Top 5 things to do in Hawaii when you're NOT surfing

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When planning an overseas trip to a tropical island abundant with waves, you normally spend your time in the lead up visualizing yourself surfing perfect waves (to the point of physical exhaustion), followed by napping in a hammock with a cold beer (or coconut), waiting it out for the afternoon session to do it all over again.

However, sometimes good ole’ Mother Nature, unfortunately, doesn’t come to the party and squashes them holiday feels by not providing the goods. Lets face it, there’s nothing more depressing than staring at the charts to see flat-as-a-tack conditions for the foreseeable future and especially in a place like Hawaii.

Katrina Parker and David Child from The Noun Collective went on a recent trip to Oahu and passed on five tips on some things to do when there aren’t any waves.

#1. Hire a car
You can practically drive around the whole island stopping at little towns and beaches along the way. It’s the best way to explore and see as much as possible without restricting you to public transport, which seems to take three times longer to get anywhere than if you had your own car. This also makes trips between Waikiki and the North Shore super easy too.

If you’ve had a little too much sun and are into architecture, there’s also a really rad drive out to a house called the Liljestrand House, which was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff and is recognized as an outstanding example of Mr. Ossipoff’s work and of mid-twentieth century Hawaiian modern architecture.

#2. Acai bowl at Haleiwa Bowls
Acai originated in the amazon basin, which eventually made its way into Brazil in the early 80’s and didn’t hit the coasts of Hawaii and California until the early 2000’s. Since then, the Hawaiians have truly mastered the craft of serving this bowl of deliciousness. Haleiwa Bowls is a small thatch style smoothie and acai bowl bar and an institution on the North Shore.

#3. Coffee at Morning Glass
As most Aussies would know, the way coffee is served in the US is so different to here in Australia. Let’s be honest. Majority of the time coffee tastes like shit. Therefore, it makes it very difficult for us true coffee addicts to find something that really hits the spot. Morning Glass is one of those places that will leave you feeling oh so satisfied. Their coffee is locally sourced, roasted daily and poured to perfection. The overall vibe is pretty laid back and there are lots of super tasty food options as well.

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#4. Snorkeling… pretty much anywhere on the whole island.
Packing a snorkel and a set of fins is a necessity when visiting Hawaii. The water is super clear and home to an endless array of a tropical fish, coral and turtles. This photo of a turtle was taken within 15 seconds of jumping in and just off the beach.
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If you forget your mask you can pick up a cheap one at one of the many ABC stores located on nearly every corner.
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#5. Bodysurf at Sandy’s shorebreak
Sandy’s is a beach located around 25 minutes drive from Waikiki or over 2 hours by bus (this is why you need to hire a car). Sandy’s has a fun left that comes off the outer reef. It has a few different sections that eventually end by breaking on dry sand. If you head down the opposite end of the beach, you will be able to get some dredging closeouts perfect for bodysurfing which will leave you emptying sand from your ears for days.