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Island Guide: Oahu, Hawaii

Trave Guide: HawaiiIt’s been a cold, snowy, icy week here in North Carolina, so it seemed time to share one of my favorite trips of 2014 to the warm, sunny climate of Hawaii.

Neither my husband nor I would ever classify ourselves as “beach people.” Yet, I don’t think it’s possible to do anything but adore Hawaii. Somehow, this island paradise is a U.S. state, even if I feel like I’m in another country every time I visit. One reason we keep returning to Hawaii is that it’s so much more than beaches. It’s full of adventure and culture. It’s wild and untamed, and breathtakingly beautiful. There’s always something to do, something to explore. And that allure will keep us coming back.

Click any photo to open the gallery.

As usual for our vacations, we consider the eating just as important as any other part of the trip. Since we had a cottage, we ate several of our meals in, and we also found a local seafood market in Waianae, Boyd’s Fish Market, where we got local ahi. But we also ate out at some great places, and my favorites are below.

Favorite Eats

  • Pa’ina Cafe. Paina is the home of the poke bowl. If you love traditional Hawaiian poke which is marinated raw seafood (typically ahi tuna), chances are good you’ll love a poke bowl, complete with rice and other accompaniments. It’s much like the Hawaiian version of Chipotle. Paina is a great merger of traditional Hawaiian food and modern convenience.
  • Nico’s at Pier 38. Freshest fish I ate the whole trip, possibly excepting some we bought at market and cooked ourselves. They have a daily special which is usually something caught that day.
  • Coffee Gallery. Tucked away in a little strip mall along the North Shore, this place would be easy to miss. But if you love coffee, plan for a stop. As they say, “the 7-mile miracle starts with us.”
  • Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Also along the North Shore, off Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa, this area features several food trucks, but we came for this one based on a local recommendation. They serve garlic shrimp scampi, and it’s delicious.
  • Duke’s Waikiki. Even though this place has become a bit touristy, it’s still good food and you can’t beat the view, since it’s right on Waikiki. I had the macademia nut chicken katsu with guava and lilikoi sauces, and it was yummy.
  • Kalapawai Market. Within walking distance of Kailua Beach, this local market has some delicious lunch options, as well as a coffee bar and lots of snack options.



5 thoughts on “Island Guide: Oahu, Hawaii

  1. It’s a shame we didn’t really know each other at that point. I would have loved to get to meet you! I live in Honolulu. Niko’s is one of my favorite places on the planet and I would have rocket launched at the chance to meet a friendly face!! Glad you enjoyed the island 🙂 It looks like you had a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You live in Hawaii?? Oh, how lovely! Yes, what fun it would have been to meet up for coffee, especially since I was there during NaNo — we could have had a writing session together! Did you ever go to any Honolulu NaNo events? I looked them up on the NaNo site and almost made it to a write-in at Paina Cafe, and then missed it because we were off doing something. Too bad! Next time! 🙂 We LOVE Hawaii. It’s a long haul for North Carolina, but always worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I’m not really much of a beach person, and my husband is from Seattle, so he’s not too into super sunny or warm either, but Hawaii is just different. I love it. It’s gorgeous and there are so many things to do there. Hope you get to go sometime!


      1. There’s a million and one other places I want to get to first. I want to go to all the cold places before I go to the warm ones!!


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