Going to Oahu

OK, Wife and I are going to Hawaii, trip is booked, staying really close to Wakiki Beach, but want to do everything worth doing in 7 days.
Parking at the resort is $25.00 per day for guests. :eek:
Please tell me what to do while I am there and if anyone has an opinion; Do I need a rental car? We like to be on our own mostly and usually avoid tours preferring to find places on our own and take our time. :cool:

Hey, us too! If you see a pasty Puget Sounder stumbling out of the surf choking on snorkle backwash, say hello. I’ll be heading to the nearest pub to drink the pain of the sunburn away.

We have no idea what we’re going to do when we get there either. I randomly fling myself at vacation activities like poo at the monkey house, enjoying anything that the residual splatter finds.

Rental car is a must if you want to leave the immediate Waikiki area, and you will. It’s crowded and nasty.

But before you escape-

Duke Kahanamoku statue (bring a lei)
International Marketplace
Waikiki Aquarium (if you’re into that or if you have kids)

Then, take off-

Polynesian Cultural Center
The Pali lookout
Iolani Palace
The North Shore (and stop at a shrimp van!)
Pearl Harbor (both the Arizona memorial and the USS Missouri)
The Dole Plantation
Byodo-In Temple
King Kamehameha statue on Punchbowl St
Punchbowl (the national cemetary- remember the big white statue at the beginning of Hawaii 5-0?)
Manoa Falls
Diamond Head (but it can be a righteous hike)

Beaches- Ma’ili, Sand Island, Pokai Bay, Kailua, all of the North Shore

Sea Life Park (if you’re into swimming with captive mammals)

More if I think of it…

Thanks, this is great. more info: No Kids and we’re in our 50’s so any oldies clubs there?

Over in the North Shore area is the Wailea Canyon Botanical Park. I’m the same age as you, and us old fogies often like to see a garden. Especially a tropical one which is chockful of ginger, heliconias, bananas, hibiscus and other exotics that grow like weeds over there but require a special hothouse environment here on the mainland. It’s a gorgeous place.

White ginger

I would think that $25 a day parking will be the least of your money bleeding concerns once you get to Hawaii. The state isn’t known for being a budget travellers dream.

MOving this to IMHO, as General Questions is for questions with a narrow specific answer.

samclem GQ moderator

There are several botanical gardens, and a cool hike through a bamboo forest and rainforest that we’re taking our kids on next week. I will find the link to it and post it in the morning.

We stay way the hell out in Kapolei, so we only venture into Waikiki or Honolulu maybe once a year.

If you’re into luaus (or willing to give one a try!), I have been to Paradise Cove and it’s nice, a bit above average. Germaine’s is one of the oldest but I haven’t been there in years. The Polynesian Cultural Center does a luau with entertainment from about 5:30 - 6:30 pm, then a seperate extravagant evening show (admission includes your day and the show- luau is extra). We may hit it this time around.

Bishop Museum is nice.

More when I don’t have a five year old in my lap! :smiley:

Or for residents. :frowning:

EJsGirl did an excellent job. $25 is expensive, but that is the norm. You won’t need a car in Waikiki and the immediate environs, so perhaps you could have the car for part of your stay? You can get cheap shuttles to places like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head, as well as attractions like luaus and dinner cruises. Often, the price includes the bus from Waikiki.

Places like Chinatown, Iolani Palace, and Aloha Tower are downtown, and you can catch a city bus for $2. It’s a pretty compact walking area… plus it’s easier than trying to find parking in the area.

Going around the island is always a thrill. I make it a point to take all visitors on that trip. Even though you can take the bus around the island for $2, a car might be better to pull off and see attractions. It’s a scenic, relaxing drive and worth having your own transportation.

Grab a shrimp scampi plate at Giovanni’s in Kahuku and then a shave ice (snow cones) at Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa. There are half a dozen places serving shave ice in Haleiwa, but only Matsumoto’s will have a huge line. Rule #1: Wait in line in Matsumoto’s. Rule #2: if other shave ice places have shorter or no lines, see rule #1.

I cannot think of oldies clubs, but Rumours (right by Ala Moana mall) has 80s nights and draws a more mature audience.

Places to eat? Ho boy, if you like ethnic eateries, you’ve come to the right place.

I have tons of Hawaii pictures on my website, if you look behind the little person in each picture.

other thread:

I went to Ohau in September. Loved Pearl Harbor (but I alwayes enjoyed WWII history). The Polynesian Culture Center is well worth the cost. Diamond Head was an incerdible hike, do it early in the day before it gets hot and bring water. The submarine ride was cool untill the novilty of being on a submarine wore off.

I did not find I missed out by not renting a car. Most tours include transportaion and the Bus can get you to most places.

Oh, yes, yes, yes! My kids can’t wait to pull up behind that shrimp van! And we found Matsumoto’s by accident our last trip over- Oh. My. God.

Don’t forget my favourite - the heavenly Plumeria

**HubZilla ** I just spent about a half hour looking at the cutest baby pictures ever!

Thanx Bunches! Going soon and I appreciate the responces.

Hanauma Bay
Do not miss this. One of the few good reasons for going to Oahu.

Second (third? fourth? 8 millionth?) Matsumoto’s. A must-do.

Similarly, one must stop at Leonard’s Malasadas in Honolulu for the finest doughnut like treat you will ever have. Krispy Kremes have nothing on Leonard’s. I promise.

For your last evening on Waikiki, go to the Hale Kulani hotel’s lanai for dinner to watch the sunset. Gorgeous view, exquisite food, and live music every night. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

My family is from Hawaii (early Rice and Sexton missionaries), and we’re going back in July for my parents 40th anniversary. Woohoo!

Oh, and for Hanauma Bay, you absolutely have to be there the minute they open. For one thing, the tour buses arrive quickly, and it gets crowded fast. More importantly, the water is only clear as long as there aren’t a million tourists stopming around stirring up silt, so get there while it’s empty. Be waiting at the gate at opening time, or don’t bother.

What am I missing? Oh, right: if you like historical things like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Bishop Museum is a great visit. You can easily spend a day wandering the halls and not see everything there.

Hm, it looks like all the basics are covered, so I’m gonna try and slip in a minor hijack.

How does Matsumoto’s Shave Ice compare to Waiola Shave Ice? Despite having grown up in Hawaii, I rarely have/had occasion to go down to Haleiwa and don’t recall having gone to Matsumoto’s (maybe once as a kid). Personally, I have trouble fathoming better shave ice than Waiola’s, but, hey, I’ve been wrong before.

If you take the public bus, don’t pay the $2 fare each time. Instead, once you’re in Waikiki, find yourself an ABC Store (and they’re all over the place so this should take about 5 seconds) and buy a 4-day visitor’s pass for $20. Even if you need to buy 2 to last your 7-day trip, it can save you money and the hassle of needing exact bus fare.

The suggestions in this thread are literally spread out of over the island. If I were you, I’d get my hands on a map of Oahu and plot out where these attractions are, and each day visit attractions that are in the same general area. (Make note of their operating hours and entry fees, if applicable.) This way, you don’t waste time in transit going back and forth across the island, and you get a better feel of the areas you’ll be visiting.

Well, I guess so. It’s pretty cool. But it can get pretty crowded as well. Waiting on the shuttle to take you up and down the long hill can get annoying, too. And you have to sit through their movie before you can go down to the park. :mad:

Not to downgrade the whole snorkeling experience, though. At HB you can experience some shallow as well as deeper snorkeling if you go out past the shelf where it drops off. I got a good picture of a humuhumunukunukuapuaa there. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’d recommend snorkeling off the southeast shore–kind of in the Chinaman’s Hat area. Miles and miles of good snorkeling. You should be reasonably good swimmers because there are no lifeguards.

Also in the southeast of Oahu is Sea Life Park where you can do an underwater “Sea Trek” wearing bubble helmets inside a huge fish tank, go swimming with dolphins, and several other fun things. Oh yeah, while you’re there…look up. The cliff right behind Sea Life Park is where the local hang-gliders launch from.

I’ve been to Oahu five times now, and the things I’d rate as Must See’s are:

The North Shore
Pearl Harbor
Polynesian Cultural Center
Waikiki (just to say you were there. The beach itself ain’t no big deal.)

Whatever you do, just simply enjoy it. You might not be able to do everything you want, but that just gives you a reason to go back. :slight_smile:

And poi tastes like wallpaper paste. It doesn’t look quite as appetizing, though.