For those of you who have traveled with me before, you know that I love traveling solo and I love doing as the locals do in every new destination.
This involves eating in non-awkward places so it doesn’t feel weird to eat alone, hanging out where other travelers and locals hang out so I can meet people, embracing the local culture as much as I can, and of course, doing whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.
Luckily right before my first solo trip to Oahu, Hawaii, I found out about the Lokely app, which was a great tool for me as a solo traveler.
The app let me search for locals thatLIVE on the island of Oahu. I was then able to reach out to them and ask them what hikes were best for solo travelers, where is good to eat if you’re solo, where to party, and where to stay—some of them offered to show me around as well!
After I reached out on the app, I got great emails from the locals telling me what beaches were less crowded, where to park my rental car, the best nights to go to certain bars, and a bunch of other things ONLY locals know. A special shoutout to Ariel, Ryan and Sean for helping me out and making my trip one I won’t forget!
WHERE TO STAY:
New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. One of the locals on the app used to work at this hotel and got me a discounted rate! How sweet is that?! Check out that view of Diamondhead Crater right out the window. If I were to do this again I may have stayed at a hostel (check out good ones here) so I could meet more people, but I truly wanted to be alone on this trip, so I was fine staying at a nicer hotel!
WHAT TO DO:
GO ON A HIKE:
One of my favorites was the Lanikai PillBoxhike with a view of the entire Kailua side of the island. This is super fun and easy to do alone. Plus, the photo opportunities are incredible!
I also did the Diamond Head Crater hike which was right next to my hotel. This one was a lot more touristy, but the views were spectacular from the top and you could see the entire city of Honolulu.
GO TO THE BEACH:
The best part about Oahu is that you can drive a really short distance and find breathtaking beaches! I spent my time away from Waikiki and ventured to Lanikai (my fave), Kailua and Kahala beaches. The beaches in the North Shore were also incredible! I happened to be there in February when the waves were huge and had a blast watching the surf competitions at Pipeline and Sunset beaches.
DO OTHER FUN THINGS:
There are sooo many things to do in Oahu! I spent my time hiking, driving the North Shore, lounging on the beaches, snorkeling and eating a ton. I didn’t even scratch the surface of activities on the island and I could have easily spent another week there. I got the biggest list of the best activities to do on the Island from the Lokely app.
Head to the Pali Lookout! It was breathtaking and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Take a Booze Cruise on a catamaran in Waikiki – mine was roughly $30 for an hour and it was a great way to meet other travelers!
Go snorkeling at Shark’s Cove snorkeling. There are a ton of other snorkeling spots as well, but this one was pretty fun!
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK:
I’m a huge fan of Acai bowls so when I saw that Ariel had suggested a few Acai places, I was really excited. I got my first one at Bogart’s Café, and then went to the Banan food truck for another one. YUM!
It wouldn’t be a trip to Hawaii without a stop for some fresh sushi. I was recommended Izakaya Torae Torae and it did not disappoint. Talk about a melt-in-your-mouth experience! I wanted to find somewhere I could eat and not feel too awkward being alone, so I chose a sushi joint. Sushi spots are great for solo travelers because you can always sit at the bar. I even made a few friends who were sitting at the sushi bar alone also!
Duke’s, Lulu’s, and Tiki Bar are all bars/restaurants in Honolulu with views of the beach. They were perfect stops to grab fruity drinks, listen to island music, and watch the sunset on my first night in Waikiki. Also, great places to meet people if you’re traveling alone!
>>>Personally I’m not a huge fan of crowds, so Waikiki wasn’t the place for me. I spent most of my time traveling up the coastlines and stopping at the gorgeous beaches. I told this to the locals on the app and they tailored their suggestions to my travel preferences.
North Shore was another mecca for food! I loved stopping at Ted’s Bakery for garlic shrimp and a free slice of pie. Great place to eat if you’re alone! I also found shrimp trucks all up and down the coast and one of the local faves and the most popular was Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.
The trip definitely wasn’t complete without some Hawaiian shave ice! So, I stopped at Island Snow Shave Ice to get a shave ice with ice cream at the bottom. YES!
I could have easily listed all of the recommendations I got from the app, but there were so many and they were tailored to me. If you’re traveling to the islands I suggest downloading the app yourself to get your own tailored experience. I think Hawaii is one of the best places to do your first solo trip if you’re looking to travel alone, but are kinda scared. There are plenty of places to eat alone, to listen to live bands and drink alone, and to enjoy the beaches and lookouts alone. I had an absolute blast and I promise you’ll also have a great time!
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.