Oahu Stories and Tips

Lots To See and Do

Snorkeling at Sharks Cove Photo, Oahu, Hawaii

During our week on Oahu we enjoyed many activities, most of which I have written a review in this journal for. In addition to those fun things, I wanted to be sure to point out a couple of other things that you might want to do while visiting Honolulu and/or Waikiki.

Of course, you cannot come to Hawaii and not take in at least a beach or two! On this trip we spent three or four afternoons at the beach. There are many different varieties of beaches, however, so you need to know what you want to get out of the experience.

To get away from it all and to just relax, I would suggest the beaches around the four lagoons at Ko'Olina. Each of the four lagoons are a bit different with #3 being right on the resort property allowing visitors access to such creature comforts as comfy chaise lounge chairs and a full service snack bar. Lagoon #2 has nice shade and fair snorkeling. Parking is limited, however at #2 and #3 making it best to park at #4 and then walk the connecting sidewalk to the lagoon you want to hang out at.

For boogie boarding and surfing, you cannot go wrong at Sandy Beach. Well . . . yes you can if you're not a good swimmer and ready for the rough ocean. This is where David got the snot pounded out of him a couple of times, but he loved it. For me, it was way too rough so I sat and watched (and prayed) from the nice shoreline.

If you are looking for snorkeling that is better than "decent" try out Sharks Cove on the north shore. The entry down to the cove requires a bit of sure-footedness, but even with my gimpy knees I could do it. There is no beach to speak of here, but plenty of space to sit and lounge. The big black rocks are smooth enough to sit on if you get tired and want to enjoy the people watching. The snorkeling is very good; many say the best on Oahu. We saw lots of fish of all varieties here and enjoyed our second day here. (The first was a washout due to clouds and later rain.)

Turtle Beach is a nice beach for lying out but not so much for snorkeling or swimming due to the rough surf. It is called Turtle Beach because it is here that the Honu (turtles) come to feed. It is close to Sharks Cove, making it a nice stop after a day of snorkeling. We spent about 30 minutes here watching the turtles feed on the green mossy stuff on the rocks along the shore. There were people snorkeling with them, but it didn't look like there would be much visibility.

While on the north shore, or on your return back to Honolulu and the other side of the island, you owe it to yourself to stop at Dole Plantation. We were first here in 2003 and returned again in 2005, our last visit. It was surprising how much they've added on to the gift shop building, that now houses a full service snack bar. It is here that you can enjoy a fresh pineapple "whip" cone. The refreshing flavor really hits the spot after a day at the beach!

I would caution, however, this is a tourist trap pure and simple! All of the Circle Island tours stop here. While the plantation tour via a choo-choo is educational, and the pineapple maze is fun for the kiddies . . . the place is built to get you to spend more money inside the gift shop! There are several Maui Diver booths to sell you pearls and loads of "Made in Hawaii" items. You would be better served to buy your chocolate covered mac nuts at Wal-Mart or K-Mart. They are the very same brands and roughly half the price.

What would Friday be without a fish fry . . . especially if you are from Milwaukee where fish fries are a part of the community and culture? We enjoyed doing the all-you-can-eat fish fry at Moose McGillicuddy's (see separate review for more details on this nice dining place in Waikiki). The whitefish was wonderful and who can beat their happy hour drink prices?

Speaking of eating, the Seaside Cafe is a wonderful place to stop in for breakfast. Located right on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, it was very convenient to our timeshare. The food portions were outstanding and the daily specials provided real value. Be careful, however, as the reviews for this place for dinner are very mixed with a lot of folks not very happy with the quality of their food. We had breakfast there three mornings, and only had the best of food and service!

For more ideas of things to see and do, check out my previous Oahu Journal: http://www.igougo.com/journal-j63295-Oahu-Oahu_-_Hawaiis_Gathering_Place.html.

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