This year we decided on a Hawaiian getaway for our Christmas celebration. We managed to coordinate a cousin's reunion and I got to spend 10 wonderful days with my whole family including my big sis, brother-in-law and nephew who came all the way from Singapore. We rented a beautiful AirBNB in Kahala which was just down the mountain from where my Aunt and Uncle live in Honolulu so it was the perfect central location for everything!
Here are the highlights and my favorite eats from the trip! I also spent the majority of the time cooking at home so we didn't eat out as much as I would have hoped. Enjoy!
Rainbow Drive-In - Get the mixed plate! Great for a quick, casual bite after a day at the beach. I also LOVE their chili dog rice plate. YUM.
Musubi Cafe Iyasume - This was such a surprising and awesome find in the DT Waikiki area. There's a ton of different types of Musubis (with Spam) and with fish, chicken, picked radishes, etc. Usually a line there so go during off hours.
Leonard's Bakery - Famous for Malasadas and Puffs! Try the original or I love getting the Li-hing Mui powder which is a local plum spice.
Waiola's Shaved Ice - Lots of debate on who has the BEST shaved ice on the island but let me settle it for you. It's Waiola's. :D You won't be disappointed. Love the Azuki Red Bean bowl or just the regular cones. Also have shaved ice with vanilla ice cream. DELISH!
Diamond Head Market & Grill - Another great option for mixed plates. Go for a hike at Diamond Head then post hike hit up this lunch spot.
Olive Tree Cafe - Fantastic greek food that is very unassuming from the outside. Only open for dinner and get there early if you don't want to wait for a seat. This place gets really busy but so worth it. Everything is delicious.
Koko Crater Trail - One word... INTENSE. This is the ultimate workout and near vertical hike up a mountain you can get. The view was GORGEOUS but I was also DYINGGG. Haha. I workout at least 4 times a week and this was so intense for me. Make sure you allow ample time to rest as you go up this mountain. It's actually scarier coming down. You'll definitely feel it the next day. :)
Diamond Head Summit Trail - This is a beautiful hike but very busy and lots of people. Perfectly paved trail to make it easier on your knees and feet. My bro-in-law carried a baby on his back the whole time so this is good for families with a hiking backpack or with kids. View at the top is gorgeous of Waikiki.
Chef's Luau - We wanted a family-friendly activity so I did a ton of research and settled on Chef's based on reviews on the food and entertainment. While Luaus can be really cheesy and really expensive, I thought this one was actually worth it if you are looking for a luau. I've gone to other ones on the island as a kid and would rank Chef's as the best. The food was actually pretty good considering it's a buffet and the dancing/MC was on point! Aside from getting rained on, it was a really fun time for the whole family.
Hanauma Bay - We wanted to go snorkeling and I honestly haven't been back to Hanauma since I was a kid. I gotta say I was pretty disappointed! I remember the water being so much more clear and more fish. There was still stuff to see but wasn't as beautiful as I remember it. If you want to go, arrive early (like 7am) if you want a parking spot. Parking fills up by 8:15am then you'll have to wait.