Oahu: Not Beaches

by Gabrielle Antonette

For those of you who are, maybe, less obsessed with beaches than I am, there are other things to see and do in Oahu. There's food! I enthusiastically recommend, in order of importance: any fruit from any fruit stand, Ono Seafood for poke, Sweet Home Cafe for hot pots (this might be one of my favorite restaurants, period), King's Village Farmers Market for malasadas (Portuguese donuts), macadamia nut ice cream from BubbiesGiovanni's Shrimp TruckYuZu for sushi, M. Matsumoto for shave ice, Brue Bar for a hip coffee experience, and Zippy's for the local late-night diner scene. 

There's also culture. Valley of the Temples, including the Byodo-in Temple, is truly special and should be fit into even the shortest trip to the island. It's an expansive, hilly park containing all kinds of beautiful temples and graves. Chinatown goes wild for First Friday. There's dancing at the Downbeat Lounge and karaoke almost everywhere. Chinatown is also great (and significantly less wild) any other day of the month. We enjoyed some smooth Hawaiian jams at The Willows. There is live music sometimes, but not all the time, and we only recommend going when there is. 

And nature. Tantalus Lookout, atop a mountain overlooking Honolulu, Diamond Head, and the ocean, is an incredible place to watch the sunset. There are endless places to hike. We can vouch for Palolo Valley, although this area is not for the faint of heart, as some of the trails are not maintained and/or are very narrow along cliffs. The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum and nearby Manoa Falls trail are full of gorgeousness and tranquility like no other. 

Posted on June 4, 2014 .