Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is located in Ko Olina on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It’s a fun destination for families and Disney fans alike, offering a mix of relaxation with just a little bit of pixie dust. The resort features a beautiful white sand beach, multiple pools, a lazy river, and a water slide. Plus, the resort is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it a great place to unwind and soak up some sun. Here are some day trips to consider if you are staying at Disney Aulani.
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Popular day trip options from Disney Aulani
Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The temple is a replica of the 900-year-old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan, and was built to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The temple features a large, gold-plated statue of the Buddha and is surrounded by a beautiful garden with koi ponds and cascading waterfalls.
The temple is open to visitors and offers a serene and peaceful environment. Visitors can also ring the temple’s large bell, which is said to bring good luck.
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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Hanauma Bay is a place for snorkeling and swimming in a protected marine ecosystem. The views are stunning but a warning, Haunama Bay’s new reservation system can be frustrating. It was a bit pricy to reserve the spot at $25 but it was worth it and the money goes to preserve the bay. Reservations open up 2 days before at 9 am PST and they go very quickly. You are able to book up to 5 people per reservation. The price does not include parking.
You are able to rent snorkel gear on-site and they have showers and bathrooms. Hanauma Bay is free for locals. There are a few food options at the top of the hill but we recommend bringing a picnic lunch down to the beach instead.
Pearl Harbor is a historical site related to the attack on Pearl Harbor and marks the US entry into World War II. The most popular attraction at Pearl Harbor is the USS Arizona Memorial, which sits above the remains of the ship that was sunk during the attack and serves as a memorial to the sailors who lost their lives. Visitors can take a boat tour to the memorial and watch a short film about the attack before taking a self-guided tour.
Overall, visiting Pearl Harbor is a sobering but powerful and educational experience that gives a glimpse into the tragic events of December 7, 1941, and the impact they had on the world. Be prepared for long lines, so make sure to book the tickets online in advance.
The North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, great food, world-class surfing, and laid-back atmosphere. Some popular activities and things to do include:
The North Shore is famous for its big wave surfing, and during the winter months, surfers from all over the world come to catch some of the massive swells at spots like Waimea Bay, Pipeline, and Sunset Beach.
Hiking on the North Shore
There are many great hiking trails on the North Shore, such as the Ka’ena Point Trail, which offers stunning views of the coast and the chance to see Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles. There are two trails here, one being close to the water and one driving trail. If you’ve got time and want to enjoy the scenery, take the coast trail. If you’re looking to get to the point, and your time is limited, walk the road.
The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is a fairly easy hike good for a trail run or to take pets and kids along. Parking is available at Sunset Elementary as well as along the main road and near Pipeline Beach Park. Root systems can be a tripping hazard but if you take it slow, even inexperienced and young hikers can have rewarding views at the top!
Food on the North Shore
The North Shore is known for its delicious food trucks and stands, where you can try local favorites like poke bowls, shave ice, and acai bowls. Our favorite places to get acai bowls are Crispy Grindz and Haleiwa Bowls.
For shave ice make sure to stop by Matsumoto’s Shave Ice. Another favorite of ours in Ted’s Bakery. Known for its delicious pastries and pies, Ted’s Bakery is a popular spot for breakfast or dessert. They are famous for their chocolate haupia cream pie.
While in North Shore Hawaii make sure to visit some of the iconic shrimp trucks in the area. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and HONOS Shrimp Truck are our favorites! Additionally, you can also find shrimp and poke at the Haleiwa Farmers Market, which is open on Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Visit the Dole Plantation
The Dole Plantation is a popular tourist spot on the North Shore, where you can take a train tour of the pineapple fields, taste samples of pineapple products, and even try the world-famous pineapple Dole Whip. It gets crowded but we think it’s fun to see it just once.
Dole Plantation is generally open from 9 am to 5 pm, the hours may vary seasonally.
Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000-acre ranch located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is a perfect day trip from Disney Aulani and is known for its scenic beauty and diverse activities, including horseback riding, ATV tours, and movie tours. The ranch has been featured in numerous films and television shows, including Jurassic Park, Lost, and 50 First Dates. Additionally, Kualoa Ranch offers a variety of outdoor activities such as zip-line, rock climbing, and hiking. The ranch also features a working cattle ranch and a cultural center that tells the history of the ranch and the area.
Day trips from Disney Aulani need to include Diamond Head. Diamond Head is a volcano located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic hiking trail and views from the summit. The trail to the summit is a little less than a mile long and leads to the rim of the volcano, where visitors can see panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. The hike is considered moderate in difficulty and takes about 1-1.5 hours round trip. Make sure to be prepared for steep inclines and staircases so sunscreen and a bottle of water are necessary.
The trail is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily and there is an entrance fee to access the trail. At the summit, there is also a military bunker built in 1908 that visitors can explore.
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