Oahu for Two

My husband and I took a trip to Hawaii's Oahu to relax, rejuvenate, and spend some time away from diapers and sippy cups!


Oahu for Two

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

This trip was one in a million! It had everything we wanted: romance, adventure, sunshine, beaches, and good food. The surprise was what we weren't expecting...Aloha! We are familiar with the spirit of aloha because my husbands family is Hawaiian. We were not expecting to feel it in such a tourist hot spot though! We met a few locals and they were so helpful in giving us suggestions on where to go and eat and our hotel front desk was great too. We came home already planning our next trip back!${QuickSuggestions} Find out things like sunrise and sunset times before you go. That way you'll be able to plan to catch great views from beautiful places. Have cash on hand...many places do not take credit cards. Take a sweatshirt with you! Even though you are in paradise it can get chilly at night or up in the mountains! Don't forget sunscreen! You will burn faster here than in most places.

To really save money go to a local grocery store and buy water bottles in bulk. Most hotel rooms have small refrigerators that you can keep stocked and grab on your way out for the day. We also took peanut butter and jelly on the plane with us and bought a loaf of bread when we got there. We would pack some sandwiches for lunch to avoid spending a lot of money on fast food. ${BestWay} Rent a car. They have a bus system but you'll waste a lot of time waiting for the bus to come and go. Also, if you want to get somewhere early you might be out of luck. The bus may not start as early as you!

Aqua Waikiki Wave

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

The hotel was under new management and was still getting small details worked out. Because it was newly re-opened we got a great deal online.

The best thing about this hotel was the customer service. The people at the front desk were really helpful and excited about the places we were headed off to. They recognized us when we were coming and going and gave us "insider" tips on places to go and see. They were also really helpful in printing off directions for us each day.

The hotel is old but we just wanted a safe and clean place to sleep and shower because we spent most of our time exploring Oahu. Each room has a private little balcony with chairs and we had a great view of some fireworks that another hotel had. Each room also has a TV and small refrigerator among other amenities.

Waikiki Beach is about a 10 minute walk away and because the hotel is in the heart of Waikiki you are very close to a lot of the attractions that popular. Some of the attractions that are very close are Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, the Aquarium and Zoo, Chinatown, Manoa Falls, and Hanauma Bay.

I feel that if we had paid more we would have stayed in a nicer place. But, we wanted to save money and we knew we would not be spending much time in our room.
Aqua Waikiki Wave
2299 Kuhio Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 922-1262

Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

We went here our last night because my husband was craving a good hamburger and we knew Hard Rock would be good. It wasn't very crowded and the staff was nice. It was really familiar though so if you're looking for something authentic don't go here.
Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu
1837 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(808) 955-7383

Ted's Bakery

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

If you go, get the Hiapea Pie and the Carrot Cake! The Hiapea Pie is chocolaty and has a hint of coconut but just the flavor, no flakes. It is sooooo good!
Ted's Bakery
59-024 Kamehameha Highway
Sunset Beach, Haleiwa, 96712
(808) 638-8207

Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

The restaurant is right on Sans Souci Beach and has a beautiful view of the ocean. If you get an early reservation (5:30pm) you will have a great view of the sunset. The food was really good but the atmosphere makes it a place to go. You dine outside under the branches of a Hau Tree. At dust they light tiki torches for added ambiance.

I suggest taking a light jacket. I get cold easily and the ocean breezes really chilled me!
Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant
2863 Kalakaua Ave at The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815
(808) 921-7066

Ono's

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

This is a sandwich shop on Kuhio that is open 24/7. It specializes in Philly Cheesesteaks. Don't eat here. The sandwiches had no flavor and were put together so fast that one end had no cheese and the other had too much. The bread wasn't very good either. It reminded me of a cheap hot dog bun. We took the sandwiches back to our hotel before we ate them or else we probably would have taken them back.
Ono's
2310 Kuhio Avenue #100
Waikiki, HI, 96813

Kailua Beach Park

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

The sand was my favorite part about Kailua. It is powdery soft, white, and beautiful. It is so fine that is sticks all over you but it feels like flour! The water is your typical tropical paradise color...and the views up and down the coast are breath-taking. We were there during the high tourist season but we didn't think that it was overly crowded. There were also some kayaks and paddle boats to rent.
Kailua Beach Park
450 Kailua Road
East O'ahu, Kailua, Hawaii, 96734
(808) 266-7652

Diamond Head State Monument

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

On our first morning on Oahu we took advantage of the 3 hour time difference and woke up early to hike Diamond Head before sunrise.

I looked up the sunrise schedule before we got to Hawaii and we made sure to give ourselves enough time to hike to the top before the sunrise. The hike was not too difficult (we rarely hike) but there were a lot of stairs! The trail is paved and there are handrails were the stairs are.

The very top was already crowded when we got up there, but we were able to see the sun come up over some other islands. There was a guided tour group and we stopped to listen for a few minutes to the guide talk about the views from the top.

Definitely take a water bottle with you. It was warm and it took a ton of energy climbing up all the stairs. I would highly suggest doing this hike just before dawn. It isn't too dark and you can take a flashlight if you go especially early. The surrounding area is beautiful and you'll see birds and the local plant life.
Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head Road And 18th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816
808-587-0285

Sea Life Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

Sea Life Park has lots of local sea life: dolphins, seals, penguins, sea birds, turtles, etc.

The park is located right on the ocean, and you have great views of Rabbit Island. We were there in January which is when the whales are migrating. We were able to see them out in the distance blowing water and splashing! It was really great!

The park is great for families and there are places for little kids to play if they get bored waiting for shows to start. The animals put on great shows and the trainers are kind and funny.

You can purchase packages that include interacting with some of the animals, although my husband and I did not. You can get in the water with stingrays as well as dolphins. You can also purchase lettuce to feed the turtles.

We enjoyed the shows and learning more about the ocean life surrounding the Hawaiian islands.
Sea Life Park
41-202 Kalanianaole Highway
Waimanalo, Hawaii, 96795
(808) 259-2500

Manoa Falls

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

We loved hiking to Manoa Falls! This is a rain forest area and the canopy of trees above your head is so beautiful. We felt like we had been dropped off the middle of Jungle Book! There is so much growth here and you can hear birds and animals up in the trees. Bamboo grows all over and there are flowers and vines everywhere!

The hike is slippery so wear good sturdy shoes. Also, take water because you'll get thirsty climbing up to the waterfall.

We weren't very impressed with the waterfall at the end of the trail, but the hike up there was amazing. We had hiked Diamond Head earlier in our trip and loved the contrast between the two. The hike isn't difficult and if you go early you probably wont run into large crowds of people.
Manoa Falls
end of Manoa Rd
Oahu, Hawaii, 96822
(808) 988-0456

Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

If you go to Oahu you have to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay! The bay is protected from large waves and the reef is just a few feet from the water's edge. The water here is shallow and crystal clear.

There is a required informational movie that you view before you are allowed to snorkel. It tells you about how the bay was formed and about how to protect the fish and wildlife that you might see.

You can rent snorkel gear of take your own. If you are new to snorkeling they suggest renting a "dry set" for $9 a person. They do not take credit cards so make sure you take enough cash. The nearest ATM is in Hawaii Kai, a few minutes drive from Hanauma Bay. You can also rent a locker for $5.

There are lifeguards on duty and and information area down at the beach. It is a long and steep walk down to the beach but there are shuttles that go up and down for a few dollars. The Bay is closed one day each week to give the wildlife some rest. It is currently Tuesday but double check this before you go!

When the parking lot fills up they do not let anyone else into the park so get there as early as possible. Parking is about a dollar and I think admission was under $10 per person. Around $5 or $7. Take an underwater disposable camera to catch pictures of the coral and fish you'll see!

Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
7455 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96825
(808) 396-4229

Polynesian Cultural Center

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

This is an amazing place! The center is made up of smaller villages that represent the different islands of Polynesia. They include Hawaii, Samoa, Marquesas, New Zealand (Maori), Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti. Each village has presentations and activities that teach about the life and culture of the people from there. For example, in the Hawaiian village you can learn to Hula, eat poi, and learn about the history of Hawaii.

There is also a pageant that takes place on the river in the middle of the center. Each village is represented and dancers perform on the boats as they go by to live music.

There is a luau that is included in some of the admission packages. Guests are given a fresh lei and the dinner is buffet style. My husband and I were not very impressed with the dinner. We suggest getting a more expensive package that includes dinner at the restaurant. My brother-in-law worked there last year and said he would do the same. The luau is interesting though as they bring a pig out of a tradition underground oven pit. There is also a small show going on while you wait for your turn.

The night show was the highlight of the day! The dancers are so talented and the stage is beautiful. The dessert they serve during the intermission is really refreshing. It costs $5 or it may be included in your admission package.

I would highly suggest taking advantage of the ticket including multiple days. We allowed ourselves only one day and we were not able to see everything we wanted. When we go again we will spend two or three days taking it all in!
Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Highway
Laie, Hawaii, 96762
(808) 293-3333

Halona Blowhole

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by britalo on May 14, 2007

There is a hole in the rocks where the waves crash into. The water sprays up in the air and it looks like a whale blowing water out of it's blowhole. It is right off the highway and can be really crowded. This is a great spot to whale-watch in the winter.
Halona Blowhole

Oahu, Hawaii

Sunset Beach Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by britalo on May 15, 2007

We got to the North Shore in the early evening but we were able to see some surfers just after a surf competition. There were lots of big waves! We went again on another day because a storm had blown through and we heard the waves were even bigger...they were, and we were amazed at how powerful they were. As we drove up the coast the waves became more and more intense!
Sunset Beach Park
59-104 Kamehameha Highway
Oahu, Hawaii

USS Arizona Memorial

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by britalo on May 15, 2007

The morning that we went to Pearl Harbor was really somber. It was raining lightly which really added to the serious nature of the Memorial. We arrived early and were in the second group to go out the the USS Arizona.

I was most surprised by how emotional I was during that morning. I have learned about the bombing before but it was so powerful to be there and to see survivors working there. The museum and kiosks tell stories about the men and women who were there and it was heartbreaking to read letters they sent to their loved ones. It was also very interesting to see their belongings and to compare them with the things we have today. The memorial is beautiful. It is very crowded but it is always moving so you'll be able to see everything in a short amount of time.

One unique thing about the USS Arizona is the oil that still bubbles to the surface. It is a sad reminder of the loss that occurred that day. I am so glad we went because it gave us a new respect for the men and women who serve our country and a renewed feeling of patriotism.

On a lighter note, if you take children be prepared for them to not understand the serious nature of the memorial. I am a young adult and was thinking that if I had gone when I was younger I probably would have gotten bored looking through the museum. Go earlier than it opens because the line begins to form early. We arrived about 10 minutes before it opened and we were in the second group of the day. We noticed that about 15-30 minutes after we got there that people were already holding cards for the 8th group of the day! That is a long time to wait!
Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
One Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818
(808) 422-0561

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