Happy Friday, beauties!
I can’t believe it’s already June – the best month ever! My birthday is next weekend and I’m SO excited – eek! A lot of you have been asking to see photos from my Hawaii trip and I’m so excited to finally share them with you (you’ve probably already seen some sneak peaks here, here, here, and here)! Things have been super crazy since I’ve returned home, but I finally found some time to edit and will be sharing photos in various posts over the next few weeks (along with my OOTD posts of course!). Today, I wanted to share my Honolulu Travel Guide: where we stayed, where we ate, what we did! Enjoy <3
So this is my first time actually taking travel photos – WOO! I mean, I always take photos…but never with me in them because I’m usually behind the camera haha! When my husband and I booked this anniversary trip, we knew we wanted to take full advantage of all the beauty that Hawaii had to offer. We also knew that lugging around our giant DSLR and multiple lenses would be a difficult task so we invested in a much smaller camera specifically for travel! We were going back and forth between the Sony and Canon for months before we ultimately decided on this one! We took it to the flower fields to test it out the week before we left and were so impressed with the quality!
We are both people that really enjoy being in the moment when we’re traveling, but I really wanted to capture our trip in a different way and be able to share it with you all. While working on vacation doesn’t seem like much fun, it actually worked out quite well! We woke up at 5am everyday to take photos. before officially starting our day (which wasn’t hard because we were still on west coast time). As soon as the sun rose, we were out and about exploring our hotel and experimenting with our new camera. Afterwards, we would grab some breakfast and head out for the day’s itinerary! Being up early was really nice because it meant that we got the most out of our trip 🙂
All photo talk aside…this was our first trip to Hawaii. We were torn between Oahu and Maui so we decided to go to both lol! First stop in my Honolulu Travel Guide…Oahu!
Originally, my husband had his heart set on Turtle Bay because that’s where Forgetting Sarah Marshall took place haha! BUT…when I came across the most beautiful pink hotel on Instagram, I knew it was fate and I begged him to reconsider lol. Being that Turtle Bay was on the complete other side of the island, he happily obliged and as soon as we stepped foot into this pretty pink palace, he agreed that it was the best decision. This pretty pink hotel was the Royal Hawaiian, of course! I am going to talk more about our stay next week so stay tuned 😉
The Royal Hawaiian is centrally located in Honolulu directly on the famed Waikiki Beach and was close to all of our excursions so it was a no brainer. Honolulu was crazy as expected, but what I didn’t expect was the crazy traffic! I live in California where the speed limit is like 65mph and people drive FAST. The speed limit in Honolulu was significantly lower so not only did it take forever to get anywhere, but people took their time doing so. There also seemed to be an accident each time we drove somewhere and it was very difficult to get on the freeways as you had to take many side streets, most of which were one way. The lesson here…allow a good amount of time to get from one place to another 😉
Honolulu itself was surprisingly really lovely! A lot of people had told us that it was super touristy and while it was crowded, it was actually an amazing city! Our hotel was within walking distance of many amazing restaurants, popular retail stores (many of them very high end) and an endless array of activities. Each night after dinner, we took a walk around town, just taking in the beauty of it all…the sights, smells and sounds.
Waikiki was also a dream! It wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be and it was just absolutely beautiful. The water was the most gorgeous shade of turquoise and crystal clear (if you followed along on stories, you saw this first hand – also, these photos were just taken after sunrise so instead of the bright blue you see later in the day, it was a stunning pastel!)
This might surprise you but I am NOT a fan of seafood. Neither is my husband haha. I’m pretty sure we ate a cheeseburger at every restaurant we went to lol!
- We ate a lot of pastries from the Royal Hawaiian Bakery – cookies, banana nut bread, brownies, muffins, etc.
- Surf Lanai (located at the Royal Hawaiian) – they have the most adorable pink pancakes! I had a hearty breakfast with eggs, sausage and the best hash browns ever while my husband had the most amazing Banana Bread French Toast!
- We were usually out and about for lunch so we usually grabbed some snacks from the Sheraton next door to take with us.
- Islands – This was pretty much the one lunch we had lol! We stopped by the mall for a quick look around and ate here before heading to Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, I was not impressed at all and wished would have gone to Bubba Gump’s instead haha!
- Cheesecake Factory – We went here after we had just arrived to the hotel and found it while we were exploring the area. We both had the best bacon cheeseburgers ever!
- California Pizza Kitchen – Not really sure why we ate here because we have one down the street, but my husband insisted lol! He seriously cannot go a week without pizza!
- Hard Rock Cafe – So we kind of have this thing where we go to a Hard Rock every time we travel. We went to the one in London and Venice while we were in Europe so I guess that’s just our special travel place haha! The food was amazing as always and I really loved the layout of this location! Plus we got some fun souvenirs 😉
- Duke’s – I had heard amazing things about this place and was dying to try it out. We waited an hour and let me tell you, it was WORTH IT. The food was AMAZING!!! So good that we also went in Maui lol!
What We Did
- Waikiki Beach – Our hotel was literally ON the beach so we had easy access and were out there everyday for sunrise and every night for sunset.
- Kualoa Ranch aka Jurassic Park – So…my heart was set on the ATV tour and my husband assured me that we could schedule two days in advance. Not the case. While we missed out on riding ATV’s through the jungle, we ended up going on the regular tour which was actually a lot of fun! We got to see some gorgeous scenery along with various movie sites along a very, very bumpy road. Sadly, we missed out on the zipline too so we’ll have to schedule that one for next time 😉
- Pearl Harbor – We went only for the USS Arizona and ended up spending hours here! Sadly, they had detected issues with the USS Arizona right before we arrived so we didn’t get to walk out on the platform, but we did ride out to see it anyway. We also took a tour of the Bowfin Submarine and that was really neat!
- Ala Moana – This place is HUGE! It has over 300 stores ranging from high end to low end with everything in between. We came back twice just because it was so large that we didn’t get to see it all in the first trip. We did some shopping and of course, I stopped into my favorites! I was in heaven walking through Kate Spade and Ted Baker!
- Diamondhead – We hiked up to the top of Diamondhead and were met with the most amazing views of Honolulu! The hike itself wasn’t too difficult but then again, we hike a lot lol! The weather ranged from hot and humid at the base to windy and rainy at the top so my lightweight waterproof jacket came in handy.
- Drive to Lanikai – When I googled “Best Beach in Oahu,” Lanikai Beach popped up. We decided to drive up one day and just explore everything along the way. There were so many gorgeous beaches and amazing views from the turn outs! I loved the Lanai lookout, Halona Blowhole lookout, Makapuu lookout (my fave!) and of course, the beautiful Lanikai Beach. Initially, it was very difficult to find parking as all the streets nearby are one way and there really isn’t parking along the street. We ended up parking near Kailua Beach Park and made our way up from there and let me me just say that it was worth the drive!
- When we weren’t out exploring the island, we were lounging at our gorgeous hotel <3
Last but not least, let’s chat about this amazing dress! Before I left, I picked out some pieces from Rent the Runway (check out my full review here). This dress was absolute favorite! I loved it so much that I wore it twice haha! I almost didn’t want to send it back – it was that amazing!
Anyway, I know this post is different than my typical fashion posts, but I hope you enjoyed my Honolulu Travel Guide! If you want to see more posts like this, let me know! And stay tuned for more outfits and photos from my trip 🙂
Have you been to Oahu?
If so, what was your favorite part?
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Last week’s most clicked on look was…
As if it wasn’t obvious from last week’s post, I love a good pattern mix! This outfit is pure perfection and she has so many other cute combos in her post!
Welcome to the Friday Favorites link up with your co-hosts Liz from Lizzie in Lace and Jo from Le Fab Chic!