travel hawaii

Family Vacation - Oahu Part I

For the rest of our stay, we were up on the Northern part of the island right outside of Laie in an airbnb. We LOVED staying up there as we were only 15-30 minutes from some of the best beaches on the island. My brother-in-law woke up early every morning & surfed at Pipeline, which was probably the most ideal situation ever!!
We made daily stops at Foodland for some type of groceries or snack. We ate a few times at the food trucks at the Mill, our faves were Seven Brothers & Ono Yo Frozen Yogurt

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We spent one day at the Polynesian Cultural Center & it was such a great way to learn more about all the cultures of the islands in Polynesia. It was pretty pricey, but the pass is good for three days, which would have been good to know ahead of time. ha! We just didn't plan for it & didn't have the time to dedicate to it. BUT! It was beautiful & I felt like I went on a trip around the islands. Also you can go into the entrance area & eat some snacks & see some cool shops without buying a ticket to the whole Center. I HIGHLY suggest going into Tutu's Sweets Shop & getting the Dole Whip. We did that once for a late night treat & it made us all extremely happy.

We drove down to Hanauma Bay for a beach day, as my parents had been there on their last trip to Hawaii over 20 years ago! It's a national park, so it costs to get in & you have to do a brief lesson on what you can & can't do in the water because it's protected coral reef. We liked the beach, but it was packed & my parents said it wasn't as beautiful as it was all those years ago! We did some snorkeling, but didn't see many fish. Kind of a bummer, but I'm still glad we saw it!

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Other things we had on our list for the southern part of the island but didn't get a chance to do: Halona Beach Cove, Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail,  Pillbox Hike [outside of Kailua] & Nalu Health Bar.

Hawaii Vacation - Where we stayed

Where to stay in Honolulu Hawaii - The Laylow

Nate & I travel a lot for a variety of reasons, but this trip was so special because it was a FULL vacation, no work, just us & my family. We had such a great time & we were in total chill mode the entire week, with no schedule or plans, other than sunshine, waves & eating food. AND WE DID ALL OF THOSE!!!! 
We started our trip off with a night in Honolulu, as we arrived a day earlier than my family, due to weather delays in Toronto. Nate & I have spent time in Honolulu three times & love it more every single time. We stayed at the Laylow, which is a small boutique hotel within the Marriott brand.

Our room was very spacious & I wished we could have spent more time in it, but...sunshine. Its not on the water, so the view is not anything extravagant, but can't win them all you know? I also asked Nate multiple times if I could take home the soap dish. I really thought about it. 

This hotel was by far our favourite stay on Waikiki for a variety of reasons, but the number one is the Hideout. It is the cafe/bar/restaurant patio that is connected to the hotel & I'd give it a 15/10. We even went back there with my whole family for dinner later on in our trip. They have a little indoor restaurant area which was beautiful & it connected right out to the patio. We walked along the beach for a bit & then went back to the patio for a drink. The next morning we had breakfast there & sat by the pool for a minute! Everything was so relaxing!

Our other hotel options were The Surfjack & The Modern, & in the past we've stayed at the Marriott Waikiki & the Hilton Hawaiian Village