We had the best time vacationing with our entire family this Thanksgiving (minus our two cute brothers who are currently serving LDS missions in Argentina). Sidney's husband plays football for BYU, and they had a game against the University of Hawaii, so we used that as the perfect excuse to spend Thanksgiving on the beach this year :)
A family friend of ours who lives there hooked us up with some awesome places to stay, where to go, things to do, and places to eat. So we wanted to share the goods with all of you so you can have the lo down from a local if you ever visit Oahu!
We stayed the first two nights in Waikiki at this super cute Marriott that was recently renovated, called the Laylow Waikiki. The rooms were all decorated so cute and modern, and every wall and corner throughout the hotel was totally picture worthy.
The location was perfect. It was right at the heart of the busy waikiki city. It's right next to a giant mall, seconds away from the beach, and right in the middle of so many yummy restaurants. Seriously the cutest little place. We'll be dreaming of it while we're freezing our booties off in Utah this winter!
We went on a fun family hike one morning while on this side of the island called the Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail. This is a great hike if you have kids, or are just feeling kind of lazy and don't want a super hard, all day hike but still want some beautiful views! It was totally paved so we pushed Cal in the stroller (he slept the entire hike), and MJ walked a lot of it! The 360 degree views at the top were unreal!
We also hung at Waikiki beach one afternoon which was super fun, even thought it's one of the busier beaches. We rented a couple of surfboards chairs/umbrellas. This is a great beach if you're a beginner surfer or want to try it for the first time, because there are long baby waves there that are easy to get up on and won't destroy you if you fall!
On Thanksgiving we ate at a delish buffet serving traditional Thanksgiving food. It was pretty amazing besides the fact that MJ had the meltdown of all meltdowns! Haha. He was VERY tired and still getting used to the time change.
The Friday after Thanksgiving we moved to the other side of the island and stayed at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Resort which was AH-MAZING. So beautiful and in a quite little bay, great for relaxing and paddle boarding. They offer free classes every morning for their guests like yoga, beach bootcamp, morning meditation etc., which was great because some hotels charge extra for classes!
This side of the island was so much more relaxing and just so pretty compared to the busy Waikiki city. The resort has the prettiest pools and secluded lagoon beach area. There's also a really pretty walking path that connects the Marriott, Disney Aulani Resort, and Four Seasons. We walked to the Four Seasons two of the mornings we were there for the best breakfast buffet you've ever had. We highly recommend going there for breakfast, but not staying there unless you have plenty of extra cash to burn!
We also had the BEST acai bowls on this side of the island at
. Cutest little place and SO good.
Our friend from back home in San Diego who now lives on Oahu, and was our personal tour guide all week, took us to the best surfing beach since all Sid wanted to was catch some waves. The pic below was at Makaha Beach. This is a great beach to go to if you want some bigger waves for surfing or boogie boarding. Just be careful!!
Our favorite day by far was spending our last morning at I Don't Knows Beach. That's really what it's called haha. A local secret! It was the prettiest beach, and this is where we got to swim with wild dolphins! Seriously the most incredible experience! We swam out probably close to 200 yards past the waves where we were literally feet away from close to 100 wild dolphins. Something we will never forget! Wild dolphins are known to hang out here, and Nate (our friend from home) said he's never been there and not seen them!
We hope this post helps give you some fun ideas for the next time you're on Oahu! We love spending time with family and couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving. We are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for! Aloha!