If you know me well, and by well I mean *at all*, you know that Hawaii is my favorite place. Point blank, Hawaii makes me the happiest little fish in the sea. Hawaii makes me happier than I’ve ever felt, and every time I go, I feel like I’m returning home. It’s crazy because even though I was born in So Cal, I always felt like I was supposed to be in Hawaii, even before I even really knew what Hawaii was. The first time I ever went to Hawaii had me hooked, and of course, I haven’t been able to stop returning. Someday I’ll move there, I’m just waiting on the right time- but maybe the right time is now, and I just have to do it.
One of the best and busiest times to visit Hawaii is in the fall, when big surf is in full swing. There’s tons of competitions to see, especially on Oahu. There’s also TONS of whales, especially in Maui, so if you love whale watching, November in Maui is the place for you. This particular trip I spent on land, so I’ll be going through all the top things to do when living like a local on the islands. Here’s some of my favorite moments for you to recreate last November on Kauai and Oahu!
It’s not hard to stumble upon a “secret” beach if you’re adventurous. Just pull over to the side of the road by the ocean and hike down some curly branches like a monkey, and you’ll probably find yourself on your own little 10 ft patch of a sandy beach. Climb a palm tree and hang out there for the best view of the tiger sharks swimming in the cove…just kidding. Maybe.
Dangerously Take Photos In The Road:
JUST KIDDING. Definitely don’t do this and get hit. Occasionally you may find yourself driving through the most magical canopy of trees, especially In Kauai. One of the best ways to enjoy the view is to lay in the bed of a truck and look up, and watch as the canopy zips past you as you pretend you’re a character in a John Green book. If you find yourself without a truck, you could always be VERY CAREFUL and snap a quick pic in the road. Just don’t be annoying. Locals get mad at you if you’re in the street when they’re trying to drive! Wait for a respectful patch of emptiness.
If you’re driving down to Na Pali entrance (Kauai, you may see a few trucks parked on the side of the road, and a towel swung casually over a yellow sign. Pull over, and you might just find yourself at the Cold Pond. If you’re looking for the exact location, I totally can’t pinpoint where it is to an address, but I guess that’s part of the fun of seeking it out for yourself, so the Cold Pond stays a little mysterious. It’s almost always been empty when I go! The cold pond is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day and rinse off after a day full of surfing.
The Waiakanaloa Wet Cave in Kauai is a sight to see. It’s eerily beautiful and you just can’t help but wonder what’s behind the walls, right beyond the cave entrance. I got this photo using a slow shutter in pitch black darkness at night, but I wouldn’t recommend this because this place is suuuuper haunted by ancient spirits and it’s best to respect them if you aren’t with the right people. *makes scary ghost noises*
It’s totally necessary to indulge in a lazy beach day multiple times during your trip to Hawaii. Enjoy what Hawaii has to offer that isn’t on the main tourist websites! Take a day to drive down a jungle street you don’t know, stop at a small coconut water shack, enjoy the journey and end up on an uncrowded local beach that you can just grab a towel and take a mid-day nap on. The art of relaxing is something to give in to, and the beach is the perfect place to start.
Take A Helicopter Ride:
I’ve gotten to take two helicopter rides while in Hawaii; one in Maui and one in Oahu. Both times you get incredibly different experiences, and both are 1000% worth it. Oahu was actually my first helicopter ride ever, and I did it with closed doors. After that, I started doing open door helicopters (yes, the ones you can dangle your feet out of), and I’ll never go back. The experience is way more immersive when you get to see the world behind a glass panel, and feel the wind on your toes. I think it’s honestly the best way to really see any destination you go to, from an angle not many ever get to experience.
Okay, surfing isn’t easy. It’s actually the hardest sport I’ve ever attempted, and I grew up playing every* sport. It requires expert balance, knowledge of the ocean, and a whole lot of courage, if anything. But the perfect way to really feel what the ocean is all about is to duck dive right in (literally) and see what mighty power she holds. It’s humbling to surf, even if you can’t stand up, and it turns even the oldest person into a child again, which is pretty cool.
Get An Acai or Papaya Bowl:
One of the best things about Hawaii is the amount of care that goes into living naturally. By just taking a ride down the road, you’re bound to stumble upon tiny shacks selling local goods. My favorite little shack is The Sunrise Shack, located on North Shore of Oahu, right by Sunset beach. It sells a ton of superfood charged coffee, great papaya bowls and more tasty goods! Definitely worth stopping by and saying hi to my friends if they’re there! The place is all good vibes.
And finally, the number one thing you must* do if you’re in Oahu, is visit the iconic angel wings! Located in North Shore, this is a total must to hit and get your photo for Instagram. There’s another pair of wings in Los Angeles, but it’s just not as fun as this experience of being barefoot and bathing-suit clad, with an acai bowl in hand, experiencing your highest point in life on the beach! Once again, good vibes all around.
So that is my ultimate blog post on all my favorite things to do in Hawaii during September, October and November! Hawaii truly is a Disneyland for the ultimate adventurer. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth! If you ever get a chance to go, let me know if you end up doing something on this list, and if you’ve already been, did you do the same things? Anything new?
I’d love to know!
Until next time,