Our Oahu Vacation - A Family Friendly Travel Guide & Itinerary
June 9, 2018
The Little Wild Ones Collective
We had so much fun on our trip to Oahu, we can’t wait to go back! We wanted this vacation to relaxing so we spent a good portion of the vacation at our resort. But we also went on a few excursions to explore the island and spent a few days outside of the resort staying on the North Shore.
When we landed in Honolulu we went straight to our hotel on the North Shore. This part of Oahu is unlike anywhere else. The fun vibe of the beach towns and the incredible scenery can’t be beaten!
After spending a few days on the North Shore, we headed down to Ko’Olina to stay at the Disney Aulani Resort. This place is a dream for those with young kids. Our resort package included a free car rental, so after a few days of relaxing at the resort we hopped in the car and set out to explore the island before we had to go back home!
The North Shore
Where to Stay
Courtyard by the Marriot Oahu North Shore – This hotel was more expensive than some of the other hotels in the area, but it was really convenient to be right next to the Polynesian Cultural Center. They also have a great pool area that we really enjoyed while we were there.
Where to Eat
The Polynesian Cultural Center Lu’au – If you’re coming to Hawaii, chances are you’re going to want to experience a Lu’au and the Polynesian Cultural Center Lu’au will not disappoint. The food was great and the entertainment was fantastic!
Pounders Restuarant – Another great local restaurant that you can walk to from the Marriot Hotel is Pounders. You’ll find a wide variety of Americanized food in a unique restaurant located right outside the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Polynesian Cultural Center Food Trucks – There’s also a food court right outside the Polynesian Cultural Center with a ton of Food Truck options. There’s a soda truck right near the entrance that has some great mixed soda flavors!
What to Do
Maleakahana Beach Campground – This place is beautiful and the beach behind the campground is very secluded. The waves are mellow too making it a great place to spend an afternoon if you have little ones.
Polynesian Cultural Center – If we had to pick our favorite activity from the trip, this would be it. There are tons of fun, entertaining shows about the various Polynesian cultures, a great luau, and the grounds are beautiful.
Laie Hawaii Temple – This is a beautiful LDS Temple located on the North Shore. While you can’t go in the Temple unless you are a member of the LDS church, the grounds are stunning and worth the trip. You can actually take a quick tour to the temple straight out of the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Where to Stay
Disney Aulani Resort – The Aulani Resort is worth every penny. You’ll pay a bit more to stay here, but if you have young kids the amenities the resort provides are definitely worth the extra cost. This is a resort you can come to and leave feeling refreshed and relaxed instead of like you just ran a marathon!
Where to Eat
Disney Aulani Restaurants – The resort itself has plenty of dining options if leaving the resort sounds like too much work for you. You’ll definitely want to do the character breakfast at the Makahiki Buffet while you are there!
Pizza Corner – This is a great restaurant with hand tossed pizzas.
Swim at the Pools in Aulani – There’s a pool at Aulani for every age group, including a private pool for adults. But we spent the majority of our trip at Keiki Cove, which is a small splash pad designed for little ones under 3. Peanut loved it here and could probably live here.
Ko’Olina Cove – This is a public beach right outside Aulani with the most amazing soft white sand. There’s a protective barrier outside the cove preventing the waves from coming in, making this the perfect spot for little ones to play in the ocean.
Day Tour Around the Island
There are multiple day tours you can take that you can sign up for through Aulani, but our stay included a free car rental, so we made our own tour.
Dole Plantation – See the Dole Pineapple Farm in Oahu. There is a fun maze, a beautiful garden, and a train that takes you on a tour. You can also get their famous Dole Whips here!
Mokuliea Beach – This is a relatively secluded and lesser-known beach on the North side of the Island. It’s a great snorkeling spot as there’s a big reef right next to shore. Plus there’s a good chance you’ll see some sea turtles here if you’re lucky!
Halona Cove and Blowhole – This is a beautiful part of the Island. The drive over here was incredible and at the lookout, you can see miles of the coast. Down below the lookout is Halona Cove. You’ll have to adventure down some steep terrain to get to the coast, but it’s definitely worth it if you do. (I would not recommend this area for kids. It’s a great place to go and “look” not a great place to stay for the day if you have little ones – the current here is strong!)
Byodo-In Temple – A beautiful non-practicing Buddhist Temple where you can visit and take in the incredible scenery. It’s not large, making it a perfect stop for a day tour.
Lanikai Beach – This beach has the softest sand I’ve ever seen. It was also really unique to me to see pine trees growing right next to the beach! Plus the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is right next door if you have enough time.
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