Activities

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

Online editor Kristy Woudstra says aloha to the perfect mother-daughter getaway.

By Kristy Woudstra

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

“Mama, this is paradise,” says my six-year-old daughter, Rory, as she leans back on the white sand beach that stretches into endless turquoise water.

I’ll admit it, I had hesitations. I’m a single parent who’s used to travelling (even camping) alone with my kid. But never for seven days. When I considered the 11 hours of flying each way, I knew our trip couldn’t be shorter than a week. I thought I’d lose my mind by day three.

But as soon as I got off the plane and sensed the relaxed vibe, I knew this would be a trip we’d remember, especially because it was our last one together. (By the time this story is out I will have a new husband and a stepson in the house!)

Neither of us was ready to leave when the time came. Rory was right. We were in paradise.

A version of this article appeared in our October 2012 issue with the headline “Oahu, Hawaii,” p. 30.

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

The best... little-known fact

All of Oahu’s beaches are public, even the ones in front of the big resorts. You can swim, snorkel and surf anywhere.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: iStockphoto

The best... place to get stuff you forgot

ABC Stores. They are everywhere and sell everything from sunscreen to groceries and souvenirs.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: iStockphoto

The best... view

Take a guided hike to the 232-metre summit of the Diamond Head crater.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: iStockphoto

The best... way to make your kid laugh

Learn to say humuhumunukunukuapua’a. That’s the name of Hawaii’s state fish (it means fish that grunts like a pig) and one of the longest Hawaiian words.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: Shutterstock

What to do

Oahu is easy to navigate and the loop around the island only takes four hours. We grabbed a map and headed east, stopping to see breathtaking scenery and eat tasty garlic shrimp at one of the many shrimp trucks on the side of the road. Rory (left) and I continued to the island’s famous north shore, passing by the Polynesian Cultural Center, Sunset Beach (stop at Ted’s Bakery for a haupia pie) and Laniakea Beach (the place to see green sea turtles). Our goal was to reach Haleiwa, a historic beach town. This is where to go for a burger at Kua’Aina’s and shaved ice (a snow cone) at either Aoki’s or Matsumoto.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: Kristy Woudstra

House call!

If you can, rent one of the gorgeous beach houses at Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore. It’s the perfect way to vacation as a family because it includes all the amenities of the 800-acre resort. (Pssst... the scenery is so beautiful that Forgetting Sarah Marshall and episodes of Lost were shot there.)

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: Kristy Woudstra

Did you know?

The average ocean temperature of the waters around Oahu is 27 °C? And the average air temperature is 21 to 29°C? Oahu is the most popular of the five Hawaiian Islands for tourists for a reason.

Postcard from Oahu, HawaiiPhoto: Lightguard/iStockphoto

More travel destinations...

Postcard from Oahu, Hawaii

This article was originally published on Aug 30, 2012
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