Buildings of Waikiki

If you’re looking for a city break with a beach, Honolulu is where you want to be.

I haven’t been to Waikiki since I had a spiral perm, so I was surprised when visiting last week, how fantastic it was. Yeah, yeah, the travel writer raves about every place she visits, but honestly, Honolulu knocked my socks off.

Waikiki at night

Waikiki at night reminded me so much of the views I enjoyed when I lived in Japan.

From the houses that snaked their way up the side of the mountains to the onegiri available at convenience stores, Honolulu reminded me so much of Japan, and seemed to combine the best of Asia with all the conveniences of America.

Sure it’s crammed with high rises and teeming with tourists, but who gives a shit? I’m no travel snob. Here’s a look at how I spent a fantastic 24-hours in and around Honolulu, Hawaii, one of my favourite cities in the US. And if you’re looking for more intriguing travel spots in the States, these are the best places to travel to in the US – broken down by category (food, affordability, etc…) and month.

Trump Hotel Waikiki room

Pretty much every hotel on Waikiki has oceans views.

First we checked into our Waikiki hotel. The views were pretty sweet, and I could’ve stayed here for days without ever stepping foot outside. We spent the night ordering up board games and whatever else we could think of to be delivered to the room.

Man on surf board hang ten

Hang ten, dude!

Surfing Waikiki

The next morning we plunged into our surf lesson with Faith Surf School on Waikiki Beach. We’ve surfed in spots around the world, and this was probably our best experience. The water was deliciously warm and Tony, our instructor, broke it down into easily digestible steps, so we were able to stand up almost every time. Almost…

Portuguese donut

This Portuguese donut was literally the bomb.

The best donut of your life

I made everyone stop for these malasadas from Leornard’s Bakery. That’s an apple-size ball of deep fried yeast dough in case you were too lazy to click on hyper-link. The IMBer would’ve been proud of me for throwing back two of those babies whilst wearing a bikini, especially after eating a plate lunch, which by the way, is never worth the calories, unlike my new best friend, the Portuguese donut.

Oahu Beaches

Loved this keyhole view through the cave where I hastily changed in.

Halona Blowhole Lookout

Just on the other side of Diamond Head lies the Halona Blowhole Lookout, where plenty of tourists stop, but few hit the beach.

Mother and daughter swimming in the ocean

Mother and daughter waiting for waves.

Eve couldn’t get enough of this beach. Volcanic rocks to climb, swells to get swept away in. It was an adventurous kid’s fantasy. Next time I’m on island though, I want to check out some Oahu hikes.

Happy hour in Honolulu

Nasu miso

Nasu miso is one of my favourite Japanese dishes.

After zooming along the North Shore, we made it back just in time for Happy Hour. Doraku in Waikiki is where you want to go for inventive maki rolls and the best nasu miso I’ve had since my days in Japan. (Thanks for the rec, Flack-man!)

Have you ever been to Waikiki? Did you love it or hate it?

Thank you to the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau and O’ahu Visitors Bureau for sponsoring my visit. As always, my opinions (and crap grammar) are my own.