One Week on Oahu

Last summer I went to Oahu, Hawaii for about three weeks with a good friend. I wrote a little bit about my experience, but only a couple of posts total, so I decided I would come back and talk in detail about my time! I’ve compiled a list of places you must visit when on the island of Oahu.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is THE tourist destination on the island. Waikiki Beach is on the south side of the Oahu. There are so many stores (some high end, like Prada, Tiffany’s, Gucci) and restaurants to visit. The shopping and dining strip lies directly across from the beach, so there are plenty of places to rent surfboards, paddle boards, inter tubes, and take lessons!

There is a huge rock/coral wall separating a good part of the water from the rest of the ocean, so there is plenty of space to swim where its safe and surrounded by people. The water is SO blue! Over the wall you can watch sailboats pass by and surfers catch waves.

AND can we please talk about these incredible sunsets?!

Sharks Cove (North Shore)

Sharks Cove over on the North Shore of the island is a famous spot for snorkeling and swimming with sea life. There are a lot of group and family snorkeling excursions that take place here, so expect it to be pretty crowded when you visit. Make sure you wear water shoes; no matter how dumb you think they look, nothing is worse than stepping on a sea creature or a sharp rock. Trust me, I’ve been there! I had to cut my time in the water a little short since I got too close to a bright purple sea urchin. Ouch.


Chinatown is the COOLEST place. Its so unique and also so crowded. We spent a couple of hours in Chinatown and I got great little gifts to take back home to my family.

I also tried tapioca pearls for the first time when I was there — those are the dark blue, blueberry-like balls you see at the bottom of my smoothie! These pearls are very common in Asian desserts with a soft and chewy consistency, similar to gummy candy! Sometimes they are filled with juice, which makes for a sweet surprise while you’re eating! Notice how big my straw is — thats so I can drink the pearls with my smoothie!

Pearl Harbor

I know I sound like quite the tourist throughout this post since most places I’m writing about are pretty popular, but trust me when I say that Pearl Harbor is pretty freaking cool.

Both of my great grandfathers fought in WWII and were at Pearl Harbor during its attack, so it was incredible to stand where they once served for our country and learn more about what happened. The tour is pretty lengthy, so be prepared to spend the day there. We also went to the USS Arizona Memorial and it was truly breathtaking. You could see parts of the massive battleship underwater, where oil still leaks. The ship also serves as the resting place of 1, 102 soldiers of its original 1, 177 strong crew. You take a short ferry out to the memorial and upon arriving to the sunken ship, the soldiers on board ask passengers to practice a moment of silence. When the ferry was completely quiet outside of the memorial, I got goosebumps.

Kualoa Ranch (North Shore)

I’ve blogged about my experience at Kualoa Ranch before, but it is worth mentioning again! Very reasonably priced, this place is great for anyone, no matter your age and group size! My ticket for a day of 3 activities including lunch and round trip transportation was $166 (USD). My three activities were a boat tour (called an “Ocean Experience”), a tour around the property on a jeep (“Jungle Tour”), and an hour of horseback riding which showcases an island nicknamed “Chinaman’s Hat” and the property’s 800 year old, 125 acre fish pond. You’ll spend the whole day on the ranch, so make sure you’re prepared to do so. The buses back to your hotel might not arrive/leave on time and you might see a little bit of rain here and there (the North Shore gets it a lot), but don’t stress. The history of the ranch is unbelievable, the horses are beautiful, the tour guides are friendly and informative, and you won’t regret spending a day at Kualoa Ranch.

So. That wraps up my recap (finally) of my time spent in Oahu, Hawaii! Have you ever been? What were your favorite spots? Are you planning on visiting anytime soon?


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  • Anna Hubbard

    I’m so jealous! Hawaii looks extremely beautiful and it’s definitely on my places-to-visit bucket list!
    -Anna |

    • Savannah Ward

      So glad it has a spot on your must stop list! Thanks for reading!

  • We went to Pearl Harbor too and it was a really sad but honoring experience. I love Oahu and my favorite restaurant there was called Duke’s. It was pretty much amazing. We’re considering going back to Hawaii for our honeymoon and thinking about going to Kona or Kauai.

    • Savannah Ward

      I LOVE Duke’s!!! My grandma is great friends with the mother of the manager. Sorry, I know that’s complicated. We went there one night as our “fancy” dinner and WOW it was delicious. I want to go back to either Kauai or Maui; I got my hair washed and dried the day I flew home (since I arrived back to NC at 9am and had a full day of stuff to do) and my stylist was from Kauai. She talked about how all of the “local” Hawaiians live there and its super down to earth. Can’t wait to see the destination you pick!

  • Kristine Circenis

    Everything you described has me itching to go back to Hawaii. When my family went (I was in the 2nd grade) we went to the Big Island and I had the most magical time. I’m most itching to visit Pearl Harbor and, now, Kualoa Ranch!

    • Savannah Ward

      It truly is a magical place, no matter which part of the state you visit. I want to go back so badly!

  • Olivia Muller

    Looks amazing! I want to go to Oahu!!


    Miss Olivia Says

  • Miss ALK

    Hawaii is a state that I would LOVE to visit someday! I think it would be so worth the long flight 😉 Looks like you had a total blast!

    xoxo A

  • Your pictures are gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and this posts makes me even more excited for the someday trip!

  • I’m going to Hawaii in September and this post is totally inspiring me to start looking into some things for my itinerary! Your pics are awesome.


  • Oh wow this must have been amazing! I really hope to visit Hawaii some day – it seems like a gorgeous place! 🙂


  • Danielle Randall

    Looks like you had a great vacation! I can’t wait until I get the chance to explore Hawaii. The rainbow picture is awesome.

    xoxo Dani

  • All of your photos are stunning. I can’t get over the rainbow one!!

  • Sounds like you had a great time! All the pictures are stunning!

    Southern Soul

  • Wow your photos are incredible!! It sounds like you had an amazing time! I hope to visit there one day!

    La Belle Sirene

  • Ugh S I am sooo jealous of this trip! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and this fuels that fire even more! I am sending this to my husband so maybe it’ll get him to say yes! 🙂

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  • Kayleigh

    I went to waikiki years ago and it is so beautiful! love this!

  • My husband and I are quite passionate about travel, but one place we’ve never been is Hawaii. Your recap photos look incredible!

    XO, Oksana |

  • Kait

    Ah, I love reading a visitor’s perspective on Hawaii. You definitely hit some of the best parts of the island, but there is so much more! We live on the North Shore, so I’m totally biased to that part of the island 🙂

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Kait! WOW, I am jealous! I want to go back and spend more time on the North Shore. Sometimes I wasn’t a huge fan of the hustle and bustle of the tourist attractions, but I’m glad I at least checked them off my list!