So my SO and I are flying out to Oahu on Friday and we’ll be there for a week. We’re already planning on hiking the Diamond Head crater, visiting Pearl Harbor, Manoa Falls, kayaking, snorkling and of course good old fashioned relaxing on the beach with a Mai Tai. What other fun is there to be had?
When I was there 10 years ago - my god I’m getting old - we stayed at the turtle bay, which is as far as you can get from Honolulu. If you’re into it, there some great golfing there, but it is also a nice - and relatively quiet - part of the Island to explore (nice town of Haleiva, watching the giant turtles).
Go to the beach.
Explore the landscape.
Eat pineapple, macadaman nuts and roast pig.
Go see Jim Nabors.
Make fun of the Japanese tourists.
Visit the Punchbowl Cemetary. In addition to being quite moving on it’s own there is an overlook just outside the gates with a view of the city.
Get a car and drive all the way around the island, stopping at various beaches. Full day, loads of fun!
North shore to see turtles and surfing.
A day trip to the Big Island to visit Kilauea and Volcanoes National Park. There are organized tours that include air to Hilo, ground transport to the volcano, and the Mauna Loa nut company.
There’s an old WW2 Fort in downtown Honolulu, with a small museum and stuff. I like military history, and it was a nice way to kill an hour or two.
Hike Diamond Head
Drive around the whole island and stop on the North Shore to see the difference in beaches and waves.
Go to the International Market and get a pineapple whip…it’s a pineapple, with top cut off, the innards whipped into a foamy yummy drink and served…nothing else added.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is pretty cool and it’s on the other side of the island, so you get to see the pretty :). Speaking of pretty, if you’re into such a thing, there are also all kinds of simply delicious Polynesian boys working at said cultural center in traditional (shirtless) garb. I’d go back just for that.
Oh, I guess the women are half naked, too. I didn’t really notice, though.
I recently discovered this website: http://akueats.com/ which is a listing and evaluation of many, many restaurants, dives, lunch trucks, etc. on the island.
I don’t necessarily agree with his critiques, but it’s a good listing, and it makes me homesick as hell.
Take and use your sunblock, wear sturdy shoes if you do Manoa Falls (it’s slippery and muddy) and FYI, they don’t allow anything you can’t fit into your pockets at the Arizona Memorial.
I don’t know if you like guidebooks, but when my wife and I went to Oahu we found this one to be invaluable.
We had a great time visiting beaches and hiking and bumming around for a week. Check it out.
Yes, the [name of Hawaiian Island] Revealed guidebooks by Wizard Publications are far ahead of all others - absolutely essential.
I particularly liked the north shore of Oahu. One of the best spots was Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, which unfortunately is not open to the public. But many others are well worthwhile.
I’ll give a second recommendation for the Polynesian Cultural Center. You’ve got all the other high points on your list there. I’d also go with the suggestion to see the North Shore; and drive through the pineapple plantations on the way there or back. Make sure you eat at least once at a local BBQ joint and don’t be afraid of Spam.
Diosa my dear, I think i love you. I do believe we might have to take in some culture while we’re there.
Thanks for the tips all. I can’t wait to get there.
NOTE - at least when I was there a few years ago the map looks like you can go the whole way around, but there’s a bit of the northeast corner where there’s a note where it says “Passing this point may void your rental agreement!” because it’s an unimproved road. We had to do a little backtracking.
Also, Diamondhead - I was in charge of planning and the guidebook (and I mean Frommer’s, not Lonely Planet or something) called it a “moderate hike”. I had a bunch of people in their 60’s with me. It is not exactly a “moderate” hike. It’s a desert and it can be very hot and at the top you have to crawl out of a damned bunker. Worth it, sure, but be warned that “moderate” means different things to different people.
On the other hand, at the top a local was hanging out handing out frozen lychees. He told me he loves doing that, because people are so grateful and he meets a lot of interesting people from cool places. I could have kissed him.
Now I know I love you.
All I ask is that you take a lot of pictures. And maybe tell some of them that if they ever come to the mainland, you’ve got a fat brunette lady friend who is incredibly easy. Incredibly.
If you like to have fun in the surf (not to surf) go to Sandy Beach. It’s on the other side of Diamond Head from Honolulu. It’s a shore break and the waves comes crashing down on you. When you climb out of the water, you’ll be 10 lbs. heavier. You’ll see. Lots of fun, especially if your previous experience in the ocean is limited.