Hawaii has been on my bucket list for years! So this past January we decided to book it! We got a really good deal on flights and an ocean front bungalow (so much more to come on this) right after the New Year. I’ve heard this is the best time to book a trip, and this 100 percent proved to be true for us! So, here’s a little recap from our trip, from where we stayed to where we ate.
We stayed at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu. Not only was it an amazing view of the ocean from our room, the sound of the waves was like a real life sound machine at night. The bungalow had sliding doors that opened out on to a lanai. We slept with only the screen door closed, and it was heaven. We also ordered room service and ate every breakfast out on the lanai– champagne, OJ, eggs Bennie. Ugh, take me back.
The drive from the airport in Honolulu to Turtle Bay was about an hour. We rented a convertible and it was one of our best decisions of the whole trip. We were able to take in the views, enjoy the beautiful weather (24/7 beautiful weather), and we weren’t stuck at our resort or relying on transportation. While we had a couple of dinners at the resort, we left for most of them.
And now to my favorite part… drum roll…..the food.
Our first stop was found with a quick Google search about the favorite spots for locales. We were on our way to the resort and looking for something quick after an eight hour flight. We landed on The Islander Drive Inn. This was not a drive inn at all. It was a little counter inside a strip mall with a few seats. But it had the most amazing Bbq teriyaki chicken, rice and macaroni salad!
Oahu is known for its food trucks and we took advantage of them for all of our lunches . We had garlic butter shrimp from Fumi’s and Giovanni’s. Giovanni’s is the popular spot, but I thought they were both pretty good. We also had a lobster dog from a place called Hawaii’s Only, it’s literally a corn dog with lobster inside instead of a hot dog– must try. This place also has smoothies served inside a pineapple, if that’s your thing. I personally don’t like pineapple.
On our way to lunch one day we spotted a little roadside fruit stand and had to stop. The farm was right behind it, so we could see where they were getting all of the fruits and veggies from. I had to get a coconut, and I also grabbed from avocado with some sort of red pepper flakes on it. It was unique, but I thought ‘when in Rome.’
One afternoon, we drove to Haleiwa to check out all of the shops and get some famous Hawaiian shave ice. The line is pretty long at Matsumoto, but it went pretty quick. There’s plenty of entertainment around while you wait, whether you’re outside watching all of the young hula dancers or inside looking at stuff in the shop.
We spent two full days visiting the food trucks in Kahuku and the shops in Haleiwa. That was plenty of time. When we were don’t we’d head back to the resort and hang out by the pool.
We had three full days, and the last one we spent just laying around by the pool (the bungalows have a private pool that was very relaxing), reading and checking out the rest of the resort. There was a beach right next to the resort, and while there are no private beaches in Hawaii, it was much less crowded than the others in Oahu, especially on the weekends!
For our dinners we ate at Beach House by Roy Yamaguchi at Turtle Bay. Of course, it was right on the ocean. We got to watch the sunset and it was probably my favorite. I mean look at this gorgeous sunset picture.
One night we decided to have dinner closer to the south shore of Oahu. We went for poke at Uahi Island Grill, not far from Waikiki. We walked the beaches of Waikiki to check it out too. Honestly, this is a very touristy spot filled with ABC stores and I was much happier on the North Shore with a much more romantic getaway feel.
On our last night we went to the Toa Luau at the Polynesian cultural center in Waimea. It was amazing and the others at our table who’d been to others in the area said it was the best. We were celebrating our two-year anniversary, so we got anniversary beads! It was well worth the money– long and entertaining from start to finish.
This was my favorite vacation Mike and I have ever taken together. It was the perfect amount of relaxing and fun, especially considering it was long weekend away from a toddler at home. When we go back we definitely want to stay in a bungalow again.