Top 5 activities to do on Oahu and Big island

Mar 27th, 2011, 01:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 9
Top 5 activities to do on Oahu and Big island


Am hopping all those who have been on vacation can give their imput on this post.
Please list top 5 activities done while on these islands with 1 being your top choice (if you could give a ruff idea of price it would be nice).

thanks to all those who will answer
caro_tabi is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,504
The only paid activity I've personally done is in Honolulu, the tour of Doris Duke's ShangiLa estate and entrance to the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. It was very interesting. $25.

I think the other top choices on most people list, besides all the natural beauty would be: Pearl Harbor, Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, Chinatown.

An island "circle tour" including the North Shore. Which you can do with a rental car, by The Bus (public transportation), or with a tour company like Roberts or others.

My personal top suggested activities are all free: going to the beach at Waikiki, the Farmers Market at KCC on Saturday morning, finding free local music and dance shows, watching the sunset.
suze is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
The real attractions inHawaii are nature and the Hawaiian people and their culture.

On the Big Isalnd, the volcano is high on the list. You get there by car or by tour bus. Seeing the steam venting from Kilauea crater is impressive. Whether lava is flowing from the new rift zone depends on the volcano's condition, but it it is you can drive south from Hilo to the viewing area.

You might find the tsunami museum in Hilo very interesting now. I don't recall the admission price, but it's not a lot.

Going to the beach and snorkeling at Punalu'u in Kona is free. You have to rent or buy a snorkel and mask, but rental is inexpensive.

Luaus at the hotels are expensive and are not entirely authentic. But they are good show biz, and entertaining. It's good they are including more of the authentic hula now. The kalua pig, long rice, lomi salmon, and poi may or may not be very good, depending on which luau you attend. My Hawaiian friend disapproves, but I find poi tastes better with salt.

"Flumin' da ditch" or riding a raft or kayak down some canals, can be fun, and also zip lines. I don't know the costs. You can also take hikes for free.

The farmers' markets in Kona and Hilo are great. Buy some unfamiliar fruit and try it. Papaya, little bananas, mangoes, and lots of other things. They also have stands selling plenty of inexpensive souvenirs.

Buy "The Big Island Revealed" for the best guide to the island. It is a blue paperback and many people call it "the Bible" of the BI.
charnees is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,798
Sorry charness, but there is a bittersweet irony that some tourists like to call those guides as 'the bible' since they are about as welcome as the missionary bibles that tried to destroy everything hawaiian including the hula which was considered evil and vulgar, while they stole the land.
On BI:

I will say that the Waipo Wagon drive is a bust - literally for us. Hike or horseback, but avoid the wagon and treat the land and people with respect and don't trespass.

If the lava is flowing, I would hire a private lava guide.
Kealalani is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
I'm not entirely sure what the allusion is to the missionary bibles. I know some people object to the Big Island revealed book because it has encouraged some people to go places they are not welcome. But in many cases, the book warns you about it. And it does tell you where to find good beaches, etc. I think the objection to the book are overblown. IMO.
charnees is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Not cheap, but we did a 2 hour helicopter tour of BI using Blue Hawaiian. It was about $460 a person, and was well worth the cost.
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,752
On the BI

1. Snorkeling at Two-Step.
2. Boogie boarding at Hapuna Beach
3. Tropical Dreams ice cream in Captain Cook
4. Watching the lava explode when it flows into the ocean
5. Drinking champagne on the lanai and smelling the plumeria in the air
kureiff is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
You can also get Tropical Dreams Ice Cream in Hawi across the street from Bamboo Restaurant (which is one of our favorite lunch spots.) There was a place downtown in Kona where you could get it, but I think it got washed out by the tsunami.
charnees is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,798
I am just loving that Tropical Dreams Ice Cream and Champagne on the lanai at sunset or leftover champagne on the lanai for sunrise with some fresh squeezed OJ are 'activities'

Makes me feel like a much more active traveller!!!!

I do so wish I had been able to hike down Pololu Valley. So with a busted wing and unable to hike, snorkle, kayak or swim. . . . my BI top 5

5. Driving the high and the low road to and from Hawi
4. Hanging at Pole 69 beach in Puako
3. Volcano Village before the daytrippers arive and after they leave
2. Cocktails and Pupus at the ocean front 4Seasons bar, which is being rebuilt and then relaxing on chaise lounges oceanside to watch the sunset.
1. Capturing the spirit of the 'Place of Refuge' and feeling it while a local Halua hula school pays their respects.
Kealalani is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 17
BI - we recently did the zip line near Hawi and it was amazing - wonderful group with local guides who taught us so much about the island.

The night dive with the manta rays is also an incredible experience and if you are not a diver you can snorkel and get an equally incredible experience (one of our friends did just that and loved it). We loved the dive with Kona Honu Divers much better than with Jack's Dive Locker.

We also enjoyed sipping mai tais at Don the Beachcomber in Kona - right on the water and happy hour prices can't be beat. A bit touristy but fun nonetheless - and you can peak in on the expensive luau without paying.

Oahu - hike to the top of Diamond Head - fairly easy hike (though you do need sneakers, not flip flops) and view is amazing. Mai tais at the Beach Bar at the Moana Surfrider. Snorkeling at Shark's cove or Tables on North Shore. Jump off the big rock at Waimea Bay (but get there early as the parking lot fills up quickly). Fish tacos at Duke's. There is so much it's hard to limit it to just five!
vivandvin is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2011, 07:39 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,610
BI: Some free places to take your picnic lunch:
Lava Tree State Park; it's a lovely interlude, and very interesting.
Laupahoehoe Point (tsunami memorial on the Hamakua Coast)is a spectacular place to visit (after paying respects, walk the edges for awesome views; there are several picnic shelters, but open air is pretty nice).
Old Mamalahoa Highway (east of Waimea; turn at Mud Lane) is simply gorgeous, and there are many lava tube caves to peek (or hike) into along the way.
sylvia3 is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Aug 1st, 2009 01:28 PM
United States
Feb 22nd, 2009 02:20 PM
United States
Jan 8th, 2007 06:48 AM
United States
May 27th, 2005 06:57 AM
United States
Sep 28th, 2003 07:20 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:14 AM.