February 19, 2011

Must See - Honolulu, Hawaii Vacation Tips - From Surf to Dining

Have you vacationed in Hawaii yet? The sun, the beaches, the lush greenery, the food...What are you waiting for? It is a stunning location to visit for beautiful scenery, people, and fun. For those that haven't been, it can be confusing as to where to go and what to do.

So to clear up some confusion, the island is called Oahu. Honolulu is the capital. Waikiki is the tourist area where a lot of the hotels, timeshare resorts, and shops are. Now that we got that geography out of the way, here are some tips on what to do and see.

North Shore - Try something fun and get out of the touristy area for the day and grab a cab to drive up north on the island. You'll get to see the mountains and hillsides of the island and the ocean. Most people picture Honolulu as either a giant beach or a giant city. If you stay in Waikiki, that's about all you see. And for all you "Lost" fans, the North Shore is where they shot quite a bit of the show. Grab a bite to eat in one of the small restaurants near the coast. During the Winter (from November to February), this is the prime surfing season and this area becomes the host to professional tournaments. The waves can be 20 feet high!

The Luau - Yes, the dancing, leis, fire-throwing and more; Just like you saw on the "Brady Bunch". We enjoyed Germaine's Luau. I have been before and we look forward to doing it again. It's more than a show but a step back in time to observe the island culture and fellow Americans, the Hawaiians. The kids will love the show, and how can they not? The food on the other hand...you might want to pack some snacks for the kids, just in case. Not everyone's big on the pig or poi.

Pearl Harbor and Arizona Memorial - I highly recommend this but unfortunately many visitors won't be able to see it. You must see this historic site marking the sneak attack by the Japanese on America in WWII. It's a must see; A grand memorial to those heroes we lost during that fight. USS Arizona is a battleship used during that battle. My tip, plan a day in advance and get your tix online. There will most certainly be a line when you show up. Don't procrastinate, it'll book up on you and your vacation will be done. I have heard this from other vacationers. Don't visit Hawaii and miss this, and when you get tix, get there early.

Diamond Head - This is a wonderful view from Waikiki Beach and former site of volcanic activity. Not to worry, you can hike it. The view from the top is fantastic. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, not sandals, and sun protection for the hike. The higher you go, the sun gets hotter and stronger. After the hike there's a "Shaved Ice" truck waiting for the over-heated hikers so be sure to bring some cash. This is by far not the best Shave Ice on the island but it sure did taste delicious after a long, hot hike. If you want a great Shaved Ice recommendation it is Waiola Store (named after the street it's on). He blends the ice in a very unique manner that makes the Shave Ice have a creamy flavor to it. I don't know how they do it!

Waikiki Beach - OK, time to go to this area but be sure to come through at night. Make sure to stop at the many art galleries so you can see what the local artists are up to. I love this area in the evening. It is so alive with energy and artists (spray paint art, charcoal artists, oil painters and{| much much more) on the street, and enjoy the human statues.

Aiea Loop Trail - A beautiful scenic hike in the middle of the island at the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is a gem. It covers more than four and a half miles of trail. Take in views of Diamond Head, the Waianae Range, Pearl Harbor, and, if you have a bit of luck you just might see Honolulu.


Duke's Restaurant: OK, time to eat. Duke's is wonderful! I love this place. I have always found the service to be as great as the cuisine. It's got the best spot sitting right next to beach. It's a great atmosphere, wonderful fresh seafood, and really wonderful. The fish is always so fresh and they make it so many different ways and the waiters always have nice suggestions on how to get the fish prepared. How about the Tuna with Wasabi? Even if you go for an appetizer and some drinks, you'll enjoy it.

Sweet Home Waimanalo - Another great foodie tip. Located on the east part of the island, you can stop in and munch on some amazing fish tacos; Also offering great BBQ, cold drinks and smoothies. The area might seem wierd since it's farm country but don't overlook it. It's an entirely different feel of the island. You'll enjoy it it.

37 comments:

  1. very usefull tips! I'm almost sure I'm going to Hawaii now.

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  2. i bet the weather there is awesome compared to stupid nyc weather

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  3. Yeah good tip on Waikiki's artist community, there's alot of real talent there amongst the eccentricity! Thanks for the tips, may friend!

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  4. always like to hear about the local art, thx.

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  5. always wanted to take another trip there.. Have more of a Caribbean preference though

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  6. Very nice review, a lot of great info in this one.. Im not big on surfing, and doubt I would ever get the hang of it even if I were to really try, but beaches and babes always sounds appealing to me :)

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  7. I would like to try fresh sea food from the Duke's Restaurant, too used to deep fried rubbish, ah the joy.

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  8. Hawaii was paradise when I went. Ideal weather, friendly people, overall relaxed atmosphere. The beaches in Maori kind of suck though =(

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  9. What am I waiting for? Enough money to get a 15 hour flight ;)

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  10. Luaau's are always good. Food and music, you just can't go wrong.

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  11. Aiea Loop Trail sounds really nice

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  12. reading your posts give's me a nice idea of Hawaii. And since I am a great "food-phile" Duke's restaurant is going to be my best friend

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  13. as informative as always, will make sure to check these ones next month

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  14. Not big on beaches but I'd still love to go there. Have to safe up some money first though. thanks for the tips!

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  15. Thanks for the info dude. Wish I had the money to go over there :(

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  16. Sounds like Diamond head is a place I want to visit

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  17. always wanted to visit. not for the beaches and weather (plenty of that in Aus). but to experience the culture and see what some of the most beautiful places in this world have to offer.

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  18. One of these days I'd like to be able to visit. The way you describe it, it must really be a paradise.

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  19. I only know about the Luau was unaware of the other stuff!

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  20. Really interesting posts, keep it up bro!

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  21. We were supposed to have a trip to Hawaii last year but we failed on planning. I hope we gonna make it this year and visit some of these places

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  22. I can't wait for the opportunity to visit Hawaii and some of these sites.

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  23. sweet. any place is better than here.

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  24. I'd love just to see the out of the way non-touristy places of Hawaii. That place is just so much more than the sum of a few handfuls of tourist traps.

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  25. Very informative. Diamondhead sounds like a great outdoorsy activity.

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