visit hawaii

Family Vacation - Oahu Part II

Haleiwa & the North Shore of Oahu

One of my favourite parts about this trip with my family was how laid back everyone was. We would be driving & see something & just pull off the side of the road to look. We didn't always have a plan for where to eat, but we figured it out on the fly & everyone was just along for the journey. It was so great!
One day on our way home from the beach we pulled off on the side of the road as we had seen cars there all week & wanted to know what they were there for. Turns out it was turtles!!! It's right on Laniakea Beach & there's space to pull over on the side of the road to park! This was post beach-day & we all had some crazy hair & burnt faces, but we were happy :)

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We stopped in Haleiwa a couple times for snacks & going to the surf shops & I loved it! I think next time I would prefer staying up there, there's so many cute places & I had a lengthy list of things I wanted to do in town! We stopped to get Shave Ice one night, but the shop was closed, so we got ice cream across the street. Nate walked down the street & got coffee at Coffee Gallery & he was very happy about it.

On one of our other days in town we all split up to get lunch & while I was waiting for my food from The Elephant Shack [which had DELICIOUS thai food!] Nate found a shop called Number808 & it was so great! #ryhmeintended. After that we tried the North Shore Shave Ice again & it was open! *yay* I highly suggest adding the condensed milk on top, makes a HUGE difference! Also the medium is very large. very.

Other places we had on our list but didn't make it to!
Tropical Rush - they had a great deal on Stand Up Paddleboarding down the river that I wanted to do, but didn't have time!
Crispy Grindz - they had a couple food trucks on the road up to Haleiwa as well!
Haleiwa Bowls - another food truck style shop on the side of the road
The Sunrise Shack - we drove past it minimum 6 times & I still missed it everytime. If you look on their instagram you will see alllll the vibes.

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