Oahu Journals

A Week in Kailua, Oahu

A July 2005 trip to Oahu by dina4

Quote: Oahu is a beautiful island, and Kailua is the perfect base to explore it. Away from the crowds of Waikiki and Honolulu, Kailua offers gorgeous, uncrowded beaches and is conveniently located for many exciting day excursions.

A Week in Kailua, Oahu

Overview

Quote:
We rented a wonderful beach house on Kailua beach, and--let's face it--there's nothing quite like staying in a house ON the beach for a week. Other highlights included bodysurfing at Sandy Beach, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, exporing the North Shore, horseback riding at Turtle Bay, golfing in a rainforest, an ocean kayak adventure to a deserted island, and visiting Pearl Harbor.Quick Tips: If you rent a house in Kailua, I highly recommend renting something ON the beach. It's worth every penny of the extra cost. Also, we rented 11 months in advance to get the July dates we wanted. Just go to Google and type in "beach house rentals". I researched for quite a while and found there are several...Read More

Polynesian Cultural Center

Attraction | "Polynesian Cultural Center Luau"

Quote:
I had many friends and several guidebooks inform me that the PCC is not to be missed and that their luau is the best on the island. So, since we've never been to a luau, I sacrificed tropical drinks (the place is run by the Mormon church) and booked the A'ali Luah and Horizon show for 8pm. Well, $400 later, I can say it was basically a borefest. How many Polynesian dances can you watch in a row? There are many nice ones during the hour-and-a-half luau (where they charge you $5 for a smoothie after you paid $80 for the dinner), but then there's an hour to kill (we shopped) and another show: two 45-minute performances with a 15-minute intermission. I'm sorry to say that despite the talent of the dancer...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Highway
Laie, Hawaii 96762
(808) 293-3333

Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial

Attraction | "USS ARIZONA"

Quote:
A visit to the USS Arizona is a somber, moving experience. Every American should visit this beautiful memorial once in their lifetime. Here are some tips to make your visit most enjoyable: 1. Get there EARLY! We got there at 8:45am on a Tuesday in July, and we waited 45 minutes in line to get our tickets. We then had a 2 1/2-hour wait until our scheduled "appointment" for our visit to the Memorial. (It's free, by the way!) We killed time by having a Dole whip at the visitor center, touring the Bowfin submarine (see separate journal entry), and having an audio guide tour of the PEARL HABOR grounds and museum. 2. Do not think twice about whether or not to get the audio guide. It is a de...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
One Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818
(808) 422-0561

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

Attraction | "USS Bowfin Submarine"

Quote:
It's impossible to imagine that sailors stayed in this submarine for 2 months at a time. A tour of the Bowfin is fascinating! You get to climb below board and see the the cramped quarters, torpedos, and control panels of a real WWII submarine. It was called the "Pearl Harbor Avenger", and it is a truly interesting experience for ALL ages (although you have to be 4 or older to be admitted). Some tips: 1. The audio guide is wonderful. It's narrated by someone who actually sailed on the Bowfin during WWII. 2. If you're claustrophobic, you may want to pass on this adventure. The walking spaces are very narrow, and there can be a lot of people in front of you and behind you. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
11 Arizona Memorial Dr
Oahu, Hawaii 96818
(808) 423-1341

Waikiki Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Lunch in Waikiki Beach"

Quote:
We stayed in Kailua and explored almost the whole island, so how could we not visit the famous Waikiki? Although crowds and traffic are absolutely NOT our idea of a "vacation", we felt we HAD to see it, so we did... After touring Pearl Harbor, we decided to have a late lunch in Waikiki. ***Make sure you have a good map that shows all the one-way streets, and make sure you stay on the Hwy 1 (and off the Nimitz Hwy) as long as possible. The traffic is truly shocking (and I live in West Los Angeles!). We chose the Moana Surfrider's Banyon Beach Bar as our place to see the sights. We had a table next to the sand, under the beautiful Banyan tree. The amount of people in the water and on th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Waikiki Beach
Kalakaua Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
+1 808 951 4088

Quote:
We wanted to kayak out to the pretty beach on one of the Mokolua islands. (The other island is a bird sanctuary that is difficult to land on.) What an adventure! We rented to double kayaks and went with our 12- and 15-year-old. It took us about 45 minutes to paddle out there. The current was kind of strong, and we got tired! It was much faster on the way back. Here are some tips: 1. Go early. We had the beach to ourselves from about 9:45 until 11:30am. As we were leaving, there were lots of kayaks arriving. 2. Ask for a large, dry bag, and bring a picnic lunch. There's nothing like a picnic on your own deserted, private beach. 3. Bring your camera! The view...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Kayaking Adventure in Kailua Bay
Kailua
Oahu, Hawaii

Sandy Beach

Attraction | "Getting pounded at Sandy Beach"

Quote:
This place is only for experienced body surfers. My husband, who has body-surfed in Southern California his whole life, had an amazing time. He was awed by the intense power of the waves and got pounded around pretty well. Our 15-year-old son had a much scarier time and needed a few hours to recover. It was lots of fun to watch the waves and body surfers. There was actually a contest going on, and many of the body-surfers were wearing helmets!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Sandy Beach
8808 Kalaniana'ole Hwy
Oahu, Hawaii

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Attraction | "Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay -- Disappointing"

Quote:
Hanauma Bay is infamous for crystal clear waters and abundance of beautiful fish. Before our visit, I had several personal recommendations to not miss this place, and every guidebook I read said the same thing.Did it live up to the hype? Yes and no.YES… It is certainly a beautiful bay. The setting is quite picturesque and there is an abundance of coral and fish.NO... You have to sit through a 10 minute film about the bay and the snorkeling safety.They say it's a great place for beginners because it's shallow, but frankly it is TOO shallow. In many places, there is sometimes only 18 inches between your body and the coral. This, to me, is very stressful, as the risk of getting cut by the coral is very...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 30, 2006

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Oahu, Hawaii