Oahu's Best Shave Ice

oahu shave ice map[trip style = beach + foodie]

This post is written by Trip Styler fashion and lifestyle blogger Heather.

Shave ice is to Hawaii as gelato is to Italy: completely acceptable to eat every day. While exploring Oahu last month, Trip Styler Trish and I were on the two-shave-ice-a-day diet. What better way to enjoy the island than a shave ice tour? Follow the map for our top picks of iconic Hawaiian heaven in a cup.

Did you know? Shave ice arrived in Hawaii in the early 1900s, brought over from Japan by plantation workers.

shimazu store shave ice

1. Shimazu Store, Honolulu This hidden gem is no more than a small storefront overlooking the freeway. What it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in taste. Homemade flavors include red velvet, peaches and cream, milk tea and peanut butter chocolate. At this locals' favorite, portions are large and service is no nonsense. {link}

matsumoto shave ice

2. Matsumoto Shave Ice, Haleiwa Any trip to the North Shore calls for a stop at Matsumoto for Haleiwa's most popular sweet treat. This 60-year-old icy institution serves up a rainbow of traditional flavors like strawberry, pineapple, lime, guava, and my personal favorite, lilikoi. On a busy day, they serve 1,000 shave ices to camera-toting tourists and barefoot locals. {link}

island snow shave ice

3. Island Snow, Kailua This delicious shave ice counter is tucked into the back of a skate shop, a block from one of the most beautiful beaches on Oahu. It's also the number one choice for Trip Styler Trish and President Obama, who stops by with the First Family every winter. Trish recommends getting one with ice cream or condensed milk on top. {link}

uncle clay's shave ice

4. Uncle Clay' House of Pure Aloha, Hawaii Kai My top pick is also the most guilt free of the four. Uncle Clay's uses all-natural, homemade syrups that have none of the artificial flavors or colorings found in most shave ice. Flavors here include mango, coconut, green tea, lychee and my favorite, kale-spinach-apple. It was the only place we didn't get a heavy-feeling sugar buzz. Extra points for the most aloha staff on the island. {link}

Trip Styler Tip: I highly recommend paying the extra $0.50 for the plastic cup holder unless you can eat your treat in less than three minutes {brain freeze!}.

[map by @heatherlovesit, photos by @tripstyler & @heatherlovesit]

Honolulu Hints

honolulu hints[trip style = beach + sun + foodie + urban]

When you need a dose of sun, Oahu delivers. As one of the destinations to welcome early jetsetters in the golden age of travel, Hawaii's hottest city knows a little something about aloha-infused hospitality. Locals have been perfecting the art since mai tai mavens started flocking to its shores post WWII.

Over the past week, I've been buzzing around town on a treasure hunt for trip styled spots all over the island. Sadly, I did not find Dog The Bounty Hunter, but I did glean these Honolulu hints---both vintage and mod---beyond Waikiki's packed and palm tree-lined beach. Stay tuned for my outer island picks {coming soon}.

the modern honolulu Stay: The Modern Honolulu. The most au courant address on the shore. See my full write-up here.

IMG_9720 Stay: Vive Hotel Waikiki. A new boutique hotel, opened summer 2013, featuring complimentary WiFi and continental breakfast. I stayed for three nights and every staff member I encountered was standout, and the location is bang-on, sitting pretty between Waikiki Beach and the Ala Wai canal.

ala wai canal honolulu Do: Join the locals walking their dogs or jogging along Ala Wai canal {a few blocks inland from Waikiki Beach}. For me, it's become a tradition to run the near two-mile promenade every time I'm in town.

ala moana beach Do: Go to the beach {obviously, you're in HI} for sunning, splashing and swimming at Ala Moana Beach Park. PS. I love the swimming lane that's been dredged along the shore for suuuuuuuuuper long lengths. BYO goggles.

south king street HNL Do: Stroll along the historic South King Street to study structures from Hawaii's yesteryear like the King Kamehameha I statue, Iolani Palace and other landmarks in the Capitol District.

sunset hnl Do: Stop and savor the sunset; it's a Hawaiian tradition.

morning glass coffee Eat: Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe. Run by Stumptown Coffee-brewing hipsters who serve simple breakfast selections al fresco, like scones with earl grey-soaked raisins.

leonard's malasadas Eat: Leonard's Bakery. A Honolulu institution since it opened in 1952. Bite into one of their famed malasadas---a Hawaiian take on the Portuguese doughnut---and you'll be hooked for life {or your entire trip}.

rainbow drive-in Eat: Rainbow Drive-In . Another Honolulu institution that's been dishing up plate lunches since 1961. Back then, a BBQ steak plate was $1. Today, a similar dish is $7.50---still a steal---and includes two scoops of rice and a macaroni salad.

lucky belly Eat: Lucky Belly. A corner eatery in Honolulu's Chinatown serving punch bowl-sized ramen for $8 in a spartan space wrapped in wood and lit with Edison bulbs.

chef mavro Eat: Chef Mavro. If he wanted to, I'm sure Chef Mavro could have his own show on the Food Network. His kitchen know-how is that good, and every dish from his flexible prix-fixe menu is a piece of Picasso-worthy art. Literally, I took photos of every one of my nine plates like I was the paparazzi snapping a star. Expect a traditional restaurant physique and modern dishes.

Trip Styler Tip :: Check out more of my aloha aces from my trip to Honolulu in early 2012. I still dig the selections.

Do you have any Honolulu faves?

[photos by @tripstyler taken while as partial guest of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau]

Spotlight :: North Shore, Oahu

north shore sunset[trip style = beach + budget conscious]

{This Spotlight is written by Fashion Friday writer and fashion blogger Heather.}

I scored the deal of the year this winter: Vancouver to Honolulu for $200 return. Coupled with hotel deals, it was a cheap getaway and my first trip to Hawaii. But I must confess something. Whenever anyone asked me where I was going, I told them "Oh, just Oahu." I had this idea that it was the lamest and most commercial island. But let me tell you what I learned. It's beautiful and if you get away from Waikiki, you can find a true Hawaiian experience.

Just over an hour up island is the lush and scarcely commercialized North Shore, where the bohemian heart of Oahu beats. North Shore culture is surf culture. It's the breeding and stomping ground of some of the world's best surfers. A place where you can find 30-foot swells and fit in a surf before and after work; where you can mingle with pro surfers, colourful characters and barefoot, wet-haired locals in the grocery store (fresh off their boards); and where dressing up literally means throwing a dress over your swimsuit.

Eat north shore food

Sample roadside delights :: It's worth pulling over for the food stands along Kamehameha Highway. From Haleiwa to Kahuku, you'll find family fruit stands, acai bowl shacks, shrimp trucks, shave ice and haupia pie. It's not fancy, but it's delicious. Must stops: Ted's Bakery at Sunset Beach for bbq chicken plate lunch and chocolate haupia or banana cream pie, Matsumoto for guava, pineapple and lilikoi shave ice, Fumi's for garlic or coconut shrimp plate and Cholo's for Mexican.

Do sea turtles

Visit Hawaiian green sea turtles :: A couple miles north of Haleiwa on Kamehameha Highway, pull over at Laniakea Beach and see the basking turtles who crawl up on shore daily. You'll also meet volunteers from Save the Sea Turtles International, who protect the turtles from ... tourists. Stroll along the beach and try to catch sight of a few more turtles, minus the tour bus passengers.


Watch surfers in action :: The best workout on the island has got to be a walk on the beach, where the quicksand-like pebbles not only make your legs burn, but also give you a killer pedicure. My favourite activity was strolling on the beach, flip flops in hand, stopping along the way to watch throngs of surfers paddling out in the late afternoon. Check out Pipeline, Sunset Beach and the break off Turtle Bay. Visit between late November and early December to catch the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. If you'd prefer to get out there yourself, rent a board in Haleiwa, where you'll also find surf schools and calmer waves.

Stay turtle bay resort

There is one hotel on the North Shore: Turtle Bay Resort. Despite this, you'll still see a hand-painted sign on the side of the highway that reads "No more hotels!" The resort sits on the northern tip of Oahu. You may remember it from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. While the property is beautiful, it looks much nicer in the film thanks to the magical wizards of production design. The hotel has multiple restaurants---including one on the beach, golf courses, stables, pools, and a surf school on site. Stay in the beach bungalows if you can, but if you leave the lanai door open, the soothing sound of crashing waves means any room will do. If you'd prefer to stay in a house, try the basic Ke Iki Beach Bungalows or one of the many homes rented out by owners.

Trip Styler Tip: I booked Turtle Bay on Hotwire for a discounted rate. If you see a four-star beachfront hotel on the North Shore, it's Turtle Bay.

Getting There dole plantation

It only takes an hour to drive from Honolulu to the North Shore, but you'll probably want to stop and ride the Pineapple Express along the way. Not that Pineapple Express ... this is a train at the Dole Plantation. It's a total tourist trap, but worth stopping for a cone of delicious pineapple Dole Whip.

Related Fashion Friday :: Surf Style Modern Honolulu

[all photos taken by @heatherlovesit and @dresseswpockets]

Fashion Friday :: Surfer Style

fashion friday[trip style = beach]

Fashion Friday posts are published on the last Friday of every month by fashion and lifestyle blogger Heather.

Puka shell necklaces are back, y'all! Just kidding---thank goodness---but surfer style is alive and well and living on Oahu. Last month, I took my first trip to Hawaii, where I rediscovered my high school love for all things surf. Once you get past the Tommy Bahama shirts and the wear-it-30-different-ways sarongs of Waikiki, there's a whole island of beach style to embrace---lest you look like a Haole.

Surfer Style

Now What To Pack? Women (clockwise from top left) Reef creamy leather sandals, Quiksilver lamrocks butler shorts, Quiksilver stavi hat, Spell cambodian tribal bag, Free People big dipper oversized tee, Billabong only good vibes blanket towel, Billabong sunset ryder hat, Free People sunkissed flora racerback tank

Men (clockwise from middle right) Quiksilver railed long sleeve shirt, Quiksilver malone sweatshirt, Reef warrior stripe, Reef suicides chino, Reef kitchi kah mi win shoes

More Fashion Friday Life's a Beach Romantic Caribbean Cabin Fever

[top photos via reef.com, collage by @heatherlovesit]

IMG_FRI :: Honolulu

{Hilton Hawaiian Village's famous tiled rainbow wall}

[trip style = sun + beach]

{Editor's Note: Enter to win a travel set from Shaffali Skincare, inspired by Ayurvedic herbs aromatherapeutic essences including French lavender, Croatian sage, Italian orange blossom, and Egyptian geranium! Contest ends Wednesday, Jan 25th, 2012.} 

Yesterday we wrote about a more modern Honolulu. Here are some some additional photos from dawn to dusk. See the full gamut on Instagram {@tripstyler}.

{Lagoon at the edge of Waikiki}

{Koi pond at The Hilton Hawaiian Village}

{Pool at The Modern Honolulu}

{View of pools at The Modern Honolulu and lagoon}

{Black and white sky}

{Afternoon sun at The Modern Honolulu's private beach pool}


[photos by @tripstyler and @nate_fri]