Hawaiian Travel Highlights: Oahu

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Since you visited the North Shore, you should drive around the coast at the south end. From Kailua, make your first stop Sweet Home Waimanalo for lunch or dinner. It is easy to overlook this little cafe and I'm glad I checked it out online after we'd driven past it a few times. They have a rooftop garden, serve locally grown produce and meats, and strive to be a zero-waste restaurant. And the food - oh my goodness. We ordered everything from fish tacos to Kalua pork to Portuguese sweet potatoes to cornbread and it was all excellent.

Stop at Ka Iwi and hike to the Makaapu lighthouse. We didn't make it all of the way -- too hot, no water, I'm old and Jenn was very very pregnant. We got about halfway and turned around but the views were beautiful and I'd love to go all of the way on our next visit.


Next stop -- the Blowhole for some amazing photos.

I highly recommend snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. I was a little worried about the mixed reviews on Yelp but I have nothing but great things to say about our experience. We arrived early, otherwise the parking is full and you can't access the park, and had a great time. Neither the beach or the water were too crowded and we saw a ton of fish. We brought my daughter's friend Steph, who is not a fan of snorkeling or fish or coral reefs, and she loved it, too.

Don't skip the hike to the top of Diamond Head It's not an easy hike and you should carry at least one bottle of water per person but it's worth the climb -- and I do mean climb. TW was very grouchy with me for making her go to the top -- but she loved going down and was ready to do it all over again. I wasn't. Thankfully, she was happy eating a shave ice and bird watching in the park.


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