Hawaii Is Always a Good Idea
Acai bowls, fresh coconuts, topless Jeeps, the warm sun and clear blue waters paired with sunkissed skyscrapers on the sand—welcome to Oahu. From Southern California, board a five-hour flight for an island getaway. Whether you’re here for a quick weekend away or spending a longer vacation island hopping, we’re showing you how we’d spend a blissed-out 72 hours on the tropical Hawaiian island of Oahu.
Kaimana Beach Hotel, home to 122 rooms, offers a vibrant and trendy escape. Located on what is known as the “Gold Coast” of Waikiki, this beachfront property unveiled a fresh look in 2021. You’ll notice the relaxed, carefree vibe upon arrival as you peek out at the ocean from the lobby. Plus, there’s no doubt that you’ll love having the beach as your backyard and morning view.4/6
When staying at Kaimana Beach Hotel, you don’t need to travel far for a delicious meal and creative cocktails. Head downstairs to Hau Tree, the stunning on-site restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and dinner. Dine steps from the sand under the large trees with twinkling boho lights. The Waikiki mai tai is a must, and it pairs perfectly with the decadent handcrafted crab tagliatelle.3/27
Just outside of Kaimana Beach Hotel is Kai Sallas Longboard Co, where the ISA world longboard champion offers surf lessons. Whether you’re staying at the hotel or not, sign up for surf lessons as you learn about the island’s surf history and take in the beautiful sights of the city. Surfing in Hawaii? Definitely something to check off your bucket list. And an 8-minute drive from the hotel lies one of Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks, Diamond Head State Monument. This historic, moderate-difficulty hiking trail offers coastal views and steep terrain. Switch up lounging on the beach for a quick morning workout here!
While there’s so much to see and do on foot in Waikiki, you can’t miss the opportunity to get out and explore the rest of the island. From the famous Banzai Pipeline to food trucks galore, we recommend renting a car through Turo for the day. Take the scenic route and drive the coast, making plenty of stops along the way. Discover less-crowded, hidden beaches and shop from local surf boutiques. Some can’t-miss destinations include The Sunrise Shack for a smoothie or acai bowl, Turtle Bay Resort for a bite to eat, the Shrimp Shack food truck for some spicy shrimp, Banzai Pipeline to watch the surfers and Chinatown for a memorable dinner. In fact, Chinatown is filled with notable restaurants that are great for dinner, such as Fête Hawaii (a James Beard 2022 award winner).
If you love staying at a few different hotels on vacay, the tried-and-true Waikiki Marriott Resort and Spa is another option, especially if you’re bringing along kiddos. Spend the day poolside in a cabana, and after watching the sunset from your high-rise hotel room, head down for dinner at Queensbreak, where fresh, local ingredients are used whenever possible. Plus, you’ll be a quick walk away from Kalakaua Ave, which is a bustling street full of great shopping.
Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!