Hawaii Hangs | Local Spots & More

To be honest, Hawaii was never on the top of my list of places to visit. I always thought it was overrated. But boy was I wrong. My friends Kalen and Nikki who live there were the main reason this trip was simply amazing. Thank you both for taking me exploring to all the tropical spots.

Now I get to share them with you, so turn on some Jack Johnson and begin pinning your Hawaiian adventure.

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China Walls |

After passing through some residential area, you discover this tiny treasure tucked away in Hawaii Kai.  Its called Koko Kai Mini Beach Park (China Walls). Once you find parking along Hanapepe Loop, be ready to cliff jump into the Pacific ocean.

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quick break

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“James, act natural.”     *strikes a pose*

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Kimono: Woven Heart

Swim Suit: Marysia

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Koko Head Crater Trail |

This is a steep climb to the top of Koko Head Crater with over 1,000 stair steps —but felt more like 10,000 steps. Highly recommend hiking Koko Heard early in the morning before the sun hits too harsh and don’t forget some water!

Koko Head
Before we realized how tough the hike would be..

Koko Head

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Met this cutie called “Miso” along the way.
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The trail consists of abandoned railroad ties that run along the crater’s west side to the top. Fun fact: the military used them during World War II  to transport supplies to a lookout post at the summit.

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The spectacular view is so worth the hike. Give yourself some time to sit, relax and enjoy the beauty God’s surrounded us with. Also, take a nice long breath before realizing you still have to hike all the way back down .. (:
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Sandy Beach Park |

Oh Sandy, I love how secluded this beach is located on the Oahu south shore. It’s not as crowded as the downtown Honolulu beaches and there are also food trucks on site so that’s a win. This is the perfect place to come to after a long hike at Koko.

Any bodysurfers out there?  The powerful currents and steep shorebreaks makes this one of the best beaches in Oahu for experienced bodyboarders and bodysurfers. Sandys is also known as “the beach with broken necks,” so swimmers be careful.

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Couldn’t get enough of Sandys so I went back another night with a friend to a spot on the far left side that the locals call Irmas. This might be my favorite beach, ever.  Thank you Brock for the little tour! x

Honolulu Zoo |

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Any new place I visit, I always have to check out the local zoo. There’s a lot to do in Hawaii, but the zoo is a must. The weather was lovely for a zoo day too!

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Waikiki Beach |

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Just outside the zoo—literally walking distance, is Waikiki Beach. There are many activities to enjoy at Waikiki that range from surfing to sailing. This is definitely a touristy spot as Waikiki is known as one of the best beaches in the world. Most Oahu hotels are here along with many restaurants and plenty of shops.

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Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail |

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Compared to Koko Head, Makapu’u Point is a breeze. This trail is paved with cement which helps minimize the risk of falling. There are many scenic views along the hike, including a lighthouse. Towards the top of the hike, there is a trail that you can take down to visit the tide pools. If you’re lucky, there’s also whale-watching potential! 

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Hungry? Here are a few of my favorite food spots:

Island Brew Coffeehouse |

I absolutely loved being able to walk to Island Brew Coffeehouse in the mornings. They have a variety of premium coffees and local, organic breakfast and lunch options, plus a waterfront patio. Also, how cute is the inside!? 

Health Bar |

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I came to Hawaii for two main reasons and one of those reasons was Açaí bowls. Health Bar had a banging Açaí bowl. Plus the cutest workers and they were so sweet!

Moku Kitchen |

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Moku Kitchen was one of the nicer restaurants I visited and of course, I still got tacos.

Fresh Catch |

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Another recommendation by a local friend and it was soooo good.   Fresh Catch serves local-style poke, seafood, plate lunches, stews & soups. I got poke and it was delicious.

Haleiwa Bowls |

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I couldn’t just have one acai bowl in Hawaii. After a fun day at North Shore, Haleiwa Bowls is the perfect pit stop to eat some acai bowls. I am still drooling over this!

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Cream N Roll |

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Dessert anyone? This was my first time trying rolled ice-cream and it was quite the experience. From the creation process to how they serve you, it’s lovely. Definitely satisfied my sweet tooth!

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Leonard’s Bakery |

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Malasadas: a Portuguese doughnut without a hole, can be found at Leonard’s Bakery. There are different coating options (Original, Cinnamon Sugar, and Li Hing)  but I recommend the original flavor. SO good.

Bubbies |

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Do yourself a favor and try the Mochi ice cream at Bubbies. If you’re craving ice cream but don’t necessarily want a whole scoop or bowl, Bubbies offers bite-sized ice creams wrapped in sweetened rice dough. The exterior is soft and chewy and there’s creamy slow-churned ice cream tucked inside. Some flavor options are mango, chocolate coconut, red velvet, triple chocolate, pistachio and many more.

Great, now I’m craving this…need one in FL asap!

Hanauma Bay |

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Formed within a volcanic cone, Hanauma Bay offers a pristine marine ecosystem. It is the perfect spot to go snorkeling at!

What to Bring:
•  $7.50 (park entrance fee)
• Towel
• Swimsuit
• Snorkeling gear, we rented it here: Island Divers
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North Shore |

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If I could only choose one spot to go back to, it would be North Shore. This was everything you think of when you think of Hawaii. From the Pipeline House to the crystal blue water, I could never get enough.

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Dole Plantation |

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On the way back from North Shore, we stopped at the Dole Plantation, because you can’t go to Hawaii and not visit the historic pineapple plantation!?

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There’s a lot of options in their shop for all you Pineapple lovers!

Diamond Head |

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Jack: “Where to, Miss?”
Rose: “To the stars.”

With breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Diamond Head is a must. The trail takes you to the edge of a 300,000 year-old crater. The hike isn’t that long in terms of distance, but parts of the trail are over uneven rock, and the 99 steps near the end of the hike are quite steep. If you plan on hiking, try to get there early, as parking fills up quickly.

Time: about 1.5 hours to complete
Entrance Fee: $5.00 per car or $1 per person   

Neat Fact: The US military used Diamond Head as a post for preventing attacks against Honolulu.

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And there you have it folks, all my favorite spots in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hopefully now you have an idea of some places you can visit! Leave comments on any questions you have and I’ll be happy to get back to you xo

Locations |
China Walls
Koko Head Crater Trail
Sandy Beach Park
Honolulu Zoo
Waikiki Beach
Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail
Hanauma Bay
North Shore
Dole Plantation
Diamond Head

Food |
Island Brew Coffeehouse 
Da Cove Health Bar 
Moku Kitchen 
Fresh Catch
Haleiwa Bowls
Cream N Roll 
Leonard’s Bakery 
Bubbies

Clothes |
Floral Embroidered Kimono (discount code: katzvoyage20)
White Knitted Poncho (discount code: katsvoyage20)
Black Broadway Bikini
L.A. Gear Colorblocked Anorak
Honey Tee
Yellow Triangle-Bikini Top

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144 Replies to “Hawaii Hangs | Local Spots & More”

  1. Hawaii is so beautiful but I hear you on it being overrated. I actually went to Maui last summer as my high school graduation gift from my grandmother! Lovely post as always

  2. I’m in love with your photos! It’s so… blue and lush and gorgeous! I freakin’ hate tropical climates and beaches and stuff (I live in a tropical beach town, myself) but Hawaii is so dang pretty maybe I wouldn’t mind visiting.

  3. We love HI and go there every year! So happy you captured all these spots that we can hit next time we are on Oahu!

  4. Seriously love these pics!! Makes me want to go to Hawaii!! And now I know all the best spots to go to, thanks babe, great post!

  5. Wow!!! This looks like paradise. My husband used to live in Hawaii and he keeps saying he wants to take me 😀 I LOVE your bathing suit, and you are freaking gorgeous by the way! Such good pictures!

  6. These photos look amazing! The colour of the sky is incredible 😍 I would love to visit Hawaii one day 🙄

  7. I have to admit I’m a bit like you – I would never have put it at the top of my list because it feels like one of those places that everyone wants to go.

  8. THIS LOOKS LIKE A DREAM! So happy I found it because it has made me decide once and for all that I want to visit Hawaii ASAP… Questions: Are you friends available as tour guides? and can I also have Miso the dog as a climbing partner? Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pics – Kate @ TheHomeWanderers.com

  9. This place looks so beautiful! Definitely going on my bucket list! I also thought that Hawaii was overrated but looking at your trip and reading about it has definitely made me want to go even more! Lol Great post!

  10. Wow your photos are so beauitful – especially the view from Koko Head Crater! I’m planning of going in February. Do you think it’s a good time to go or is it cold and rainy?

  11. Hawaii has never been on my bucketlist either, but wow, your photos have changed my mind! It looks absolutely gorgeous!

  12. We absolutely loved Hawaii and would love to venture back soon. We saw all the inlands via a cruise but would love to focus in on Maui and Kauai on our return trip, which actual island stays. Love you picture and your adventures.

  13. Beautiful photos! I just got back from Maui recently was blown away by the beauty of the island! It looks like I will have to visit Oahu next!

  14. Diamond Head was definitely one of my favorite highlights when I visited Oahu! And oh, the shark encounters, too. I’m so glad you had such a great visit with friends! It definitely helps to have a place to stay when visiting Hawaii, especially Oahu because it’s so expensive! Great post, it definitely made me miss Hawaii!

    Chana, http://www.weforthree.com

  15. Looks like a really fun trip – your photos are great! You definitely made me want to get back to Hawaii. I never realized there was so much to see and do around Honolulu – I was only there once and it seemed so crowded and touristy – it really helps to know some locals who can show you places off the beaten path. If you ever go back, I highly recommend Kauai – less populated, more natural, lots of amazing sites like the Na Pali Coast.

  16. Hawaii just looks like one big fun adventure, I love all the pictures that you took. They are so beautiful. Hawaii is on my bucket list for sure. It does not look like I would ever get bored there.

  17. You have definitely made me put Hawaii as one of my travel destinations. The beaches, the mountains, the lush greenery and also the food looks amazing. Great pics.

  18. Love your photos! Looks like you had a fantastic adventure.👍🏼 I am delighted to hear that Hawaii did not disappoint. We lived on the islands for 5 years and tho we are out and about, we still miss it and intend to retire there when we are ready.

  19. I don’t know about overrated, but based on the photos, I definitely would want to visit the place! Thank you for all of the vivid and colourful photos. Also Miso is smiling, that’s awesome! 🙂

  20. There is absolutely so much more to see and do when I realised about Hawaii, I’d love to visit there some day and see of these spots. I’ve pinned this post for future use, you’ve been to some great places I’d love to explore myself.

    Mel ★ meleaglestone.co.uk

  21. I LOVE that black swimsuit + kimono combo! Love the cut of the suit, too. Really, really cute. Also, really beautiful photos of Hawaii. Looks like a gorgeous trip with lots of smiles.

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