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  1. #1

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    Default First Trip to Hawaii - any recommendations for things to see?

    My wife and I are taking our first trip to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary. (sitting in the LA airport now waiting to board our flight to Maui)

    We are spending 4 days in Maui and then flying to Ohau for another 5 days. We have a car in both locations, any recommendations for things to see or places that we will want to check out?

    We are not that much into just lying on a beach or going shopping, would like to do some hiking, walking, maybe take a whale or dolphin tour.... I understand there are rainforests there - I hope to travel through some of them.

    So, any thoughts??

    Michael
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  2. #2

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    Go wild boar hunting!!

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    Have a great time & congrats to you and the wife for 20 years!
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    The road to hana on Maui is not for the faint of heart. It is an all day drive in and out to some great waterfalls and natural pools. Great for the nature lover, but bad for the driver who hates twisty roads.

    Also on Maui are great snorkeling boat tours. Lots of sea life in beautifully clear water. You can book them when you get there. After coming back from a day full of snorkeling, we got caught in a HUGE pod of dolphins, cut our engines, and just drifted with local tunes in the background watching the dolphins jump and play.

    Great restaurants in Lahaina.

    Waikiki has the shopping. If you're not into beaches and shopping, not much for you there. Pearl has the history with the Arizona and Mighty "Mo" battleships. An hour drive from Honolulu is the BYU run Polynesian Cultural Center. While it may sound kind of strange being run by the LDS guys, they actually have very good shows about different Polynesian islands during the day time (a Polynesian theme park), an ok luau, and an absolutely fantastic night show.

    You can also check out the nature stuff on Oahu, but I think Maui is better for just getting lost in nature.

  5. #5

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    Thing to do in Oahu:

    Do the hike to the top of Diamondhead crater

    Go snorkleling at Hanauma bay

    Go to the Pali lookout on - very scenic

    Take the submarine tour - not very scenic but still fun

    Go to the north shore and watch the waves

    Have a cheeseburger at Cheeseburger in Paradise on the Waikiki strip

    Have breakfast at the Royal Hawaian Hotel (the Pink one)

    Go to Kailua Beach, Go to Sandy beach

    Go to the Dole pineapple plantation and do the maze

    See the Arizona

    Do one of the luaus

  6. #6

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    Been to Maui once - enjoyed it but prefer Kauai (been there 3 times).

    We did the catamaran snorkeling tour to Molokini crater - wasn't that impressed - lots of fish cuz they are 'trained' to show up for the free food, but not much else to look at. There might be some other snorkeling tours to try.

    I enjoyed the free snorkeling just north of Kaanapali - get there by mid-morning to grab a roadside parking spot and a spot on the beach, then enjoy some cool coral formations and the fish.

    Parasailing in Kaanapali was neat - seeing the whole western shore of Maui from the air by a thin rope tether was a rush!

    My wife especially enjoyed the Iao Valley Monument/Park - very tranquil, green, lots of trails to walk along side streams.

    Enjoy the trip!

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  7. #7

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    Maui...
    catch the morning sunrise at Haleakala crater... you gotta get up early cuz it's a looong drive up the volcano... visit Lahaina for old Maui atmosphere... if you decide to take the drive to Hana, leave in the morning cause it's a reaaaalllly looonnnngg drive.... you will get there about noon and you will return at dusk... it's about 47 miles from Lahaina, over 50 from Kahului. The road is narrow and very winding, it will take a few hours to go one way. But Hana is a real laidback out in the boonies town. You can see Charles Linbergh's grave and the seven sacred pools along the way. Don't buy gas in Hana, it's $6.00/gallon so gas up before you leave.

    Oahu...
    Waikiki is too commercialized... Go to the north shore and see the surf at Waimea or Sunset Beach, walk around Haleiwa Town while you are up there. A good place to eat in Haleiwa is Kua 'Aina burgers if you are into hamburger sandwiches... if you like shrimp, Giovanni's Lunchwagon is pretty good. It's at the entrance of Haleiwa on the opposite side of McDonalds.... It's really a food truck joint, don't go to any other food trucks, they are not as good. Haunama Bay on the east coast is nice for snorkeling. Koko Head on east Oahu has a nice hiking trail to the lighthouse. There's another trail leading to the top of Diamond Head... It's best viewed in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light. Of course, there's the Arizona and U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu is a good place to see the history and culture.

    Be aware that traffic in Honolulu is really bad, one of the worst in the country. Some areas of the freeway in the west is six lanes wide and its still bumper to bumper....

    Oh yeah, there's no audio stores left in Hawaii that sells Polk speakers so don't get your hopes up...

    with that, enjoy yourself....
    Last edited by jon s; 05-11-2011 at 06:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polkitup2 View Post
    Take the submarine tour - not very scenic but still fun
    A few notes on the tour...

    ...try to book on a day that is clear without any bad weather. Visibility is everything on this tour and you can see farther under water on a good day. Don't think that you're going for the fish and coral reefs 'cause you can see better fish snorkeling in Maui and there are no natural reefs off Waikiki. Just artificial ones that they sunk there like a ship, a plane, etc. Lots of little fish, very few big ones. So go mainly to experience riding in a real submarine over 100 ft deep. And it is expensive for only an hour under water. But the boat ride out has great scenic views of the Waikiki shoreline.

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    sunrise and then bike down. It's a blast!

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    Some good suggestions posted already, but I'd recommend a visit to Matsumoto Shave Ice on the North Shore and an evening at Germaine's Luau. You can save a few bucks by driving yourself to Pearl Harbor and taking the tour hosted by the U.S. Navy. As far as I know, it's still free to the public. Waimea Falls and Sea Life Park on Oahu are a couple more points of interest you may want to check out. Definitely check out the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. Both are located right in Waikiki and low cost to the public.

    http://www.hawaiiweb.com/html/waimea...ture_park.html

    http://adventureinhawaii.com/oahu_se...FQYGbAodaRfVJA

    http://www.honoluluzoo.org/

    http://www.waquarium.org/

    If I weren't laid up after this hip surgery, I'd be happy to take you's around, bro. Happy Anniversary and enjoy your trip, Michael.
    Last edited by Keiko; 05-11-2011 at 06:43 PM.

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    Don't know much about Maui.

    Oahu, lotsa stuff!

    Hiking/Nature/Outdoor stuff:
    - Walk up Diamondhead...you can "thank" me for that later.
    - The Waikiki Aquarium
    - Hanauma Bay - rent some snorkeling gear. They used to do snorkeling tours. Totally worth laying on the beach for a spell there. Also, there's a bunch of places to take a walk along the rocky shore line.
    - Dole Plantation - pineapple plantation. Neat tour. Free pineapple!
    - Kapiolani Park - home to some of the oldest banyan trees on the island. Honolulu Zoo is here too.
    - There's whale watching, dolphin watching, fishing trips, scuba rentals, snorkeling rentals, surfing lessons, sailing lessons, kite rentals...tons of stuff.
    - You can rent jetskis, bicycles, scooters or even exotic cars (expensive). The cars were my favorite though. Nothing like cruising up the east side of the island as the sun comes up to the tune of Ferrari's latest song, grabbin' lunch at the North shore and then taking the long way back and watchin' the sunset on the west side of the island! That is a beautiful day!
    - There's always just layin' on the beach too.

    Museums
    - Pearl Harbor - you're gonna spend the better part of a day here
    -- U.S.S. Missouri
    -- U.S.S. Arizona
    -- U.S.S. Bowfin
    -- Ordnance Museum
    -- U.S.S. Utah - this is on Ford Island and access to civilians is usually restricted. Depends greatly on terror alert level. Worth seeing though if you can, half the hull is above water and exposed. Been laying that way since 1941. Arizona is cool but the Utah is surreal.
    - Hawaii Heritage Museum - I don't remember exactly what this is called but it's in Honolulu and it's worth a trip.
    - There are several walking tours you can take as well. As your hotel Concierge (they all have one) for more info.
    - The North Shore - c'mon, if you gotta ask about this one! Just go to see the waves! Even when they are small they are still 10+ feet high. Very impressive!

    Shopping
    - International Market - Gotta see it to believe it! But the big draw is that there are locals selling all kinds of stuff like hand carved tikis, bowl sets, cup sets, beads, and so on.
    - Dirt Shirts - they are everywhere. Grab one you like! They are cool and a neat way to bring Hawaii back with you without a curse!
    - Aloha Stadium Flea Market - great place for souvenirs! Surrounds the Aloha Stadium most days of the week. It's massive and everybody comes to it. The best part is you can pick up fresh pineapples, coconuts, macadamia nuts and all kinds of fresh stuff, including 100% pure Kona coffee, straight outta the farmer's truck!
    - Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues-- A few miles worth of shops, restaurants, clubs and bars
    - Ala Moana Center - outdoor/indoor mall. Sames stores as Ala Moana Blvd but cheaper price tags. Can be not-so-fun on REALLY hot days. There is a Hawaiian Heritage Center Store here too and that is worth checking out because everything is authentic Hawaiian stuff.
    - Hilo Hatties - all kinds of Hawaiian stuff. Hawaiian Shirt emporium! You want the real deal Hawaiian Shirts? This is where you get them. Even if you don't like shopping, make it a point to stop at Hilo Hattie's. The store is an experience!
    - Duty Free Stores - they are everywhere and you can often get stuff cheap because it's tariff free but U.S. citizens are subject to local sales and excise taxes on certain items.

    Entertainment
    - Waikiki Shell - all kinds of concerts go on here
    - That Hawaiian Heritage Center does Luaus. Gotta sign up as soon as you show up at the hotel though. The Concierge will get you tickets.
    - Hilton Hawaiian Village - has fireworks most nights right on the beach. It's the anniversary of King Kamehameha's death this week so there's usually something going celebrating him.

    Food/Drink
    - Duke's Waikiki - best Caesar Salad on the island. Lotsa fresh fish on the menu. One of my favorites to hang. Great atmosphere and be sure to snag a shirt!
    - Hard Rock Honolulu - Yeah, I know, Hard Rock, meh. But this one is HUGE and I've been there when some star comes in and just sits down on stage and jams for a bit. It happens more often than you'd think. Food's good there though
    - Irish Rose Saloon - cheap booze, good atmosphere, features local bands.
    - The Chart House - again, another chain and expensive but features Hawaiian specific fare. Good meal right on the harbor. You can watch the sunset from any seat in the room. Worth every penny and your wife will love it so much, you'll probably get extra lucky!
    - Sam Choy's - Famous Hawaiian chef. Has a place right on Ala Moana I think it is before you hit the interstate. Totally worth it, GREAT breakfast joint. If you head out to Pearl, stop there on the way. Good for lunch too. Was never there for dinner.
    - Check out the local places too. They are in strip malls everywhere and more than you think are quite good.
    - There are two diners, one in Pearl City or Aiea, can't remember the name though. Good food, not very Hawaii specific. Another diner in Waikiki, across from the Hilton Entrance on Ala Moana. I think it's the Ala Moana Diner. Good food, was open late last time I was there. Lotsa pretty Hawaiian girls on the staff and they make a killer cup of coffee.
    - There is a spectacular Thai place right across the street from teh Sizzler and Jack-in-the-Box if you like that kind of food. I cannot remember what it's call for the life of me.
    - Moose McGillycuddy's - most of these are garbage but the one on Waikiki is actually pretty good. Good place for a lunch or late night post-boozin' it up burger

    There are so many places to eat or drink though that you can go nuts trying to figure out what to do next. Those are the places that aren't necessarily chains that stick out in my head right now.

    There are clubs everywhere but most of them change names so often it's not worth trying to remember any names of locations. Just walk around the city and listen for the noise. You'll find one.


    If you need Laundry done while you are there, don't pay the hotel prices. Ena Road Laundry. People are nice as pie and very good. You drop it off in the morning, it's washed, folded and all pressing done by 1pm usually. It's tucked back in a shopping center behind the Doubletree on Ena Road (imagine that?). Worth it.

    I know I'm missing stuff too but you only have 5 days on Oahu and I've given you more than enough to kill your time there. But seriously, relax and soak it up. Hawaii is paradise and the best part is, you don't even have to change your money to Hawaiian money! Seriously though, it's a major American city in the middle of the Pacific. All the access to goods and services that you are accustomed to at home is available there. However, the Hawaiian culture is prevalent there and it is, at times, like visiting another country. While the chain stores and restaurants and bars are all there, do resist the temptation to go to the old stand-bys and step out of the comfort zone, try something new. You won't regret it!

    Oh and look up this dude, Mike. I heard he's got bionic hips! Might be worth a look! Maybe you'll get a free beer or Mai Tai out of it?
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
    You can save a few bucks by driving yourself to Pearl Harbor and taking the tour hosted by the U.S. Navy.
    The Arizona is free, but you have to get there in the morning to make sure you get tickets as it's first come first serve.

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    I'm not gonna read all the other replies, but here's a quick list off the top of my head:

    Oahu.

    Waikaki Beach—I like the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort

    Diamond Head Crater is fairly tough hike to get to the top and have a beautiful view of the island.

    Pearl Harbor Memorial—but the cooler thing there is the battleship Missouri which was turned into a floating museum.

    Shark Cage—North Shore Shark Adventures 808-228-5900, snorkel in a cage and see sharks swim around you.

    Maui—

    Not my favorite place but a lot of people love it. Lots of really old people!

    Road to Hana is a good drive,

    The south part of Maui is where the best hotels are and the best beaches. Big Beach is my favorite.

    Good Luau behind the Long’s Drug Store in Lahina

    Drive up to Haleakala to see the view. Highest point in Maui.
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  14. #14

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    The hike up diamond head is quite a trek. Saw some out of shape people looking near death. Its worth the hike though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Oh and look up this dude, Mike. I heard he's got bionic hips! Might be worth a look! Maybe you'll get a free beer or Mai Tai out of it?
    Hano Hano Room at the Sheraton Waikiki. Best Mai Tai on the island, IMO. You want bionic hips? Check this out.

    http://youtu.be/A2V39Itlq28

  16. #16

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    Oahu

    North Shore has so much, we enjoyed the beach at Wiamea Bay and the rock jumping http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7w1VC45ttM and a day at Turtle Bay will fill a camera full of sea turtle pictures.

    Hike up Diamondhead in the morning to miss the heat of the day, this is a must. Arizona memorial and U.S.S. Missouri are also a must.

    Sat. and Wen are when the Aloha bowl has a great flea market, best shopping and prices for stuff to take home.

    never made to Maui


    grab a cold beer and enjoy the place
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    Quote Originally Posted by WagnerRC View Post
    Saw some out of shape people looking near death.
    that was me, and I was hating the folks that were jogging up the damn trail, and laughing and the folks that think they are going to push a baby stoller up it.
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    Go see Keiko and bring him some pie!

    The USS Arizona is a must!
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    Sunrise atop Haleakala. You'll thank me later.

    P.S.: be sure to take blankets from your hotel/house along.

    (If you can swing it, sunset in Lahaina over your beverage of choice makes for a cool "full-cycle" close to the same day)




    The best part of Oahu is Keiko
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    The only thing I can add that has been missed would be to show up at Keiko's place for a slice of PIE:tongue:
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    Default Adventerous?

    Try 'Flying Hawaiian Ziplining'.
    8 legs, counting the 'practice' one.
    Total length is over 2 miles, with the longest one being 3200 feet. Highest point is 600 feet off the ground. We just were there and the folks running it took great care of us, had great equipment, and it was a hoot.
    Spendy, but it takes close to 4 hours from safety briefing to the end so at least it lasts.
    Beautiful views, minimal impact on the environment, and something to do as you say besides sitting on the beach.
    North shore of both islands are beautiful and worth just sitting and watching.
    Have a blast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    The only thing I can add that has been missed would be to show up at Keiko's place for a slice of PIE:tongue:
    Heck, I'd show up just to give him a wedgy, then steal his pie.
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    Hard Rock Cafe went out of business a year ago...
    Chart House in Waikiki is not affiliated with the mainland chain... But the food and service is excellent. It's behind the Outback Restaurant in Waikiki on the oceanside of the building between the Prince and Ilikai Hotels...
    the stadium flea market is open on weekends, either saturday or sunday, not sure.
    the diner across the Hilton entrance is the Wailana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    Hard Rock Cafe went out of business a year ago...
    Well that sucks. News to me too. Then again it's been a few years since I was there and no one I know has been there since January of 2010.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    Chart House in Waikiki is not affiliated with the mainland chain... But the food and service is excellent. It's behind the Outback Restaurant in Waikiki on the oceanside of the building between the Prince and Ilikai Hotels...
    I thought it was part of the chain? Either way, GREAT place to grab a meal!

    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    the stadium flea market is open on weekends, either saturday or sunday, not sure.
    It used to be open from like Wednesday through Sunday except when the stadium was being used for an event. At least that's how it was last time I was there. I went on a Wednesday and went back on Thursday to grab something I saw for someone back home.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    the diner across the Hilton entrance is the Wailana.
    Do you know what the other diner's name is? All I really remember about it is that there are a bunch of big box stores nearby and a rice paddy next to it.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Nevermind, I found it.

    Anna Miller's Restaurant
    http://www.annamillersrestaurant.com/

    Pearlridge Center
    98-115 Kaonohi St
    Aiea, HI 96701

    (808)487-2421
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Well, started the day yesterday at 3:45am getting up and heading to the airport, arrived in Maui at 6:30pm (11:30pm home time). Stayed up till about 9:00 (2:00am home time) and then crashed....

    Staying at the Hyatt in Maui (and Ohau) and it is really nice. Today just going to get a light breakfast at the regency club (in the hotel), take a walk on the beach and see how we feel around noon to expand our travels to start including some of your recommendations.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and keep them coming.

    Michael

    BTW - I will say a 4g connection with my phone and wireless teather really makes the additional cost to upgrade to an android phone worth it for me.
    Last edited by McLoki; 05-12-2011 at 12:25 PM.
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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    Regarding Hard Rock Cafe... I found out they moved to where Planet Hollywood used to be in Waikiki... they used to be at the entrance of Waikiki.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    Regarding Hard Rock Cafe... I found out they moved to where Planet Hollywood used to be in Waikiki... they used to be at the entrance of Waikiki.
    I remember when that used to be Coco's.

  29. #29

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    so... how was the vacation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    so... how was the vacation?
    vacation was very nice. Wish we would have switched the islands though. (done maui second rather than first) it was much more laid back and would have made for a better ending to the trip. Maui was fun but oahu was a little bit of a dissapointment. Much more of a "big city" feel than maui (which is not really our speed) but it was very green.

    We were surprised at the rather large homeless population on oahu as well as all the people smoking. I have not seen that many people smoking in a long time. Clothes smelled like cigarettes each night from it. There were quite a few nice places to hike there, but we did not find any that did not cost. - walk to the falls, $5 to park, Walk up Diamond head $10 to park, go to a botanical gardens on the north shore free to park, but $15 each to get in. Skin dive in hanama bay, $10 to park, $15 each to get in, $18 to rent equipment.

    It was a nice vacation, but not one we will be able to repeat in the near future. While it was fun, I cannot say it lived up to what I was expecting. Certainly worth going to at least once.

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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