[Oahu Trip Recap] Day 4 - 10/9/21 | Last day in Oahu! - Diamond Head & Kualoa Ranch
We started our day with the Diamond Head hike! We arrived around 7:30AM and the parking lot was already full. However, they have a car waiting line and direct you to parking spots as people leave. At 7:30AM, there were already a lot of people leaving, so we were able to get a spot pretty quickly.
This hike is not as intense as Pillbox but it does have some inclines and a few stairs to climb. You also have to go through a short dark tunnel (with your mask on). When you're almost to the top, I recommend taking the tall yellow stairs to the right for a more interesting experience :D Here are some views from the top!
Next to the parking lot, they sell dole whip and other pineapple treats. So be sure to treat yourself after that long hike! We got the Dole whip soft serve and sprinkled li hing mui on top. YUM.
Across the street from Diamond Head is the KCC Farmer's market (which only happens on Saturdays). The free parking lot was pretty full but because food consumption is not allowed on premises, there were a lot of people coming and going and we were able to find parking quickly. We ended up getting some baked abalone and fresh squeezed sugar cane juice! Both were a bit pricey but delicious.
Since we only stopped by the farmer's market for a post-hike snack, we headed for Ono's Seafood (below left) to pick up some poke for lunch! I got their Hawaiian style Ahi Tuna. We also stopped by Fresh Catch because we saw it featured on Diner's, Drive Ins, and Dives on TV in the hotel room just the night before haha. Here we got their Smoked Tako (below right) - and omg. It was probably my favorite poke we had all trip.
On the same street was also Lenoard's. It took almost an hour but it was worth the wait. We tried their Guava, Macadamia and Li Hing Mui malasadas.
Our next stop was Nu'uanu Pali lookout. It was extremely windy (see below) and a bit rainy so we didn't stick around for too long. The views were nice but it was also really cloudy. Parking was also $7. I would suggest just doing the scenic drive instead if the weather isn't great.
We moved on up the east coast to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden which has free admission! We didn't have too much time to spend here so we only walked to the pond. Here we saw a large group of gold fish, where some guy was feeding them. We then took a short drive up to a lookout point and snapped a few photos before heading out to Kualoa Ranch!
We booked the Kualoa Ranch 2-Hour ATV Raptor Tour and arrived just in time for our check in. The name of the tour is misleading since we would drive UTVs not ATVs but it was still so much fun. Our tour guides were friendly and funny (we had Robert and Paulo!) and helped us take pictures when we stopped by each scenic point. My boyfriend and I were also able to switch driving at each stopping point too. They also had an 1-hour tour option, but I felt like you definitely need the 2 hours; time went by so fast!
Before heading back to Wakiki, we stopped by Adela's Country Eatery to pick up some cheesecake. They had a ton of different flavors. But we only grabbed one because each slice is huge. We tried the Lilikoi cheesecake and it was so so good. Highly recommend stopping by here if you can.
We ended our day with dinner at Shiro's Saimin. My boyfriend and I got the Chashu saimin and I got one that came with a cheeseburger on the side at the suggestion of a friend. YUP. A cheeseburger. Apparently that's a thing the locals do and I was so shocked that it actually paired really well. I almost liked the cheeseburger more than the saimin itself! haha
This was our last full day in Oahu. The next day, we headed for the Big Island!
Honolulu, Oahu Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
Kona/Hilo, Big Island, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9
McDonald's Japan is doing a limited-time around-the-world campaign, and right now they're featuring some menu items from Hawaii! Or maybe menu items inspired by Hawaiian menu items; that's more likely, but then what do I know?
First, the Hawaiian Spicy Barbecue Burger, my husband's choice. I was unsure about this one (they did a Barbecue Pork Burger a few summers ago that was awful), but it was great! It came on a sweetish brown bun and was topped with a hashbrown (nice!), barbecue sauce, and this bright orange sauce that is substantially the same as a spicy dipping sauce for chicken nuggets that they have occasionally. Spicier than you'd expect from McDonald's!
Then, the Garlic Shrimp! Shrimp is not exactly my first choice at McDonald’s, but they’ve been serving the Ebi Filet-O for years so it’s not the same kind of trepidation I’d feel ordering this in America. And you know what, it was great! Same brown bun, lettuce with a lemony mayo, a crispy fried shrimp patty, and more crunch from garlic sauce with fried garlic bits. A little heavy but I definitely recommend it!