When I first started writing, someone gave me the advice to blog about questions I answer frequently. This is one of those questions: “I’m on Oahu for a couple of days. What should I do?” I’ve been a couple of times, the most recently with my parents, and have been discipled well by locals and frequent visitors. Here are a few recommendations, and I have linked the names to web sites for you. You can find recommendations on the Big Island here.
First of all, if you want to see a lot of the island, (or really any of it) rent a car. It is worth the money! Secondly, there is a Costco close to the airport, so you can fill up there before you return the car. The suggestions below will fill up two rather full days.
Hawaii’s Plantation Village We took a tour with a charming octogenarian Filipina lady who had grown up on the plantation. For anyone who appreciates history and cultures, this is the place to go. Plan for about 2 hours. It is about 15 minutes from Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor This is essential to all first-time visits. It is, however, crowded and you must have a reserved ticket. When you know you are going to be there, reserve a ticket immediately. And, yes, you should go out to the Arizona. No question. Plan half a day.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. This is a beautiful location to walk among the memorials and contemplate the price of freedom. It is also a great overview of the city to watch the sunset.
Daybreak Church. Visiting on a Sunday? Check this place out. You will feel like you have found a new home and family.
Waiola Shave Ice. This neighborhood is a bit rough, but this is a great spot. You might recognize it from Hawaii 5-0 episodes, but it is definitely a local destination.
Leonard’s Bakery. This place will ruin you. You will dream about fried dough and begin plotting how every person coming to the mainland can bring you malasadas. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It doesn’t matter. Just go. You can thank me later. (And bring me a box?)
Poke. Just about any grocery store or gas station has reasonable poke. It is totally acceptable to eat it 3 or more meals a day.
Spam. Yes, spam. Hawaiians eat more spam per capita than any other state. Also, a Moko Loco is a good recovery meal after a hard hike.
Farmer’s Markets. Yes, do this. Where else can you find fresh fiddle-head ferns for sale to make an omelet to go with your poke. . .and malasada?
Anybody have any favorites that I missed?