Best Hawaii Trips: Oahu’s Top 10 Must-Sees

The most visited of the Hawaiian Islands is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. These are the 10 places on Oahu where we tell friends to go.

No. 10: Kawela Bay

Tucked away on the North Shore at Turtle Bay Resort, this is a quiet escape from the hustle of Waikiki. In the winter, the North Shore is a surfer’s paradise as huge waves roll onto on this beautiful stretch of beach. Lori Barbely

No. 9: Shrimp Trucks on North Shore

Bubba from Forest Gump would be right at home here. Lemon shrimp, fried shrimp, and spicy shrimp can all be found at the many shrimp trucks that dot the North Shore. Lori Barbely

No. 8: Byodo-In Temple

When we show this picture to people, they rarely guess it’s on Oahu. Located at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains, this non-practicing Buddhist temple was built to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese in Hawaii. Lori Barbely

No. 7: Diamond Head Hike

It’s a tough .8-mile hike, but the views of Koko Head, Waikiki and Wai’anae from the summit of Diamond Head make it worth it. And just think how many more lava flows you can drink now that you’ve burned off all those calories. Lori Barbely

No. 6: Indigo Restaurant

Located on the edge of Chinatown, Indigo blends Asian, French, and Mediterranean cuisines for dishes such as Mongolian Grilled Australian Lamb Chops and Fiery Explosions to Heaven Shrimp. But save room for dessert, you wouldn’t want to miss out on Madame Pele’s Chocolate Volcano. Lori Barbely

No. 5: Honolulu’s Chinatown

It’s a feast for the senses. Merchants ranging from Vietnamese to Chinese to Thai to Korean to Japanese offer up fresh produce, noodles, tea and other Asian favorites. Lori Barbely

No. 4: King Kamehameha Statue

Honoring Hawaii’s first King, this statue of Kamehameha stands across from Iolani Palace and is a familiar site to fans of Hawaii Five-O — it appears in the show’s opening credits. But wait. There are four statues of the king throughout the Hawaiian islands. Lori Barbely

No. 3: Leonard’s Malasada Truck

We were told to swing by Leonard’s Restaurant in Honolulu for hot, fresh malasadas. The line was long so we hunted down the truck on the North Shore. Same phenomenal malasadas, but no crowd and open Oahu air. Lori Barbely

No. 2: Waikiki

It might be the world’s most famous beach. Yes, it can be crowded. But yes, it’s worth at least part of a day, if not a few nights. Don’t let the development turn you away. The beach, waves and Diamond Head’s profile make clear why Waikiki became the beach in the first place. Lori Barbely

No. 1: Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Hawaiian born Duke Kahanamoku popularized the sport of surfing so much so that The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championships are named in his honor. Visitors and locals pay tribute to Duke by leaving their leis at the statue. Lori Barbely

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