First time visiting Hawaii! For this trip I wanted to keep things simple and goto Honolulu and be around the touristy Waikīkī Beach area. Not a bad choice really. Having lived in San Francisco the last 10 years has definitely prepared me for lots of people, and of all different types too. ABC Mart there is the equivalent of the many Walgreens in SF, but unlike Walgreens they sell booze which can come in handy when you are going to the beach.
Since it was a short trip I couldn’t cram in too much. Stayed at the Hilton Waikiki Beach which was nice! Not a bad price and got a free room upgrade to Ocean view and King size bed.
Took one of those tour bus rides. Waikiki Trolley Blue Line Panoramic Coastline Tour. That was a nice scenic route and it stops off at some places along the way.
Did some Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay (saw lots of colorful fish but no sea turtles unfortunately). For the Snorkeling trip we used Snorkelfest and they pick you up at your hotel, drive you there and back plus go over how to use the gear they are letting your borrow. They were really good! The guy was alot of fun to listen to and went over some things before we headed out and then continued on our lesson while driving there (like how to put you mask on while driving a van). For Hanauma bay be prepared for a $7.50 entry fee and the need to watch a video before going down to the
beach Nature Preserve so you don’t go down there and start messing things up (like feeding the fish and walking all over the coral).
Just a lot of swimming and hanging out at Waikīkī Beach too! You can rent a surf board for $10/hour which is a lot of fun even if you aren’t a pro (I definitely am not).
Some of the food stops and stores:
- Kona coffee – Had really good ice coffee and pastries! I overheard an employee telling a customer soemthing about the baked goods being connected to San Francisco somehow. Sure enough they are from b. patisserie which is at 2821 California St. Think I need to check it out!
- ABC is basically on every block and it good to go to for the essentials. If you walk past one and forget to go in chances are you will walk by another on the way to your destination.
- Lawson Station Not quite as cool as the Lawson’s in Tokyo when I was there but they have shaved ice and other beach essentials. For the shaved ice pay at the counter first, THEN hand your slip to the “shaved ice technician”. Lots of people were confused by this. Another good convinient store is the 7 11. Yelp link seems the most informative for that.
- Rainbow Drive-In – Went there for a classic Hawaiian plate lunch… Don’t kill me but I like L&L Hawaiian BBQ at 312 Kearny St in SF better!
- Doraku Izakaya and Sushi – Good fresh fish but what I got wasn’t that memorable (poke). I would go again but would try something more exciting.
- Marukame Udon – Was cheap and super tasty (got the Curry Udon, tempura shrimp, and a piece of fried chicken). Had a really long line but it went quick.
- Okonomiyaki Chibo – Japanese restaurant / bar. Had the Korean salad, garlic shrimp, okonomiyaki, yakisoba & desert meal. Was good and lots of food!
- Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley – Ate at Sizzle there. Just some sort of cheap special (a plate of Waygu style beef you grill yourself & a side of your choice) that was really good, along with a Sapporo to wash it down.
- Tiki’s Grill – Not that great and sort of pricy! Kicking myself for going there instead of Maui Brewing Company. Bought some of their Coconut Hiwa Porter as soon as I got back to San Francisco. Can pick it up right at Target actually!
- Hawaiian Cookie – Good for gifts! Crunchy cookies with lots of different flavors and cute packaging. Can just get it at the airport too though. Vegas too I guess.
- Hawaiian Crown – Super yummy and beautiful Açai bowl for a quick breakfast with some ice coffee. Brought some teas home as well. Cute shop! Buy a box of pineapples!
- Fancy Stores – There are tons of upscale shopping in the area so if you want to throw around some cash and pick up a Omega Seamaster 300 before swimming in the Ocean you can!
Some Pictures from the Trip:
Quick Edit of some of the video clips I took:
I mostly shot with my Sony RX100IV. I also had my Sony 4K Action Cam with me, the FDR-X3000. Nice to travel light sometimes! Plus they both use the same battery, the NP-BX1. Before going I got this tiny USB battery charger which comes with an extra battery: Sony ACCTRDCX Travel DC Charger Kit. Great if you pair it with a USB backup battery. Check my review page of the Action Cam for a longer video of the fish I saw while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
Hope this trip report helps if you goto Hawaii sometime! Or that you at least enjoyed the images.