by Mo Olivas
Welcome to my home—the island of Oahu! Well known for amazing beaches and even better food. Let me walk you through some of my favorite places!
Oahu is the perfect place for a heroine to live out her adventures. It’s an exotic, unique and varied backdrop to any story. It boasts urban, suburban, and rural areas all around the island. Here, one can get lost in the jungles, conquer mountainous terrain, or face the mighty open sea. On the flip side, there’s still a place here for efficient public transport, L.A. worthy traffic jams (we’re #2 for worst traffic behind the City of Angles) and a decent city life.
I love spending time at the North Shore. So let’s head on up!
TIP: If you’re heading up from the south like I am, leave early. Traffic up to the North Shore can be brutal. Believe it or not, it can sometimes take 2 hours to get there (without traffic it’s maybe a 30 minute drive).
Ah, Historic Haleiwa Town. Ditch your Sunday best for a messy bun, cute swimsuit and your trusty old Scotts slippers (note: slippers = flip flops to all you mainlanders).
Take a leisurely stroll around this tiny town and grab a snack before you hit the beach. Matsumoto’s Shave Ice is a MUST. Be sure you drop the “D.” No one calls it ShaveD ice here. And to show you’re a pro at this whole shave ice thing, make sure you either get some vanilla ice cream at the bottom, OR some condensed milk on top. Pure, sugary bliss.
This popular, beach spot is maybe about 5 or 10 minutes away from Haleiwa. Beware the huge waves in the winter and brave “the rock” in the summer. The locals LOVE jumping off the rock into the ocean.
Even if you’re not the risk-taking type, Waimea is generally a good beach to just relax and chill out at with friends.
LATE NIGHT’S AT ZIPPY’S
There are a million Zippy’s all across the island, but find a nice, one with comfy seating to sit down at late at night for the best early-hour eats. After a long day at the beach or even a night out clubbing, the best place to go is Zippy’s. They don’t care what you’re wearing (as long as you’re wearing something). They’re famous for their chili and I would highly suggest either some ox-tail soup, cream cheese squares or their chantilly cake. UGH. Chantilly. You can’t get it anywhere else but Hawaii and it’s my absolute fave.
MEMORIAL DAY LANTERN FLOATING CEREMONY
If you’re lucky enough to be there during the summer, head down to Ala Moana Beach on Memorial Day to live out all your “Tangled” fantasies. Each summer, thousands gather on the beach front to send out floating lanterns on the water in memory of passed loved ones. Inspired by the Japanese tradition, people write messages on their lanterns and pay their respects.
If you can’t tell by now, majority of my trip revolves around food. Liliha Bakery is a small locals top with THE best Cocoa Puffs. You heard me. They’re chocolate filled cream puffs with CHANTILLY on top. Yes, again with the Chantilly. There’s no describing it. You just have to go and pick up a (couple) dozen. You’ll thank me later.
So that’s a typical weekend of mine on my home island. If you ever get the chance to experience the slow, Aloha-based lifestyle, let me know!
Mo [Ollivander Mo] is a graphics and creativity wizard and fantasy enthusiast, sometimes known as the “Willy Wonka Girl of Pure Imagination”. She builds blogs and brands, and vlogs about happiness in everyday life.
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