Cut The Cliché: An Insider’s Guide To Oahu

In addition to the e-mails I get that say “Hey Kait, I’m coming to Hawaii! What do you recommend?”, I also get quite a few e-mails saying “Hey Kait! I’m coming BACK to Hawaii and I want some ideas of what to do outside the typical clichés of luau, hikes, etc.” Today I’m sharing some typical Oahu clichés and what you can do instead.

Cut The Cliché - An Insider's Guide To Oahu - Communikait

Just as a note, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the clichés…in fact, I love most of them! But for those that are looking for a bit more of an insider’s peek at island life (or have already checked the box for the often recommended sites and food) – this post is for you 🙂

Cliché: Wearing fake flower leis

Instead: Go to Chinatown and peruse through the fresh flower shops

Cut The Cliché - An Insider's Guide To Oahu - Communikait

Cliché: Mai Tai Catamaran Cruise

Instead: Make friends with locals and be part of the crew on Friday night sailboat races. Pro tip: take beer and/or wine

Cliché: Luau

Instead: Picnic at the beach. Bring some real Hawaiian food and chow down as the sun sets!

Cliché: ABC Alohawear

Instead: Hit up Roberta Oaks, Kahala, Tori Richard, Sig on Smith, etc. and see what local designers are making!

Cliché: Hike Diamond Head

Instead: Check out some of the other amazing hikes on the island. If you need any ideas, be sure to check out my post on popular Oahu hikes.


Cut The Cliché - An Insider's Guide To Oahu - Communikait

Cliché: Banzai Pipeline

Instead: Drive Kamehameha Highway all the way up through La’ie and check out some of the lesser known North Shore beaches.

Cut The Cliché - An Insider's Guide To Oahu - Communikait

Cliché: Drinks at your swanky resort in Waikiki

Instead: Peruse downtown Honolulu for a fun local bar. I highly recommend Livestock Tavern, Mahina + Sun’s + Haleiwa Beach House (Haleiwa).

Cliché: Visiting resort shops in Waikiki for souvenirs

Instead: Check out the Swap Meet or stores in Chinatown for locally made wares to take home!

Cliché: Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Instead: Head out to the west side and find Electric Beach. You can almost always spot turtles out there, but be careful of currents.

Cut The Cliché - An Insider's Guide To Oahu - Communikait

Cliché: Visit Pearl Harbor

Instead: Instead of just viewing the USS Arizona Memorial, go through the Pacific Aviation Museum, board the USS Missouri, tour the Bowfin submarine and stroll through the historical museums on site.

These are just a few ideas to get any potential visitors inspired! Have you visited Oahu and gone “off the beaten path”?

July 21, 2017


  • Jen

    I love these alternatives. Especially the museums, those are usually the first thing we find when we are in a new place. We want to engage in the history.

    • Kait

      When you plan your trip, I can help with any museum you want to go to! Plus, loads of historical sites peppered throughout the island! 🙂

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