SHORT trip to Hawaii

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by CinderellaMouse, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. CinderellaMouse

    CinderellaMouse Earning My Ears

    Jan 30, 2012
    This is quite a bit more "west" than California, but this seemed like the best place to post this. I'd like to get some DIS-er feedback. :goodvibes

    My mom and I (ages 58 and 23) are tentatively planning a trip to Hawaii next May. If it were just a trip to Hawaii, we would be staying at least a week and definitely seeing multiple islands. However, we are actually only stopping there on our way to Australia. (We're using frequent flyer miles to get to Australia, and we discovered we could break up the trip over the Pacific and spend several days in Hawaii for no additional miles.) We want to budget the majority of our money and time for Sydney, so we only plan to stay in Hawaii for 4 nights.

    We know we are flying into Honolulu and spending at least some of our time on Oahu. Pearl Harbor is our only must-see, but there appear to be enough other attractions there that would interest us to fill all our time. However, I've heard that many people find Oahu the least interesting and the least Hawaiian of all the islands, so I'm wondering if we should see Pearl Harbor and then fly off to Maui or Kuaui. Thoughts? We're more interested in the unique landscape of Hawaii than in museums and shopping in downtown Honolulu. We'd also prefer to avoid renting a car, if that makes a difference in people's recommendations.
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  3. ludari

    ludari DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    Oahu is definitely the most populated island and IMHO you really don't get that island feel especially if you are staying in Honolulu. Nevertheless I would definitely do the Pearl Harbor tour. I am not sure how active you and your mother are but you might want to consider hiking up to Diamond Head as well. The famous North Shore beaches are on Oahu as well but you need to check to see if they have big waves during the time of your visit... awesome. You can also see a lot of nice scenary and get away from the city of Honolulu on the Pali Highway but I would recommend you rent a car for this unless you can find some type of tour of the Pali Highway. If you are into snorkeling you might want to consider going to Hanauma Bay.
    Each of the islands have their own unique vibe and beauty. You can easily visit Pearl Harbor in a full day and fly to another island but Oahu has a lot to offer. Oh, I almost forgot... you can also visit the polynesian cultural center and during your visit you can also arrange to do a luau.

  4. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

    Feb 11, 2011
    Actually, we enjoyed Hawaii more than Sydney. There's so much to see and do, especially on Maui and Kauai. On Oahu, definitely visit the north shore and the Polynesian Cultural Center. It's "a whole new world" compared to Honolulu with all the traffic and Waikiki Beach.
  5. thruthelookinglass19

    thruthelookinglass19 Mouseketeer

    Aug 20, 2007
    When I go back to Hawaii, I could honestly skip right over Oahu and head straight to Maui or Kuaui (I know I butchered that spelling ...) I loved Maui for it's scenery, and especially enjoyed Old Lahaina town and Mt. Haleakala. Haven't been to Kauai (sp?) in years, but remember it being more "Hawaii" like than Oahu.

    Only problem with outer islands is that you really need to rent a vehicle. Public transportation in the form of "The Bus" runs pretty frequently on Oahu and can get you to most places you want to go.
  6. Judy from Boise

    Judy from Boise <font color=teal>Watch out – might take away your Moderator

    Aug 24, 1999
    I would stay on Oahu for the 4 days. One day walk waikiki and do your real touristy stuff, one day at Pearl, one day book a circle tour of the island, and one day a full day with dinner show at Polynesian Cultural center.
    I think it could be a great 4 days !

    In Sydney my absolute must do is Toronga zoo !
  7. kailuagirl

    kailuagirl DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2009
    If you go to the outter islands you will need to rent a car. The flights to the other islands are super fast, some being like 20 minutes, to the big island takes about an hour. Rates average about $100 each way, sometimes you can get it cheaper in the $79 range, but it depends on how early you book your flight, deals going on and the time of day. They really vary. You can check to find flight prices. Each island is unique and has something different to offer, so you have to figure out what you really want to do and go from there. Do you want to lounge on the beach, going hiking, explore, whatever it may be and your budget. The sky is basically the limit as it's so easy to island hop, it's just a matter of what, where and how. I've lived on Oahu for the majority of my life and have been to most of the other islands a couple of times. The big island is my/DH favorite, maui is my sister's favorite, kauai is my bil's favorite and is top of all our lists too, so it really depends.

    Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to help :)

    Good luck in your decision.

    And have fun in Austrailia. We have been saving our miles to go there and I think we finally have enought!! yah!!!
  8. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

    Jun 7, 2005
    With just 4 nights and not wanting to rent a car, I would stay on Oahu. The public transportation ("The Bus") goes all over.

    The Toronga zoo was a highlight of our week in Sydney.

  9. jstbcuz

    jstbcuz DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2004
    We've done it both ways! Either way, you will love it........just take in whichever you choose.

    I will say that I could skip Oahu, but if I had never done Pearl Harbor, I would definately do that. We booked a island circle tour and it was great! That gets you out of the city (which is the part Im not into too..........I want palm trees, ocean, beaches, etc). YOu could also book a luau.

    I dont think you can go wrong with either choice you make. However, I think if you are going to do PH and then fly to Maui..........your spending alot of time you could be relaxing in the airport. Get out and enjoy the fresh air!

    I can almost picture us sitting on the beach in front of the condo with the breeze blowing. Now I want to go back. :)
  10. FlygirlHNL

    FlygirlHNL Earning My Ears

    Feb 12, 2013
    With a short time on Oahu, here are some thoughts to enjoy your stay with your Mom.

    Germaine's Luau
    Polynesian Cultural Center
    High Tea at the Kahala and an afternoon on their private beach
    Mai Tai Sunset cruise on a catamaran

    Have Fun!
  11. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    x2 on the Mai Tai Sunset cruise.....highly recommend it. :goodvibes
  12. Happy 2 B Me

    Happy 2 B Me I have ears --just not Disney Ears.

    Mar 23, 2011
    Pearl Harbor is a must IMO. If you do go bring a flower lei to gently toss in the water over the Arizona. Seeing the original oil from the Arizona bubble up to the water surface still made my heart break the last time I paid my respect.

    The Polyneasian Cultural Center is a must if you have time. 8 -- I think it is 8-- cultures of the South Pacific are represented. Each culture has their own village where you can interact with actual citizens of that country. There are crafts, shows, and "talks" at each village. The best part of the day is the HUGE show in a specially built building where you will see the 8 countires come together for a delightful -- colorful-- breath taking show. Do not ride the city bus to the show -- Buy a tour that includes the trasportation. Get a tour that leaves early in day so you can get to see all the villages. You can also pay for the one of three luau's one being a buffet. Skip the buffet and go for one of the luau's. We did the middle priced one and thought it was fine daughter and her friend thought it was good--- the food was plenty and very good last time we went. Another key item should you go is they serve half a pineapple with sorbet duing a half time at the night show. Remember the night show is the one not to be missed.

    A few years ago I took a friend on the little island tour. Saw the Dole Plantation-- please remember pineapple and Sugar cane fields are not like they were 10-15 years ago. We stopped at sandy beach for a walk on the beach. We stopped at Pali -- It was so windy and foggy that we got off bus took a couple of pictures in the rain and got right back on. Good thing is -- it can rain in the mountians but be nice and warm on Waikiki Beach.

    You have to take a walk on the Famous Waikiki beach. We always took the beach walk between the Waikiki Outrigger and Royal Hawaiian Shooping Center-- the Cheesecake Factory is there to.

    The Beachcomber hotel or the Sheraton Princess Kiaulani are located accross the street from Waikiki/ Kuhio Beach so will be much cheaper then getting a room right on the beach and you will still be right on the main area.

    We owned a condo 2 blocks back from the Pink Lady-- The royal Hawaiian Hotel---I never visited another island as I could find something to do everyday or If I wanted I could go to beach then go to my 2nd home shut the door and just relax. I have to say I cried when I signed the papers selling our beloved 2nd home. Husband is now wheelchair bound and to frail to travel. I may never see my beloved island again but I will cherish all the memories she shared with me.

    Have a wonderful trip -- Maybe you can stop on the return flight and take that time to go to another island.

  13. Judy from Boise

    Judy from Boise <font color=teal>Watch out – might take away your Moderator

    Aug 24, 1999
    great post. Lived on Oahu for almost 5 years and always had plenty to do !
  14. leinalani

    leinalani Earning My Ears

    Apr 10, 2011
    I would recommend Hawai'i Island (aka the Big Island). It has a host of natural wonders including Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea Observatory, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, and tons of other things to see.

    Car rentals are practically mandatory on any island other than O'ahi unless you are ok paying for a tour.

    O'ahu is definitely more urban but also hosts many iconic areas including Iolani Palace, Mauna'ala, Pali Lookout, and things like that.

    Regardless of where you go I bet you'll enjoy yourselves. I absolutely love living here.

    Good luck!

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