Island Hopping in Hawaii – Part III: Oahu


Welcome to Part III of my series Island Hopping in Hawaii. Part I is about my time in Maui and Part II covers The Big Island of Hawai’i. This part explores Oahu. 

Lodging and Transportation in Oahu 

I stayed at Ambassador Hotel towards the north end of Waikiki. The hotel was mediocre but the front desk let me check in early and upgrade to a better room on a higher floor (after hinting I’m a photographer).

Waikiki Beach at night.

Waikiki Beach at night.

Since I was staying at Waikiki, walking and taking the bus pretty much got me where I needed to go. There is also a free shuttle that goes around Waikiki provided by Hilo Hattie that takes you to their store but that is a tourist trap with nothing good except for the free seashell lei.

Hiking

from the summit of Diamond Head.

From the summit of Diamond Head.

There are two nearby hikes to Diamond Head and Makapu’u Lighthouse. Diamond Head is the most popular hike. Many bus routes take you from Waikiki to the trail. The summit overlooks the whole Waikiki Beach, getting to and from is a 2 hour hike on a steep trail.  

Makapu’u trail on the other hand, is less strenuous but the nearest bus stop is a 15 minute sidewalk-less walk away. The Lighthouse itself can only be view from a distance but the surroundings is also a place for whale watching between December and April. Nearby you will find tide pools, a desolated beach, and Sea Life Park.

Makapu'u Lighthouse

Makapu’u Lighthouse

Rabbit Island, also visibly from Makapu'u Lighthouse.

Rabbit Island, also visible from Makapu’u Lighthouse.

Food

Udon, Masubi, and Tempura at Marukame.

Udon, Masubi, and Tempura at Marukame.

Hands down the best meal on the island and smoothest udon I ever had is from Marukame. The noodle is hand made in front of you in this cafeteria style noodle house. I got there around 8 am and the line wasn’t bad at all but once I got seated the line went out the door so get there early.

Just outside of Waikiki is Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu Avenue, another place people line up for. There you can get traditional Hawaiian food like Kalua Pig, Lau Lau, and Haupia. Seating is limited here so it may be faster to get take out.

You cannot go to Hawaii and not have Spam Masubi. They are at farmers’ markets, ABC stores, and everywhere else. Of all the ones I had, the best were from Iyasume, especially when it is hot and fresh. They are cheap so I load up on them especially for hikes.

If Oahu was a planet

If Oahu was a planet

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