Recently (the summer of 2017), I visited Honolulu for a week with my family. It was my third time in Hawaii, with the previous two times when I was really young, so I really appreciated the vacation this time around. Needless to say, it was a great way to end my summer break before having to go back to school!
For today's post, I thought it'd be nice to share a couple reasons why you should head down to Hawaii for your next vacation. I'm going to be talking about specifically Honolulu in the island of Oahu because it's the only island I've been to, all three times. Now, you can go to Hawaii whenever you want. It doesn't have to be during summer; you can go anytime! Hawaii is essentially warm year round, but I suggest going in the spring or summer. It's only a bit cooler in the winter, but honestly, it just feels right going during the hotter season.
1. The beaches are amazing.
I visited both Diamond Head Beach and Waikiki Beach during my trip. Both beaches are located extremely close to Sheraton Waikiki, the hotel I stayed at. Let me just say this: those beaches are gorgeous. It's so so relaxing, and a lot of Honolulu's beaches are located near hotels, so often times you'll hear fun music and smell the aroma of delicious food.
2. An abundance of water activities.
There's so much you can do. You can snorkel and observe sea turtles; you can attend submarine tours; you can even go further than snorkeling and try out deep sea diving. I personally did the first two, although I snorkeled the second time I went to Hawaii. I actually had to stay away from water activities the first half of the trip because I had my lady problems and unfortunately I just can't bring myself to use a tampon (yikes). The submarine tour was fantastic. You really do get to see tons of aquatic animals, including the occasional shark and sea turtle.
If you're not a big fan of the sea, there are always pools. I myself do prefer pools over beaches because I am not a big fan of the salty water getting in my eyes and my mouth, but then again, the ocean has naturally occurring waves that I love to play in. I also love building sand castles (okay, more like sand "structures" because I really can't make anything that resembles a castle) and just sitting on a beach chair and admiring the view. So beaches are kind of a win lose situation for me. More than often, I will spend the first half of a day lounging by the pool and swimming, and the second half, relaxing on the sand at the beach and occasionally entering the sea water. I like staying on the beach the latter part of the day because experiencing the sunsets and listening to the crashing sounds of the waves at the same time is literally paradise.
3. There is plenty of nightlife and land activities.
Now, if you're just not a big fan of water in general, DON'T FEAR, because there's still so much to do on land. Although the general consensus when visiting Hawaii is that you're going to swim at some point, that's honestly not the case, because again, there's so many activities. When I was dealing with my lady problems the first half of my vacation, I thought that I would be bored out of my mind, because I couldn't enter the water. But I was pretty much proved wrong. You can hike to the top of the volcanic crater on Diamond Head Beach, attend a luau while celebrating culture and tradition, or even just go shopping at Hawaii's amazing shopping center complexes. When I was visiting, there was actually a street fair happening. My family and I spent about an hour exploring the fair and indulged in some delicious snacks. For example, we bought freshly squeezed lemonade at a stand. Here's a picture:
There's a lot to do during the night as well. For example, street performances are a big thing! When my family and I would finish dinner, we would always walk back to the hotel instead of taking an Uber or taxi, so that we could experience the diverse performances. On one side of the street, there were people banging on drums, and on the other side, dancers showing off their coolest dance tricks and moves. Of course there are also a bunch of bars and nightclubs. I remember that when my brother and I would go to sleep around midnight, my mom and dad would leave and go downstairs to the bar conveniently located in the hotel lobby.
4. Hawaii is a family friendly location.
Aside from the adult attractions, Honolulu and Hawaii in general is very family friendly. Most hotels have pools dedicated to children and teens, decorated with lifesavers and waterslides. A pool / beach day is always relaxing and something fun to do with the kids. If you're traveling with children, Hawaii is the place to go if you're looking for a vacation to just wind down and breathe. And of course, Hawaii is known for its sea and marine life. Museums dedicated to this topic would be really fun to visit. Like I mentioned before, submarine tours or even boat rides would be cool as well.
5. The FOOD.
The food and cuisine is of course something I most vividly remember from my trip. Now, I'm about to tell you my most favorite "food court" I have ever been too... Waikiki Yokocho. It's basically an underground complex filled with restaurants, all serving Japanese cuisine!! If you aren't a fan of Japanese food, then this complex is not for you. But, as an avid fan of ramen, udon, sushi, teppanyaki, curry, you name it, my family and I fell in love with this place, so much so that we returned almost every night for dinner, or even after dinner at another restaurant to grab a late night bite. We actually made it a goal to try all the ramen restaurants in the complex, and we almost fulfilled it! There were 4 restaurants and we ate 3 by the last day of our trip. Anyways, all the restaurants we tried out in the "food court" really did taste authentic to real Japanese food. I've been to Japan recently so I am legible to make this comparison. Needless to say, the food was amazing, and we would have eaten there more if we had discovered the area a tad bit earlier.
Continuing the Japanese food trend, there was a stand alone restaurant just a few blocks away from Sheraton Waikiki called Marukame Udon. This is legit one of the best udon restaurants I have ever been to. It's so popular that there's always a line waiting outside of the restaurant. But a half hour wait is honestly so worth it.
Besides the legendary Japanese food you can find in Honolulu, there's shaved ice stands, barbecue, and my favorite chocolate covered macadamia nuts. I can literally finish a box a day, although I try not to, thinking about all the sugar. But it's just so so good. If you go to Hawaii you'll notice a lot of "ABC Stores", like the ones you can find in Las Vegas. Basically, these stores sell everything that a tourist would want to buy, such as portable fans for those hot days, snacks and treats true to the culture of the area, key chains, T-shirts, and more. It's where I bought my chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
To conclude, even if you don't like the water very much, you should still consider visiting, because of the amazing views and the abundance of off-water activities. You can enjoy the nature, the food, the nightlife, and much, much more. There's a lot more that I want to talk about and expand on, but I wanted to keep this as short as possible. But yeah, Hawaii is just awesome!
Have a great day!