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What are the top 10 must do when you go to Hawaii?

What are the top 10 must do when you go to Hawaii?

Jun 1st, 2005, 02:17 AM
Original Poster
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What are the top 10 must do when you go to Hawaii?

My husband and I are going to Honolulu. This is our first time. What are the "must do"? We are planning to take a helicopter ride, submarine ride and go to Pearl Harbor. All suggestions welcome!
lovincruisin1321 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:18 AM
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Are you serious?
Please research this exact subject, using the SEARCH FUNCTION of this website.
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 04:15 AM
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Those 3 are all must do activities. My suggestion is to get a guidebook and check out other things to do and there are plenty. For 1st timers a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center is usually on the to do list. You may want to drive up to the north shore as well. assuming you are staying in Honolulu. You might also want to consider a day trip to one of the other islands as well to get a different feel. Have a nice trip.
I also must say to TSD that if you can't say something constructive then why bother?
jacketwatch is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 04:28 AM
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Are you only in Oahu? We were in Kauai and Maui in mid-May so I can only comment on those islands.

I know for those of us who have been around here a while, we've seen similiar questions many times, but not everyone hangs out here as much as some people do. If it bothers you so much to see some questions posted, just scroll by and don't bother. It would be upsetting to me to get an exasperated reply as a newcomer. And it seems so unfair that sometimes people post questions such as this and get a ton of replies, and other times people just get blasted.
karens is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 04:35 AM
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Definitely - Pearl Harbor.

Hike Diamond Head.

Eat malasadas from Leonards.

Do a Chinatown tour with PakePorkChop.

Have the breakfast buffet at Duke's.

Rent a car and do the Circle Island Drive.

Can't comment on the helicopter in Honolulu, we did one on Kauai a few years back.

As for the submarine ride, I read a post not long ago and a couple did the submarine ride and were not impressed. Each to his own, I guess.

Kick back and have tons of fun!

Jun 1st, 2005, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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here's your other posting.
suze is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Here is a list of things to do on Oahu. Sorry about the length, but it's easier for me to copy & paste the entire thing.

List of things to do on Oahu
These are some hints/suggestions for things to do and see on Oahu.

Arizona Memorial: (free) get there early, preferably by 8am. Opens at 7:30am. If you get there after 10am the lines can get long and you may spend 1-2 hours in line. Battleship USS Missouri and Submarine USS Bowfin are in the same area. These are about $15 each so you can go or skip them. Look for coupons in brochures for two for one. You can take pictures of them from Arizona Visitors Center and the Arizona tour ferry. Go on the lawn behind the Visitor's Center. You can also walk around the Bowfin Memorial area for free without taking the tour. Its worth the time. The Swap Meet is only a couple blocks from here at Aloha Stadium.

Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC): www.polynesia.com General Admission about $40, but I prefer the buffet package ($55) or the luau buffet package ($75). The evening 'Horizon' show is the best Polynesian show in all of Hawaii. It comes with all ticket price options. The higher priced ticket packages get the better seating for 'Horizons'. Also the earlier you get there, the better the seating is for 'Horizons'. The Ali'i Luau Show that is part of the luau package is also a good Polynesian show. IMAX, Canoe Pageant, Samoa and Tonga villages and Canoe ride are the best other attractions (these are included with any type ticket). Plan on this as an all day event. Get there by 1pm (earlier if possible), leave around 9:30pm. When I take visitors, I try to keep on this schedule: IMAX 1:30, Canoe Pageant 2:30, Samoa 3:00, Tonga 4:00, Canoe Ride around 4:30, regular buffet or Ali'i luau buffet 5pm and 'Horizons' at 7:30. The other villages are nice also, but there is not enough time for all of them. You will have time to do some shopping or looking around between the buffet or luau and 'Horizons'. Closed on Sundays. You can go back for free for two days. Check with PCC employees for instructions before leaving the Center if you want the extra days.

Diamond Head Summit: Drive right into the crater and hike to the top. ($5 per carload or $1 each if you walk into the crater). I prefer to drive in. Awesome 360 degree view from the summit. Best time is around 8am or around 4pm. In between it can get hot walking to the top. Takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hours roundtrip.

Punchbowl (National Cemetery of the Pacific): (free) While you are there, drive to the overlook area. Short walk to the summit that overlooks the entire city. If you have time, take the Mt. Tantalus/Round Top drive through a rain forest. Stop at the Puu Ualakaa State Wayside about 2/3 of the way to the top of the mountain. It has an awesome view of the city from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor. Punchbowl is near the bottom of Mt. Tantalus.

Hanauma Bay: Snorkel. Its for any age. You can rent snorkeling equipment there or some places in Waikiki or bring your own. Closed on Tuesdays. Try to get there as early as possible. If you drive, the parking lot gets filled up by 9:00 or 10:00. ($1 for parking, $5 for each person). You can reserve snorkel tours with several companies. They provide equipment, transportation, etc. They seem to have better equipment than the park does. You can also take the city bus. But the first city bus doesn't leave Waikiki until 8:30 am. Website: http://www.co.honolulu.hi.us/parks/f...ay/welcome.htm

Byodo-In-Temple (Valley of the Temples): $2 each. Just past Kaneohe.

Chinaman's Hat: (free) Kualoa Regional Park is just past Byodo-In-Temple. Nice for pictures, picnic, swimming.

Swap Meet: You can buy almost any souvenirs here much cheaper than anywhere else. All items are new. Vendors wrap around the stadium twice. Located at Aloha Stadium near Arizona Memorial. Open Wed, Sat, Sun.

Hilo Hattie's: Nice place to shop. Higher prices than swap meet, but not too much more on many items. Has good selection of clothing, candies and souvenirs. Check brochures for coupons. Can take free Hilo Hattie's shuttle from Waikiki.

Ala Moana Beach Park: (free) Nice beach. Great sunset location in the winter. Walk all the way out to the end of Magic Island. Great view of Waikiki, Diamond Head, Ala Wai Boat Harbor (shown in opening scene of Gilligan's Island).

Hike to Manoa Falls: (Free) You can drive right up to the trailhead and park for free. Or you can pay a few bucks in a nearby lot to have someone "watch" your car. One mile one way. Short hike through a rain forest also bamboo there. Treetops restaurant there (at the previous Paradise Park site) has a good Chinese buffet.

Hike to Makapuu Point Lighthouse: (free) Great view from here. Easy one mile hike. In winter months (mid-November to mid-April) it's great for whale watching.

Other Hiking on Oahu:

North Shore Beaches: Haleiwa, Banzai Pipeline (Ehukai Beach), Waimea Beach, Sunset Beach, Shark's Cove & Chun's Reef. Chun's Reef has sea turtles. Other nice stops for pictures in the area. Can be huge waves in winter. Good snorkeling at Shark's Cove and Chun's Reef in the summer.

Other beaches: There are close to 100 beaches on Oahu. Besides North Shore and Waikiki beaches these are some of the better ones: Makaha Beach (west shore), Waimanalo Beach, Lanikai Beach, Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay and Kailua Beach (east/Windward side), Ala Moana Beach Park (south shore). All public beaches are free except Haunama Bay.

Dole Pineapple Plantation: On H-2 just past Wahiawa. Can visit on the way to or back from the North Shore. Nice gift shop to browse, but expensive. Go behind the center for pineapple exhibits and carp feeding pond.

Kualoa Ranch: Several movies have been set here: (Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young and others), ATV rides, horseback riding, tours. Located across from Kualoa Regional Park.

Waikiki: Beaches, shopping, dining, nightclubs, shows, some museums. Wide range in dining prices. $3-4 breakfasts, $6-10 lunch buffets, $20-$25 fine dining and anywhere in between. Best Waikiki shows: Creation: A Polynesian Journey, John Hirokawa's Magic of Polynesia, Society of Seven, Blue Hawaii (Elvis impersonator), many more to chose from. Many Waikiki shows offer cocktail show along with the dinner show. They seat you after everyone else has eaten. Regular price of shows around $40-$60. Cocktail show about $25-$35. There are several short free hula shows and other demonstrations in Waikiki daily. Check the brochures for location, days and times. Check brochures for coupons for shows/dining/shopping, etc.

Downtown Area: Aloha Tower (take elevator to the top, nice view), Chinatown, Hawaii Maritime Center, Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, other museums.

Botanical Gardens: Oahu has many botanical gardens. Most are free, the others charge a few bucks. Haiku Garden in Kaneohe is nice and is a nice stop if you are taking an island driving tour. Located near Byodo-In-Temple (Valley of the Temples). Check brochures or get info on-line. Search: oahu botanical gardens

Other: Sea Life Park, Zoo, Aquarium, Dinner cruise, whale watching cruise, submarine tours, parasailing, helicopter tours, horseback riding, Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, scuba, surfing lessons, other luau shows (Germaine's, Paradise Cove). Many other attractions, things to do. Check the brochures.

Brochures: (free) Can be found in the airport baggage claim area or at hundreds of news stands throughout Waikiki, in hotels, in stores, and at some attractions. These are excellent "things to do and see" guide books (maps, attractions, beaches, dining, night clubs, etc.). There are a lot of coupons in these for dining, shopping, etc. The best brochures are: 'This Week on Oahu', 'Oahu Gold', '101 Things Oahu', 'The BEST of Oahu'. Some of these brochures can also be found for other islands (Maui, Kauai, Big Island) unique to that island. Most of these brochures also have on-line versions.

www.thisweek.com 'This Week On Oahu' They will send up-to-date brochures for a few bucks. Also This Week Maui, Kauai, Big Island.
www.spotlighthawaii.com 'Oahu Gold' They will send up-to-date brochures for a few bucks. Also Maui Gold, Big Island Gold, Kauai Gold.
www.gohawaii.com This is the official site for Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. They will send a free brochure.
www.visit-oahu.com Oahu Visitors Bureau, for free brochure 1-877-525-6248 (toll free)
www.hawaii.com Good site for comparing hotel locations, prices, etc.
www.hawaii-hotels.com Compare hotels
www.bookit.com Compare hotels
www.honoluluadvertiser.com one of two main Honolulu newspapers, has dining & entertainment guides, TGIF calendar
www.starbulletin.com one of two main Honolulu newspapers, also has dining & entertainment

Automobiles: Oahu is the only island that you can get around by bus. Oahu has a good bus system, but a rental vehicle gets around a lot better. Parking in Waikiki can be a problem at times. If you plan on renting a car, make sure your hotel allows parking at the hotel or in a nearby lot or garage. Get the parking pass at the hotel registration area. Probably $8-$14/day to park at the hotel. You can get city bus passes at any ABC store in Waikiki for $20 for 4 days. Or you can pay $2.00 per trip. There are also many shuttles, tour buses and vans and trolleys that go to many places (some are free).

Internet Search Engines: Use Yahoo, Google, Dogpile or any other search engine to find information on any thing else on Oahu (or other island) that may interest you. Type in: hiking hawaii, hiking oahu, bed and breakfast oahu, condominiums oahu, botanical gardens oahu, oahu hotels or any other terms that will get you information.

Hotels: Most hotels (or hotel chains) have their own 800 numbers and/or websites: www.outrigger.com www.sheraton.com www.ohanahotels.com, etc. Or you can use a search engine to find the website or use the search engine's yellow pages for the phone number.

Entertainment Book
Entertainment books for Hawaii and many other locations can be purchased online at www.entertainment.com. They cost around $35-$40 plus shipping or if you wait until mid-March, the price is reduced to about $25 (or less) with free shipping. Expires November 1.
Coupons include half price tickets for John Hirokawa's Magic Show. Hundreds of other coupons for reduce price luaus, shopping, dining, movies, attractions, etc. The Hawaii book also has many mainland coupons for hotels, car rentals, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc.

Phone Cards: If you don't have a cell phone, the best phone cards right now can be found at Costco or Sam's Club. Right now they are only $.03/m, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no monthly charge. Can be used from pay phones ($.25 or eight units surcharge from pay phone), hotels, homes.
dusty56438 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Posts: 1,120
Okay, I agree. Let me recant. When I posted, it was 3:18 a.m. after a long day and night helping the kids get their major projects completed before the semester ends. Part of this involved research, which I felt would help the OP.
TripleSecDelay is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 03:18 PM
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I can't believe you guys have missed the obvious "must do" when you're in Hawaii with a loved one!
Get lei'd as much as possible.

Some of the freshest, sweetest smelling flowers hanging from your neck all day makes it a better world.

"True Fodors means never having to say you're sorry".
Kal is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM
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To TSD; Very good of you to say so.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Have the breakfast buffet at the Shorebird at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

Eat lots of pineapple.

Have a five-napkin burger at Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

Watch the sunset from Waikiki.

Look for rainbows.

Hang loose.
carolyn is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Posts: 92,281
I don't do any of the usual "must do" things and I *love* Honolulu and Waikiki. I just kick around, ride The Bus places, go to the beach, read the dialy Honolulu Star, drink homemade mai tais by the pool, take a nap, watch the sunset, go out for a nice dinner, watch for free local dance and music shows, get an ice cream from the ABC or Cold Stone, have a chair massage or my fortune told on the boulevard, watch the local news on TV. I often start my Christmas shopping, write postcards, go to a bakery, go to a grocery store, cook in the kitchenette, go to a different part of the beach, sit under a palm tree in Fort deRussy park, walk along the canal, check out some other hotels for the next trip.
suze is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 04:06 PM
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I did enjoy the tour of Doris Duke's Shangri La estate sponsored by the Honolulu Academy of the Arts and next time plan to go on the Iolani Palace tour and maybe Bishop Museum.
suze is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Ohmygosh, Dusty, you win the prize for the most detailed and helpful response!!!!!

Can you answer a question I've been asking people around here (back east) since I flew home two weeks ago. On the way from Lihue to Maui, we flew over Oahu and Honolulu. We saw a round thing that looked like a volcano collapsed on itself. In it, there looked to be some sort of development or buildings. Is this Diamond Head? If not, what is it? And what is inside it? Someone told me Diamond Head is a pennisula, and someone else told me what I saw was Diamond Head and inside are graves!
karens is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Spend at least one full day by the pool or on the beach doing nothing!
starrsville is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Karens - What you described could be Diamond head. Inside the crater, it is almost perfectly round and almost 1 mile in diameter. There is an old Army insallation in the crater. Diamond Head is not a peninsula. But it does jut out a little I don't know of any graves in it, but it may be a Hawaiian burial ground.

Hanauma Bay is another crater. The side by the ocean dropped off and created the bay. Hanauma Bay is a peninsula. There are a few buildings inside of it on the beach.

National Cemetery of the Pacific is another crater.
dusty56438 is offline  
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