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Old 01-03-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
Minnie824
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Tours/Activities on Oahu

I'm planning a trip for 2015 to Aulani for spring break (maybe. we're still debating on HI or Europe). Anyway, DDs will be 13 and 10 at the time. I haven't been to HI in over 20 years, so I'm not sure of what activities or tours we could do. We'd only be at Aulani, no other islands. Does anyone know of a good luau, and also, which tours or activities would be good to do on Oahu? Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
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We've done Germaines and Paradise Cove Luaus. I liked Germaines the best. But they are all basically the same.

First of all, make sure to visit Pearl Harbor. My DD, who didn't seem to like much at the time really enjoyed the Bowfin. Mighty Mo is maginificant and of course the Arizona Memorial is very moving. DBF went to the PunchBowl Cemetary and enjoyed it. DD and I hung out by the lagoon at HHV while he went.

As for activities - hiking Diamondhead #1. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

Swimming with the dolphins or sea lions, or just enjoying the park at Sealife Adventure Park. I've done the Dolphin swim twice and DBF did the Sea Lions once. http://www.sealifeparkhawaii.com/

4-wheeling or horseback riding at Koaloa Ranch. They have a lot of activities to offer. http://www.kualoa.com/

Getting shave ice at http://www.matsumotoshaveice.com/ after spending the afternoon on the North Shore and visiting Haleiwa and checking out Turtle Bay Resort.

Take surfing lessons, or learn to hula dance.

I've not been to Dole Plantation or the Polynesian Cultural Center but others seem to recommend them a lot too. Some will also recommend snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. I did it and hated it. It is very touristy and the coral is faded from so many visitors. Also, the day we went the water was very rough and I didn't like it at all. The next time I went snorkeling was at Molikini Crater off of Maui and I simply had the best day ever! Great whale watching, awesome boat crew, great food and spectacular snorkeling. It was the best day of my vacation. That is what snorkeling is supposed to be, not like Hanauma Bay at all.

Have a great vacation! I hope to go back to Maui this year.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
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I concur with much of what PP said.
We did do the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center and...

The luau was boring and the food was mediocre at best.
However, the after show (in a different building) was excellent and I'd recommend it.

Surfing. We used North Shore Surf Girls.
They were great! Not a big outfit, just some young ladies trying to make a buck....
And fyi my DDs were 15 and 11 and had a blast. We did it twice.

We went to Matsumoto's twice! Oh, man... I want some right now.

Speaking of food, Giovanni's shrimp truck.... mmmmmm.... worth the trip.

And while the snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is over faded coral. There are a lot of fish to see in a safe setting. We liked it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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x2 for Matsumoto's
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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If your want a bit of Hawaiian history, tour the Iolani Palace. If you can handle the cost, take the guided tour. It's great!

http://www.iolanipalace.org/

Also purchase the Oahu Revealed book. Best info out there.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:08 PM   #6
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You are going to LOVE Aulani! We surfed with Hawaiian Fire (actual off duty fire fighters) and loved it! They had us all up in no time! Picked us up at Aulani too! Also would recommend the whale/sea turtle snorkel catamaran trip from Aulani. I believe it was Hawaii Nautical? We booked it thru Aulani and it was super! Having done lots of shore excursions on cruises we were very impressed with this 1/2 day trip. Reasonably priced and one of the best we have done. Agree with PP about Pearl Harbor too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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We spent 10 days in Waikiki last August. Unless it's recently changed, there are no tours that pick up from Aulani. We took several tours from our resort (Hyatt). They picked us up at our resort, then brought us back. We didn't need to rent a car. (Which was good since every place charged for parking.)

Over on the resorts board, there is a thread on Aulani which is moderated by an Aulani employee. She can probably help you.

Hawaii is beautiful. Enjoy.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:37 PM   #8
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We were there in October of 2012 and both tours picked us up at Aulani. We booked these thru the concierge. They are on the Disney Aulani website and you can book them online as well.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the great tips! I'll definitely add some of these to our itinerary.
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