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hawaii2

one of the things we love doing together most is traveling and experiencing new places and adventures as a family.  sometimes it can be hard traveling with little ones, but we really just like to get out and go, and we’re always so happy to see how much eleanor and samson (and hopefully conrad soon) love it just as much!

it’s been a lot of fun for us to share bits of our travels with you over the past few years.  we also love putting together our nyc neighborhood guides and i’d love to do more travel guides! some exciting news we have to share is that we’ll be working with starwood hotels a bit this upcoming year to explore more places and make more fun guides and posts about travel right here!

our family arrived in hawaii yesterday and we’re pretty stoked to get to spend the week here exploring!

the great thing about family is that you can make special memories together pretty much anywhere,  but we feel extra lucky to have the opportunity to make a few of our family memories this year on the road, starting with hawaii!

neither josh or i have ever been here before, so we’d love to hear any tips or suggestions you might have of things we should see or eat or explore while we’re here! you guys never let me down with recommendations!

hawaii1

  1. Jenn

    The Polynesian Cultural Center is a MUST!

  2. Lindsay

    Seven brothers!!! Kind of by BYU Hawaii. I had a dream I went back to Hawaii, and that was the first place I wanted to go. haha

  3. Tessa

    I don’t know where in Hawaii your adorable family will be staying, but if you’re on Maui then I would definitely recommend Mama’s Fish House, it has great food but even better location with beautiful ocean and sand front territory with candles and palms you can walk through.
    Hope you guys enjoy this trip where ever you end up in Hawaii! It’s a beautiful place!

  4. Michelle

    I don’t have any recommendations but I just want to say you are superwoman! I can’t imagine traveling with my 14-month old son, yet alone 3 babies. Haha. I hope you guys enjoy yourselves. You deserve it!

  5. Traci

    We are HUGE Starwood fans so I’m looking forward to seeing which properties you visit that we haven’t been to. We exclusively stay in Starwoods properties and our FAVORITE is the St. Regis in Puerto Rico – AH-MAZ-ING! I hope they send you there we love it!!!!

  6. Kristie

    Any island you are on in Hawaii will have a farmers market!! GO! The best way to experience the BEST of Hawaii. Buy some apple bananas or Rubutans! The exotic fruit is my kids favorite part!! Aloha!!

  7. Siobhan

    Ohh I recommended on IG, Kihei Cafe (which is in Maui) but there is a really great park across the way from there for the kiddos. I just was in Maui last July with my toddler and we went to an amazing breakfast there and then spent time at the park across the way. Excellent morning!! So jealous! Such a beautiful place!

  8. meagan

    Hey, We just moved back to Utah after living in Hawaii for a few years, with two little kids. Hawaii is so fun with kids. On Waikiki beach, the Hilton puts on a fire work show every friday night, near the manmade lagoon. During the day take a catamaran out for an hr. The people who run Mana Kai generally let the kids go free. My oldest child (4yrs) also loved renting a water tricycle, and riding with his dad. Make sure you eat at teddy’s burger once, they are only in Hawaii and Japan. There is one across from the zoo, (don’t waste your time at the zoo, not worth it). Check out King Kamehameha’s statue and grounds, downtown. Rent a vehicle and go to the North shore. Make reservations at Opal Tai, Opal will order for you. Book a surf lesson with island style surf school. Carli and her husband Sergio are the cutest, and very family friendly. Go to the turtle beach, the turtles all come to shore mid day- dusk. Get some shave ice. Go to Waimea beach park and jump off the rock, across the main road is Waimea falls. Hike the trail and swim with your two oldest at the bottom of the fall. There is a life guard on duty and free life vests, in all sizes. Make your way to Kahuku land farms for the best fried banana bread. Go to sunset beach for the best surf spotting and sunsets. Head to Laie for the temple. Go to KoOlina for the man made lagoons, and sailboats. they have plenty of grass to picnic on. The Disney hotel Auluani also has a character breakfast you can pay and go to even if you are not a guest there. The best restaurant is across the street, MonkeyPod! I have so much info. If you want more info on places to go or avoid you can email me. Have so much fun!

  9. phoebe

    ah~~~i love your blog* and it makes me so happy that you guys are in hawaii! i’ve blogged quite a lot about the different islands – but it looks like you’re in oahu – take a look:https://phoebeblueblog.wordpress.com/category/oahu/
    have fun you guys! :-)

  10. Hannah

    Hey Naomi! I’m not sure how much longer you guys have left in Oahu, but check out my travel guide here– http://www.desertfroth.com/oahu

    Lots of great places I think you’d enjoy! Aloha!

    –Hannah
    desertfroth.com

  11. Lorelei

    I would also love to know where your top/overralls are from! Have fun :)

  12. Denise

    Okayyyy I absolutely LOVE Hawaii and more specifically Oahu! I went to BYUH and then lived there awhile after and have put a MUST-Do/guide together for my fam and friends…I’d email it to you, but I don’t have yo email…sooo here is WAY to much info. on a comment :)

    Accomodations:

    So, if you are going to Oahu I would advise you not to stay down in town (Honolulu/Waikiki), but out near North Shore. I realize sometimes its fun to stay down in town for a day or two, but if you can avoid having to stay there your whole trip I would. You can find little vacation rentals for a good deal on vrbo.com or airbnb.com too (search: north shore oahu, laie, hauula, pupukea…really any town up North or Kailua is really nice too…prob more expensive though). If you find a place you like and are unsure where it is you can for sure send me the link and I can let you know if it is sketchy or not :)

    FOOD:
    Kahuku Grill: (Kahuku; Near Laie) I am all about their burgers here, but a lot of people really like their coconut shrimp. Honestly, some of the best burgers I have ever eaten in my life (Paniolo Burger/Cowboy burger is a beast, but so good…Shem burger is another favorite, and just the cheeseburger is awesome). Plus, you have to try the chocolate chip banana bread sundae…so yummy! One of the Stake Presidents started this with his 7 sons and runs it and its delicious (they also now own a place called 7 brother in Laie).
    Fiji Market: (Kahuku; Near Laie) If you are craving some curry/indian food this is your place! Lets be honest this place looks a little sketch, but they make some dang good curry and it is the best hole in the wall kept secret. Walk in and go straight to the back and there is a little window to order. I really like the roti wraps, but the getting just regular curry is awesome too. I can only really suggest the yellow curry as that is what I always got, but heard if they have the pumpkin curry special its so good. I tried a friends beef curry once and it was ok…I’m not really big on beef curry though…
    Kahuku Farms: (In between Laie and Turtle Bay) This place is a little pricier, but I personally think its worth it, if you like fresh, local, and yummy its perfect. I always get the haupia pineapple smoothie (AMAZING) with the grilled veggie panini and am in heaven. People really like the “pesto pizza” too and the lilikoi joy smoothie. You can test the lilikoi butter and HAVE TO because it is my favorite! Their banana bread sunday is pretty good too, but $$ and it is really rich/sweet.
    TEDS Bakery: (North Shore) This is a local/tourist classic. Personally I would say the food is mediocre, but their pie is yummy! The chocolate-haupia pie is the most famous and a good go to, but there are lots of great flavors. Go here for the pie or if you are up early hit here for donuts/breakfast sandwiches.
    Impossibles Pizza: (North Shore) This is a food truck and usually is always right across from the Pupukea Foodland or by Sharks cove. You can get a slice of cheese or pepperoni, or you can buy a whole pie and get a yummy speciality. I always had a group so we got a big one and they are HUGE and sooooo yummy! My favorite are the Thai Chicken and Pesto Mac’ Nut, but I will say they are expensive…but will last you for at least 1 more meal. The line can be long so you can call in an order 30+ before you want it…pick it up…then go eat it on the beach while the sunset…its perfect!
    Scoop of Paradise: (North Shore/Haleiwa) I seriously ate SOOOO much ice cream from this place! Its all homemade and kind of an odd little place, but really incredible. Also, they have really good ice cream mochi. Open till 9, which is probably on the late side for North Shore.
    Waialua Bakery: (North Shore/Haleiwa) Everything here is fresh and tastes good. Lots of artisan-ish sandwiches to pick from. I know friends who really like their smoothies (I have never had one), but they made homemade cookies + homemade ice cream cookies where you get to choose which cookies you want…yeah, pretty amazing, huh? Cute little place. Perfect for regular or late lunch (closes at 5) and there are better cookie options earlier :)
    Storto’s: (North Shore/Haleiwa) This is a sub shot and they are massive and I think tasty! Get the Guava dressing/spread for sure! You can for sure split the full…maybe even the half (meh maybe not with a man or if you are super hungry). Buy this and take it to the beach and eat it!
    Opal Thai Food: (North Shore/Haleiwa) Love this place! Relly great thai food and well loved by lots of people on north shore. At least when I last lived there Opal is the one who takes everyone’s orders, and if you don’t know the place/what you want he will totally order for you, “I cook for you”. Super funny, but you always end up with yummy food! If he does order for you be careful cause sometimes he make the $$ flow…but its always good ha! Just if you don’t want an appetizer or 2, plus 2 entries cut him off somewhere or just order what you want :)
    Tita’s Grill (Kahuku): Share an order of their french toast….AMAZING!! They make it fresh everyday and they are so sweet and local. They have a lot of local food too.
    Hukilau Cafe (Laie): Such a fun local place. A great breakfast option. The pancakes are HUGE…share them. Yum Banana Pancakes
    Papa Ole’s (Hauula): They have good breakfast, but I also would get their local teri chicken…YUMMY!
    Hawaii Sun Canned Juice: These are all over the place (I know TEDS Bakery carries them and every Foodland has them), but you have to try at least the Lilikoi: Passion Fruite one and the Guava one is super good. I love these juices and think they make it into my dreams occasionally.
    Malasadas: There are malasada trucks around the island that are red and white and make these fresh! If you find one somewhere you have to eat them! I really like the haupia filled ones, but all flavors and plain are good.
    Shave Ice: There are loads of places to go for shave ice! The little place right by Kahuku Grill is cheap, which I love! However, the most popular place is Matsumoto’s in North Shore. There is always a line there, but its a fun one time experience and then I would go to cheap places to get your shave ice fill.
    Acai Bowls: There are loads of places to get these…do you know what they are? Well if you don’t google it, ha. My favorite place is gone now, but there is a place right across from the Pupukea Foodland that is good or Lanikai Juice Bar (I know there is one in Haleiwa and I think some in Kailua and downtown)
    Poke: Well I do not like Poke aka raw fish stuff, but all my friends LOVE this and so do the locals. Everyone I knew always said the best place to get it was the Kahuku Superette and this place isn’t sketchy, but kind of feels like it/looks like it haha. I know other people would get it at the Pupukea Foodland, but if you are really craving it I think you should go to the one in Kahuku because even my local friends raved about it there.

    HIKES:
    Crouching lion (one start near kahana bay): you can hike up just to the top and get a great view or do the whole ridge line hike. If you do the whole thing it takes awhile and is a bit sketchy, but totally doable. http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2013/07/crouching-lion-mini-hike/ (this link might be for the easy version, but just google this hike and there is LOADS of info. A lot of my friends who were big hikers said this was their fav).
    Chinamans hat (near Kualoa ranch): This is a super easy hike and kind of “touristy”, but its really fun. If you have boogie board or surfboards at your rental you can use those to float/swim out to the island and then hike up the little mountain. Always a good time (however, if it happens to be blue bubble season…baby jellyfish this place seems to attract some…just to be aware) http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/03/chinamans-hat/
    Maunawili Waterfalls (near Kailua): This is a pretty easy hike into some pretty waterfalls. You can even jump into the watering hole either like 15 feet up or superrrrrr high up. It can be a really muddy hike so you have been warned! http://www.yelp.com/biz/maunawili-falls-kailua
    Pill Box hike (near Lanikai): I actually sadly never did this hike, but I hear good things. I think its a pretty straight shot up the hill/mountain so kind of killer for that, but thats literally it and the view is supposed to be amazing. Its right in Lanikai area, which is a really beautiful place. http://www.yelp.com/biz/lanikai-pillboxes-kailua
    Moke Island…this is a kayak/hiking adventure (Lanikai): This is SO much fun! You can rent kayaks right there on the beach and kayak out to the moke islands and then just adventure around. The Lanikai beaches are BEAUTIFUL and one of my favorite little getaways and this was a favorite day! http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/10/moku-nui-island/
    Sacred Falls (near Laie): Technically this is ILLEGAL! Ok do not hold me accountable if you get fined for doing this hike. Its more like a walk/hike, but its really beautiful. The biggest way people usually get caught here is parking, I think, but you do have to climb a fence (at least I did) and there are lots of turn around now signs ha. Its up to you. I think this link will give you lots of info… http://www.explorationhawaii.com/2012/04/18/how-to-get-to-sacred-falls-kaliuwaa-and-the-legend-of-the-demigod-kamapuaa/
    Stairway to Heaven (near kaneohe): ILLEGAL! You have been warned. Ok this one is really illegal and has the likelyhood of getting caught much more than the other. I heard that they may be cracking down more and giving out more fines, you should google it more. There is a guard during the day so you have to go at the wee hours of the morning…like start hiking at 3am and its A MILLION STAIRS! If you go on this be sooooo careful if it is raining, but you would want to go in the wee hours cause the sunrise there is incredible. If it is clear you can literally see both sides of the island ( not as worth it if its going to be overcast, but you will hike above the clouds so you never know). Also, you will be hot hiking, but it is FREEZING up top so bring a jacket and snuggle ;) I have done this hike 2 and never got caught, but read up before you do it and you can even call me. You might want to see if you see any news on them cracking down more. Also, just look at some pics of this one too. It will get you psyched and maybe a little worried about the stairs. http://www.yelp.com/biz/haiku-stairs-kaneohe

    BEACHES/ADVENTURING:
    Keikis (north shore) is my all time favorite beach! Its more private and has a lot of beach and can get really big waves, but I don’t think they will be that big yet. Lots of space to play frisbee, lay out and read, search for shells/glass, relax! Plus, Foodland is right there so you can get food and have a picnic (Impossibles pizza is also right there yum) then go snorkel at sharks cove which is literally right next door.
    Sharks Cove (north shore) is a fun place to go snorkel and see some fishys. If you are a big snorkeler there are some sweet caves there too…I usually get to afraid! So don’t die in any underwater caves, ok!
    Waimea Bay (north shore) this place is a major tourist attraction, but I love it too! In the winter the waves are OUTRAGEOUS! This is a great place to just float in the water, plus you can jump off of the infamous Waimea rock.
    Kawela Bay (by turtle bay) is right next to you guys (your staying at TB condos, right?). This is just north of Turtle Bay and directly across from the fruit stands. You can park at the fruit stands and then walk across the street and go through the jungle. Awesome trees and a great little quieter/secret-ish (ok not really) beach. Bring snorkel gear cause I seriously always see TONS of turtles here! It is so fun!
    Castles (near laie) ok isn’t really anything special, but tons of local Laie/Kahuku peeps go here and play with their families and surf/learn to surf. The waves here are baby (plus kind of wacky), but it was a favorite of mine. Not the most epic beach, but cool.
    Lanikai (Kailua area) I love this beach! Its down in Kailua and is more white beaches and beautiful! There is a fun little beachy vibe in this town and some awesome homes. Plus, you can do the Manauwili falls hike, go kayak to the moke islands, and then chill on the beach all here!
    China Walls (near town) is kind of a cool little place down by town. You can jump off (not a big jump) and float and chill. It is found through a random neighborhood. It is kind of close to a place called spitting caves that is a crazy and nutty place to jump…it scares me. Don’t do it ha.
    Electric Beach (west wide) is on the West side. AKA the ghetto side and not as white (and especially toursit) friendly. There is like an electric plant or something that shoots hot water out of these big tubes into the ocean so it attracts a lot of fishes! Plus, occasionally dolphins are around there…also sharks sometimes frequent here so just don’t swim to far out. This is a pretty populated place so its not like you will be a loner out there and eaten by a shark, but things to be aware of.
    Sunset Beach (North Shore) this is a pretty toursity beach, but its really beautiful and you can see some surfers. Beautiful sunsets. Ha
    Hukilau Beach (Laie) this is just more of a favorite place because of memories! Super quaint and lots of locals.
    Waikiki Beach (town) I don’t go here a ton and I don’t even know the official name, but its just the main beach with the big Hawaiian statue. If you want to learn to surf these are really easy waves and you can rent a board for like 10 dollas an hour or you can learn to surf up at turtle bay.
    Turtle Bay (where you are at!) take advantage of the beaches, hot tubs, surfing, and views!
    Laie Temple (laie) this temple is MAGICAL! I love it so much and just can’t get enough of it. I assume you guys will go here anyways, but its my fav.
    Either walk (or preferably ride a bike) on the Laie to Kahuku bike path. I think it is magical at dusk and there is Gunstock ranch right there and all the cows and greenery…BEAUTIFUL!
    BYU-Hawaii this places seriously has some of my heart! I love it so much. If you don’t want a whole tour you could at least go walk around for a second. If you know anything about my program or are interested (haha) if you go into the main foyer (its the one with all the murals) there are 2 offices and both of those men are amazing and if they have a second are worth talking too. You could even name drop me ;) But really I still know a few people there and could see if they have a second to chat. They may have some fun insights.
    Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC-laie) this place is fun and the night show is a cool representation of the history of hawaii and byu-hawaii. Its expensive, but if you really want to go to the night show I can try my best to get you a discount.
    Honolulu Zoo is soooo much fun and a place I have come to love. I did a lot of service projects here, and think all littles (plus bigs) would LOVE this zoo. They have some activities that are hands on with littles, so perhaps check that out!

    I have it in a google drive form if you want it!! Enjoy the aina and all the aloha spirit!

  13. jobjabnattaya

    Long tim no see the pic. Of Eleanor..miss her stories too much…please!!
    From E’s fan ^^

  14. Tara

    Fun! Which island are you staying on?

    If on Maui:
    Be sure to do the Road to Hana. And eat at Charley’s in Paia. The best Macadamian Nut Pancakes you’ll ever eat! If you’re able to get a sitter you can visit Warren and Annabelle’s in Lahaina. It’s a hilarious magic show but, unfortunately, they don’t allow children. You must be 21 or over.

    If on Oahu:
    Be sure to take your kids to the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s so neat! We did the Super Ambassador admission and were treated like super VIP’s all day.

    Enjoy!

  15. Lauren

    wow, that looks beautiful! i have no idea how you manage so much travelling with three littles. i can hardly manage myself and my other half! ha!

    http://helloitscherry.blogspot.co.uk/

  16. Laura L

    I’m from Hawaii. GO TO THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER!!!! It’s a must. The whole town is just delightful. Also, go to Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa. Thats a classic. Excellent flavors, good ice, must-have experience. Have fun!

  17. yoreney

    depending on where (which island) you are. we spend hours driving around the island in kauai, looking some of the best view in the world. at one point you’re up on a steep hill overlooking the ocean, and hey ho you can see a whale or two down there.

    don’t forget to go swim with the dolphin. it’s a fun experience (probably not when your kids are too small.. there’s an age limit, i think) and when you do get lucky the experience is just too magical to forget. my husband and i did this one on the big island, but i think they’re available on each island.

  18. Megan

    This isn’t related to this post, but I can’t find a way to e-mail you directly. The past few times I’ve logged onto your site, I see really crude video ads for Equinox right above “Browse Archives.” I don’t know if you’ve partnered with Equinox or allowed them to purchase ad space on your site, but it’s enough to make me not want to come back and it doesn’t seem to fit with the atmosphere of your posts at all. I’m seeing nude models, peeing statues, transvestites, and more. It’s disturbing. I hope you can change it. Your blog is so uplifting otherwise.

    • josh

      Hi Megan,

      Thank you so much for this comment! We have blocked Fitness (and Equinox) ads from our site, so not sure why these Equinox ads and videos are showing up. We don’t have a direct relationship with Equinox either. I just inquired about the ads and will work on getting them blocked.

  19. Ellie

    All of your travels look incredible, it’s how I dream of our family being. Not in the cards for us. I wish I wasn’t envious of your lifestyle. But, ogling at your life definitely makes it clear to me what I need to work on in myself. Thanks for sharing all of the beautiful places and your family’s beautiful smiles. I wish everyone could live as you all do!!!

  20. Stephanie P

    If you’re on Oahu, the beaches in Kailua are absolutely stunning – and it’s a lot less crowded. There’s also a yummy crepe place in town. Opal Thai on the north shore was delicious. Hanauma Bay State Park was great for snorkeling – lots of beautiful fish.

  21. Aloha to you too! And have a wonderful time in Hawaii. Keep smiling and enjoy every second there.

  22. Imogen

    Hi Naomi! I hope you and the rest of the family are enjoying your time in Hawaii. I was there for a couple of weeks this past December and we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center. I think it would be a great for E and S to learn some of the different Polynesian cultures in a fun setting- check it out!

    Hope you enjoy your vacation!

  23. Kate

    If you can manage a date night ‘Roys’ is great! The Melting hot chocolate souffle is TO DIE FOR!

  24. Martha

    Pleeeease tell us where your outfit is from? :)

  25. Keelin

    If you are on Oahu – Head straight to Kailua and also the North Shore. If you are on Hawaii – cannot miss the lava fields and Kona. Enjoy!

  26. Kelly

    Oh my goodness, so much fun, which island are you on?

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  27. Mel

    We love Hawaii!!! Here are some suggestions for Oahu. I recently emailed this list to a friend so here you go!

    -we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village- it’s a fun resort to walk around at. They have shops, places to eat, penguins, flamingos for the kids to look at. They have the best spa! Get a massage and relax in their open air relaxing room with palm trees blowing in the wind!

    -the Royal Hawaiian is a pretty hotel- they have a nice place to eat by the water– a lot of the hotels have pretty places to eat lunch by the water

    Breakfast:
    1.) Hau Tree Lanai = our favorite place to eat breakfast. It is located inside the New Otani Beach Hotel. The french toast is amazing! They have a pretty tree in the middle of the outdoor patio and you can eat bfast right by the beach.

    2.) Cafe Haleiwa = at the North Shore in the town of Haleiwa. A great, local breakfast. (They also serve lunch).

    3.) Eggs ‘n Things = cute place on a 2nd story bldg. to eat an early bfast.

    Dinner:
    1.) Dukes in Waikiki = great atmosphere, right on the water. Their fish tacos are a favorite. Casual place.

    2.) Hula Grill = right above or below Dukes (can’t remember). This is a nicer, more expensive place – had delicious fish!

    3.) Shorebird’s = fun place with a great view of the beach, you can make your own steak or chicken.

    4.) The Beachhouse = very expensive but a gorgeous outdoor restaurant at the Moana Hotel. Even if you don’t eat here, you should walk through the hotel – it is a big white hotel and walk out back to the restaurant. There are gorgeous trees throughout the restaurant and it is a beautiful atmosphere! It is in the middle of the strip on Kalakaua Avenue.

    Activities:
    1.) Hike around Diamond Head
    2.) Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay = gorgeous water, but it will take up a good half of a day. We had a van pick us up at our hotel and take us there and you stay for several hours. We packed our own lunch and ate it on the beach.
    3.) Ride bikes along the North Shore= this would be my recommendation. You can rent bikes from Country Cycles – they are next door to the Starbucks and the Food Land (it’s like the only grocery store at the N.S.). The North Shore is worth seeing. You could eat bfast at Cafe Haleiwa and then ride bikes along the shore. You will see a lot of authentic beach shops. We bought some food at grocery store that day and had a picnic on the beach and watched the sunset. It was beautiful!
    If you want to go to dinner, Haleiwa Joe’s is really good- they have seafood, etc.

    4.) Kalakaua Street= the street in Waikiki with all the shops and more restaurants- Yardhouse is a casual chain restaurant – if you feel like a salad or great sandwich one night.

    And, since it’s your first trip to Hawaii you need to do a luau with the kids! They have them at the hotels by Waikiki and if you want to go all out, go the Polynesian Cultural Center on east side of island. The kids would love it! They have tours, dinner and a show (Hawaiian dancing where they really get into it and eat fire ;)

    Have a great time!!!

  28. Anne

    Gosh I love Hawaii! I’ll be excited to see all the awesome photos you’re bound to take! What island are you guys on? No matter which island you must get shaved ice, and try to hit up a shrimp truck if possible!

    The Hills Are Alive

  29. Jenn Clark

    Hawaii Health Bar near Diamond Head. Definitely order the Acai bowl. It’s a smoothie in a bowl with fresh fruit, bee pollen, honey and tons of healthy stuff on top but oh so good! Your kids will LOVE it. I recommend getting one after climbing Diamond Head…NOT before!

    Best beach with not a lot of people is Waimanalo Beach Park.

    Best shaved ice – Island Snow Hawaii in Kailua (with ice cream on the bottom). Trust me, I’ve tried all shaved ice on the island :).

    Have fun!

  30. Ashley

    Hop in the car and drive along Tantalus Drive. It’s a bit crazy navigating, but it’s such a good view of downtown.

    Also, head to Pali Point. I think when it comes to historic sites, it’s such an important turning point in Hawaiian history when King Kamehameha I was on his way to uniting the islands. Plus, it’s also another great view and if it’s too hot, it’s a nice break with strong winds! (I would recommend the Arizona Memorial but I think it’s best for when children are older—I never fully understood the significance of the site until I came back as an adult versus when I went on a school trip when I was 10).

    If you want an easy hike, Makapuu Lighthouse is a fairly doable hike with children.

    Bishop Museum is great as well, especially if you’re curious about the history of the islands and the culture. They also have a nice science museum for the children.

    Polynesian Voyaging Society is also another great cultural place to visit—it’s the home of Hokulea (the historic canoe that has traveled worldwide).

    If you’re feeling brave, head over to the west side of the island (Leeward) and go all the way to Yokohama Beach. It’s really far from Waikiki but the beaches are practically untouched and there’s never any crowds. Or there’s also Koolina or Aulani (the new Disney resort). The leeward side never gets any love from much people but it’s rugged beauty is always so underestimated. Waianae was the hometown of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

    And last, just do a trip around the island. It’s fairly quick compared to a road trip on the mainland. Head towards Kaneohe (and take the H3, you’ll get a close up view of the mountains) from Waikiki and make your way through the North Shore.

    Oh and as a side note … be aware of traffic. It’s worse than New York and on par with LA traffic. It starts from 2 and doesn’t really end until 6/7 pm.

  31. Where did you get your Birkenstocks from?? Love the color

  32. Erin

    Born and raised here…EAT!! I skimed over some comments and they had awesome recommendations.

    -Malasadas from Leonards Bakery

    -Shave Ice (Waiola off of Kapahulu and Shimazu is good, Matsumotos and Island Snow is great but the lines sometimes are horrendous and with 3 little ones may be a bit overwhelming)

    -Manapua (not dim sum) try Royal Kitchen or Libbys

    -Chichi dango from Nisshodo Candy Store (hidden gem)

    -Hawaiian food from Highway Inn or Helenas (very small parking lot)

    -Farmers Markets are awesome, try the KCC or Kakaako (I think both are Saturdays)

    -Poke (raw fish) from Tamashiros or Youngs Fishmarket (Youngs has Hawaiian food too)

    -Kam Bakery (right across from Youngs Fishmarket and near Nisshodo Candy Store) try their Poi doughnuts!

    -Bubbies for dessert! Locally made ice cream, try the mochi icecream (near University)

    Rainbow Drive Inn, local food and favorites

    Diamond Head Cove, try the “da Hawaiian” Acai bowl, it has local honey and pa i ai (taro)

    random: spam musubi, crack seed, li hing mui anything, saimin

    Have fun and enjoy your stay here!

  33. Sarah

    I love seeing pictures and hearing about your family’s travels to know it can be done! I would love a post on the not so fun logistics of making traveling with little ones work. To me (mother of one toddler plus one on way), it’s the getting to/from that’s most daunting. How do you handle car seats (esp with 3)? Do you always bring car seats to your destination even if you don’t rent a car? Do you check your seats or put under the plane (I can’t even imagine how you make it to ticketing with 3 littles, 3 car seats, AND your luggage!!)? How do you manage sleeping arrangements with multiple littles who maybe aren’t ready for a bed yet? And any tips for traveling with nap and bedtime needs! We just had a great vacarion but adding another little to the mix seems much more difficult with travel.

  34. Wow looks and sounds amazing x