During my stay at The Royal Hawaiian on Oahu last month I had the pleasure of doing a little bit of exploring. I rented a car and headed to the North Shore. I love the many different microclimates of this island. I drove through central Oahu's pineapple fields, rows of spiky plants set in bright red dirt. When I reached the North Shore I met up with a couple friends and hung out on Chun's Reef before heading into Haleiwa for lunch at Opal Thai. I love all the local hole in the wall restaurants, its so important for me to eat like a local when I travel. This simple restaurant located in a strip mall did not disappoint. The charming owner greeted us and asked us our food preferences. He ordered us a wide array of delicious spicy thai food, nothing like washing it all down with a sweet Thai iced tea. With a happy belly I headed over towards Shark's Cove in Pūpūkea. They have a great little food truck scene and I highly recommend getting a poke bowl from Pupukea Grill. I then took a nice easy stroll through Waimea's Botanical Gardens, reaching the waterfall for a quick dip.
I continued my drive along the coast and down the east side of the island. I am obsessed with this part of the island. Its extremely lush and the road curves and hugs its sharp steep mountains. Its rains a lot there causing waterfalls down its crevices. This is where both Jurassic Park and LOST were filmed. The weather was alive and wild, the light surreal. I stopped at a local farmstead where I was greeted by the most lovely local woman and her husband. She has the most beautiful selection of tropical fruit all grown in the acres behind us. She had me try some of her local delicacies and all of the fruit she grows. I walked and explored the land where the banana trees grew. I took a portrait of her that warmed my heart.
I also loved Kailua for its perfect white sand beaches. Each part of the island offers a specific kind of beauty. Stunning homes line its beaches, with sandy roads and kids on beach cruisers. I could camp out there for awhile and be completely happy. Reminded me of the Caribbean beaches I know well and love. One morning my pal took me on a hike to Makapuʻu Lighthouse. When we reached the top we saw Molokai in the distance. We hiked down to the Makapu’u Tidepools, a pretty extreme treacherous hike down sharp lava rocks. So worth it when you reach these little habitats amongst the rocks. We swam in the tide pools amongst the sea urchin and fishies. After a hard hike, we headed to Chinatown for a well deserved lunch. Stopping into Tô Chau for some Pho. Another delicious hole in the wall that I highly recommend. After all your adventures nothing beats going back to my comfortable room in the Royal Hawaiian for a little R&R. I had a massage for my achey muscles at their Abhasa Spa and a dip in the pool. Love you Oahu!
A big thank you to One Kings Lane and The Luxury Collection for sending me on this trip. Be sure to check out One Kings Lane's The Perfect Day in Wakiki sale along with this video.