Hawai’i Ideas.

From the Parkinglot

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Going to Hawai’i (Oahu and Maui). Anyone have any tips of things that need to be done? Have book Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head on Oahu. Have whale watching on Maui and dinner at Mama’s Fish House.
 

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Good snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, southeast corner of Oahu. It is a collapsed volcano. There is also Shark’s Cove for snorkeling on the north shore near Waimea falls. The Waimea Falls is worth some time, and I also like walking around Manoa Falls. Manoa is pretty much straight north of Diamondhead.

If you do head to the north shore of Oahu, according to locals, the best shave ice is in Haleiwa Town.

Neat to stop at the Dole plantation from the north shore heading back to Honolulu.

Surprisingly good Mai Tai at Cheeseburger in Paradise across the street from Waikiki beach.

Do Not buy leis off the scammers on the beach.

I’ll try to add more as I remember.

[edits]
One of the best sunsets you can watch is from Ko Olina on the southwest shore of Oahu. It is mostly resort guests, but you can just go there and swim in the man made lagoons, and there are a bunch of food options right there too.
 
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Frink

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Unregistered User covered some good stuff.

Makapuu Lighthouse is a good walk leading to good views. Lanikai beach is good if your looking for a place to swim without having to worry about coral, rocks and tides.

If you feel like something indoors/educational stop by The Bishop Museum. Queen Emma's Summer Palace is worth a look. The Pali Highway outlook is cool but unfortunately the last time I was out there in 2020 landslides had blocked off a couple good hikes that started at the parking lot.

Almost forgot about sail planes. If you've got the stomach for going up in a plane with no engine the views are amazing. The wind has to be right so it's not always an option. I did that about 10 years back and the pilot was a 70 something Korean War Navy pilot.
 

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Make sure you lock your vehicle and everything else really well. And make sure you park in highly visible and safe secure areas. The rental cars stick out like a sore thumb, the locals know which vehicles are rental cars. They like smashing windows and taking what's easily available.
 

From the Parkinglot

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Good snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, southeast corner of Oahu. It is a collapsed volcano. There is also Shark’s Cove for snorkeling on the north shore near Waimea falls. The Waimea Falls is worth some time, and I also like walking around Manoa Falls. Manoa is pretty much straight north of Diamondhead.

If you do head to the north shore of Oahu, according to locals, the best shave ice is in Haleiwa Town.

Neat to stop at the Dole plantation from the north shore heading back to Honolulu.

Surprisingly good Mai Tai at Cheeseburger in Paradise across the street from Waikiki beach.

Do Not buy leis off the scammers on the beach.

I’ll try to add more as I remember.

[edits]
One of the best sunsets you can watch is from Ko Olina on the southwest shore of Oahu. It is mostly resort guests, but you can just go there and swim in the man made lagoons, and there are a bunch of food options right there too.
We are staying at Ko Olina so that won’t be a problem.
 


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My wife and I just went there in Oct/Nov (Oahu and the Big Island). For the most part, what UU and Frink posted is right on. Here's what I'd have to add about Oahu:
  • It sounds like you're aware of the need for reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial and the Diamond Head trail, so I won't belabor that other than just mention it in passing. If you're as into history as we are, devote a full day to Pearl Harbor. We spent seven hours there and could have been there longer had the submarine exhibit not been in drydock for renovation. (My wife's father was stationed there after WWII, so it was of particular interest to her.)
  • Unless you have more advanced ideas (wakeboard or whatever), pony up for the $4.50 inflatable tube at the ABC Store. For an additional dollar, they'll inflate it for you.
  • A good place for shave ice on Oahu is Island Snow in Kailua, which I think is their flagship location. They also sell t-shirts, but they're pricey. Once you've had your shave ice, there's a nice farmers market a short walk from there.
  • Do take a day trip to the north shore, and take the highway along the east coast. There are a number of fruit stands you'll be able to stop at.
  • One of our favorite meals was at Haleiwa Joe's on the north shore. If you can eat outside, do it; it's a dreamy waterside location at night.
  • In Honolulu, Bar Leather Apron is one of the best cocktail bars we've ever experienced--maybe THE best--but getting a reservation is difficult. We were lucky enough to snag an evident cancellation. Our bartender told us they release a month's worth of reservations at the beginning of each month, so be on the lookout for that. Or you could try to squeeze yourself in as a walk-up.
  • We enjoyed Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, the former royal palace before the monarchy was overthrown. A great heritage site with tours.
  • Honolulu is traffic hell. So many one-way streets! It's practically certain you'll get lost or at least misdirected at some point. Give yourself plenty of time to get from place to place within the city.
  • Ala Wai Harbor is where they filmed the opening scenes for Gilligan's Island, if you're into old filming locations. It hasn't changed much in all this time. If you get over to Kaneohe, Coconut Island is what they filmed from the water as Gilligan's Island for the 2nd and 3rd season openers. On it, there are two huge Captain Cook's pines that were small then but much larger now. BTW, Captain Cook's pines were introduced on the islands because they grow fast and straight and made great ship masts.
If you have any questions, message me. Enjoy!
 

Bad Gopher

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My wife and I just went there in Oct/Nov (Oahu and the Big Island). For the most part, what UU and Frink posted is right on. Here's what I'd have to add about Oahu:
  • It sounds like you're aware of the need for reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial and the Diamond Head trail, so I won't belabor that other than just mention it in passing. If you're as into history as we are, devote a full day to Pearl Harbor. We spent seven hours there and could have been there longer had the submarine exhibit not been in drydock for renovation. (My wife's father was stationed there after WWII, so it was of particular interest to her.)
  • Unless you have more advanced ideas (wakeboard or whatever), pony up for the $4.50 inflatable tube at the ABC Store. For an additional dollar, they'll inflate it for you.
  • A good place for shave ice on Oahu is Island Snow in Kailua, which I think is their flagship location. They also sell t-shirts, but they're pricey. Once you've had your shave ice, there's a nice farmers market a short walk from there.
  • Do take a day trip to the north shore, and take the highway along the east coast. There are a number of fruit stands you'll be able to stop at.
  • One of our favorite meals was at Haleiwa Joe's on the north shore. If you can eat outside, do it; it's a dreamy waterside location at night.
  • In Honolulu, Bar Leather Apron is one of the best cocktail bars we've ever experienced--maybe THE best--but getting a reservation is difficult. We were lucky enough to snag an evident cancellation. Our bartender told us they release a month's worth of reservations at the beginning of each month, so be on the lookout for that. Or you could try to squeeze yourself in as a walk-up.
  • We enjoyed Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, the former royal palace before the monarchy was overthrown. A great heritage site with tours.
  • Honolulu is traffic hell. So many one-way streets! It's practically certain you'll get lost or at least misdirected at some point. Give yourself plenty of time to get from place to place within the city.
  • Ala Wai Harbor is where they filmed the opening scenes for Gilligan's Island, if you're into old filming locations. It hasn't changed much in all this time. If you get over to Kaneohe, Coconut Island is what they filmed from the water as Gilligan's Island for the 2nd and 3rd season openers. On it, there are two huge Captain Cook's pines that were small then but much larger now. BTW, Captain Cook's pines were introduced on the islands because they grow fast and straight and made great ship masts.
If you have any questions, message me. Enjoy!
I should add, the Diamond Head trail is one of my favorite trails I've ever been on, right up there with the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon and the Highline Trail in Glacier. It's so masterfully designed. It has such a consistent grade that, until I got to the climactic stairway at the end, I never once got out of breath.
 

John Galt

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Went to Maui last year, and it’s truly one of the best places on Earth. My family loves to snorkel, so I would recommend bringing gear with you and spending time on the west end. You can stop at 10-12 different beaches they are all unique and have something different to offer. Honolua Bay was one of my favorites. Haleakala National Park is an incredible experience. A lot of people get there early on the morning to watch the sunrise, but we actually spent the day and then watched the sunset. The sliding sands trail is a one of a kind experience and it feels like you hiking on a different planet. The Road to Hana is another must do.
 

From the Parkinglot

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My wife and I just went there in Oct/Nov (Oahu and the Big Island). For the most part, what UU and Frink posted is right on. Here's what I'd have to add about Oahu:
  • It sounds like you're aware of the need for reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial and the Diamond Head trail, so I won't belabor that other than just mention it in passing. If you're as into history as we are, devote a full day to Pearl Harbor. We spent seven hours there and could have been there longer had the submarine exhibit not been in drydock for renovation. (My wife's father was stationed there after WWII, so it was of particular interest to her.)
  • Unless you have more advanced ideas (wakeboard or whatever), pony up for the $4.50 inflatable tube at the ABC Store. For an additional dollar, they'll inflate it for you.
  • A good place for shave ice on Oahu is Island Snow in Kailua, which I think is their flagship location. They also sell t-shirts, but they're pricey. Once you've had your shave ice, there's a nice farmers market a short walk from there.
  • Do take a day trip to the north shore, and take the highway along the east coast. There are a number of fruit stands you'll be able to stop at.
  • One of our favorite meals was at Haleiwa Joe's on the north shore. If you can eat outside, do it; it's a dreamy waterside location at night.
  • In Honolulu, Bar Leather Apron is one of the best cocktail bars we've ever experienced--maybe THE best--but getting a reservation is difficult. We were lucky enough to snag an evident cancellation. Our bartender told us they release a month's worth of reservations at the beginning of each month, so be on the lookout for that. Or you could try to squeeze yourself in as a walk-up.
  • We enjoyed Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, the former royal palace before the monarchy was overthrown. A great heritage site with tours.
  • Honolulu is traffic hell. So many one-way streets! It's practically certain you'll get lost or at least misdirected at some point. Give yourself plenty of time to get from place to place within the city.
  • Ala Wai Harbor is where they filmed the opening scenes for Gilligan's Island, if you're into old filming locations. It hasn't changed much in all this time. If you get over to Kaneohe, Coconut Island is what they filmed from the water as Gilligan's Island for the 2nd and 3rd season openers. On it, there are two huge Captain Cook's pines that were small then but much larger now. BTW, Captain Cook's pines were introduced on the islands because they grow fast and straight and made great ship masts.
If you have any questions, message me. Enjoy!
With Pearl Harbor, did you do the passport Pearl Harbor? Have booked two time to go see the Arizona Memorial, but unsure about the passport Pearl Harbor. Going to try and secure the Ford Island bus tour, but that seems impossible to secure given it’s limited to 25 people.
 



Bad Gopher

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With Pearl Harbor, did you do the passport Pearl Harbor? Have booked two time to go see the Arizona Memorial, but unsure about the passport Pearl Harbor. Going to try and secure the Ford Island bus tour, but that seems impossible to secure given it’s limited to 25 people.
We did not do the passport, mainly because the USS Bowfin (Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum) was under renovation and closed, so it would've diminished the value of the package. It looks like a good deal for what you get, though, but it looks like more than you could do in a day. That would depend on how fast you tend to go through museums.

The USS Missouri is highly recommended. There's an above-deck guided tour, including where the surrender ceremony occurred and where a Kamikaze plane hit, and a below-deck self-guided tour. Both were great. My dad served on a naval vessel, and it was fascinating to see how he must have lived and worked.

The Ford Island bus tour isn't something we looked into.
 

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I keep thinking of things. If you do go to Kailua, besides the shave ice place and the farmers market, they have a heck of a public beach park. Plenty of parking and a relatively deluxe shower/changing building.
 

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Nice, little, underused black sand beach on Maui near Hana, if you spend time in that area.

And if you take the Hana highway west from there, you will find a series of waterfalls that are easy to hike.

 

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Hawaii is my favorite warm weather destination. On Oahu, the north shore has the largest waves. If they are rolling big it's impressive to see and hear in person. You'll also see some good surfing. Waikiki Beach is a tourist mecca, but really is an impressive beach to hang out at. I'd recommend lunch under the huge Banyan tree at the Moana Surfrider Hotel built in 1901.
 
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howeda7

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On Maui, Paia Fish Market is also good, but less fancy. The road to Hana is great if you have time. It takes a full day. If not, a helicopter tour is a shorter option if the cost is not an issue.
 

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On the subject of the Makapuu Lighthouse hike, do bring plenty of water. The trail is exposed the whole way, and it tends to be windy.
 

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Why am I reading all this? Now I want to go with no concrete plans due to finances right now to do so! I've been to Maui once and had a great time. You folks have it all covered as to what to do. I will say that the evening of the road to Hana day, my right leg had cramps that night due to constant switching from the brake to the accelerator and back. Couldn't believe it.
 

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Why am I reading all this? Now I want to go with no concrete plans due to finances right now to do so! I've been to Maui once and had a great time. You folks have it all covered as to what to do. I will say that the evening of the road to Hana day, my right leg had cramps that night due to constant switching from the brake to the accelerator and back. Couldn't believe it.
Road to Hana made me carsick, and I was even the one driving. Uff dah!
 

From the Parkinglot

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So with all the talk of the road to Hana is it worth taking a day to drive it. We are staying in Wailea so getting to the road is a bit of a drive already. I am sure it has some amazing views, but not sure I want to spend an entire day driving it. Already have some whale watching and a sunset cruise booked along with dinner at mama’s house.

Also looking at doing the Haleakala national park, which is a drive from the resort.

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. Will update how the trip goes.
 

Gophers_4life

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So with all the talk of the road to Hana is it worth taking a day to drive it. We are staying in Wailea so getting to the road is a bit of a drive already. I am sure it has some amazing views, but not sure I want to spend an entire day driving it. Already have some whale watching and a sunset cruise booked along with dinner at mama’s house.

Also looking at doing the Haleakala national park, which is a drive from the resort.

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. Will update how the trip goes.

$30 for the national park but they say it is worth it. Also talk about road to Hana.
 

howeda7

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So with all the talk of the road to Hana is it worth taking a day to drive it. We are staying in Wailea so getting to the road is a bit of a drive already. I am sure it has some amazing views, but not sure I want to spend an entire day driving it. Already have some whale watching and a sunset cruise booked along with dinner at mama’s house.

Also looking at doing the Haleakala national park, which is a drive from the resort.

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. Will update how the trip goes.
If you have limited time, I might skip it. It's also a pretty stressful drive with a lot of trucks passing by on narrow, windy roads.
 




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