Since living in California I have been to Hawaii twice; once to Kihei, Maui and once to Honolulu, Oahu. This time we visited Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Waikiki Beach is legendary and therefore a bit touristy. There are tons of large hotel chains there, making it easy for families and large groups to visit. We stayed at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Spa & Resort in the heart of Waikiki. The beaches have pristine turquoise Hawaii water and tons of surfers beyond the breakers at all hours of the day. We were there for a full eight days exploring and celebrating Eric’s birthday and our anniversary, although a little belated.

Here are my favorite spots and check out:

Da Cove Health Bar for Acai or Pitaya bowls and the Hibiscus Pepper tea.

Pho Kapahulu for Vietnamese & Pho. It’s homemade and fresh.

Duke’s Waikiki for fresh Hawaiian fare and its amazing beach location. The restaurant is touristy but reasonably priced and great service. We celebrated Eric’s birthday there on our last night in Hawaii.

Cuckoo Coconut’s for fun drinks and live music – they generously allowed Eric to sing with the band onstage to “Time of My Life”!

Dole Plantation for a Dole Whip – dairy free, gluten free pineapple deliciousness plus the most amount of pineapple anything – memorabilia, treats, trinkets, etc.  You name it; they have it in pineapple form.

Lanikai beach to hang like a local, get away from the tourists, and watch canoe races on the weekend.

North Shore Turtle Beach to see Sea Turtles, although we didn’t see any!

Royal Hawaiian Bar for an expensive but strong drink. You only need one.

Pearl Harbor Memorial to see the USS Arizona Memorial, the museum, the submarines, and learn about the history of the attack and its lasting impact on the Honolulu servicemen and servicewomen.

As I write this post, it’s making me already want to go back! What other islands or places should I visit next?

One of the pineapple varieties at the Dole Plantation.
Another pineapple variety at the Dole Plantation.
Entrance to the Dole Plantation.
North Shore, Turtle Beach.
Searching for sea turtles on Turtle Beach.
Traditional Hawaiian Canoe races off Lanikai beach.
Lanikai.
A scenic overlook on our day driving around the island.
View of Diamond Head from a scenic overlook on our day driving around the island.
Sunset while dining at Disney’s Aulani resort.
Fancy dinner at Disney’s Aulani, still no make up though – Island style!
Treating ourselves, the food at Ama Ama was great and service too.
Pearl Harbor Avenger and now part of the memorial submarine tour.
Plumeria trees at Pearl Harbor Memorial
One view from USS Arizona Memorial.
Standing on USS Arizona Memorial, there is still oil leaking into the ocean by the site, as seen in this picture.
USS Arizona’s anchor.
The anchor’s stats, hint, it’s huge.
USS Arizona memorial.
Another view from USS Arizona Memorial.
View from the Pearl Harbor grounds.
Cuckoo Coconuts festive lights.
Cuckoo Coconuts patio.
Early morning Waikik beach shooting!
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel – great drinks and atmosphere.
Walking path along the Honolulu Zoo, path I walked to get my Acai Bowls from Da Cove.
Banyan Tree.