Welcome to the How Do You Vagabond series. We're highlighting how and why members of the Vagabond Inn team explore various destinations. Oahu, Hawaii takes center stage in this installment of How Do You Vagabond, where we talk about island vacation time with Shane, our SEO wizard:
View of Waikiki from Diamond Head (Flickr).
I like to hit the trails and the beaches in Oahu. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and the Lanikai Pillbox Hike stand out as easy trails with great scenery. For a challenge, check out the Koko Head Stairs. The hike up to Diamond Head offers a dramatic but lava-free encounter with the volcanoes that formed Hawaii.
Hanauma Bay’s visible reef (Wikimedia).
Oahu has two of Hawaii's most incredible beaches. Waikiki Beach is a pretty well known spot for surfing and canoeing. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is further out of the way (on the southeastern part of Koko Head Park) but a shuttle will take you there from Waikiki. It's a conservation area with snorkeling tours, lots of wildlife, and a coral reef.
Kona coffee fruits growing on Oahu (Wikimedia).
Honolulu is a great place to refuel after all that hiking and hitting the beach. Barbecue, noodles, and other Hawaiian specialties like spam musubi and loco mocoare made all across the city. Whenever I can, I like to grab a meal at Me’s BBQ, Musubi Café Iyasume, HI Steaks, and Marukame Udon.
People also love to visit the Dole Plantation, which is more of an attraction than a restaurant. It has train tours, a huge plant maze, and its own restaurant and dessert shop.
Banyan trees in the International Marketplace, Honolulu (Wikimedia).
Before the end of a trip, I grab souvenirs and gifts to bring back. Honolulu Cookie Company boxes make great gifts to bring back to family or coworkers. For other keepsakes, like coffee, chocolate, or macadamia nuts, try the ABC Stores. Royal Hawaiian Center, the Ala Moana Center, and the International Marketplace have outdoor mall-style mixes of local places and stores you can find on the mainland.