www.alohacrate.comHey there. I’m Lauren — owner of Aloha Crate. I am so excited that Ben and Sadey are coming to visit me next year! They’re actually coming to see the island of Oahu… but I like to think I’m the main attraction. Anyway, as a local they asked me to share my must visit places here and I am happy to do so!
You will probably hate me by the end of this post and I will repeat the following a million times: wear sunscreen. I was born and raised in Hawaii and I turn the color of a poor cooked lobster. As far as Lauren tested and approved sunscreen goes (I have sensitive skin and I’m picky): Neutrogena, Arbonne and Sunbum are my faves. I digress, OAHU!

1. Swim at Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay is one of the most famous beaches on the island. A lot of locals and tourists spend a decent amount of time here. I love this beach because the water is crystal clear (no seaweed or rocks) and it’s perfectly safe to swim out pretty far. During the summer months this is the perfect beach to pack a floaty and a gallon of sunscreen and relax. In the winter, I won’t set foot in the water. It’s not safe. I bring a hot latte and a cozy sweater and watch the waves. Waimea Bay is famous for surf competitions that take place in the winter. Keep in mind there are no trees near the shore to hide from the sun. Apply and reapply that sunscreen (no matter the season) and cover up!

2. Hike Diamond Head

I do this hike about twice a week. It’s also quite possible that I have an annual pass. As far as easy hikes on the South side of Oahu go, you can’t beat the view from Diamond Head. Once you’re at the top you can have a 360* view of Kahala, Hawaii Kai, Waikiki and to the very end of Kakaako — plus you’ll see Kaimuki nestled against the mountain. The path is semi-paved and there are a ton of stairs. But it’s worth it. I promise. The hike is roughly 40 minutes roundtrip. Take water. Use sunscreen. It gets hot.

3. Bubbie’s Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts

I know this isn’t a sight-seeing locale, however this is the place to go for mochi ice cream. That is what they’re famous for. It’s amazing. They also have a wide variety of ice cream cakes and you can order by the scoop. I highly recommend that you order the mochi ice cream in lilikoi, guava, lychee and whatever other local flavors that are in season. If you want to get a little bit savory with an asian influence, my favorite flavor is the azuki bean and my boyfriend’s favorite is the green tea. Yum.

4.North Shore Art Galleries

I love to check out local artists when I travel. In Haleiwa on the North Shore there are a ton of art galleries. I’d recommend starting at the North Shore Marketplace. They have 3 art galleries there. From there you can walk down the street and stop at the many others down the road. Last time I hosted a friend, we did this and he went home with 3 pieces. There’s something for every budget.

5. High Tea at the Moana Hotel

High tea in Hawaii. Seems weird, right? Well, there aren’t many places that you can enjoy high tea while watching the waves crash against the shore. The Moana was the first hotel to open in Waikiki in 1901 and she is referred to as the “First Lady”. Stepping into the Moana, you’ll be enchanted by the original architecture, as you enjoy your tea and nibble on some tasty treats.
These are some of my favorite places on Oahu. Have you been? If so, what was your favorite spot?