My 6 year old daughter and I recently took a vacation to Hawaii.  Our first stop was Oahu. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture and activities for all ages, it's no wonder why it's a top destination for travelers. From surfing and snorkeling to hiking and sightseeing, there's something for everyone to enjoy on this beautiful island. Plus, the island's capital, Honolulu, offers world-class shopping, dining and nightlife experiences. Oahu is also home to some of the world's most stunning natural attractions, like the Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

View of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Oahu in Hawaii

View of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach

In Waikiki we enjoyed the bustle of the city combined with the relaxing sounds of the beach and the variety of restaurants from sit down to quick service.  One of our favorite restaurants was the Hula Grill where we ate breakfast with beautiful views of Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.  I tried the Strawberry Mochi Waffle which is Hula Grills take on the traditional breakfast waffle.  It was delicious.  And my daughter enjoyed their Acai bowl which is her new favorite meal.  Acai Bowls are a delicious, nutritious snack made with the Acai fruit, which is native to the islands. They are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and make a perfect snack or light meal. The tropical flavors include pineapple, banana, coconut, and of course, the Acai fruit. In addition to the Hula Grill, we enjoyed Acai Bowls all over the island.

Acai Bowl from Hula Grill in Waikiki on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Acai Bowl

In Waikiki we spent most of our time at the beach and the pools. Waikiki is part of the larger city of Honolulu.  Honolulu is a major metropolitan city with 4/5s of the island’s population in the Honolulu area.  Waikiki is unique in that you can go from the beach to shopping and restaurants in the matter of a few minutes.  The Waikiki beach is great for swimming, body surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking or if you prefer to relax, you can lie on the beach all day.

North Shore, Oahu in Hawaii

North Shore, Oahu

One day we rented a car for the day and drove to the North Shore.  No point in paying for parking fees when there is no need for a car to get around Honolulu.  We did a day rental from Hui which was convenient as there were cars in many of the parking garages in the area.  The North Shore is a surfer's paradise, with some of the best waves in the world. We saw beginners and pros tackling the waves. The North Shore is home to a variety of different beaches, each with its own unique characteristics and we especially enjoyed watching the surfers on Sunset Beach.  With beautiful views and plenty of waves, the North Shore of Oahu is an ideal destination for surfers.

Polynesian Cultural Center in Waikiki on the island of Oahu in Hawaii

Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie

We spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center which the perfect destination for a fun and educational day trip. We booked transportation as part of the package and it picked us up just outside our resort in Waikiki.  It was nice not to have to worry about driving especially on the way home in the dark.  First we explored the different villages of the South Pacific and experienced the culture, arts, and traditions of the native people. Some of my daughter’s favorite experiences were the canoe rides, fun interactive shows, and spear throwing. The day ended with the Ha Breath of Life show, which is a lively and energetic performance showcasing the music and dance of Polynesia.

Oahu has so much to do for visitors of all ages and activity levels.  We did not have time to explore some of the other sights that we would have liked to see including Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head State Park. I guess that leaves us something to look forward to next time!