Location: Hawaii is a US state and is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of eight islands, Oahu, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau.
Below is the map of the Hawaiian Islands.
I have personally been to Hawaii twice and both times I have loved it!
My family and I stayed on the main island of Oahu in Waikiki which is the beachfront of the south shore of the island. Waikiki is where most travellers stay as it is close to the beaches and there are lots of activities to do and it is surrounded by shops. We have flown to Hawaii with Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines and both airlines have great service and are very helpful.
Accommodation in Oahu, Hawaii:
We stayed at different hotels when we went to Hawaii as the hotel we stayed at the first time was unavailable/booked out.
The Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber – Only a 3 minute walk from the beach and across the road from the ‘Royal Hawaiian Centre’. The Holiday Inn is a 4 star hotel. The apartments are awesome! They are really clean and spacious. The hotel has an outdoor pool, sauna, fitness centre, complementary Wifi and access to the Macy’s department store on the ground floor. They also have a gift shop, a cafe, a concierge and activity desk. Wheelchair accessibility of the hotel was great! Would highly recommend going here!
The Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach – An 8 minute walk to the beach and shops. It is a newly renovated and has a rating of 3 stars. The apartments are quite small even the wheelchair accessible rooms, but the rooms were clean and nice to stay in. The service was pretty good but I think they could definitely improve. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, complementary Wifi, a fitness centre, a bar near the pool, and a new restaurant which we didn’t go to because it wasn’t open yet. They also have a shop beside the lobby which sells food and souvenirs. Across the road there is a supermarket which is great for getting snacks etc. This is a good hotel but the rooms are not suitable for wheelchairs.
Places to eat in Waikiki:
The Cheesecake Factory – is a great place to go but most of the time you have to wait for a table but the service is great and the food is good too.
PF Changs – Another great place to go, they have gluten free options which is great as there aren’t many places in Hawaii with gluten free meals. We went to this restaurant a lot! Highly recommend.
Eggs and Things – Good place for breakfast, food was nice and service was good too.
Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar – This Italian restaurant has great service and food! This is located in the Royal Hawaiian Centre. Would recommend!
Transportation in Oahu, Hawaii:
General Local Buses – We used the general buses over in Hawaii and they were cheap to use.
Shuttles – The ‘Roberts Hawaii’ shuttles picked us up for some of the activities we did. They were very helpful and funny too which made our journey into Waikiki, awesome! I would recommend using Roberts Hawaii.
Activities to do in Hawaii:
Snorkelling – We went on a snorkelling trip with ‘Ocean Joy Cruises’ on the morning cruise which includes dolphin watching, sightseeing and snorkelling. Highly recommend!! Great service, you get a meal included in the trip and the trip was for around 3 hours. The price for our cruise was $149 per person but it was definitely worth the money!! They also have a professional photographer on board and they take photos of everyone on the boat and underwater when snorkelling and they are amazing quality. You can then purchase these photos. This was by far my favourite activity to do in Oahu!
For more information on Ocean Joy Cruises, click the link below.
Swimming – Waikiki beachfront has a lovely beach to swim at, pretty much all travellers go here to swim and surf. The water is lovely and warm too!
More Activity Ideas:
Pineapple Dole Plantation:
This place is everything pineapple – like everything! At the Pineapple Dole Plantation there are various tours that you can do, such as the Pineapple Maze. This maze is shaped as a pineapple and is over three acres long and includes nearly two and a half miles of paths that are crafted from colourful Hawaiian plants. There is also a cafe where you can have lunch in between tours or activities. They also have a souvenir shop at the Pineapple Dole Plantation and they also sell candies, cookies, snacks and of course pineapple ice-cream – which is delicious!
Ala Moana Centre – You can catch the bus to the Ala Moana Centre, it has 3 levels of shops so it’s definitely a whole day activity or more. This centre also has a food court.
International Market Place:
If you are interested in doing a bit of shopping, I recommend visiting the International Market Place. There is the Ala Moana Centre but if you would like to visit somewhere that’s usually less busy and intense then I recommend going to the International Market Place which is located in Waikiki. I went here almost every day as it had a very peaceful and calm feel to it. It is open from 10am to 10pm so you can even have a look around after dinner. There are various shops such as Free People, Anthropology, L’Occitane, Lush and Seafolly, just to name a few. On the upper levels, there are different restaurants and cafes ranging from American, Japanese and Italian cuisine.
Along Waikiki there are lots of shops to go to as well and all shops are open to 10pm!
Magnum Helicopter Tours:
This is an activity for those who are wanting to see Hawaii from a birds eye view. These helicopter tours are incredible. The tropical, picturesque scenery is truly breathtaking, looking over the different sites of Hawaii such as the Pineapple Plantation, Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach and Sacred Falls, just to name a few. For those of you who like to live life on the edge like me, you can choose the ‘doors off’ tour which means that your helicopter won’t have any doors on it when you are touring around the island of Hawaii. When touring in a helicopter with no doors, you can eliminate any distorted views and you get a wider angle when looking out of the helicopter whilst feeling the wind in your hair! http://www.magnumhelicopters.com/
Paradise Cove Luau:
This is an activity to get yourself immersed in the Hawaiian culture – the Paradise Cove Luau. This seaside luau involves a night of amazing local Hawaiian cuisine, arts and crafts and entertainment such as music, hula and fire dances whilst the sun sets in the background. Arriving at Paradise Cove, you are greeted with a tropical Mai Tai and traditional Hawaiian music then you get the opportunity to walk through the Hawaiian village which is where you can learn arts and crafts and even participate in Hawaiian Games. You can also walk over to the beach where you can learn the different techniques to do with net fishing and underground oven cooking at the Imu Ceremony. Followed by the incredible buffet that includes local Hawaiian dishes and continental cuisine. If you are interested in getting to know the Hawaiian culture then I highly recommend going to a Luau. https://www.paradisecove.com/luau-packages/
Accessibility of Hawaii:
The accessibility of Hawaii was great, all the shops are accessible for wheelchairs and some have buttons that you can push and opens the door for you. Most restaurants are really accessible. I found that the whole island is great for wheelchairs!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experience in Hawaii and if you are going in the future then I hope this has helped. Hawaii is a lovely place to visit! ~
Have you seen my Vanuatu Blog yet?