A “girl friend getaway” with my best friends has always been on my bucket list but, you know how it goes: crazy schedules and “adulting,” seemed to always make taking a vacation with my girl friends a challenge. But when I shared the happy news about being engaged, and that they were all going to be in my bridal party, the “girl friend getaway” suddenly took precedence over everything because the first thing they wanted to plan, of course, was the bachelorette party.
An alcohol-infused, all weekend rager in a flashy city has never been my steez and I told them unless the strippers looked like Jason Momoa or Charlie Hunnam I would not be a willing participant. Luckily, my bridesmaids know me really well and planned a fun, relaxing girls getaway to Oahu. You really can’t go wrong with balmy weather, affordable accommodations right on the beach (thank you AirBnB) , and an off season (it was February) sale on airfare from San Diego to Honolulu.
One of my bridesmaids had never been there so we chose Oahu because it is a great starting point to adventure in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Filled with history, natural beauty, and rich culture, you will come home with many happy memories, and be filled with the aloha spirit. Here is my list of the top things you should do while in Oahu:
- Brush up on your history.
The culture of the Hawaiian Islands is deeply rooted in it’s rich history. Oahu is home to many of the best museums, sacred sites, and historically significant places in the islands. My favorite places are Iolani Palace, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the Bishop Museum.
2. Go hiking!
This is the best way to discover Oahu’s true beauty, in my opinion. Local art, music, and poetry reflect Hawaiians deep respect for the land. Trek through some of Oahu’s amazing trails like Manoa Falls, Lanikai Pillboxes, or Diamond Head Crater to discover it for yourself.
3. Attend a Luau.
This is often the highlight of many trips to the Hawaiian Islands. I mean you can’t really go wrong with delicious buffet style eating, beautiful entertainment, and just an overall laid back party vibe! Popular luaus include Paradise Cove, Germaine’s Luau, and my personal favorite: The Alii luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
4. Eat Shave Ice.
Many locals and visitors alike have their opinions on where to get the best shave ice (and yes, it is pronounced shave ice, not shaved ice). My favorite is the very popular Matsumoto Shave Ice located in Haleiwa on the North Shore. Hey, it’s popular for a reason right? Because it’s delicious that’s why.
5. Holo Holo Kaa- Hop in the car and cruise.
My favorite thing to do! Turn on some Hawaiian Reggae, roll down the windows, take in the beautiful scenery along the way, and pull over when you see a cool place you want to stop. Oahu has TONS of picturesque spots. Just make sure you watch where you are going so you don’t crash, or run over people. Call me crazy but that would definitely diminish the “joy” in a joy ride.
6. Go to the Beach.
Well, duh. You will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on Oahu, so you better go and enjoy them while you’re there!
7. Jump off the rock at Waimea.
Do it at least once so you can say that you did! It’s fun, I promise….the first time anyway :-).
8. Shop at the Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium.
When ever we visit Oahu, my family and I make it a point to stop at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and buy souvenirs for people back home. The prices can’t be beat, and you will find a lot of unique items to browse through. Make sure to allow at least half a day to wander around.
9. Learn to Surf.
Why not? Book a lesson for the day and try being one with the wave. Then you can say you tried surfing the same waves as the legendary Hawaiian hero, Duke Kahanamoku.
10. Watch a Hula show.
“Hula is the language of the heart, and therefore the heart beat of the Hawaiian people.” -King David Kalakaua. Your visit would definitely be incomplete without watching at least one beautiful hula dancer tell you a story with the hands. So don’t miss it!
My bridesmaids and I had an amazing 5 day girls getaway to Oahu, checking off this list and sharing laughs, inside jokes, and creating beautiful memories. This trip to Oahu will always be one of my favorites because it was with them, and that is one of the most important things about travel. Making memories!