Back in February, Zack and I visited Hawaii for the third time. What can we say? We love it! Here's where we stayed, what we ate, and how we spent our one week in Waikiki.
As I mentioned above, we've visited Oahu before on our honeymoon and last year! Rather than plan a bunch of activities and book dinner reservations weeks ahead of time, we decided to keep it real casual this time. Strangely enough, we actually got into 3 super popular restaurants with little to no wait! More on that below...
Just like last year, Zack spent the first few days of our trip attending a conference. During those days, I wandered around Waikiki, listened to podcasts on the beach, and got used to island time. Be sure to check out my two other Hawaii travel diaries because there are definitely some must-do, see, and eat spots that we didn't prioritize this year.
Once again, we stayed at Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach! We love the location, staff, and complimentary breakfast. Although we love the Hyatt Place, we both decided that next time we go back we'll check out the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. It's just a different vibe staying at a Hyatt Regency and closer to the beach. Plus, we could take advantage of their club benefits!
The main perks of staying at the Hyatt Place are their complimentary breakfast, great location near bus stops, food trucks, coffee shops, and just a short walk from the beach.
Like I said, we didn't pack our days with whale watching, zip lining, snorkeling, or tours. We still had fun-filled days with a nice mix of beach bummin' and exploring!
Hike Diamond Head
This was actually our first time hiking in Hawaii! Most people make this their number one priority when they visit, but it just never made our list.
Everyone suggests hiking Diamond Head first thing in the morning, before the sun comes out, and I 100% agree that would be ideal. Did we do that? Nope! We went around noon, and it was hot... Definitely bring a water bottle and dress accordingly.
It's so worth it though, y'all! Be prepared for stairs towards the top, crouching, and optional ladders.
This was our top priory! Relax at the beach, take it in, and hang out. So that's what we did and it was simply amazing.
We've been to the ranch several times now and we love it. They have tons of activities to choose from and as luck would have it, the conference Zack attended offered a gap day with excursions around the island.
We selected the secret island beach day but unfortunately it rained almost the entire day. We still made the most of our time there and look forward to going back, without the rain!
Yes!!! I've been wanting to get a massage for months... maybe years... but I just never make a point to schedule it. Since I knew I would have time to myself in the beginning of our trip, I researched different spas in the area. Y'all, there are so many to choose from!
Do you want a view? Unique experience? Resort access for the day?
I ended up booking a pretty last minute session at The Abhasa Spa in The Royal Hawaiian Resort. The pink hotel!! It was unreal, you guys. My massage was in a private hut in their garden! Beforehand, I relaxed in my robe with infused water and then after I took a dip in their semi-private jacuzzi. It was a dream!
My favorite acai bowl: Island Vintage Coffee
The best udon: Marukame
The line can get reallllly long, but it's worth it y'all!
After the beach: Barefoot Beach Cafe
For happy hour: Tiki's
Awesome live music: Maui Brewing Company
They have a great happy hour and can make delicious dairy-free pizza.
Coffee: Kai Coffee
You've gotta try their macadamia nut latte! I got mine with macadamia nut milk and it was divine.
Frozen Kirin: Momoson
Food truck: Mami's Empanadas
You have to order ahead of time because he gets so many orders each night. Big flavor from a small cart parked next to a few other food trucks a few blocks from the beach.
The 3 "Must-Eat" Spots: Duke's, Hula's, and Morimoto! These restaurants are highly recommended by most everyone. We enjoyed all of them and were able to snag reservations day-of!
Of course, there are hundreds other restaurants that we haven't tried or heard of – but these are just the spots we ate at and continue going back to. Another thing to note is that I found a vegan option at every place!! So if you eat plant-based, have no fear.
No matter what you see or where you eat in Hawaii, you're going to have a lovely time! I hope you enjoyed reading about our one week in Waikiki. Let's chat in the comments (: Have you ever visited? What are your must-visit spots?!