Earlier this summer, I went to Oahu for the first time. I jokingly referred to this as my “babymoon” even though I was traveling sans husband. Oahu is the perfect babymoon destination if you are looking for a relaxing, tropical getaway. Consider going if you want a range of things to do within close reach – whether it’s beaches, shopping, food, or hiking, and you’re not in the mood for “roughing it” and don’t mind feeling like a tourist. If you’re considering having your babymoon in Oahu, here are some activities that belong on your bucket list.
1. Visit the North Shore.
It took us an hour – maybe less – to drive from our apartment in Waikiki all the way up to Haleiwa Town in the North Shore. We were stunned by how such a short trip could bring us somewhere so far removed from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
The small beach we visited was pristine with its white sand and aquamarine waters, yet there were hardly any other people there. As I swam, I’m pretty sure my baby nugget was rocked to sleep by the motion of the waves.
While you’re there, stop by the food trucks. Since it was our first time there, we had to get shrimp scampi at the lauded Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. You can’t go wrong with this street food classic – nothing but garlicky, buttery goodness. Bring plenty of napkins and hand sanitizer, as this is very much a hands-on meal. The woman who served us recommended we eat the shells too – I tried and, while flavorful, I couldn’t get over the odd texture. Is there a secret to doing this?
Finaly, cool off from your day in the sun by grabbing some shave ice. We went to Matsumoto’s, another popular Hawaiian landmark. I got a Green Tea Ichiban Special, which comes with adzuki beans, condensed milk, and mochi balls. They have every flavor imaginable here, so you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes. The shop also has a lot of cute gifts and Japanese snacks for you to take home!
2. Have an acai bowl.
Or five, in my case. Something about acai bowls had me craving one every morning of my trip. Maybe it was the relief the frozen acai provided my overheated body, the sweetness of the honey, or the peace of mind I got knowing that the fresh fruit and granola made it one of the healthier food choices I had made during my stay.
Even if you aren’t planning on traveling to Hawaii, acai bowls are surprisingly easy to make at home and there are tons of recipes out there for all kinds of variations. I’m planning to try this recipe from Jen Loves Kev. It looks a lot like the acai bowls I had on my trip!
3. Go on a (short) hike.
There’s no shortage of scenic hikes in Oahu. Pregnancy shouldn’t get in the way of taking in the breathtaking greenery and unique wildlife that the island has to offer. With careful planning, you should be able to find a hike that suits your needs.
Unless you are a seasoned hiker, avoid taking on anything that is too long or too steep. Bring comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy, and pack plenty of water and some energizing snacks. Plan to take breaks during your hike, especially if you’ve been experiencing lightheadedness or shortness of breath.
We chose the Manoa Falls Trail for our trip. At 1.5 miles long with an elevation of 554 feet, it was short and relatively easy to handle. We were treated to a view of the gorgeous Manoa Falls waterfall at the end of the trail, too! I did need an extra hand to help me up and down the steeper parts of the trail. It’s a famous site (scenes from Jurassic Park and Lost were filmed here!) so it was pretty crowded. This made it hard to maneuver my bump around people in the more narrow parts of the trail.
Use a website like All Trails to learn everything you need to know about the hike you plan to do.
4. Enjoy the seafood.
As a pregnant lady, you do have to take certain precautions with seafood. The biggest thing to keep on your radar is high-mercury fish – swordfish, tilefish, and ahi tuna, for example (so no tuna poke bowls, aww). However, other types of fish can be highly nutritious and packed with good stuff, like brain-boosting Omega-3’s.
Mahi mahi is a native Hawaiian fish that is safe in small amounts. Other types of seafood I enjoyed in Oahu include salmon, shrimp, calamari, and mussels. Make sure the fish you eat is cooked through!
There are countless seafood restaurants in Oahu. If you’re looking for a nice restaurant away from most of the vacation crowds, I recommend Haleiwa Joe’s in Kaneohe. The views of the mountains can’t be beat!
5. Visit Ala Moana.
I know, Ala Moana Shopping Center is tourist central. It’s huge, almost overwhelmingly so, and it seems they are constantly building and adding new stores.
That said, the open-air shopping center is an impressive feat, and it contains every store you can imagine, from the luxurious (Chanel, Hermes), to to typical mall staples, to Hawaiian-themed establishments. We got to see a campy musical performance on the main stage featuring dancers in grass skirts, and ate bowls of delicious, savory ramen at Goma Tei.
6. Drive outside of Waikiki.
I’ve mentioned traveling outside of Waikiki earlier in the article. You can easily fall into the habit of staying in Waikiki for your entire trip – after all, everything is conveniently located and there’s tons to do. But there’s a lot worth seeing outside of the city – the idyllic North Shore, the poignant Pearl Harbor memorial, and the lush green mountains, to name a few places.
We were fortunate to have friends in Hawaii and were able to visit their home in the suburbs and partake in a home-cooked meal – it doesn’t get more local than that!
We rented a car (it was super affordable since our whole group shared it!) and it helped so much with getting around. Prepare yourself for gas prices that are steeper than what you’re used to back home, though. You could also use Uber to get around – try it with my referral link!
7. Visit cultural sites like the Bishop Museum.
I don’t feel a trip is complete until I’ve visited at least one museum or historical site. The Bishop Museum was a great place to learn about Polynesian culture outside of tikis, luaus, and other stereotypes. It doesn’t take very much time to see everything in the museum, but you’ll be fascinated by the art, historical artifacts, and information about Hawaiian royalty and Polynesian peoples that the museum provides.
If you are traveling with children, they’ll have a blast here. The museum had plenty of hands-on activities such as replicas of costumes and ancient tools, which children (and adults!) can use to learn more about life in the islands years ago.
If we had more time, I would have also loved to see Iolani Palace!
8. Explore the local restaurant scene.
I know – I’ve talked about food so much already this point seems redundant. As a lover of all things delicious I really do have to drive this point home. Hawaiian food is so unique – an unusual combination of pan-Asian flavors mixed with sweet, tropical notes. I couldn’t get enough of it. Keeping in mind what is safe to eat in your pregnancy, I encourage you to be an adventurous eater while you’re here!
If you’re looking for casual comfort food I have a couple more recommendations for you. The Side Street Inn served up some fantastic pork “slidahs” served on bao buns and their “works” fried rice was packed with meaty, kimchi-enhanced flavor.
Dying to try Spam musubi? We were in love with Musubi Iyasume, a hole in the wall that serves all kinds of rice-and-nori based snacks, not limited to Spam.
Bonus Tip: Find ways to budget your money!
It’s always an added bonus if you can save money on a trip, right? Especially if you have a little one on the way. That money could go towards that piece of baby gear you need, or even towards your next trip!
One of the first places I look to cut costs is lodging. I spend most of my time outside of my room when I travel, so I don’t require much beyond a clean space and a comfy bed.
If you are military, you can stay at the Hale Koa in Waikiki for a low rate! We did this and were amazed by the quality of the hotel – easily on-par with the neighboring luxury hotels. The Exchange at the hotel is also a great place to get affordable souvenirs.
You can also cut costs by renting an Airbnb – live like a local and get additional amenities like an entire kitchen! I save a lot on eating out when I use this option. We did this our first couple of nights in Oahu and scored a cute apartment by the beach. Get $30 off your first Airbnb stay by using my referral link!
What would you add to the list?
I was not in Oahu for very long. If I were there longer, I might have added visiting Pearl Harbor and snorkeling in Hanauma Bay to my list of things to do. What are your suggestions for babymoon activities in Oahu? Let me know in the comments!
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