Perfect Day: The Real Hawaii with Danielle Scherman
I grew up in Hawaii, so I have too many memories to share, but some highlights were sleeping under the stars on the Mokulua Islands, sitting around a beach bonfire with good friends playing music, jumping off waterfalls, and sailing at midnight. When you visit Oahu, I’d recommend living the way the locals do, so if you’re anything like me, stay out of Waikiki and step into Kailua! Kailua is a beautiful beachside community known for its white sandy beaches and perfect wind conditions for windsurfing and kite surfing. Oahu is for everyone – it’s the kind of place I’d visit with a lover, a best friend, or solo!
My favorite places to eat:
1. Buzz’s Lanikai is a local staple. Buzz’s was built in an old beach shack that now has a tree growing out the center. The calamari steak is a must, and order a B.F.R.D. if you dare!
2. When in Hawaii, you gotta eat sushi – Imana’s and Sasabune are my favorites!!
3. For a true, home-cooked, hole-in-the-wall, Hawaiian culinary experience, visit Ono’s Hawaiian Food on Kapahulu. Eat family style, try the kalua pig, poi, laulau. Keep an open mind, and go for the experience. Try everything and get to know the wait staff and the owners – this place is legendary.
BONUS: Don’t leave Hawaii with out trying shaved ice, malasadas and ahi poke!
1. Go SURFING, STAND UP PADDLING, or KITING!!
2. Kayak to the Mokes. Pick up sandwiches at Kalapawai Market for the trip.
3. Sail to the sandbar at Kaneohe Bay. On the weekends, this sandbar is packed with boats and people playing volleyball, BBQing and having a great time!
4. Spend a day on the North Shore (especially in the winter): known as the big wave riding capital of the world, Oahu’s north shore will blow your mind. Take in a surf competition at Pipeline, stop at a fruit stand for ice cold coconut and ono pineapple (ask for li hing powder!), eat at Giovanni’s Original Shrimp Truck for lunch.
5. Hike to the Makapu’u lighthouse and if you’re feeling daring, go rock climbing at Makapu’u with Climb Aloha.
Bonus points: Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes at sunrise or sunset, and be sure to bring your camera – the views are panoramic.
My hidden gems:
1. Buddhist Temple at Valley of the Temples in Kahalu’u. This old temple is located in the midst of the majestic Ko’olau mountains, and it’s a quick stop on your way to the North Shore. The Temple grounds are a lushly landscaped paradise nestled in a cleft of the Pali and are home to wild peacocks and hundreds of Japanese koi carp.
2. Lomilomi Massage at Lomilomi Hana Lima in Kailua.
3. Sunset Beach Yoga on Magic Island.
1. Brush up on your local lingo. "Pau" means done. "Kama’aina" means local. "Haole" means white person or foreigner (that’s probably you). "Shaka" is a hand gesture you use to say “how’s it going?” or “what’s up?”
2. Wear sunscreen. No, really. By the way, SPF 4 doesn’t count. ;)
The place I'm most excited to go to next is:
Safari in South Africa, Backpacking the Grand Canyon, pretty much sailing everywhere I can!