O’ahu is one of my favorite places. It’s easy to get to, the weather and food are awesome, and it’s a perfect weekend away. Therefore, this list will be constantly updated with new favorites as I find them. The last trip to O’ahu was literally a 24 hour weekend trip, and as I always say, a day in Hawaii is better than no day in Hawaii.
This update focuses on car-free Waikiki. Parking (and driving) in Waikiki is pretty expensive and annoying, so it’s nice to be able to wander around and use The Bus or Uber/Lyft for longer journeys.
One day in Hawaii is better than no days in Hawaii. –Amy
Marukame Udon: it’s worth the wait in line for delicious, fresh-made udon noodles and tempura goodness. I like the cold zaru noodles.
Bill’s: An Australian chain, nice for breakfast and lighter meals. Bill’s salad is my go-to (get the haloumi) and the interior space is fresh.
Roy’s: Classic Hawaiian. The prix fixe (lava cake!) is a good value.
Diamond Head: I like to walk from whatever hotel I’m at to Diamond Head and back for some exercise (if I don’t head out to Koko or another hiking spot). Yes, it’s crowded and full of tourists, but that view…
Waikiki Beach: Duh. Of course. Lately I’ve been renting an umbrella on the west end, by Fort DeRussy and doing nothing for a day.
International Marketplace: Recently revamped into a 3-story high fashion mall, it’s lost a bit of it’s Aloha and has replaced it with a lot of upscale fashion. Some of the restaurants on the top floor look amazing, so that’s a tradeoff. Where will I get my 5 for $20 t-shirts now?
KCC Farmer’s Market: A stop on Saturday mornings if heading to Diamond Head, get there early. The market opens at 7 (wait for the bell) and has a wide variety of local produce, and some pre-made goodies. Gets crowded with tourist busses.
Courtyard Marriott: Since I go to O’ahu often, I balance out when I splurge vs. save on hotels. This is my “save” option, with rates usually under $150 and they offer late checkout and a hospitality room to shower in if you take a red eye flight. I’ve stayed at almost every hotel near Waikiki Beach (it feels like it) and this is a solid option.