MY "ADVENTURES N HAWAII" - October 2011 TRIP REPORT
ok.....so who has been to the Aloha state recently??
If so, what's your fav food over there?
Fav place to see and do & why???
Fav place to stay and why?
I am tempted to turn this into a trip report of sorts and am looking for things to see and do while I am over there over Halloween.popcorn::
thanks for any input -
I live in Hawaii. I'm answering for Oahu only. Let me now if you'll be visiting the neighbor islands as well.
Favorite food. I took this to mean restaurants. Fancy-Alan Wong's, Hawaiian-Ono Hawaiian, Casual-Big City Diner, Huge Splurge-La Mer (AAA 5 Diamond award winning restaurant).
Favorite attractions. Pearl Harbor, Missouri, and Museum of Flight - they're all together at the same place. Diamond Head hike. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
Favorite hotel. Halekulani or the Royal Hawaiian. Both are on Waikiki beach.
Halloween in Waikiki is interesting, to say the least. People, mostly adults, and mostly tourists, parade in ALL kinds of costumes, or lack thereof.
My DH and I took our very first vacation (without kids) to Hawaii in October. I LOVED every minute of it, except leaving it.
We went to Oahu--so can't help with the other islands--yet!
Our favorite food was Giovanni's Shrimp truck on the North shore of Oahu. And Leonard's Masalas (sp). And Matsumotos Shave ice on the north shore.
Did not like Todai seafood buffet.
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was a huge complex and was at the far end of Waikiki Beach. It had one of the best beaches of all the hotels on that strip of land.
We rented a car for the 7 days we were there. We snorkeled at Hanauma Bay--the water was very cold (74 degrees). Spent most of our time on the North Shore playing in the big waves and watching the surfers. Don't miss Pearl Harbor and the Missouri. We walked to Diamond Head and then hiked it. It was our workout for the day. Don't miss this--start early in the day though.
The time change was hard for us. We never slept past 5:30 am. It was worth it though. We made the use of every available daylight hour.
On the circle drive around the island, every curve brought a new postcard
We spent a week on Oahu last summer.
In addition to the above, we also enjoyed the Dole Pineapple Plantation (yes, they have Dole Whips), the Polynesian Cultural Center, and the Bishop Museum, which has a fascinating look at Hawaiian culture and heritage. When we were there, the Hawaiian Hall was under renovation, and I've heard it is even more spectacular now.
Our favorite restaurant was Roy's at Ko O'lina, with The Pineapple Room (an Alan Wong restaurant) in the Ala Moana shopping center a close second.
We rented a house on Ewa Beach, and also got a rental car. Very easy to drive around the island.
I have been to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. My favorite (and most recent) is Kauai. It is so lush and beautiful. Quiet and relaxing, but also tons of things to do. We snorkeled off the beach near our hotel in Poipu, also at Lydgate and Annini (sp?) Beach. Our favorite activity was ziplining with Outfitters Kauai in Koloa. Fun guides, great time on the zips, then a "water zip" into a beautiful, lush swimming hole and swim time at the end.
We also enjoyed renting bikes and biking along the beach near Kapaa. There is a paved trail, I think it's only about 5 miles long now, but they are in the process of extending it. And Tubing the Ditch with Kauai Backcountry Adventures, though the swimming hole at the end of that was was awfully murky and buggy. No one went in.
If you visit Kauai, you have to see the Napali Coast. We went by boat with Liko Kauai Cruises out of the small boat harbor on the south shore. The small boat harbor is closer to the Napali Coast than Port Allen, where most boats leave from, so it takes less time to get to the awesome scenery. They were great, and their boat is small enough to enter some of the sea caves, though the water was too rough to get in the day we did it. October is a tranisition month when the seas are starting to get rougher. They say it's really better to leave from the North Shore to see the Napali Coast, but it's usually too rough by October and the North Shore companies have shut down for the winter. You can also see the Napali Coast by helicopter or small plane, which is awfully expensive, but I think might be worth it next time around.
Favorite restaurant was Plantation Garden (in Kiahuna Plantation) for dinner. Absolultely delicious! It was our only fine dining experience, since we were with the kids, mostly we hit the kitschy places, and also enjoyed Duke's Canoe Club and Keoki's Paradise. Joe's on the Green was great for breakfast.
For lots of great Hawaii info, go to TripAdvisor. They have lots of reviews, a general Hawaii forum as well as forums for the different islands, and lots of helpful people who visit as often as some of us visit Disney!
As I type it is a balmy 29 degrees in Chicago and you are all making me very jealous!
Having visited all of the islands our favorite is still Oahu. So much to see and do. In addition to what is mentioned above make time to see Henry Kapono play Dukes on Sunday, watch a canoe race if possible and for the best food ever try Side Street Cafe. Oh, and you can swim with the sharks on the North Shore - very exciting!
We visited Hawaii last summer for 3 weeks - 1 week Oahu, 1 week Big Island, 1 week Maui. We stayed in timeshare exchanges, so that probably won't help you much.
Oahu - Iolani Palace and Bishop Museum, Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl Cemetary, Aloha Stadium swapmeet, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, day trip to the North Shore & Dole Plantation, Polynesian Cultural Center and more (we like to keep busy).
Big Island - this was our favorite! Volcano National Park, helicopter tour over active volcano, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Akaka Falls, snorkel boat trip to Kealakekua Bay (Sea Paradise), Mauna Kea Summit Tour (sunset at top of volcano, then star-gazing), horseback ride in Waipio Valley, Place of Refuge & coffe farm tour. This week was very busy, but we wouldn't change a thing!
Maui - Haleakala Bike Tour (bike 22 miles down volcano at sunrise!), Old Lahaina Luau, Road to Hana, sunset cocktail cruise. More time for beach and golf.
The husbands golfed on each island, we had some beach time and did some shopping. It was the trip of a lifetime! We tried to eat at local places and sampled every type of food we could!
For car rental we used discounthawaiicarrental.com - best prices and very easy!
We were on Oahu for about a week this past July for my DD's trip with Make A Wish. We stayed in the Hyatt on Waikiki Beach. It was a walk across the street to the beach. :) You can get free beach chairs and towels at the pool to use on the beach. On Fridays, they have "Aloha Friday" in the atrium. Free crafts, food, music and a show. If I remember correctly, it lasted about 1 1/2-2 hours.
We spent the first day there at Pearl Harbor seeing the Memorial. Everyone enjoyed that. She also did a dolphin encounter with Dolphin Quest at the Kahala Hotel & Resort (now that's a hotel that I would have LOVED to have stayed at:thumbsup2).
We also snorkeled at Hanauma Bay (which was my favorite thing) and drove to the North Shore to Laniakea Beach to see the giant sea turtles come on shore.
We went back to Pearl Harbor so that DH, DD#1 and DD#2 could go on the tour of the USS MO. Since DD#3 uses a wheelchair and it wasn't very accessible for her, I stayed with her and hung out at Pearl Harbor.
DD#2 took a surf lesson on Waikiki Beach and loved it.
We went to Dole but didn't do the train tour. It was interesting to walk around and see all of the different types of pineapples. We enjoyed a Dole Whip while DD#2 enjoyed chili-cheese fries since she doesn't like pineapple. ;)
We ate at a little pub type place in the basement of the Hyatt. I can't remember the name but it was very reasonable and the food was good.
We also ate at a 50's diner place a block or two from the Hyatt that was way over priced for food that was just OK.
We went to a luau at Paradise Cove. It was OK but the food was so far from the show and hard to push DD's wheelchair in the sand that we never went back for seconds. The bus ride was also pretty long.
We had a van for the week and I'm very glad that we took a GPS with us. Coming from the Chicago area, we're used to traffic but the names of the roads all looked alike to us. Lots of one-way streets as well so it made it much easier to get around.
I'd go back in an heartbeat if I could.
October 28th thru Nov4th I will be in Hawaii:woohoo:.
Pre-trippe report forthcoming:yay:.
Ok....just got one question for all of ya & it's about food that's native to Hawaii.
I have tried Icka before (not bad) - but......
has anyone else tried a food that's native to Hawaii??
If so, what would you suggest??
2nd ?: What kind of Halloween activities does the island of Maui going on normally during that time of year??
:yay:IT'S OAHU & MAUI over 8 days in October :yay:
C everyone Sunday with more info.....
I've been to all the islands, but I like Maui the best.
The absolute BEST breakfast in Maui is the Gazebo restaurant. It is a little hard to find, and is very small, but I still dream about their white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes. They are insanely good! Plus, you are looking at a spectacular view while eating. You are actually in a small gazebo.
The best, most romantic restaurant for dinner is Kimo's. It is outdoors, right on the ocean, with spectacular views and even better food. The tables for two are right on the edge of the deck, and both chairs face the ocean. We always eat there at least twice every visit. Also, I am one who can usually take or leave most fish, but their fresh fish prepared a million different ways is worth the 9 hour flight alone! We used to like the Hula Grill, but the last time we ate there it was horrible, bordering on inedible, and I am not one who is very picky. I'm not sure what happened there...
Also, if you are tired of spending $150 a night or more on dinners, there is an unbelievable burger place in downtown Lahaina. It is called the Fat Cat Grill or something like that. HUGE burgers, and lots of different, unique options. I think they were around $12 a piece which is cheap for Hawaii. Plus, it is on an upstairs deck overlooking the main drag in Lahaina so the people watching is stellar!
One more tip--buy an Entertainment book for Hawaii! Usually they go down to about $10 around March or April with free shipping on their website. There are tons of buy one get one free dinner options, plus lots of coupons for parasailing, tours, etc. It was more than worth the money even if you only used it once or twice. :)
I HIGHLY recommend getting the Maui Revealed and Hawaii Revealed books. Tons of great information, and it is written by a local so he tells you all the great little places that don't make the other travel books. That's how we found all these spectacular little beaches. We went to a different one every day, even though our hotel was beachfront. Have a great trip!
We've eaten just about everywhere, so if you have any other questions, let me know!
I've been to several of the islands and also like to vacation in Maui the most; in fact we are considering heading over there in a few weeks again.
My favorite place to eat is Sansei in Kapalua. Amazing sushi.
My DS15 is going to Hawaii (Oahu) with his HS band in November 2011, over Thanksgiving week. They are playing in the Waikiki Holiday Parade and are the honor band for the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
We (my DH and I) are trying to figure out if we can afford to go with our DS11 while the band is out there. As it is, it is going to cost about $2500 to send DS15.
Does anyone have any ideas on how much it might cost for a family of three to fly from PA and stay for 6 nights? I prefer something on Waikiki and not in the center of the city. Going as a tagalong with the band (doing everything the band does) is estimated at about $8000 for the three of us. That seems high to me!
We ate a really nice dinner every other night, and pizza or sandwiches every other night. We did not go out for big breakfasts or lunches either, but did do some touristy stuff that cost money (Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Village, etc). We spent over $10,000 even without airfare. I still don't know how that happened since we really didn't do everything first class. I think it was the food that killed us. Whatever you think things will cost you there, double it.
Here's an example of what it cost for a "cheap" breakfast at the Hilton Waikoloa.
Keep in mind this was 5 years ago-- a cup of plain old coffee with NO refills was $4.00. A plain chocolate donut was $3.00. Those little half-pint containers of milk were $3.00 each, and those little one-serving boxes of cereal were $3.75. (YES I remember this, probably because I am still traumatized!). Of course one of those little boxes of cereal did not fill up my kids. We ended up spending close to $50 on a "cheap" breakfast every day.
Hawaii is expensive. We have cheap airfare, coming from California. Our last vacation, 4 years ago, was about $14,000. If you are going to stay in a hotel and eat out, I'd be thrilled with an $8000 total.
White chocolate macadamia nut pancakes - oh my!
.....just put in for my spa retreat @ the Hyatt for November 4th while in Maui:goodvibes.
Those pancakes sound good! thank you for the tip.:thumbsup2.
Fat Cat Grill eh? Gotta check out that place as well - thanks!
Q: those two books you listed above - can those be ordered via Amazon.com??
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