Explore Oahu

An Ideal Day in Oahu

An editor's idea of a perfect day around the island

Much like a first date, the key to getting to know a new place is to be yourself - even if it means straying from an itinerary. Experience new things or try old ones with new people. Here you can dare to sky dive over the North Shore, go on a boat excursion or just relax and "talk story" with a new friend at Sunset Beach. In the evening, go on an oceanfront dining tour then shop your calories away. Whatever it is you decide to do or whomever it is you decide to be, our island is here to embrace it. Go ahead, let your hair down.


Since most of my days consist of eating a meal then anticipating the next, I find the Breakfast Bibimbap from Koko Head Cafe does a fine job of holding me over until lunch. For dessert, locals like to hang out at newly opened Via Gelato. You can't go wrong with any of its handmade flavors like black sesame and strawberry ume (Japanese plum). Afterwards, the overly adorable island-inspired trinkets and clothing at Drift Boutique offer great retail therapy and a perfect opportunity to burn a few calories before my next stop.


I'd pick up an Italian soda and a few snacks (maybe even a French dip sandwich) at Kalapawai Cafe before heading to Lanikai Beach where the long stretch of white sand and waveless, turquoise waters urge me to stay forever. Or until my next meal at Cactus Bistro, where I once spotted "Jim" from the Office. I go for the tostada topped with their fresh catch of the day.


Any ideal day would seize to be complete if not ended with live music. The Surfer Bar on the North Shore offers great vibes and choice local artists like Mike Love and Paula Fuga. Dinner will consist of take out and a slice of chocolate haupia pie from Ted's Bakery then a lengthy stroll under the starry North Shore sky. If you'd like a closer look at the stars and constellations, the Telescope Guy leads a small group to settle in for his Hawaiian Night Sky Tour at Mokuleia Beach. With a telescope magnifying objects up to 660 times stronger than the naked eye, you'll quickly learn the depth of what lights up our paths at night beyond the moon and stars. The 2-hour tour promises intimate views of star clusters, planets like Venus and Saturn, galaxies, comets and nebulae supplemented with fascinating information and good company.