I don’t remember how it comes up in conversation, but when I tell people I went to Oahu for a whopping 48 hours they always want to know why. I don’t really have an answer for that. I like Hawaii and I had a couple free days before the school semester started back up. So, why not?
What can you cram into 48 hours on the island? Quite a lot actually!
The one downside to traveling six time zones away for two days is that you never really adjust to island time. I woke up super early for both days and was super tired by about 5 pm and crashed shortly thereafter.
Your first day in Hawaii is really just a bust. My flight arrived at 6 pm ish, which was really midnight at home and I was whooped. I had just enough time to drive around downtown Honolulu, marvel at the massively tall skyscrapers, and check into the hotel (Shoutout to Mom for finding me a hotel last minute because I decided to wing it!).
Read More: The Waikiki Sand Villa in Honolulu
Your Real Day 1
Head down to the hotel lobby for breakfast, it is not included if you stay at the Waikiki Sand Villa, but there is a variety of food offered buffet style and is quite delicious. Or you can head out and check out one of the many different eateries offered on the island.
Once breakfast is done, hop in your car and start driving North. I followed the road that followed the shoreline and the views were stunning. Hiking trails are everywhere around the island, so it’s not hard to find a spot.
I actually had a specific hiking spot in mind. I found a photo of a lush bamboo forest on Trover a couple weeks prior to going that claimed to be a hiking trail. It was and of course, I can’t find the photo and don’t remember the name of it. It was through a residential area at the top of a mountain. The views on the way up were amazing and I’m sure the houses were super expensive.
A few paces into the hike there was a sign that said something like beware of wild boars and wear bright colors so the hunters can see you. Since I didn’t really feel like getting mauled or shot on the top of a mountain with no one around to hear me in distress, I went in just far enough to see the lush bamboo. After I snapped a few photos, I high-tailed it back to the safety of my car.
Lunch – Roadside Fruit Stand
Hawaii has an abundance of fresh tropical fruit. It just so happens that fresh tropical fruit is my favorite kind. Especially pineapples and coconuts.
You don’t have to stop at any particular stand. Along some stretches, they line the road. Though it is usually near a busy beach. People have to stay hydrated with fresh coconut water of course.
Need I say more? You can’t go all the way to Hawaii and not spend time at the beach.
You also can’t go to Hawaii and not go to a Luau. The pork roasted in the ground is seriously the best meat I have ever eaten. You also cannot miss an opportunity to try the purple paste that is poi.
I opted to skip it this time though. I was about $120 and I didn’t really want to spend all that. Instead, I spent about $80 on pearl oysters and mounting two of them into white gold stud earrings. Totally worth it!
I ended up with two silver/lavender pearls and one white pearl. Naturally, the silver/lavender ones are the ones I mounted on studs. It really is the best souvenir I think I have ever gotten from anywhere.
Day two was full of a lot of driving, a lot more photos, and a lot of peacefulness.
I skipped it. I’m terrible, I know. But at the time, I didn’t see the point in going. It was history and even though I had just switched my major to history I wasn’t into history yet. I’m still not really into it, but I do regret skipping Pearl Harbour.
Again, I messed up on visiting the palace. I didn’t realize they had meters to pay to park and I could barely scrape together enough quarters to pay for a short time of parking. I definitely didn’t have enough time to do a proper tour.
I did have enough time to wander the grounds and explore the building across the street. It had an exhibit dedicated to how the Japanese were treated on the island during World War II. It was a very interesting exhibit as I knew nothing about it prior to visiting.
Lunch – Food Truck
One of the places that kept popping up for food trucks was Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. It sounded like a good plan, the only problem is I don’t eat fish. It’s just too fishy for me – pun might be intended 😉
Thankfully the parking lot where Giovanni’s is not lacking on choices. I found a Thai food truck and had my first taste of Thai food. It was amazing, to say the least.
Valley of Temples
The name Valley of Temples makes me think of all kinds of nerdy things. In reality, though it’s a large cemetery with a replica Japanese temple in a secluded valley at the end of the road.
The temple grounds are so peaceful. It was easy to get lost in thought and wander the grounds for at least an hour. One of my favorite things was the koi pond and the resident black swans.
Even though you don’t adjust to island time in 48 hours, there is plenty of time to see and do everything you want.