The recent warm weather in the Pacific Northwest is quickly defrosting the long Portland winter away from my bones. It has been such nice weather in Portland in the last week, it has almost been
too nice. When we had a humid lightening storm last night, I felt like we were back in the tropics.
I had the chance to explore Hawaii –
and Oahu – around this time last year on our way from Maui , and it is still a cherished memory. I had wanted to go to Hawaii for ages so you could say I was delighted to have been able to fit it into my travels last year. New Zealand
So, when can I go back again?
These are my favorite 25 photos from the islands I went to this time around to give you some tropical inspiration and happiness this Friday afternoon.
A stop along the Road to Hana at Waianapanapa State Park, where we discovered lava tubes, a blow hole, and the popular Black Sand Beach.
The impromptu luau at Waikiki Beach brought more than a hundred people. We just noticed it while walking past on our way to dinner. We took a seat to watch the free show at sunset.
Me trying to keep my cool before my first ever surf lesson on Waikiki Beach – did I mention I’m terrified of waves and this was a HUGE fear to face head on for me? Great day.
After an , we were driven to the top of the Haleakalā summit to watch the sun go down. all day hike
We succumbed to one of those bus tours that leaves from Waikiki and takes you around the popular spots on the North Shore of Oahu, and we actually had a great time. This was taken at lunch at a turtle farm. The first time I’ve tried coconut shrimp and it was yum.
During our North Shore trip we stopped by a beach and watched the local Hawaiian kids gleefully get pummeled by wave after wave, laughing the whole time. They were so comfortable in the water, regardless of the many warnings that came from the lifeguard about the strong waves that day. I think those warnings were really meant for the tourists.
I love how this shot captures the silhouettes of the groups that were watching the sunset above the clouds. To me, this picture brings out that feeling of pure awe that the rest of us were feeling at this exact moment.
On the Road to Hana we stopped in at the cutest little vegan ice cream place with eccentric owners – It was called Coconut Glen’s.
This shot was taken my very last day in Hawaii, right before we hopped on a plane to San Diego. One last moment of bliss, playing ukulele and enjoying the view.
Another shot of the all-day hike we went on for free with our hostel in the stunning Haleakalā National Park. It was one of the best experiences I had in Hawaii.
Our first stop on the Road to Hana was at Twin Falls – it wouldn’t be complete without a fruit stand out front!
One of the first pictures I took in Hawaii, a glimpse at Waikiki Beach looking in.
The sunset at the Haleakalā summit above the clouds at over 10,000 feet, Kendall fitting it into his hand.
Our first look at Red Sand Beach (or Kaihalulu Beach), the much more hidden cousin to Black Sand Beach further along the Road to Hana. A secluded spot with nudists, rocky sand, and rust-colored sea walls that reflect beautifully off the rich green and blue surroundings.
As well as tackling surfing for the first time in Hawaii, I also managed to try out SUPing on our tour of the North Shore. It took me awhile to find my balance, but I eventually stood up and managed not to fall.
Another shot of the Haleakalā summit just before sunset, but this time inside the visitor’s center – which was much warmer and gave an incredible spaceship view out into the clouds.
A random stop on the side of the road during our Road to Hana trip in Maui. These types of views were common throughout the drive, and they never got old.
A visit to the Dole Plantation in Oahu to try some pineapple ice cream…and gumballs?
One of my all-time favorite pictures from Hawaii. You’ve probably seen it around this blog and my social media channels a lot, taken by my partner Kendall on our epic all day hike through a volcano. It felt like I was staring at a painting for most of the day even while I was immersed in the natural scenery.
A different view of Coconut Glen’s ice cream stop on the Road to Hana. Rainbow vibes all the way.
Being able to finally experience the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor was a bittersweet moment. It was hauntingly beautiful standing above the ship that entombed so many Americans during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
I loved finding a colorful Brazilian food truck on our way to the Pipeline on the North Shore. Captured on a breezy day.
My other favorite sunset happened in Maui as well, our finishing views of the Road to Hana on the way back to our hostel. This sunset and the one at Haleakalā were equally amazing in different ways. Maui holds the crown for amazing sky porn.
A last shot of our long day of bike riding around Honolulu. Not something I’d necessarily recommend, as we soon found it to not be a very bike friendly area, but we were rewarded with a subtle rainbow right in front of Diamond Head to make it all worth it.
Have you been to Hawaii before? Which picture is your favorite?
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Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
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