My Hawaii Bucket List

Most of the questions I get about visiting Hawaii are from friends and family staying for a limited time, a week maybe two. Even friends who are moving to the island tend to ask short term questions: where should I look to live? what are the best restaurants? which beach is your favorite? While I obviously love answering these questions, there’s one question I always wish someone would ask—what’s on your Hawaii bucket list?

With the possibility of a big move in the next year, I decided to finally answer that question for myself. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of all the things I want to do before we leave this beautiful little island. I hope that inspires your list too!

  1. Travel to all the islands. This one sounds simple, but after a really long work week, I tend to want crash at home in the comfort of my pajamas. I’ve already checked off Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island (kinda), so Lanai and Molokai are high on my list. Since my time on the Big Island was spent 100% poolside at a resort, I feel the need to visit this one again too.

  2. Visit Doris Duke’s mansion-turned-museum, Shangri La. The socialite’s former home is a gorgeous property filled with Islamic treasures from around the world. It fascinates me for two reasons: Duke was a staple in Old Hawaii’s high society and her collection is one of the largest in North America.

  3. Surf (+ see a major surf competition). The (first and) last time I surfed I was sixteen on a student exchange trip to Australia. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I do remember how sweet it felt to finally ride a wave, albeit a small one. I can’t think of a better place to recreate that feeling than here in Hawaii. On the same note, Oahu is home to some of the most famous surf competitions in the world. Here’s hoping we get an Eddie before I move.

  4. Take a lei making class. Have you met Meleana Estes? She’s a legendary haku lei maker, a keeper of Hawaiian customs, and my Hawaii-based girl crush. Her work on instagram has inspired me to learn more about lei making and I can’t imagine a better place to learn than at one of her workshops.

  5. Stargaze at Mauna Kea. Another reason to re-visit the Big Island is the chance to stargaze on the world’s tallest (sea) mountain. I’m a complete believer in star signs (Pisces over here!) and the stories behind the constellations have fascinated me since I was a child. Since living in Town means a whole lot of light pollution, the chance to stargaze 14,000 feet above sea level sounds magical.