Whose been to Hawaii?
I'm thinking of taking a vacation to Hawaii. I've not researched it yet so I don't know which island to stay on and don't know what there is to see or do besides snorkeling and Don Ho.
For any who have been, can you share your opinions and perhaps some advice based on your experience in paradise?
Oh that would be my dream vacation. I can't give any advice cause i have never been there only seen pictures but if you need me to go with ya just let me know. : )
Hi! Welcome to the forum! I went in '86. I stayed in Oahu and did day trips to Maui and Kaui. It really depends on what kind of vacation you want.........if you want alot of activity I'd say Oahu since it has all kinds of hotels and shows, etc. If you want to just be with beauty and peace and quiet, I'd opt for either Maui or Kaui..........Kaui is unbelievably lush and unspoiled and has the "Grand Canyon of the South Pacific"........Maui has the Haleakala volcano and Lahaina and Fern Grotto. Oahu also has the Bonzai Pipeline, Diamondhead, Waikiki Beach and the Arizona Memorial............and, for some tame snorkeling it has Hanauma Bay...............again, it's up to you.
Well, most people go to Oahu, the island where you will find Don Ho and Waikiki Beach. It's a great place to visit. If you plan to go there make sure you visit the Royal Hawaiian hotel and Iolani Palace. You can also go over to the back side of the island and its way different over there. The Ala Moana shopping center is neat, too..........get a pina colada to go! Pearl Harbor tours are interesting and emotional. Snorkeling in Hanama Bay is a must and then go over to Punch Bowl. Punch Bowl is now a cemetary but it was where the Japanese were interred during WWII.
Have you thought of going to Maui?
I've been to Oahu twice with a side trip to Kaui. Had great fun both times....tried para-sailing and surfing Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay was fantastic too, it's one of the reasons I decided to take up scuba diving. I didn't spend a lot on hotels cause I figured I wouldn't spend much time there and I was right! It's a beautiful place to visit, I would like to go back and take my daughter one of these days.
I lived there for many years. It all depends on your personality and what you consider fun. I really encourage you to go to another island than O'ahu. Maui is great, and I really like the beach at Ka'anapali, and there you can visit Haleakala (the inside of which looks like the surface of the moon) or see lots of great scenary and waterfalls and take hikes off the beaten track. On O'ahu, I like hiking at Tantalus -- or you can hike up Round Top. The one thing you must do on O'ahu is do a circle-island drive to see everything, not just the tourist stuff they stuff into Waikiki and Honolulu. I would drive eastward by Kahala Mall and take Kalaniana'ole Highway and drive out to Hawai'i Kai and first go see Hanauma Bay. Make sure you do it on a day the Bay is open. If you are adventurous, you could go out to the Toilet Bowl where the sea rapidly fills and empties a hole in the rock you can get into, but I'm not sure if it's off-limits now. Then you can drive out to the Blowhole and then past Sandy Beach and go towards the lighthouse and Sea Life Park. I would turn off right at the part where you reach the lighthouse (not visible from the road) for the look-out, because it is a spectacular view of Rabbit Island from above. Then you could go down to Sea Life Park (which was in that Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore movie), but I think it sucks, so I would recommend driving out to Waimanalo and then to Kailua and Kane'ohe, and you just stick with the highway all the way to Ka'a'awa, La'ie (Mormon-ville, where the Polynesian Cultural Center is, if you want to see it), Kahuku, and so forth, going around the top of the island, and then coming back down to Sunset Beach in the northwest (a great beach!), and then down to Hale'iwa. Park your car and definitely go to Matsumoto's Shave Ice there in Hale'iwa --- it is not to be missed! Then continue on through the pineapple fields to Wahiawa and there you could make a choice to go ewa (westward) to Mokule'ia and go to the westernmost tip of the island or go straight south to the Aiea area and back to Honolulu. In the former choice, you could go to a place where you could get in a cesna with a pilot and be given a tour of that part of the island from above. Or if you go straight south, you could go to Pearl Harbor or drive back to Waikiki. I'm a nut about downtown Honolulu and find the history there absorbing, and so you prolly might want to see Iolani Palace, Ali'iolani (the old legislature), Kawaiaha'o Church (made out of coral), and Chinatown, and so forth. That's pretty much the major things to do on O'ahu, though there are lots of other things I forgot and extreme things like hang-gliding and so forth.
I have been to Oahu and I have been to Kauai.
Oahu has lots of city, lots of action. Lots of traffic. But it is still beautiful! I loved it. (And there are less crowed areas on Oahu, don't get me wrong...)
But Kauai.....Kauai is paradise. Small towns, locals, lots of uncrowded beaches....There is one major road that goes around the island and when you come to bridges, they are so narrow, traffic can only go one way so people take turns. Not like that on Oahu! Amazing mountains to hike in, the best snokleling in crystal waters.......snokleing is the most amazing thing to do!! Plus all the fun extras like hilcopter rides, day cruises with wine and cheese :), rafting, scuba, surf lessons, some very fancy resorts and amzing hiking trails.
If you want more glitz and glamor..say you want to go surfing, climb out of the water, walk accoss the beach and buy a Parada purse and then head out for a live show, go to Oahu.
If you want to sit under a palm tree half the day, body surf for a while and then get a bite to eat in a local resaurant in your flip-flops and trunks, go to Kauai.
Man, I want to go there now.
(Who can't spell)
We have been to Hawaii many times and to all of the islands except Molokai.
We like Oahu the best and always stay in the same beach house on the North Shore, about a mile from the Polynesian Cultural Center. It's a residential area, and very few tourists, so you get the feel of what Hawaii is all about, apart from tourist traps. It also has our favorite beach in all of Hawaii, and there is hardly ever anyone there but us.
We've never been to Don Ho's show, but I want to go one day. I've heard he puts on a really nice show.
We used to really love Maui, but it has become almost like Honolulu from Makena all the way to Kapalua, and pretty heavy traffic, so we don't go there anymore.
The big island, Hawaii, is really nice, but less beaches and further to drive to them. We went to Kauai once in 1978 and liked it a lot, but never went back.
We have gone almost every year since 1978, and know it really well. We like to just hang out at the beach, now that we've seen almost everything there, although we do hit a few of our favorite touristy spots each time.
Hanauma Bay is disappointing now..................very restricted parking, and they only allow a certain number of people in each day. You have to pay now, and there is one or two days a week, that is exclusively for Hawaii residents only. The reef is breaking down, so they are trying to preserve it before it is gone completely. We haven't been able to get in the last two times we've been there, and we've arrived early in the morning, about 9 AM. Signs with police officers, guarding, that say "Parking Lot Full". You cannot enter to drive around and look, so you just have to go somewhere else.
I have been going since I was 7yrs old and have been to all the islands. What I do now and have for the last 12 years is plop my butt in the sand in Maui. I had to give up staying for 3 months at a time when my son started school. Now it's a week here and there. Kannapali is the place to be. Easy shopping/eating/activities/laid back all in one place. You won't go wrong with whatever you do on your first time. I do agree that if you stay in HNL then do drive around the island. HNL really depressed me when I went back there for the first time in years. I can remember when there was only the Royal Hawaiian and the Hali Kalani hotel. Things sure have changed. I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental in HNL and loved it.