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View Full Version : Hawaii - suggestions - what to see/do



Larks
06-14-2017, 05:03 AM
'got a week there, staying in Honolulu.

I had a weekend there years ago in my youth but if Iím honest I only vaguely remember the first day - Diamond Head and a lap around the island (because I was pretty much drunk the rest of it.....:o).

Visiting family but will have some time free : definitely visiting the Arizona memorial, but what are the must sees and doís that we should make time for? Any must see architecture? Wooden boat stuff? History stuff?

Iím not a big beach person and I havenít surfed for 30 years or more, but my wife is keen to do some surfing so thatís sure to be on the agenda for some of our time there.

Thoughts?

isla
06-14-2017, 05:28 AM
The Bishop Museum in Honolulu is all about the culture of Hawaii..
http://www.bishopmuseum.org/exhibits/

Plus they have a planetarium..
http://www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium/

Volcanoes are always fun..
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/elevated.html

sharpiefan
06-14-2017, 07:28 AM
Stargazing on Mauna Kea (LINK)

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/781042/22448768/1365970894080/2012-April-MaunaKea-Skies-Milky-Way.jpg?token=QbBEdr4d0txzLaj2s5fbahP%2BE8o%3D (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/culture-astronomy-and-natural-history.html )

wizbang 13
06-14-2017, 07:40 AM
...drunk all week sounds good.

Dan McCosh
06-14-2017, 08:02 AM
Been to Hawaii a couple of times, but never stayed in Honolulu. Snorkeling was terrific, tour of the rain forest on the Big Island, a spectacular whale-watching expedition, volcanoes on the Big Island, etc. Hard to go wrong anywhere. There is a big variation between islands, however.

Ted Hoppe
06-14-2017, 08:06 AM
Sounds like you are going to Oahu. There still is an old Hawaii there and big city life too. I like Waikiki for surfing and tourist watching. The bars are fun and stay open til 4. Go to a luau and catch a Hawaiian show. Local talent is really good. Hawaiian music is interchangeable with country western.

one of my favorite beaches on the planet (and Obamas too) is Lanikai beach next door to Kailua on windward side. The is a steakhouse there called Buzzes. Go there for dinner. They serve moon fish that is soooo good. Hang loose bra and kick it.

Rich Jones
06-14-2017, 08:59 AM
Honolulu is now a very large and congested city. Traffic is no fun. Homeless camped out all over the place. We were there three years ago. It's a clean, modern city, but it is a city. Not what I want to see on a tropical vacation. We spent most of our time exploring the rest of the island. Arizona Memorial is a must see and an intense experience.

amish rob
06-14-2017, 09:17 AM
You could go see the Leeward College Theatre. I put on a show there, once. :)

Hawaii is like anywhere, bruddah. Some good, some bad. Meh. It's all what you make it.

Aloha is fantastic, though. I have fond memories of fast friends. Beautiful, honest, open people. Island people, eh? I felt aloha from the moment I arrived until the moment I left. (I was handed a beer, a surfboard, and a joint within 15 minutes of leaving the hotel. That lead to dinner, an all night beach party, and dawn surfing. First trip as a total stranger...) Of course, I journeyed there to explore and learn, so I was open to what was happening THERE. I learned a lot of things about a different place by not expecting "home".
I learned a lot about how to be kind and loving and open from people I met in Hawaii. Some of my closest friends to this day are from there, and I promise, you no like beef with me if they around, bruddah.

The best part of Hawaii to me was the courthouse. Nobody wears suits unless it's trial day. Otherwise, they look like Magnum PI extras. :)

The Arizona is brutal. Honest, mate, take tissues or a hanky. It's beautiful and horrific. Nature abides, eh?

The water is amazing. Amazing. Look for a humuhumunukunukapua'a.;)

Peace,
Robert

BrianY
06-14-2017, 09:49 AM
A big +1 to Isla's recommendation of the Bishop Museum. It's an amazing place.

Drive up to the North Shore and eat at one (or more !) of the shrimp trucks. They're excellent.

Another +1 to Lanakai Beach. Excellent beach and excellent snorkeling right off shore.

Skip Haunama Bay for snorkeling unless you're a total beginner. If you are not a total beginner and you want to do some snorkeling, head up to Shark's Cove on the north shore.

The Waikiki Aquarium was very nice - small, but friendly and informative staff.

My family and I didn't think much of the Polynesian Cultural Center. If you're interested in Polynesian Culture, you'll learn a lot more at the Bishop Museum.

We took a trip to "Police Beach" aka Papa'iloa Beach. That's where the TV series "Lost" was filmed. It's a beautiful place and we saw lots of green sea turtles right up close to the shore where they were feeding on the green seaweed that grows on the rocks. I wouldn't go swimming there though.

sharpiefan
06-14-2017, 09:56 AM
The water is amazing. Amazing. Look for a humuhumunukunukapua'a.;)

Peace,
Robert


https://youtube.com/watch?v=aJEWzlCrRaA

http://www.mauisnorkeltours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/hawaii_fish-1080x300.jpg

amish rob
06-14-2017, 10:00 AM
https://youtube.com/watch?v=aJEWzlCrRaA

http://www.mauisnorkeltours.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/hawaii_fish-1080x300.jpg
Hawaiian people, I found, like most people, really enjoy when visitors take an interest in the culture and language. Hawaiian is one of my favorite languages because I can at least pronounce everything properly. :)

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say I've not returned because I made a solemn vow last time I was there...

If I ever go back, I staying. ;)

Peace,
Robert

BrianY
06-14-2017, 10:42 AM
One more: go to Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts on Kapahulu Ave. It's the place to go if you're a collector or serious about aloha shirts. They have literally thousands of new used and collector-quality vintage shirts.

JimD
06-14-2017, 10:48 AM
Honolulu has a small but thriving Chinatown worth a walk through. There are also some very nice forest walks at the city's edge. Manoa Falls is an easy and popular one.

Sky Blue
06-14-2017, 10:59 AM
Take a bus or drive through the mountains to the relatively un-touristy town of Kailua and its fabulous, uncrowded, protected beach. There are tables and a lot of shade. One can walk out maybe 200 yards from the shore on a level, perfectly-sandy bottom for great wading and swimming. Have lunch in the funky little town nearby.

FishoutaFlorida
06-14-2017, 11:51 AM
I havenít surfed for 30 years or more, but my wife is keen to do some surfing so thatís sure to be on the agenda for some of our time there.

Thoughts?

North Shore is where you want to be, Haleiwa to grab a bite at the Haleiwa Beach House or go explore the food trucks, Waimea Bay & Waimea Valley are awesome, stop by 'Ehukai Beach Park and snap some shots of Bonzai Pipeline or keep heading north on Kamehameha Highway to Gas Chambers! You can't go wrong on the North Shore.

Enjoy and take pictures!

Phillip Allen
06-14-2017, 12:29 PM
it's been a long time since I lived there but take a drive over the Pali if you can and eat some pineapple from any stalls along the pineapple fields

Larks
06-14-2017, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the responses all - Bishop museum and planetarium now definitely on the to do list and we’ll have a car so will be able sample the North shore shrimp vans, visit Lanakai and check out Buzzes and spend some time at Kailua and Haleiwa.

What’s Pali Philip? When I google it I only get sandals :eek:

oldsub86
06-14-2017, 08:05 PM
Google Pali Highway

leikec
06-14-2017, 08:18 PM
Take a bus or drive through the mountains to the relatively un-touristy town of Kailua and its fabulous, uncrowded, protected beach. There are tables and a lot of shade. One can walk out maybe 200 yards from the shore on a level, perfectly-sandy bottom for great wading and swimming. Have lunch in the funky little town nearby.

This.

Also think about scheduling a tour of Punchbowl Cemetery when you're there. One of the most interesting (and moving) experiences of my life---and I've visited a lot of cemeteries.

Jeff

Phillip Allen
06-14-2017, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the responses all - Bishop museum and planetarium now definitely on the to do list and we’ll have a car so will be able sample the North shore shrimp vans, visit Lanakai and check out Buzzes and spend some time at Kailua and Haleiwa.

What’s Pali Philip? When I google it I only get sandals :eek:

the Pali drive goes over the middle of Oahu and past fields and fields of pineapples (or it did). there was a great killing between waring natives long ago up there... perhaps I've spelled it wrong?

https://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/regions-neighborhoods/windward-oahu/nuuanu-pali-lookout/

Duncan Gibbs
06-14-2017, 08:31 PM
Doris Duke's house. Bookings are essential. To visit Doris Duke's house you have to go via the Honolulu Art Museum, where tours of the house depart from, which is a good visit as well, but it deserves half a day by itself.

Iolani Palace, the only *actual* Royal Palace in the USA, along with Emma's Summer Palace, which you'll need a car to get to. You'll find out much about the coup that deposed the Hawaiian Royal Family and made the Islands another state of the USA.

The Kawaiahao Church has regular programmes of Hawaiian gospel singing too, (ETA every Sunday at 9am).

BrianY
06-14-2017, 08:40 PM
the Pali drive goes over the middle of Oahu and past fields and fields of pineapples (or it did). there was a great killing between waring natives long ago up there... perhaps I've spelled it wrong?

https://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/regions-neighborhoods/windward-oahu/nuuanu-pali-lookout/

yes, this is a good place. Very scenic overlook and the two times I've been there the wind was just incredible - lift you off your feet incredible. Impressive and dramatic and easy to get to.

one other place to visit if you're feeling up for a climb - you can climb Diamond Head and get a spectacular view of Waikiki and Honolulu. Be forewarned though that the climb is up about a million stairs and it's quite hot and dry.

BrianW
06-16-2017, 11:56 PM
Seems Oahu has been well covered. I have two suggestions...

1. Go to the island of Hawaii (the Big island) and take a helicopter tour of the volcano. It's active right now, and how can you pass that up?

2. On Oahu, this is the consummate Tiki Bar...

http://www.lamarianasailingclub.com/

50 Sand Island Access Rd
Honolulu, Hawaii, HI 96819 (http://share.here.com/r/mylocation/e-eyJuYW1lIjoiTGEgTWFyaWFuYSBTYWlsaW5nIENsdWIiLCJhZG RyZXNzIjoiNTAgU2FuZCBJc2xhbmQgQWNjZXNzIFJkLCBIb25v bHVsdSwgSGF3YWlpIiwibGF0aXR1ZGUiOjIxLjMyMjAwMjcxNz M3MywibG9uZ2l0dWRlIjotMTU3Ljg5MzI4Mjg4MDM4LCJwcm92 aWRlck5hbWUiOiJmYWNlYm9vayIsInByb3ZpZGVySWQiOjE0Mj cyMjYyNTc1Njg1Mn0=?link=addresses&fb_locale=en_US&ref=facebook)

It's in the main harbor area, which looks like an industrial waste zone. But then you turn down this side street, and there it is... gaudy and fun straight out of an old Elvis movie.

Ok, I lied, here's a third...

http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/

Great museum. When I visited, there was an actual guy there who had been at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. These bullet holes in the hangar doors are from that day...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/CHIHawaii2015/bulletholes_zps81xcmc7n.jpg

(bit of honesty... they are probably from friendly fire)

This B-17 was recovered from your part of the world, PNG or thereabouts....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/BrianW/CHIHawaii2015/b17a_zpsp6utofby.jpg

Once again, go see the damn volcano. ;)

Larks
06-17-2017, 03:00 AM
Thanks Brian, they all look like must do’s to me, particularly the aviation museum - and my wife just oooh'd at the idea of going to the big island to see the volcano, so that may be on the cards now after all :).

The Bigfella
06-17-2017, 04:28 AM
It's a long time since I was there, but yes, the Big Island was the highlight of my time there.

Ted Hoppe
06-17-2017, 08:37 AM
I lived there and spent lots of time on Oahu. I go there often still as my mom live in Honolulu. I try to budget one or two nights at the Kahala Hotel in Hawaii Kai. Beautiful hotel on a Private beach. 10 mins from downtown.
https://www.kahalaresort.com/
https://images.trvl-media.com/hotels/1000000/30000/28500/28496/28496_434_z.jpg

The First thing - go to the ABC store for the following
Make sure you wife has fresh leis to wear every day
buy 2 or 3 quality Hawaiian shirts to wear all the time there. T-shirts for beach days.
Buy beach mats for you and your wife. You will want them in your island & beach exploration.
Return to the ABC store to buy a cheap 1 time use hibachi and BBQ to cook. It is the local thing to do. Take everything to beach park for sunset beach dinner. It is the spirit of O'hana and you will surprised on how people treat you if you do.

Go down the Ala Wai yacht club for a Friday night race. Bring a 6 of beer to become crew! (Post on Sailing anarchy about getting a ride)
Check the Waikiki Bandshelll for music
take an outrigger ride on Waikiki (the cute beach boys will steal your wife's heart)

Seriously - embrace the spirit. Hawaiian shirts, leis and the whole bit. If you go island style you will be treated nicer by everyone.

The beach BBQ and take to beach park is part of this. Act kind and local. You will see Ohana if you do.

Go to the Ala Moana shopping center food court for some of the best Chinese takeout. Patty's Chinese kitchen

north shore for shaved ice!

try the loco moco breakfast served everywhere - Hawaiian spam and eggs served with pineapple rice

Larks
06-17-2017, 06:59 PM
Brilliant Ted!!! I’m up for everything that you have suggested!!! I really like the concept of Ohana - I’d not heard of it before - the closest that I’d heard of was Pau Hana, which was the name of a yacht that I lived on for a year and sailed from Australia up through Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand - I always thought it meant something like knock-off time (from work) - time to kick back and relax with friends and family.

BrianW
06-17-2017, 07:33 PM
Yes. Pau means 'finished' or 'done'.