Oahu Travel Guide-Support Local

Oahu Travel Guide-Support Local


Hi friends! I have been asked the best things to do on Oahu for years, and I finally decided to make a blog post about it. I wanted to highlight ways that visitors can support local businesses when traveling to the islands! I have been a guest on this island for over 6 years now, and every single day I feel grateful to be here. The pandemic really hit local families hard, and small businesses have been really hurt during this time. Showing these businesses some love when you come to visit goes a long way!  I also asked some of my friends who were born and raised here what they wish tourists knew when coming to the islands. I shared their responses at the end! 



One Ocean Diving (@oneoceandiving)

Snorkel with sharks and learn from marine biologists. Run by Ocean Ramsey and Juan Oliphant. 

Oahu Leis (@oahuleis)

 Oahu-based floral company, eco-friendly sourced flowers. Learn to make traditional leis and hakus! 

My friend, Kiana, hosts this Haku Lei experience. She is one of the sweetest people I know and is incredibly talented.

Captain Bobs Picnic Sail (@captainbobpicnicsail)

Experience the Kanehoe Sandbar (one of my favorite places) with a catamaran cruise. This tour is led by experienced locals.



North Shore Catamaran Charters (@northshore.catamaran)

Located on North Shore, Oahu. Whale watching, sunset cruise and snorkel tours! The captain was born and raised here and is so fun and kind!


Pono Cummings (@pcpono)

Anela Benevides (@anelabenevides)

Jessica Pine (@jessicaahpine)

Emma McCullough (@emmaericksonmcc)

Kaila Key (@kailakeyphoto)

Jack Soren (@jacksoren) - Creates beautiful Hawaii inspired art!


Kahuku Farm Cafe (@kahukufarms)

Kahuku Farms is a result of two farming families spanning back three generations in Hawaii. The cafe was opened 10 years ago by the same family and since then they have been serving healthy, farm-fresh favorites to locals and visitors to the island. Located in Kahuku!

Some of my favs:

-Farm Pizza

-Grilled Veggie Panini

-Tropi Kale Smoothie

Pupukea Grill (@pupukeagrill

Blue Food Truck located in Pupukea across from Sharks Cove.

Some of my favs:
-Spicy Ahi Quinoa (add Avo)

-Shoyu Chicken

-Kalua Pork Quesadilla

Kens Fresh Fish (@kensfreshfish_)

Located in Laie. Home of the original Ahi Katsu! Always fresh and caught daily! 

-Ahi Katsu 

-Ahi Poke (Spicy or Shoyu) 

Raised By The Waves (@raisedbythewaveshawaii)

Located in Kahuku at the old Sugar Mill. Plant Based, Vegan and Eco-Friendly. Started and operated by Malia Murphey and Brooke Berry, two girls born and raised on Oahu. 

-Chuns Sandwich

-Sunrise Waffle

-Banzai Bagel

-Blue Room Smoothie

Waialua Bakery (@waialuabakery)

Homegrown and Homemade from Mokuleia Nursery located in Haleiwa. Sandwiches, cookies, smoothies, salads. 

-Chicken Pesto Sandwich on Pesto Roll

-Terriyaki Chicken Salad

-Banana Bread Pudding

-Coconut Dream Cookie

-Nutty Hawaiian Smoothie 

Shaloha (@shaloha4u)

Authentic flavors of Israel brought to Hawaii. Located in Honolulu! 

-Shawarma Pita Plate

-Shaloha Pita Plate

Maguro Spot (@magurospot)

Located in Waikiki. The best poke bowl made with local fresh caught fish. 

-Tuna Bowl

-Tuna, Cream Sesame Sauce and White Rice

-Tuna, House Sauce and White Rice


The Growing Keiki (@thegrowingkeiki)

Guava Shop (@guavashop)

Splash! Hawaii (@splashhawaii)

Rocky Point Collective (@rockypointcollective)


I asked some of my local friends that were born and raised here what they wished visitors to the island would visit and experience. Here are some of their responses.

My friend, Anela, said-

As a local here I wanted to quickly point out what many visitors can do to be respectful to Hawaii, the culture, the natives & the land.

-Educate yourself with the sources of information out there to be mindful of the people & the land.

Some places that teach Hawaii history & culture: Iolani Palace, Waimea Valley Educational Program, Bishop Museum, Hawaii Plantation Village, Polynesian Cultural Center, Honolulu Museum of Art, Queen Emma summer palace.

-Do not geotag locations at all or SHARE locations with others keep them private.

-Pick up your trash always and if you see trash thats not yours pick it up anyways.

-Do NOT go to sacred Heiau’s unless invited by locals or for educational purposes.

-Use reusable items as much as you possibly can.

-Leave no trash on hikes, outdoors.

-Buy from LOCAL small businesses and not big corporate companies.

-Do not feel entitled or feel that the people or the land OWE you anything.

-Do not touch any of the wildlife: including turtles, seals etc. in their natural habitat. Stay 10 feet away at all times.

-Do not go on illegal hikes, private property.


My other friend, Kiana, said- 

1. Drive with aloha, drive slowly.

Avoid going to beaches that cause traffic like Laniakea (turtle) Beach.

Seek opportunities to feel the aloha spirit by interacting with locals, doing service, supporting local organizations/businesses, or connecting w/ local culture.

2. I wish more people understood Hawaiian values and the history behind them. Kuleana, Ohana, aloha, Malama aina, hoo Pono Pono…I found this link that is a great resource-


3. I LOVE Airbnb experience. It might sound biased because I have my own Lei making experience on there and your beautiful face is on it (hope that’s ok). But I truly love the experiences so much and all of the hosts are locals with so much passion for what they share and teach. My family and I try to do one experience a month to learn more about Hawai’i, connect with locals and learn new things about the place we live in. Last month we did a fruit farm tour in Haleiwa and I had no idea it existed before booking the experience. This months experience is the legal path to stairway to heaven and our guide is a local uh mania student that is passionate about the outdoors and teaches the history of the mountain range while we hike. The experiences are intimate and truly enriching.

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