The Best of Oahu West Shore


Taking distances from what is considered strictly touristic and get to know the naked heart of a place is something that I’ve never missed to do on a trip. So I got into the car and I hit the West Shore of Oahu. This part of the island didn’t exactly match with the exotic and beautiful pictures of the Hawaiian Islands I had in mind until then. It was the other side of the coin that nobody talks about. The leeward of Oahu is local, untamed and poor. The currents here are pretty strong and the waves pretty wild. Almost all the coastline had the same feature but two beaches: Waianae Beach and  Nanakuli Beach – in my opinion, the best of the West Shore.


The West Shore of Oahu is the least touristic part of the Island but it shouldn’t stop you from paying a visit, at least to this beach. Waianae Beach is the perfect spot for those who are seeking to relax on a beautiful Hawaiian beach, away from the crowd of the East and North Shore. Also, the total absence of waves makes this place a favorite destination for paddle board lovers. Don’t you have a board with you? Check out  West Oahu Sup for rentals and get ready to have a great time!

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Since the first moment I booked my ticket to Honolulu, the Mermaid Cove was on the top of my list as a must-see place on Oahu. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet any mythical sea creature but I saw the inside of the cave and it was absolutely dreamy. In order to get there, you need to cross jagged lava rock then try to figure out which one is the right ‘hole’ and finally descend through it and then below into a breathtaking underwater cave. Just be careful, the water level in the cave changes with the tides so it can also fill suddenly with any large swell. When you’re ready to get out, you’ll need to be able to lift your own bodyweight to get out through the hole. Some people require help and pulled up by friends, just one more reason to seek adventures and do your exploring with friends. Strictly for the adventurous seeking to experience a hidden treasure in Hawaii!

Pictures from LookintoHawaii.com

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Our tour on the West coast of Oahu ends with Electric Beach. I didn’t get the chance to go there but, based on people opinion, this is a good place to get in touch with some incredible marine life. It gets the name from its closeness to the Hawaiian Electric Plant. The water running out into the ocean is several degrees warmer than usual and it attracts a variety of sea life – dolphins and sea turtles included. There are several boats organizing excursions on this side of the island but if you are seeking a less expansive option just put your head under water and if you hear the squealing noises of dolphins you can swim out further and hopefully swim with a pod of Spinner Dolphins.

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu South Shore

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu North Shore

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu East Shore

Check also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it on Oahu


The Best of Oahu North Shore



Oahu’s North Shore: a meeting point for surfers and food lovers. This side of the island is home to a vibrant street food tradition. From the delicious Giovanni’s shrimps to the sweet Leonardo’s Malasada, from the most amazing Elephant Truck’s Thai food to the most refreshing coconut water coming right out fresh-chopped coconut shells. Trust me, there is really a little something for everyone’s taste.



A bar on the beach serving exotic cocktails, straw umbrellas to give you some shade from the blazing Hawaiian sun and the blue ocean right in front of you.  Maybe you will be also lucky enough to make friends with some cute sea turtle, you know – nature is unpredictable!


This beach is known worldwide for ‘The Billabong Pipeline Master’. Every year, the best and bravest surfers in the world gather together in the attempt to catch one of the most huge, scary and amazing waves a surfer can dream of. If you happen to be there during the season, it is a show not to be missed!


Looking for the best spot for some snorkeling? Three Tablet beach is the place for you. This spot on the North Shore of Oahu is home to an incredible amount of colorful fishes that during summertime love to hang out in the calm and warm water of this rocky tidal pools. A suggestion?  Bring water shoes, you will thank me later!



Let me get you a sigh of relief. No, sharks in here! Apparently, this beach got its name from a popular story that says that the outline of a reef outside the cove looks like a shark when seen from above. Despite the scary name, the Shark’s Cove is one of a kind and not just because of its spectacular underwater rock formations but most of all because of its amazing marine life. No better spot for a dive, mine included. It was my very first time and I really need to thank Hawaii Eco Divers and my instructor Ricardo Taveira for its patience and perseverance and for making it the most panicking and exciting experience in my life.


Kaena Point is located on the corner that connects the North Shore to the West Shore. The nature of the area make this place one of the least light-polluted spots on the island and therefore one of the most suitable locations for starts gazing, especially in summer. The ideal conditions are moonless or near-moonless light and a clear sky. For pictures like these, though, you’ll need lenses with a large aperture and a quality camera with the ability to take images at a high ISO setting. Stunning, isn’t it?

Ph: Marvin Chandra

Find out more about Oahu: The Best of Oahu South Shore

Find out more about Oahu: The Best of Oahu East Shore

Find out more about Oahu: The best of Oahu West Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it on Oahu



The Best of Oahu East Shore



I had never been to a Buddhist temple before then and it was a really particular experience for me.  I was totally amazed by the beauty of this place but what really impressed me was the sense of calm and peace that held me as I walked in through that bridge to the temple. This place can’t miss on your Oahu bucket list!


Just miles of endless turquoise and calm water brushing up against a fine sand beach while gentle winds offer a cool relief from the hot Hawaiian sun. The word “Lani Kai” means “Heavenly Ocean”.  It’s such a fitting name for a place like this!

Ph: Elena Locatelli


Even if the almost vertical climb through the thick brushes got me a little intimidated at the beginning, the sunset from up there was quite rewarding!

view of the Mokulua Islands from the second pillbox on the Lanikai Hike Trail


It was just a glimpse at the beginning. One step forward and I was breathless.  I must be dreaming – I thought. I remember I stood there like mesmerized for a while. And then, a shudder passed through me. Suddenly I took off my clothes and I run into the ocean. I remember looking down into the crystal-clear water and seeing cute little fishes swimming in between my feet. Turning around I took a look at the white-sand beach and at the green mantle of trees covering the mountain and then I remember taking a deep breath and letting myself fall back into the water. It was true, I really was in Hawaii.


Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu South Shore

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu North Shore

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu West Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it on Oahu


The Best of Oahu South Shore



My trip around Oahu started right here. It was just the first stop and I got already amazed. The view was stunning. I spent something like 20 minutes staring at that white-sand beach and at the blue ocean. I even pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but there I was – in Hawaii!

View of Makapu’u Beach and Rabbit Island from the MAkapu’u Lookout.


Oahu is not just gorgeous shorelines. The island presents a rich and varied landscape that includes majestic mountain ranges and challenging hikes. One of the most famous is the Koko Crater trail – an old railroad built during World War 2 and used to haul cargo and supplies up to the top.

Ph: Ryne Hanso

Watching the army’s guys going up and down so easily made me think it was going to be a smooth one. How naive I was! At each step, the staircase got steeper and steeper – not to mention the part of it that acts as a bridge with a 40 ft drop below. Not exactly the best thing for who has a fear of heights. I want to be honest – I almost gave up. Then turning around I saw how much I had already accomplished and I remember thinking ‘damn, I can’t screw it up now’ and, actually, I didn’t. Even if more dead than alive, I got to the top and sure this view paid me back.

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View of Port Lock Peninsula from the summit of Koko Crater Trail


It is a small pocket of sand surrounded by a volcanic rock shoreline, created thousands of years ago by volcanic eruptions. Today, there are no more active volcanos on the island so no fears. If you look at this picture, this place seems like saying ‘Come on! Get into the water’.  If I was you though, I wouldn’t listen to it. It sure is a beautiful beach but not the safest place where to chill. Currents here are pretty strong so watch out if you’re willing to take a shot for a few stroke or some snorkeling.

Shot from the hill that overlooks the beach
Shot from the beach – Ph: MYK Salonga


This spot of Oahu is really famous for its trampoline. Even if it has been removed by now, the rocks where the wooden plank was wedged are still in a perfect position for whoever is willing to take a (safe) jump into the blue water.

Ph: Jake Butler

This beach is perfect also for those willing to take a swim and relax. Hidden in the dark-coal rocks there are little tidepools where you can hang out like if you were on your own private beach!

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Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu East shore 

Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu North Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it

weekend trips

Cosa mangiare alle Hawaii: guida all’italiana sui 10 piatti tipici assolutamente da non perdere

Spiagge da sogno, acqua cristallina e una cultura culinaria fuori dal comune. Mettiamo duqnue da parte “Hamburgers and French Fries” tipiche della cucina dei suoi colonizzatori e prepariamoci ad un viaggio alla scoperta di un paese dove tradizione, storia ed influenze di culture divere si sono mescolate insieme fino a creare quella che chiamiamo oggi cucina hawaiiana.


Prima di arrivare ad Oahu non avevo mai sentito parlare di “Açai”. Di cosa si tratta dunque? È un frutto tropicale che assomiglia per forma e gusto ai norstri mirtilli. Pur non essendo originario dalla tradizione hawaiiana bensì di quella braziliana, “l’Açai Bowl è diventata un piatto tipico della colazione hawaiiana. Questa “Bowl” (ciotola) è composta a strati: alla base troviamo un frullato cremoso ai frutti d’açai guarnito da uno strato di avena o muesli, seguito dalla vostra scelta di frutta fresca e da una spolverata di frutta secca . E come cigliegina sulla torta, un filo di miele ricopre il tutto creando quasi un’opera d’arte, coloratissima e profumatissima.

Açai Bowl

Dove trovarla: Lanikai Juice.

2. Haupia Donuts

I donuts, compagni inseparabili dei turni notturni dei poliziotti americani, sono ciambelle con il buco che, a volte, si trovano anche nella variante ripiena. Quelle tipiche hawaiiane sono ovviamente ripiene di “Haupia”, crema al cocco. Personalmente, non mi reputo un un’amante dei “Donuts” semplicemente perchè troppo dolci per i miei gusti. Tuttavia, dopo aver provato quelli di Honu Bakery, mi sono dovuta ricredere.

Haupia Donut

Dove trovarli: Honu Bakery.


Le Hawaii sono la destinazione perfetta non soltanto per gli amanti delle spiaggie da sogno, ma anche per tutti quelli che al cocco, d’estate, non ci rinunciano. Dopo i “Dounts” alla crema di cocco, anche “l’Haupia Pudding” merita di essere provato. Si tratta di un budino a base di latte di cocco dal sapore molto delicato. Inoltre, essendo privo di farine e latticini, questo dessert è ottimo per chi soffe di intolleranze alimentari.

Haupia Pudding

Dove trovarlo: Helena’s Hawaiian Food.

4. Macadamia Ice Cream

Come “l’Açai”, anche la “Macadamia” era per me qualcosa di sconosciuto. Dopo una veloce occhiata online, ho soperto che si tratta di una pianta tropicale originaria dell’Australia e poi trapiantata anche nelle isole Hawaii. Simili per forma alle nostre nocciole, i frutti di questa pianta presentano però un gusto molto più delicato. La cosa più buona che ho mangiato che contenesse macadamia? Il gelato ovviamente. Il gelato alle noci di macadamia tostate. Una vera delizia!

Toasted Macadamia Nuts Ice Cream.

Dove trovarlo: Dave’s Hawaiian Ice Cream


Si tratta di una pasta dolce fritta che segue la ricetta delle famose “pettole o pittule” del Sud Italia, con eccezione della presenza, nella ricetta hawaiiana, di uova nell’impasto. A quanto pare queste paste dolci sono originarie del Portogallo. Ma come sono arrivate alle Hawaii? Ebbene, durante il IXX secolo le isole Hawaii necessitavano di lavoratori nel campo della produzione di zucchero. L’ondata migratoria maggiore ebbe origine dai terrirori del Pacifico. Tuttavia, il governo hawaiiano riservò particolare riguardo alla manodopera proveniente dalle Azzorre, vista la secolare presenza di canna da zucchero sui propri territori, nell’Atlantico. E così che questa gente, insieme al loro talento, ha portato con sè anche alcune ricette tipiche della propria patria – le “Malasadas” appunto.


Dove trovarle: Leonard’s Bakery.


Se dovessi scegliere il piatto che più mi è piaciuto durante il mio soggiorno ad Oahu, senza dubbio il “Lomi Salmon” sarebbe al primo posto. Si tratta di salmone saltato in padella e servito in un’insalata di pomodori cigliegini e cipolla. È un piatto molto fresco, ottimo come contorno o come piatto unico.

lomi salmon
Lomi Lomi Salmon

Dove trovarlo: Helena’s Hawaiian Food.


Dopo il Lomi Salmon, questo piatto si aggiudica il secondo posto nella lista dei miei piatti hawaiiani preferiti. Il “Poke” è fatto di cubetti di pesce crudo conditi e macerati con ingredienti vari, di solito salsa di soia, olio di sesamo, sale marino e cipolla dolce. Sebbene siano oggi diffuse diverse varianti, il “Poke” per eccellenza è “l’Ahi Poke” – dove “Ahi” sta per tonno. Un consiglio? La maggior parte dei ristoranti che servono cibo hawaiiano presentano un menù scritto interamente in lingua originaria – meglio dunque andare preparati piuttosto che cercare ogni singola parola online.

Ahi Poke con contorno di riso

Dove trovarlo: Fresh Catch.


Finalmente dopo più di un anno negli Stati Uniti sono riuscita a riassaporare il gusto vero dei gamberi, quelli freschi che sanno di acqua salata e non quelli “ready to go” a portata di freezer. Eppure i gamberi sono gamberi, che cosa avranno questi di tanto speciale? In due parole: marinatura e condimento. I gamberi di “Giovanni’s Truck” sono fatti marinare in olio d’oliva, aglio, burro e succo di limone, scottati in padella e serviti con del riso ed una salsina molto particolare, i cui ingredienti principali sono succo di limone ed aglio caramellato. Il risultato? Da leccarsi i baffi!

Garlic Shrimps by Giovanni’s Truck

Dove trovarli: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck


La materia prima di questo piatto è una porzione di sfilacci di maiale. Quello che ne rende il gusto davvero straordiario è la modalità di cottura. Il povero maialino viene fatto cucinare lentamente in un forno sotteraneo in pietra. La carne che ne viene fuori è tenerissima e dal gusto affumicato. Si scioglie in bocca che è una delizia!

kalua pig
Kalua Pig

Dove trovarlo: Helena’s Hawaiian Food.


Questo tipico piatto della cucina hawaiiana trova le sue radici storiche nel periodo della seconda guerra mondiale. Ai quei tempi le Hawaii erano diventate un presidio militare, primo fronte nel caso di un eventuale attacco giapponese da ovest. Essendo in stato di guerra, le isole erano state colpite dal razionamento di cibo. In questa difficile situazione, lo “Spam” era l’unica cosa economica ed a lunga conservazione di cui ci si poteva nutrire nel caso in cui i rifornimenti di cibo mancassero o tardassero ad arrivare. Per darvi un’idea di che cosa si tratta, provate a pensare ad un tipico “Nigiri” giapponese legato insieme per mezzo di una striscia d’alga chiamata “Nora”. Unica differenza, il “Nigiri” hawaiiano presenta, invece del pesce,  una fetta di “Spam” – carne in scatola marinata in una salsa agrodolce e poi fritta. E’ uno snack pratico e gustoso da portare in spiaggia. Provare per credere!

Spam Masubi (in basso) e Spam Egg Masubi (in alto)

Dove trovarlo: Ma’ona Musubi.

P.S. Nella mia ricerca di cibo locale autentio, ho trovato molto utili due siti sulla cucina Hawaiiana: Food network e Travel Channel. Date un’occhiata!