Exploring the Windward Side of Oahu

Ooo, look at me, finally getting back to posting about trips I took last year… *ahem*

Let’s continue the Hawaii adventure! On our third day in Hawaii, we got up super duper early and explored the Windward (East Coast and North Shore) side of Oahu.


Since we were still on Pacific time, we were up early every day we were in Hawaii. On this particular morning, we were up before the sun and decided to get dressed and go catch the sunrise. We ended up going to Kailua Beach Park, about 20-30 minutes from where we were staying in Hawaii Kai.

We also managed to catch sight of a rainbow while waiting for the sun to rise.

And I made use of my selfie stick. Ha!

Moke’s Bread & Breakfast

A lot of chickens just free roam around the island. 

We headed to a place called Moke’s Bread & Breakfast for breakfast because I wanted some pancakes!

You can find links to the menu here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Started the day off with a little coffee with Pua.

And we got a honey butter biscuit [$3.50].

THAT WAS GRIDDLED! I feel like all biscuits should be slice and griddled in this fashion. It adds an extra delicious texture to an already awesome thing. 

Then a short stack of Lilikoi Pancakes [$8.95]! The pancakes were topped with this amazing passion fruit sauce. I remember the sauce being outstanding with the light, fluffy pancakes. 

Jake and I also shared a homestyle breakfast with Portuguese sausage, eggs, hash browns, and toast. Yum yum!

Moke’s Bread & Breakfast Kailua
27 Hoolai Street
Kailua, HI 96734 

Chinaman’s Hat & Kualoa Ranch

After breakfast, Jake wanted to head over to a beach where we could see this little island called Chinaman’s Hat. When Jake was little, his family lived in Hawaii for a little while, specifically in Kaaawa. We went to the house he used to live in (which is a historic building called the Coral House) and went to his old elementary school, where they still had his and his sister’s school records! Crazy, right?

This is him on the beach next to Chinaman’s Hat.

Annnnnnd…. I got distracted by a tiny little puppy in the park next to Chinaman’s Hat. But there is it in the background! Also: PUPPY!

We had reservations to go on a Movie Tour set at the Kualoa Ranch Nature Reserve. 

They have filmed a lot of movies and TV shows here, like Jurassic Park.


Well we made it away from the rawr dino and then we saw Hurley’s Golf Course from Lost. 

And…. some leftover prop bones… from I forgot what movie. Sorry.

Shrimp Shack

After our tour at the ranch and exploring Jake’s childhood home and elementary school, we proceeded up the coast to the North Shore. It rained on us a bit! 

I wanted to stop here for a little bit of lunch.

First we popped into Ching’s Punaluu Store for some drinks and snacks.

They has a case with fried chicken and spam musubi. 

These has no sauce on the rice.

Homemade looking treats are always a plus to me.

I grabbed one of these butter mochi to eat later.

Then we went outside so I could order from a food truck called the Shrimp Shack!

Here’s Jake’s meal – some chicken with rice and sauce. 

This was pretty much the only dry table outside, and actually, they wiped it down for us. The table made me giggle.

The beach was directly across the street from where we sat so we had the prettiest view while we munched.

I got a big plate of sauteed Garlic Shrimp [$11.75] since that’s like *the* thing to get in Hawaii. Most people get it from Giovanni’s further up on the North Shore, but I was pretty darn happy with this plate. The shrimp were cooked perfectly, had TONS of garlic, plus a little cup of butter for extra dipping (totally necessary). Plus the rice soaks up the extra butter and garlic so that tastes extra delicious as well. I didn’t even have to share this with Jake since we doesn’t like shrimp. MORE SHRIMP FOR ME!

Shrimp Shack
53-360 Kamehameha Highway
Hauula, Hawaii

After lunch, we wandered across the street to the beach. There was a swing in one of the trees and we just sat and took turns swinging and enjoying the gorgeous view before we got back on the road to tour the rest of the North Shore.

The North Shore + A Snow Puffy

We hopped back in the car and drove along. We spied a few spots with various food carts and trucks. One was where the famous Giovanni’s is parked, but since I already had my shrimp we explored around the area some more.

We came across this place called Kalena’s Hut.

We were interested in that sausage dog!

Kalena (the dude in the yellow shirt above) was really friendly and really working it that day! 

This was listed as the New Zealand Sausage Dog [$5]. It was a simple sausage on a bun but we loved the flavor of it plus the yummy grill marks on the outside. It was really juicy and a nice little treat as we explored the island.

Kalena’s Hut (FB)
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, Hawaii 96731

After eats, we visited more beaches and then headed over to find this bakery:

Paalaa Kai Bakery.

They have these things called Snow Puffies!

It’s a small bakery. In the back on the top shelf sits the snow puffies. 

I don’t remember how much they cost but we got a couple to eat.

And after we were done, I gave Jake some cash to go back inside and buy me some more for later because HOLY HELL they were TASTY.

A snow puffy has these puffy, crispy, crunchy puff pastry layers with a pastry cream in the middle. There is a swirl of chocolate on top and then it’s covered in powdered sugar. I loved the sweet pastry cream mixed with the crunch of the puffy layers and that little bit of chocolate on top. Definitely worth a stop in the North Shore!

Paalaa Kai Bakery
66-945 Kaukonahua Rd
WaialuaHI 96791

Dole Plantation

Our last stop before heading back to our Airbnb was at the Dole Plantation. A few people told us it was a must stop visit. 

But honestly all we did was take some silly photos and shop in the giantatic gift shop. We weren’t interested in doing the touristy stuff here, like riding in a mini train or getting Dole Whip since we can get that at home. It was a bit disappointing to us, but hey, we did visit!


5 thoughts on “Exploring the Windward Side of Oahu

  1. Awesome article. Thanks for sharing these pictures. And thanks for telling us about your experience and reviews at oahu.
    Great Article. Keep Blooging !

  2. The train ride was fun. You get to see lots of trees and plants.

    Snow puffies look great. I’ll have to get one next time I visit.

  3. Your intro hehe! What most bloggers think but don’t write! Breakfast spot sounded bomb with griddles and pancakes. Then there was Jurassic Park. Then more food and awesome adventures. I wanna go back to Hawaii… Thanks Mary ?

  4. This is such a great post. The landscape is beautiful, and the food looks delicious! So glad you had fun!

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