Hawaii: 7 Favorite Things to Do + 3 Regrets | Pink Wings

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Hey guys, I'm starting up a Travel Tuesday series which will hopefully keep me on top of travel posts. As much as I love taking photos, the editing part of it is not so fun and we are still working on photos from over 6 months ago, whoops! Today is all about Hawaii, which is one of my favorite places on planet earth. I think it's because it seems to me to have all the comforts of home while still feeling like an exotic vacation. Plus the food there fits my tastes perfectly, it's a culinary dream. I always tell hubby that if every year I could just visit Korea, Japan and Hawaii, I would be a happy camper. So today I'm sharing my top favorite things to do in Hawaii and just a few things I wouldn't recommend. I've only done Oahu so far so some tips will be Oahu specific. Check it out:

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1. Rent a plane to fly
Okay you can't fly if you're not a pilot or student, but you can still rent a plane/pilot for a couple of hours to take you around the island. They will go wherever you want to go and surprisingly didn't cost as much as I expected. Maybe $100/hr if I remember correctly. We went up for two hours and it was plenty of time (like to the point that I started to get bored by the end). We flew over a surfing competition, made a couple circles around some whales, flew over the Dole plantation, etc etc. It was a good time and I highly recommend it. For me, it was the first and only time my pilot hubby has been able to fly me around so it was especially a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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2. Rent scooters and go beach-hopping
This is one of hubby's favorite things to do because it's a cheap and fun way to get around. I'm always a little awkward on scooters or bikes because I get so nervous when cars are passing by 5 feet from me, but even I had a blast scootering around the island.

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3. Do a Food Crawl
For me, vacation is always about food, I honestly form my itinerary around it. On Oahu the places I loved most (all of these I went back to 2-3 times >.<) are Goofy cafe for their tropical french toast, Haunani Shave Ice, Teddy's who has the yummiest cajun tater tots, Kokonuts Shave Ice & Snack for their acai supreme (always half-sweetened), and Ted's Bakery for their chocolate haupia pie.

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4. Hiking
There are so many great hikes and you should never leave without doing a few. This is Koko Head Railway Trail which is basically a stairway straight up and good for if you're short on time or want a great leg workout. Makapu'u Lighthouse trail is a paved trail that's great for a leisurely afternoon stroll with stops for whale watching.

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5. Tide Pools
This one was along the Makapu'u lighthouse trail. You have to hike partway up the trail, then hike down to the pools, then hike back up, then back down the trail. Lol. It's worth it. Maybe wear reliable shoes.

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6. Whale Watching
It's surprisingly addicting just sitting in a good spot and trying to spot whales coming to the surface. Next time I'm there during whale season I think I will do a whale watching boat ride. They're only around in the winter (this was February) but at other times of the year you can visit the west side of the island to see turtles too.

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7. Night Photography
We visited Hawaii right before we got into night photography, so next time we go back we will definitely be setting aside a couple nights to capture the stars over this beautiful island. Even if you have no interest in night photography I recommend doing some star-gazing.

Things I regret:

1. Not getting more photos. This is always a regret, but this trip more than any other. The reason is because it was my first time having my hubby fly me around and I don't really have any good photos or videos to remember the experience by. I also wish I had some underwater photos because hubby always comes back from scuba trips and can only describe to me in words what he saw. What could have solved both these problems is if we'd bought our GoPro before the trip. We have one now, so I won't be making these mistakes again in the future.

2. Not doing more water sports. I am actually not a big water person, so I was very happy there were plenty of fun things to do in Hawaii that didn't include water. There were so many that I don't know if I even touched the ocean once though, so I definitely plan on focusing on water sports next time. I love jetskiing, kayaking, etc.

3. Things that didn't live up to the hype: the Polynesian Cultural Center I found a bit boring and their luau disappointing as well, and Leonard's Bakery gets a ton of hype but their pastry cream was a big let-down to me.

What are your favorite things to do in Hawaii??

6 comments

  1. Hawaii is truly special and your photos are gorgeous!! I haven't been in a while but I wish I had done my research before I had. I will go back at some point!!

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  2. I'm also way behind with my travel posts. I somehow end up only writing about restaurants (and I call myself a travel blogger?!). I really want to visit Hawaii. Do you by any chance know if a EASA license will do over there or if we need an FAA license? Hawaii really looks amazing.

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    1. You know, I don't know. I would think that if the planes are the same then they would let you fly since there's an instructor next to you anyways. But then a quick google search tells me that you can only fly EU registered planes which I doubt there are many in the US. Do you fly?

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  3. Yay, I love your Hawai'i post! It's soooo funny that you mentioned the PCC, the only thing I love about that place is the Samoan village and the evening show, Ha. Other than that, it's overpriced and not exactly worth going. I just tell people to get tickets to the evening showing, next time you go back. Try the Paradise Cove lu'au, my parents liked that one. We never did the lu'aus cause well ... they're a norm for me haha.

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    1. You know we did a package with the evening show but honestly I was so tired that I fell asleep. So that may have been my problem, it was like the last day of vacation and I was dead, so I will have to try it again when I am more alert and can enjoy it. You are my go-to for Hawaii recommends, I loved the hikes you recommended though I could only do a couple.

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