Top 5 Things to do in Honolulu

Um, Warren took me to Hawaii for my birthday. Disgusting, I know. But it wasn’t all fun and games. Warren, for instance, had to sit in a stuffy room at a conference all week long while I–well, I got to nap on the beach and eat frozen yogurt. You kind of hate me right now. I know. I mean, first there was Barcelona, then it was post after post about Morocco, and now this? It’s true: this summer has gifted us with an embarrassment of awesome and we will treasure it forever and ever. 
And since this here blog is also a journal of sorts, you may have to suffer through a few installments of Oahu bliss–starting with our top 5 favorite things to do in Honolulu. This was our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands and we are more than convinced that we’ll need to return in the future.
Things to Do in Honolulu - Honolulu Aquarium
1. Waikiki Aquarium. Warren’s conference hosted a luau at the Waikiki Aquarium and it was heaven. The aquarium overlooks the ocean and is home to a molting monk seal and an array of fine jellyfish. Also, leis are such a good idea. 
Things to Do in Honolulu - Honolulu Aquarium

We loved watching the sunset in all its island glory. 

Things to Do in Honolulu - Honolulu Aquarium
I mean, really. I could live with these palm silhouettes forever.
Things to Do in Honolulu - Hike Diamond Head
2. Hiking Diamond Head. Okay, “hiking” is not the right word for what was essentially a steep walk completed in our flip flops on a paved path. There are some crazy stairs at one point and then a view that just does not stop. Gotta love panoramas that include enough brilliant blue ocean to make you cry, lighthouses, and swaying sea grass.  
Things to Do in Honolulu - Hike Diamond Head

Yep, just a rainbow gracefully framing our sweaty selves. Diamond Head’s crater was definitely not as picturesque as the verdant Sunset Peak crater we climbed in Jeju–South Korea’s Hawaii–but the view was  still stellar. 
Things to Do in Honolulu - Leonards Bakery
3. Leonard’s Bakery. Nothing beats piping hot Portuguese donuts dusted in sugar–especially if you get your malasadas at the oh-so-charming Leoanard’s Bakery. Leonard’s is a tourist trap for good reason: it’s pink, adorable, and tasty. And don’t worry, I have an entire post devoted to Oahu food and restaurants coming up. 
Things to Do in Honolulu - Leonards Bakery
And if you can’t channel your inner dancing malasada on vacation, you’re not doing it right. 
Honolulu Crocs Store
4. The Crocs Store. I should definitely be way embarrassed to post this on the internet but I have no shame: I love Crocs. There. I said it. Judge all you want. For traveling, I swear by the Crocs Carlie Flat. I live in constant fear that this line will be discontinued because they are the most comfortable walking shoe I have ever owned. We don’t have a Crocs store in Michigan so I succumbed to the buy one get one half off sale. I picked up a pair of Really Sexi Flip-Flops (the name alone should make me hang my head in shame) and they are incredible. Seriously. Like walking on clouds. 
If Crocs don’t do it for you, the Waikiki strip is full of fancy pants shops that are fun to browse.
Things To Do in Honolulu - Sunrise Swims
5. Sunrise Swims. It is totally unlike me to wax poetic on sunrises (because I hate waking up early) but when jet lag kicks in and you’re wide awake at 5 AM, the best thing to do is go on a sunrise swim. Our hotel was half a block from the beach and it was glorious. Our morning swims consisted of crystal clear water and no crowds–a very good morning to you, Honolulu. 
Stay tuned–over the next few Mondays I’ll show you more of our favorite Oahu adventures. Jurassic Park reenactments and shrimp trucks await!

Planning a trip to Oahu? Click on the links below to check out some of our favorite adventures. Never miss the fun–follow along on Pinterest!

Things to Do in Oahu: Paradise Cove Luau | Club Narwhal
Things to Do in Oahu: North Shore | Club Narwhal

Things to Do in Oahu: Valley of the Temples | Club Narwhal

Linked to Travel Photo Mondays and Travel Tuesday.

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    • says

      I hope you get to Hawaii–it is totally surreal and awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ I post recipes on Wednesdays and this week I have something special up my sleeve. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. says

    Oahu is a fun place to visit for an urban exploration of the city at Waikiki..the areas around the island are also beautiful and scenic, thanks for linking up for Travel Photo Mondays

  2. says

    Well, I missed that bakery but I had quite a different tour of the island myself – years ago. Something to always remember besides the fact that I was pregnant and spent a lot of time in the water.

    • says

      What a nice place to be pregnant ๐Ÿ™‚ My grandma lived in Oahu when she was young and said there were only two hotels in Waikiki. My, have things changed!

  3. says

    Your trip sounds dreamy! I love the pictures…it looks so beautiful. I'm glad you had a great trip and I look forward to reading more about it!

    • says

      I am so glad you are a fellow malasadas fan! I need to figure out how to make them, though they probably won't taste as good without Leonard's bright dancing donuts!

  4. says

    Loved this post. I can whole heartedly relate to your intro; I also am familiar to that cringing feeling you get when you have to explain where you have just gone and where you are about to go. Ugh. The life! But I also agree with you about the reason for your blog, mine is also a way of journaling and the only way I actually document what I have done. Looks like Hawaii was a great time!

    • says

      Amen, Lindsey! Those cringey feelings are always awkward but sometimes you just have to holler about something awesome (like Oahu-I mean, who knows when I'll ever get back there, right?).

  5. says

    Yup – your happy pictures in Hawaii are definitely a bit sickening!! I am not at all jealous. I would refuse to go there if the opportunity were offered to me :p Right…off to re examine my own life and ask my boyfriend why he didn't take me to Hawaii for my birthday!!

  6. says

    So great you've been able to travel a lot lately! Wonderful photos and I'll be sure to look at these tips when I go to Oahu again.

  7. says

    This is so worth getting jealous over! The colours of your pics is so brilliant.
    And yes, my crocs is the first pair in my bag whenever I go traveling.

  8. says

    Oooh, fabulous! FABULOUS!!

    You know, Hawaii's never been high on my radar (I'm not much of a beach person) but these pics are beautiful and tempting me, haha. Also, I love crocs! I remember when they were all the rage… and I used to wear those bad boys ALL the time. I was SO excited that such a casual and comfortable shoe was on trend!! :)))


    • says

      Amen to Crocs! I was not on board when they first came out but I am totally on board now ๐Ÿ™‚ Even if you don't like the beach, there is a ridiculous amount of awesome to do in Hawaii. And it's just so pretty.

  9. says

    You have given me strength, Amy. Because of you, I am going to dust off my mary jane crocs and wear them during my upcoming vacation to Disney World. If I'm going to the happiest place on Earth, I'd better keep my feet happy with happy footwear. Thank you.

    • says

      HALLELUJAH, LISA! I am so glad I have inspired you to dust off your Crocs ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am so jealous you'll be cavorting about the happiest place on Earth!

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