Visiting Hawaii has always been on both mine and Bo’s bucket lists, so it worked out perfectly to travel there and elope! I never dreamed of having a huge wedding, and I love a good reason to book some plane tickets! Lol. We received a TON of amazing recommendations for both islands, so my plan is to share our daily itinerary of what we actually did! I’ll also post a list of places in Hawaii we wanted to go to but ran out of time at the end!
We flew from Jackson to Dallas and then hopped on our 8 hour flight to Honolulu, Hawaii! With the time change, we arrived there at 2pm which was actually 7pm for us. After picking up our rental car, we checked into The Royal Hawaiian! I was so excited to stay here with the pink aesthetic. The rooms are pretty dated and the pool is very small, but the hotel itself is beautiful with very accommodating staff!
I booked our worst reservation of the trip this night. We ate at Hula Grill beside our hotel, and we were both disappointed! I ordered Mahi Mahi, which was the most bland fish I ever had! Haha. The appetizer mushroom fries were good but nothing special. Bo was skeptical about the rest of my reservations, but luckily the food only got better from here!
We woke up at 4am on Saturday morning and decided to just go ahead and get ready! We ate breakfast at Surf Lanai in The Royal Hawaiian. This is where they serve the famous pink palace pancakes, and they are truly the BEST I’ve ever had! They are naturally flavored with beet powder and taste incredible. Afterwards, we drove our rented Jeep to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden and explored there for a while! Don’t judge but we grabbed a quick lunch back at the hotel because the food was SO good. We split the lobster roll and truffle fries!
Ala Moana Center has some of the best shopping in the country, so we went there after lunch! I knew I wanted to splurge on a bag in Hawaii since most designers offer 10% off which is basically free with girl math! HA. Once I made my Dior purchase, we relaxed at the hotel before dinner. We ended the night at Monkeypod Kitchen, and I wish we could have eaten there twice! We ordered Mai Tais to drink, lobster deviled eggs as an appetizer and bulgogi pork tacos as our meal. They have homemade pies, so of course I got a slice of strawberry! The banana is supposedly great too! 12/10 recommend!
We decided to do our outdoorsy activities on Sunday aka hiking! Believe it or not, I wanted to go even more than Bo. I was so excited for the views! We got a quick açaí bowl from The Sunrise Shack before driving to the Lanikai Pillbox Hike near Kailua. It was a steep hike and a little scary at times, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! The view was unbelievable. One of the bellhops recommended a lunch spot called Cinnamon’s, and I knew we made the right choice when I saw red velvet pancakes on the menu! Another incredible meal. We decided to also hike Manoa Falls Trail which was a little easier but not as impressive at the top! Haha.
I made reservations at Roy’s for our last night on Oahu, and it was a perfect meal! The sushi looked too good not to try, so I ordered the Frying Dragon Roll and a Pink Sunset cocktail. Bo went with the beef short rib and I did the filet! Another restaurant that made up for the first night being a bust! Lol.
The first regret I had of the trip was not booking our flights earlier than 1pm! I thought it would work well with check out and check in times, but we ended up wasting the morning which killed me as an enneagram 7. Haha! We did grab a final order of pink palace pancakes, though! I was SO excited about hopping over to the island of Hawaii aka the Big Island since I splurged and booked us the Four Seasons. We were originally going to Maui, but we changed our plans after the fires happened!
Words can’t even describe how freaking incredible the Four Seasons Hualalai is! Now I know why people only stay at Four Seasons properties. The staff was SO nice, and they also upgraded us to a first floor room with double doors that opened directly to the pool area. They left us a celebratory bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries too! I could go on and on about this hotel, but it’s seriously one of the nicest resorts I’ve ever stayed at!
After checking in and getting ready, I had booked dinner at Merriman’s but on the wrong island. HAHA. I was really upset since it came highly recommended but also glad I realized before we drove an hour away! We ended up eating at Ulu Ocean Grill and ordered the smoked pork belly bao. I had to grab dessert for my stressful night and honestly the shaved ice there was my favorite I had the entire trip!
Exploring the erupting volcanos was tempting, but I ultimately wanted to relax at the resort before our wedding the next day! We walked a few feet outside our patio door to lounge chairs by the infinity pool. I read The Social Climber (5/5 book) while Bo snorkeled in the pond with all kinds of fish! One of the top rated activities on the Big Island is night swimming with manta rays, so our hotel booked it for us later in the day. Another adventure I’m very glad we experienced because it was super cool! We used Kona Ocean Adventures that is partnered with the Four Seasons!
We had a busy morning before our ceremony Wednesday night! The state of Hawaii requires you to meet in person to get your marriage license, so we knocked that appointment out first. We actually explored downtown Kona for a little while before I needed to start getting ready! I also talked Bo into grabbing some malasadas at a popular food truck. They are Hawaii’s version of a donut with various sweet fillings!
I spent all afternoon doing my hair and makeup and making a few Reels videos! Haha. Our ceremony was just the two of us (plus our officiant and photographer) at Kukio Beach! It’s on the Four Seasons property, so we drove over around 5pm. It was such a beautiful afternoon, and it still feels so surreal that we’re MARRIED now! I got our photos back, so I’m planning to share those in another blog post soon along with a few more details of the day! 🙂
Our best flight option didn’t leave Hawaii until 10pm Thursday night, so we spent the morning at the hotel before we were evicted! I ordered banana pancakes at Ulu Ocean Grill and they were delicious. The bananas were baked into the pancakes which is important to note! Lol. We lounged by the pool and then packed our bags and dropped them at the front desk. I had read that people can easily steal from soft top Jeeps, so the Four Seasons held our luggage while we explored Kona more!
We grabbed an early dinner from Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill, and then I had to get one more shaved ice from Ululanis! After picking up our bags, we went to the airport. The Kona airport is so interesting because it’s totally outside with awnings! Luckily, our red eye boarded on time and we made it to Phoenix where we hopped on another flight to Dallas and then finally home to Jackson! The time difference only threw us off for a few days! Lol.
RECOMMENDATIONS WE MISSED
Food: Mama’s Fish House, Merriman’s, Makua Banana Bread, Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice, Giovanni’s Food Truck, Beach House in Hale’iwa, Hana Koa Brewery
Activities: Dole Plantation, Trilogy for Snorkeling or Sunset Cruises, Diamond Head Mountain, Road to Hana, Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor