Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oahu Wahoo!

We're headed for the Hawaiian Island of Oahu in a few days.  We've rented a Volkswagen Kombi Westfalia camping van for a few days.  We have a condo for the other part of the time.  We'll get to see my brothers family and also some old friends.  Anybody got tips on things to do (or to avoid)?

UPDATE: Here's our list with your recommendations...


Bring
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • Sandals
  • Bathing Suits (2)
  • Polar Fleece Pullover
  • Eyeglasses
  • Phone Charger
  • Power Inverter
  • Laptop
  • GPS
  • Mosquito Lotion (w/DEET)
See
  • 6/4: County Camping Permit (Free) - 650 S King St or any Satellite City Hall - M-F - 7:45am-4pm
  • 6/4: Camping Van pickup - Kailua
  • Week 1: H-3 Highway
  • Week 1: Haiku Stairs (Stairway to Heaven)
  • Week 1: Banzai Pipeline (Ehukai Beach Park, Pupukea, North Shore) demonstrates the spectacular forces of the world's largest ocean releasing its fury on an offshore reef. When the forecast calls for big waves, be there with a towel, sunscreen, and a camera (unless your name is Laird Hamilton, entering the water isn't worth the risk).
  • Week 1: Turtle Beach
  • Week 1: Dole Plantation
  • Week 1: Byodo-In Temple
  • Week 1: Laie Temple (recommended by Cathryn Nef Michaelis)
  • Week 1: BYU-Hawaii
  • Week 1: Ho'omaluhia Park Botanical Garden
  • Week 1: Waimea Valley (Rainforest, Garden, Waterfall [recommended by Josie Weyland])
  • Week 1: Halona Blowhole - South Shore
  • Week 1: Nu'Uanu Pali Lookout
  • Week 2: Aloha Stadium Swap Meet (W, Sa, Su; 8am-3pm; $1/person)
  • Manoa Falls Trail (1 mile)
  • Week 1: Tantalus Road
  • Week 1: Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park - photograph 25-mile swath of Oahu
  • Week 1: Spitting cave of Portlock
  • Week 1: Dragon's Nostrils - near Makapu'u Point
  • Week 1: Polynesian Cultural Center (recommended by Cathryn Nef Michaelis, Josie Weyland, Jackie Johnson)
  • 6/11: Hilton Hawaiian Village - Best Cheap Date: Every Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village (2005 Kalia Rd.; tel. 808/949-4321) presents the King's Jubilee and Fireworks. The event includes Polynesian music and dance, a parade, ceremonies, and a fireworks show on the beach. If you sit inside the event's roped area, you'll need to buy a drink but sitting just outside of it to see the fireworks is free. - Polynesian Show - near the pool - 7pm - Fireworks Show - 8pm
  • 6/11: Kamehameha Day
  • 6/11-13: Pan Pacific Festival
  • 6/11: 12-1pm - Best Free Concert: Honolulu has America's only official royal state residence. Iolani Palace (364 S. King St.; tel. 808/538-1470) offers a variety of activities which are either free -- these include strolling the royal grounds and listening to the Royal Hawaiian Band's weekly concerts -- or inexpensive (gallery tours start at $6).
  • 6/12-13: Sunset on the Beach - Queen's Surf Beach - Free Movie - Saturday and Sunday evenings
  • 6/12-13: Sunset on the Beach - Maili Beach Park - 7-10pm - over 15 delicious ethnic food booths, non-stop entertainment from 2 stages, a large Hawaiiana Marketplace and Craft Fair, Health Expo, Nonprofit Showcase, Children’s Center with rides and bouncers, free full-length movies each night, and fireworks on Sunday.
  • Week 2: Diamond Head Hiking (recommended by Josie Weyland) - 6am-6pm
  • Week 2: Hawaii State Art Museum rotates its free exhibitions, ensuring that no two visits will be the same.
  • Week 2: Pearl Harbor (recommended by Josie Weyland) - free tours 7:45am - 3pm.
  • Week 2: Kuhio Beach Park - torch lighting ceremony (nightly at sunset) - Under the banyan tree next to the bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku
  • Week 2: Chinatown (Brochure Page) - If you're not in Chinatown that early in the year, head there on the first Friday of each month, when the district comes alive with open museums and galleries (most with free admission) and street music and vendors.

    • Asian Food Court at Maunakea Market
  • Week 2: Kapahulu Groin (Boogie Board)
  • Snorkeling (Hanauma Bay?) (Snorkel Bob's coupon?)
  • Farmers Markets (Brochure Page)
  • Hawaii's Plantation Village? (Coupon)
  • Bishop Museum?
  • Surfing Lessons? (recommended by Josie Weyland)
  • Kaena Point is a sacred spot at the western most tip of Oahu accessible only by hike.
  • Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun: Kuhio Beach Hula Show - 6:30-7:30pm
Eat
  • Malasadas at Leonard's Bakery
  • Plate Lunch (recommended by Jackie Johnson)
  • Spam Musubi (recommended by Jackie Johnson)
  • Shaved Ice w/cream or beans (Matsumoto's or Aoki's in Hale'iwa [recommended by Kim Ellison])
  • Mitsu-Ken Garlic Chicken
  • Pineapple Shakes (Dole Plantation)
  • Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp Wagon (Kahuku)
  • Best Investment of $1.95: A macaroni salad is just one of many of the less-than-$3 items at the Rainbow Drive-In (3308 Kanaina Ave.; tel. 808/737-0177), which prides itself on generous portions and reasonable prices. This philosophy has kept the eatery successful for almost 50 years.


  • Best Investment of $2.50: Treat yourself to poi, a Polynesian favorite, prepared just the way locals like it. Get this real taste of the islands at Helena's Hawaiian Foods (1240 N School St.; tel. 808/845-8044).


  • Best Meal Plan: While making the obligatory loop around the island, stop at Opal's Thai Food (66-460 Kamehameha Hwy.; tel. 808/381-8091) for the perfect North Shore lunch or dinner. Be advised: This is a Thai truck. The food's high quality and unbeatable prices, paired with world-class picnicking beaches, make for one of Oahu's most romantic dinner dates.
Buy
  • Ukelele (Whaler's General Store?)
  • Hula Doll (Whaler's General Store?)
  • $10 Kmart (Free Macadamias Coupon)
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