Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hawaii Video & What To Do On Oahu

This will be the last post about Hawaii, I promise!

{Previously: Oahu in Photos and Oahu Through Aaron's Lens}

Here's a video I put together of some of the most fun stuff we did on our trip, including snorkeling, bodyboarding, skydiving, surfing and hiking. Aaron used a waterproof GoPro Hero HD camera for a lot of the footage, and the rest was shot on our Canon DSLRs.

Devon & Aaron in Hawaii from Devon Mills on Vimeo.

Fun fact (and TMI) that didn't make it into the video: I was really sick the week before this trip, and was still congested for about the first half of it. I'm not sure how or why it happened, but when I landed from my skydive, I had a massive glob of snot on my face! The first thing I did when I got my feet on the ground was clean myself up. I artfully edited that lovely scene out of the video...

Anyway! A friend who's heading to Oahu next month asked me to tell him about some fun things to do there, so I figured I'd just put it all on the ol' blog for anyone who's curious!

This is not a comprehensive list of everything there is to do on Oahu, nor are the following necessarily the most fun activities and the best places to eat (I have no idea what those are). It's simply a list of things we enjoyed while we were there — plus, a handy map for reference.


North Shore Surf Girls: I've always wanted to learn how to surf, and the lesson we took through North Shore Surf Girls in Haleiwa was fabulous. Our instructor was Carol Philips, the founder of North Shore Surf Girls, who was also a bodyboarding champ back in the day. She was an awesome instructor and had us standing up on practically every wave. It was much easier than I thought, but proved harder when we rented our own boards in Waikiki and didn't have an instructor pushing us into waves at the exact right time...

Skydive Hawaii: If you've ever wanted to go skydiving, there are few places more beautiful than the North Shore to do it. We jumped out over the ocean and saw whales on the way back down to Dillingham Airfield. It was partly cloudy when we jumped, but on a clear day, you can supposedly see the whole island.

Snorkel Bob's: A good place to rent snorkel gear and bodyboards — both for two people was $100 for a week.

Diamond Head State Monument: We hiked the trail to the summit of Diamond Head (see video), which provides an awesome view of Waikiki and the surrounding areas. The trail is only 0.8 miles long, but it can get pretty steep (so many stairs, ahhh!) and hot. Go in the morning or when it's cloudy. There's a $5/car or $1/pedestrian entrance fee.

Honolulu Zoo: What do you do in Hawaii when it's too cloudy and/or rainy to hang out on the beach? Go to the zoo! It's your standard zoo... lions, tigers and bears, oh my! We had to leave in the midst of a torrential downpour, but it was fun while it lasted! The entrance fee is $12/person. (Photo by Aaron.)


Waikiki Beach: We stayed at a hotel right across the street from beautiful Waikiki Beach. It's a very touristy area — the whole street that runs along the beach is full of stores (from kitschy gift shops to Louis Vuitton), hotels and restaurants. The beach itself is small and can get crowded, but it's worth seeing. The waves aren't all that big, but there are surf lessons available. We rented surfboards here one day (see the video) and didn't have much success!

Hanauma Bay: This is where you want to go for snorkeling (see fish and turtle in the video)! The bay is part of a nature preserve, so there is a $7.50/person entry fee and you have to watch a short informational video before you can go down to the beach. We avoided the fee because the ticket sales booth closed at 3:00 and the guard just waved us in. Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays. (Photo by Aaron.)

Sandy Beach: Go here if you want to see surfers and bodyboarders tackling big waves! This is one of the most dangerous beaches, since the waves break in shallow water, and the lifeguards give you plenty of warnings about how many people break their necks here. The beach is beautiful, though, and a good place to check out the Halona Blowhole — a naturally occurring lava tube that shoots water up to 30 feet in the air when waves crash into it hard enough.

Makapu'u Beach: This one is kind of hard to find and isn't on the above map, but it's north of the Blowhole and south of Waimanolo. We didn't actually go here because we kept accidentally driving past it and found an even prettier beach, but apparently this one is great for swimming and bodyboarding. (Photo by Aaron.)

Waimanolo Beach: This one is my favorite! The white sand is soft and not rocky at all, and the water is a gorgeous turquoise. This beach was also never that crowded, and good for bodyboarding. There was a jellyfish warning here one day, but we risked it and didn't get stung.

Waimea Bay: This is a popular beach on the North Shore. We did a little swimming here, but the current was pretty strong and by the time we left, the waves were slamming people into the shore. Yikes!

Turtle Bay: You can drive onto the property of the Turtle Bay resort (as seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and get a public beach access pass from the gatehouse. There's special parking for the small public beach, and supposedly good snorkeling — it was very windy when we went, and too chilly to get in the water. We did check out the resort lobby, though, which was instantly recognizable from the movie!


Sweet Home Waimanolo: This place is a must for a delicious lunch! And it's a very short drive from Waimanolo Beach, so I suggest a one-two punch. Just look at the fish tacos — to die for!

Kua 'Aina Sandwich Shop: This North Shore joint in Haleiwa came as a recommendation from the good folks at Skydive Hawaii as a great place to grab a burger or sandwich. We went here for our, "Woo-hoo, we survived!" lunch after skydiving and it was fan-freakin-tastic.

Tiki's Grill & Bar: I have a special place in my heart for this Waikiki restaurant and bar because it's attached to the hotel we stayed at. The patio looks out onto the beach, the decor is festive and Hawaiian-feeling, and the live music every night just makes it a fun place to hang out and have a beer (or three). The babyback ribs and fish and chips were incredible.

Roy's: This upscale Hawaiian fusion restaurant (which also has several locations on the mainland) served up one of the best meals of my life, period. Plus, the service was incredible. I was in a full-on food coma after eating at the Waikiki location, and luckily I was able to roll myself the short distance back to the hotel without incident.

Kona Pub: The Kona Brewery is on the Big Island, but Oahu has a Kona Pub featuring all of Kona's delicious Hawaiian-inspired beers and plenty of yummy food. It's situated on the docks of Koko Marina — a pleasant place to enjoy a beer by the water. We caught an amazing sunset on our last night from the pub's patio.

Well, that's it! I hope it helps anyone who's planning to visit Oahu. I'd love to visit all the other islands (I've been to Maui) and see even more of paradise.


New here?



  1. when did you go? We are going to Oahu in Sept...trying to figure out what to pack & what not to pack..been to Maui also..love your video!

  2. We went in late February/early March. Weather was beautiful except for a little rain!

  3. I grew up on oahu and Waimanalo beach is my first stop whenever I visit home. (I live in Calgary now...) Been following you on tumblr for awhile now. xo

  4. I grew up on oahu and Waimanalo beach is my first stop whenever I visit home. (I live in Calgary now...) Been following you on tumblr for awhile now. xo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...