Vacationing in Honolulu can truly recharge your batteries and create memories for a lifetime. However, it can be challenging to enjoy the true flavor of Hawaii if you have a gluten sensitivity. Once you arrive, make a quick trip to Safeway (www.safeway.com) or Whole Foods (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) to pick up gluten-free snacks.
You will need a rental car for the first day and bring lots of snacks. We are going to Haleiwa and Waimea Bay, where gluten-free options are a little hard to find.
Rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) from Surf N Sea (http://surfnsea.com) in Haleiwa and stop by Matsumoto Shave Ice (www.matsumotoshaveice.com) before leaving town. Swim at the Waimea Bay Beach Park or stroll through Waimea Botanical Garden (www.waimeavalley.org). Visit Ka’a’awa Valley (http://www.kualoa.com/groups/film-tv-production) where Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Fifty First Dates, and Lost were filmed. You can swim at virtually any beach area along the way and don’t forget to visit the farmer’s markets.
Enjoy a great touristy evening at Germaine’s Luau (www.germainesluau.com). Purchase your tickets in advance, and let them know you need a gluten-free meal.
Hawaiian trails can take you through bamboo forests, jungle terrain, and scenic overlooks. Hike or run along the Makiki and Tantalus trails. Na Ala Hele (http://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov/trail.php?TrailID=OA+19+004&island=Oahu) has direction for reaching the Kanealole trailhead which connects with other trails. This is a watershed so be prepared to get a little muddy. Grab a gluten-free deli sandwich from Good Eats (www.goodeatssandwiches.com) and try the ‘Da Bomb’ for a little kick. Rent a SUP late in the afternoon from one of the shops around Ala Moana or Waikiki. Watch the turtles play in the water at Ala Moana and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.
The Shorebird (http://shorebirdwaikiki.com) has great gluten-free options, and the chef will walk you through the buffet choices. You can finish your second day with a mini ‘bar hop’ along the Waikiki shoreline.
Snorkel at Hanauma Bay (www.hanaumabaytours.com) or climb Koko Head (http://www.everytrail.com/guide/koko-head-crater-trail) for a great morning adventure. Grab a Spicy Tuna Bowl at Kuru Kuru in Aiea (www.urbanspoon.com/r/37/451979/restaurant/Hawaii/Aiea/Kuru-Kuru-Sushi-Honolulu). This is the only dish that I know has no gluten but always confirm the ingredients. While in the Aiea area, visit the Arizona Memorial (www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm).
Finish your three-day vacation with a dinner cruise on the Ali’i Kai (www.robertshawaii.com/dining-experience/alii-kai-dinner-cruise.php). Again, purchase your ticket in advance, and ask for gluten-free options.