs, especially if you aren’t a strong swimmer! However, it’s still a great place to watch the local surfers and enjoy a beach day. The famous Banzai Pipeline, one of the world’s deadliest waves, is also located here so you might get lucky and catch a surfing competition!

Street Art

In the heart of Kakaako’s old industrial district, Oahu celebrates its artists with the POW!WOW! annual festival. Every February, over a 100 talented artists, both local and international, get together to create large murals and other public art forms. Take a walk through this neighborhood to check out all of the incredible art work and then stop at SALT for some local cuisine.

Green Jungle Hikes

It’s good to stretch the legs, leave the city behind and hit the trails for a hike! The Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserves offers hikes at all levels and abilities in a vibrant green environment! There are waterfalls, Kaniakapupu ruins and bamboo galore! Find the best route for you from this helpful site.

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