Sun, sand, multiple tropical drinks in hand….I have a serious vacay hangover. Adulting is hard enough but when you leave paradise for a dark windowless dungeon of a classroom…now that’s just pure torture! Anyways….this was our first trip to Hawaii and it definitely did not disappoint. Oahu is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! Think crystal blue waters, white sand, lush greenery, purple and red magical sunsets….yep, I’ve got you packing your bags, right?! Well before you go..make sure to bookmark this post because I’m dishing all the details on where to stay, where to dine, what to pack, and of course a little island fashion thrown in.
Where to Stay:
When you visit Oahu you will most likely fly into the biggest hub in Honolulu. Now most tourists will opt for staying near Waikiki, a beach front neighborhood of Honolulu on the south side of the island. It’s the most famous and while extremely beautiful…also extremely crowded. If you like sharing the beach with hundreds of other tourists and locals then this may be the spot for you but if you’re like me and are in do not disturb mode….then this is probably not your cup of tea. We opted for the more secluded and relaxing beaches of Ko Olina.
Ko Olina is about a 30-40 minutes drive from the Honolulu airport depending on traffic. You can take a shuttle or of course Uber but I recommend getting a rental car so you have one at your dispense if you want to explore the island. We stayed at the Marriot Ko Olina Beach Club Resort …a secluded hideaway with a private beach on a lagoon. The views from this resort are nothing short of amazing! The white sandy beach sits on a lagoon of crystal blue water that is perfect for lounging or snorkeling. It has three outdoor pools, a spa, several restaurants, pool-side bars…everything you need to vacation like a pro! The villa we stayed in had all the amenities, a full kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths, balconies with mountain views…if you’re looking for a no fuss, no worries, home away from home…. this place is it! Not to mention..everything is beautifully landscaped and picturesque…you’re not going to want to leave the resort!
Where to Dine:
Sushi Ninja – casual, laid-back affordable delicious sushi
Longhi’s- great happy hour for tropical drinks and appetizers
The Monkey Pod- Hawaiian cuisine with a large outdoor patio (order the ahi tuna tacos…thank me later)
Roy’s- a little pricey but soo soo good! Hawaiian cuisine focusing on local sea food and sushi
What to Pack:
Trade in your skinny jeans and stilettos for sandals and sun dresses! The locals are all about easy, low-key beach attire. Tank tops, shorts, and flip flops are encouraged. I know this may sound hard to believe, but I actually over-packed….shocking, huh? Here’s really the only things you need:
- bathing suits- I took 6….probably only needed 3
- cover ups- a lot of restaurants and bars are right off the beach and all you need is a light cover up
- flip-flops- the sand is hot and third degree foot burns are a thing…
- water shoes- we had a toe injury…luckily we didn’t have to amputate…but could have been avoided if water shoes were worn….(men, they never listen)
- snorkel kit- you can just pick up a cheap one at Wal-Mart but the tropical fish right off the lagoon are breath taking
- sun block- skin cancer sucks
- tennis shoes- there is some great hiking around the island and we walked the beach every morning for the gorgeous views
- maxi/sun dresses- the locals were a lot of flowy, breezy dresses that work for day or night
- beach hats and sun glasses- the sun can be intense and you’ll want to protect your face
- floats- so you can sit your ass in the water and not move
- shorts/tank tops- everywhere is super casual…cute tanks and shorts is all you need to fit in
- a light sweater or denim jacket- it can get a little chilly at night, especially when there is a breeze
I truly love everything about the no fuss, easy going surfer vibes fashion that you see everyone wearing in Hawaii. All things tropical are encouraged and since palm print is a major trend right now…I took full advantage of my surroundings! Check out this palm print shift dress I bought from Vici. Easy…light weight…and completely on trend!
This dress is sold out on the Vici website but I’ve linked some similar below. Click any image to shop.
Tie front tops and tropical print crops are a must have this season and there’s no place better than Hawaii to try out this trend. I styled this next look for under $30. Both pieces are from Forever 21 and are as versatile as they are affordable. Pair them together or switch out the chambray shorts for your favorite maxi skirt.
Click the images below to shop.
Now you’re on your way to being a total island babe! I hope you get the opportunity to visit this beautiful island…it’s truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and I’m already planning my next trip to Hawaii to try out a different one.
Live. Love. Aloha.