As the Hawaiian proverb goes: "Oi kau ka la, e hana I ola honua" (While the sun shines, do all that you can)
Well, it shines in Waikiki, and escaping to the magical Hawaiian destination will leave a footprint on your soul. Located on the south shore of Honolulu sits the world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki, once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters,” Waikiki is Oahu’s vibrant community that attracts visitors around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue, you’ll find world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, all steps from Waikiki’s pristine white-sand beaches.
WHERE TO STAY
Across from the beach sits the grandiose Trump International Hotel, ideal for families. The property is Oahu’s first and only Forbes Five-Star Hotel; it’s also among an elite group of hotels that’s Sharecare VERIFIED™ by completing – and maintaining – verification on more than 360 global health security standards. Amidst the best of Honolulu luxury hotels, Trump Waikiki boasts five-star amenities, unparalleled service, and spacious suites; in fact, our family of five experienced the dreamiest digs: a 3-bedroom, 3-bath condo with a full kitchen, laundry room, and balconies with endless ocean-infused views.
Upon checking in, your kids will be introduced to the good life, as the hotel offers an in-room “glamping” experience for children and a grocery delivery service prior to your arrival. The gorgeous open-aired lobby leads you to the In-Yo Café, featuring its esteemed “Ohana Breakfast,” a delectable entrée option served with a cold buffet (fresh fruits, pastries, yogurt parfaits, smoked salmon, steel-cut oats, and more). And if you’re a sushi fan, Trump Waikiki is known for Wai'olu Ocean Cuisine, an eatery where guests can indulge in the beautiful Hawaiian sunsets and incredible views of Waikiki. The menu is rich in locally sourced ingredients for small plates, a modern take on sushi, and market-driven seafood.
Lastly, break from the beach by taking a dip in the resort’s Luxe infinity pool overlooking the Pacific. There’s also a state-of-the-art gym and a swoon-worthy day spa.
WHERE TO PLAY
Waikiki is infused with picturesque white sand beaches, warm welcoming water for kids to swim... or surf. To adopt the “grom” lifestyle, connect with Hook Up Surfing Surf School, a company founded by Coach Ivan in 2007. With over 25+ years of teaching experience, Ivan and his team will get your whole family riding with pride; in fact, even my four-year-old successfully completed his introduction to surfing. Waikiki is an excellent setting for beginners, and the instructors value safety, in addition to teaching proper technique and protocol for all ages and skill levels.
To immerse yourself on the island of Oahu, take a private tour via North Shore Beach Bus. For those unfamiliar with the island and eager to explore, this is a fantastic option for jam-packing multiple activities into a one-day excursion. Paul, our tour guide, took us on a journey of discovering the rich and diverse landscape of Oahu. In fact, we learned that Oahu is known as the heart of Hawaii. And now I understand why.
The tour brought us to many notable hot spots, the first being Halona Blowhole where we witnessed the ocean’s waves rumble through centuries-old lava tubes. We then ventured to whimsical backdrops to movies like “Jurassic Park” and stopped at the macadamia nut farm. We also made a lunchtime pit stop at the famous Fumi’s Shrimp Truck on the North Shore. We passed the Banzai Pipeline Beach, where when winter rolls around, swells can top 60 feet (it’s the mecca of surf competitions like the World Surf League Championship). Then, we hiked to Waimea Waterfall, passing 5000+ species of tropical plants. As a reward for completing the hike, we enjoyed an invigorating swim in the pool of the waterfall. Before wrapping up the magical day, we took a leisurely cruise up the Anahulu River via paddle board. You’re likely to spot turtles- a few joined us for the ride.
To experience Oahu’s Instagram-worthy hot spot, hop on board Captain Bob’s Picnic Sail taking you to the largest natural sandbar in the world. Surrounded by turquoise water, wade in the crystal-clear sandbar for an unforgettable moment in time, followed by snorkeling in a fish-filled coral reef. The picnic sail includes an onboard BBQ.
Finally, to live aloha, one must learn aloha. The Ka Moana Luau at Oahu’s Sea Life Park provides an exciting, interactive experience stocked with activities, dancing, dining, and fiery entertainment. Plus, luau guests get admission to Sea Life Park Hawaii, Oahu’s best wild animal park, offering fun and educational animal encounters for the entire family.