Spending New Years and bringing in 2019 in Oahu, Hawaii. A trip recap including where to eat, the best things to do in Oahu and places to go.
I’ll be honest, you’re pretty lucky to even be reading this Hawaii recap post. I was about five minutes away from leaving it all behind and moving there forever!
In all seriousness, this was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken. After a very difficult year with Albus’ IVDD recovery, it was so nice to get to just sit on a beach and relax. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year and begin a new one.
We went to Oahu and stayed on Waikiki but we also ventured all over the island and got to see and do a lot of great stuff. Here I want to give you some advice on what to do, what to see and what to see in Oahu! I’d definitely recommend it as a great vacation for anyone.
We got a Go Oahu card at Costco which made it really easy to book excursions. We didn’t even take full advantage of it as we were mainly focused on relaxing each day but you could definitely take advantage of all it has to offer and do a lot of fun activities! Plus it helps save you money. Even with the limited amount of things we did, we saved money on them using the card so I would definitely recommend it.
What we did in Oahu and Recommended Things to Do:
- Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park
- The Lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
- Hike to Waimea Falls through the Botanical Gardens in Waimea Valley
- Secret Island Beach at Kualoa Ranch
- Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
- Kailua Beach
We actually did a deal through AAA to get our flights, transportation and our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort which obviously was pretty touristy but we did plenty to get out and about all over the island.
I actually enjoyed the resort, as there were a lot of pools there, plenty of restaurants and it was just a nice feeling of having a little city within a much bigger place. It was nice to walk around and have plenty of amenities as well.
Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park
We used our Go Oahu card for this and it was a fun experience. There was one other luau for us to choose from but I believe it was at the Polynesian cultural center so they did not sell alcohol so we chose this one instead. (Had to have me a Mai Tai).
Beautiful location overlooking the ocean, buffet style food with plenty of activities and a good show.
The Lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
This was one of the fun parts of staying at this resort. They have a lagoon where you can rent chairs and umbrellas, paddle boards, etc. and it’s all steps from the hotel. It was really nice to just lay out and relax there. They also have a firework show every Friday.
Hike to Waimea Falls through the Botanical Gardens in Waimea Valley
This was an absolutely beautiful walk. It was so serene, peaceful and lovely to walk this and then to get to the waterfall. They do sometimes allow you to go in the water too depending on weather conditions that day.
Secret Island Beach at Kualoa Ranch
This was so fun! You take a little boat to the secret island beach where they have all kinds of activities–kayaking, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, swings, etc. and it was really nice to be in such a secluded area. I curled up in a hammock overlooking the ocean and read a book.
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
This was my first time snorkeling and I really enjoyed it! This is an absolutely beautiful location. They have rentals there or you can rent beforehand and just bring it with you. We set this up through the Go Oahu card so we got our rentals and transportation included.
This is a really beautiful beach with lots of surfers and a lot of people kite surfing as well!
Another nice to beach to walk around. A lot of people jump off the cliffs into the ocean.
Where we Ate and Recommend Places to Eat:
Tropics Bar & Grill
This restaurant was at the hotel we stayed at and we tried it right after we got in and were really hungry. I really liked it. Definitely not cheap but the drinks were great and the food was good too. Plus you can’t beat the view! Right on the beach. We also came the day we were leaving for brunch which was also good.
This place was recommended by multiple people and the breakfast was pretty good! I had the crab cake benedict and it was good plus it’s got pretty views if you sit outside as well.
We had happy hour here one day and it was a great time to just watch the sunset and drink some cocktails overlooking the ocean.
Brew & Foam
My favorite coffee shop by far! I’ll be honest, most of the coffee I had in Oahu was mediocre at best so I was pretty excited when we found this place. Delicious cold brew and nitro cold brew!