Meet Yen Phan: She’s an adventurous spirit, who visited Hawaii six years ago. Though originally from Oakland, California, she instantly fell in love with the Rainbow State. “There’s just so much to do,” she says. “It’s so beautiful and amazing that I decided to move here.”
After moving to Hawaii, Yen eventually settled in the state’s capital city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Though a resident for several years, she still enjoys exploring the island like a tourist – a passion she’s turned into a part-time profession. Yen leads a variety of tours, ranging from a Hawaii Five-O tour to an Oahu paradise and adventure tour.
Ready to explore the area? Yen shares her favorite local experiences.
Where to Find Honolulu's Best Beaches
“If you’re traveling to Oahu, you’ll want to be in the water,” Yen says. Head to Waikiki, which is Honolulu’s neighborhood known for its beautiful white sand beaches and pristine, clean ocean water as well as a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Oahu means “the gathering place,” and Waikiki is a spot where people come to gather, Yen explains.
For families, she suggests Ala Moana Beach Park and the adjacent beach at Magic Island. A rock barrier provides some protection from the surf at Magic Island Beach. However, Ala Moana’s swimming area is larger and its coral reef is more effective at blocking incoming waves, making it a safe spot for kids to swim. Located across from a shopping center, Ala Moana is easily accessible with lots of parking. On the weekends, it's filled with families barbecuing and celebrating. “It’s beautiful to be out in the morning,” says Yen. “I see people doing hula, tai chi and exercising.”
If you’re craving relaxation, drive 30 minutes northeast of Honolulu to one of Yen’s favorite spots: Lanikai Beach. Relax on the beach’s famous soft sand, which Yen says feels like powdered sugar.