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Travelling to Hawaii

 
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Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 6:35:36 PM   
Mistmatz

 

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Hi all,

My wife and I will spend three days on Oahu and seven days on the Big Island soon. It's my first time in Hawaii and I don't know much about it other than it is supposedly a surfer paradise, grows a lot of pineapple and some incident that happened there during WW2.

I would be happy to hear from those who have visited and those who live there about places of interest, stuff to do, etc.

So far my wife and I are thinking of hiking, snorkeling and beach combing on the big island and of course visiting PH. But we haven't planned any specifics and would like to hear some recommendations first.


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Post #: 1
RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 7:11:33 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 17996
Joined: 6/29/2002
From: Twin Cities, MN
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mistmatz

Hi all,

My wife and I will spend three days on Oahu and seven days on the Big Island soon. It's my first time in Hawaii and I don't know much about it other than it is supposedly a surfer paradise, grows a lot of pineapple and some incident that happened there during WW2.

I would be happy to hear from those who have visited and those who live there about places of interest, stuff to do, etc.

So far my wife and I are thinking of hiking, snorkeling and beach combing on the big island and of course visiting PH. But we haven't planned any specifics and would like to hear some recommendations first.



Hi Mistmatz,

I've been to Oahu several times, the 'big island' once, Maui a couple times and Kauaii once. The big island is great for eco tourism, with some (more limited) snorkeling opportunities offshore. Make sure to drive up to the top of the volcano and tour around there. Pretty cool. Oahu is the most populace island by far-the Arizona memorial and the Missouri are must-sees whilest there. Some good diving offshore Oahu.

Have fun and take lots of pix!

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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 7:17:15 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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Joined: 2/24/2009
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mistmatz

Hi all,

My wife and I will spend three days on Oahu and seven days on the Big Island soon. It's my first time in Hawaii and I don't know much about it other than it is supposedly a surfer paradise, grows a lot of pineapple and some incident that happened there during WW2.

I would be happy to hear from those who have visited and those who live there about places of interest, stuff to do, etc.

So far my wife and I are thinking of hiking, snorkeling and beach combing on the big island and of course visiting PH. But we haven't planned any specifics and would like to hear some recommendations first.



I only know Oahu. Last lived there 1984-86. Where are you staying? Waikiki or otherwise?

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The Moose

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Post #: 3
RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 7:45:02 PM   
Hermit

 

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If you have transportation, and time, I'd do all of the following on Oahu:

1. Hike up the stairs of the bunker on Diamond Head. The view from the top is incredible, and it's great exercise. Go EARLY in the morning to avoid the heat and take plenty of water.
2. Go up to the Pali Cliff (reached by car on the trans-Oahu highway), where the Wiamea and Ko'olao ridges meet. Besides the view, the wind sweeps up the valley, and is forced into an incredible updraft at the cliff. Some objects tossed off the cliff will actually "fall" upward. Make sure you have a good grip on any hats or sunglasses, or you may lose them.
3. Kaneohe Bay, on the eastern side of the island, where the Marine Corps base is. It's a well known gathering spot for hammerhead sharks around this time of year. You're almost certain to see them. And at night, if you're able to get on the base, the moonrise over the old ammo depot (a half-crater remnant) is not to be missed.

On Maui:
1. Take the road to Hana in the AFTERNOON. You'll be going opposite the traffic (which is almost a parking lot in the morning). Stay overnight at a B&B there, and drive BACK in the morning, again opposite traffic.
2. Hike the trail that goes a short way in the valley and past the Iao Needle.

Have a great trip.

(in reply to Bullwinkle58)
Post #: 4
RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 10:06:55 PM   
Panther Bait


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My wife and I both liked swimming in Hanauma Bay on the southeast side of Oahu.  It's a lagoon/crater that makes for pretty easy swimming/snorkeling, although I'm not sure there is anything particularly exotic as far as sea life goes to see there. 

It's admittedly touristy, so get there on the early side to avoid the crowd.  We went first thing in the morning and it wasn't bad, but it got busy by the time we left. 

Also, lots of interesting places to eat in Honolulu.

Mike

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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/3/2013 10:17:17 PM   
CaptDave

 

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The Big Island doesn't have a lot of attractions compared to the others, and what is interesting to one will be completely boring to another. That said, here is my list:

1. Visit South Point (but avoid any scuzzy-looking types while you're there). You can take turns being the southernmost person in the United States.

2. Based on the assumption that you're staying in the Kailua-Kona area (since you're there for a week), drive the Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) around the northwest tip of the island (at the junction with Route 270, turn left onto 270). Just past Hikapoloa take the Upolu Airport Road to the left. The airport itself is interesting to anyone with an aviation bent (5 whole planes based there, winds that make me wonder how anyone survives flying there), but it's just an interesting drive. After backtracking to the main highway, continue in the original direction. In the town of Hawi, turn right on Route 250 (it's been a while, but I think it's the only stop sign in town). This takes you back to Route 19 in Waiaka. From there you can turn right to head back to Kailua-Kona, or turn left and head into Waimea. Route 250 is NOT the type of road you expect to find in Hawaii; the scenery is more reminiscent of California! If you go to Waimea, either turn right at the junction with Route 190 and you can head back to Kailua-Kona (the Kamuela airport, just outside of town, is another throwback diversion for airport junkies) or turn left, staying on Route 19, and head for Hilo.

3. On the road to Hilo, there is a railroad museum in Laupahoehoe. It's not big -- you can see it all in under an hour -- but has a good display of island history in addition to the trains. They're happy to get any visitors that stop! Beware; the woman who works there can talk your ears off!

Back on Oahu there are, of course, zillions of things to do. Just a short list of my favorites that aren't on everybody's list:

A. At the east end of Waikiki (to the left as you face the water) there is an old shore battery that is now a museum. Modern stuff on the roof, but the inside (nice and cool, by the way) is all World War II. They can't tear it down because the necessary blasting would level half of Honolulu, so they're making good use of it.

B. Near that battery is the Honolulu Aquarium. One of the best I've seen (but still not the Tennessee Aquarium, in Chattanooga). You definitely see a lot of fish you won't find in most others in the US.

C. Of course, there's a railroad museum on the island! In Ewa, just west of Pearl Harbor, the museum has a lot of railroad cars that were operated on the islands while the railroads were still there (and they were more than just sugar cane haulers -- Oahu had an extensive commuter rail system at one time). On Sundays there are two trips on the train out to the west side of the island, stopping near the Sheraton resort out there (they don't have a choice; a few yards farther on the tracks go straight down). Some interesting scenery along the way, and while the trip is narrated it's not the overly-touristy "Sugar Cane Train" experience on Maui.

D. I've never been, but the Pacific Lightning Museum is at Schofeld Barracks.

E. Hale'iwa is an artist colony on the north shore, but of interest to a World War II buff for its role as an auxiliary airfield. Dillingham airport to the west is still there, too, and has a major glider operation.

F. While designed and priced for tourists, the Dole Plantation is still an interesting stop (it's on the road up the center of the island, past Schofeld Barracks but short of Hale'iwa). Catch one of the demonstrations of how to cut a pineapple; it's a lot easier than most mainlanders think!

Sorry this is so long, but it's one of my favorite states to visit. I could go on and on!

(in reply to Hermit)
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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/4/2013 6:35:41 PM   
DaveConn

 

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I've only been to Oahu once (recommended: Pearl Harbor, hike up Diamond Head), but go to the Big Island several times a year. I try to dive for one day each time I am there. If you are a scuba diver, I recommend Kohala Divers in Kawaihae, in North Kohala; they are the only company that dives the sites in North Kohala (uncrowded and in great shape).

I would say a trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must. If you are staying in Kona, that will be a full-day trip, especially if you combine it with going all the way to South Point (which I don't necessarily recommend, unless you just want to say you have been to the southernmost point in the US). You can circle farther north/east through Hilo, and come back on the Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. There is a large military base along the road at the top, and you occasionally see AFVs from the road. The west end of that road has not yet been rebuilt, and is narrow and curvy, so it can be a little nerve-wracking after dark.

I would also recommend a trip to the summit of Mauna Kea; there are several observatories there, and the views and sunsets are spectacular. There are tour companies that go there (combining the trip with a star show after sunset); it is possible to drive yourself, although the section of the road above the visitor center is not great. Watch the weather; snow is not uncommon in the winter.

Other than that: whale watching (Dec-April); beach/snorkeling (sea turtles!); and relaxing. Not a lot of nightlife outside of Kona, if that is what you are looking for.


(in reply to Mistmatz)
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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/4/2013 8:58:15 PM   
dorjun driver


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It's been a while, but Barracuda Banks, off the south shore of Oahu, was once a good dive spot. You will need a boat to get there.

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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/4/2013 10:31:37 PM   
Cribtop


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I would second the recommendation on the volcano nat'l park, and add you should go to the observatory if time and weather permit. Amazing views up there, but often very cold so be prepared.

On another note, next trip spend some time on Kauai - you won't regret it!

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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/5/2013 12:45:09 AM   
rogueusmc


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I lived there for a few years (20 years ago...lol)

In addition to some of the other posts, I'll add a few more.

Oahu:
1) Hilo Hatties...tour the factory and get the little lady a mumu.
2) Polynesian Cultural Center...well worth the money and the trip to the north shore. Pay extra and get the luau after the other guests have left. It's out near BYU Hawaii in Laie.
3) If you are driving to the north shore, try to come back via KoleKole pass and drive the south shore back from Makaha to Honlulu.
4) If doing number 3, Waimea Falls and Botanical Gardens is a very nice visit and there is a nice seafood place in Sunset before you cut back inland to goto Schofield Barracks.

Big Island:
1) Camp out next to the lava flows if you wanna be outdoorsy...it is somthing you will remember the rest of your life.

There is so much more that I could ramble about. Send me a message and I'll get you my phone number and you can ask all the questions you want. I could prolly throw together a google earth placemarks file...

Y'all have fun!

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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/5/2013 1:06:07 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

I lived there for a few years (20 years ago...lol)

In addition to some of the other posts, I'll add a few more.

Oahu:
1) Hilo Hatties...tour the factory and get the little lady a mumu.
2) Polynesian Cultural Center...well worth the money and the trip to the north shore. Pay extra and get the luau after the other guests have left. It's out near BYU Hawaii in Laie.
3) If you are driving to the north shore, try to come back via KoleKole pass and drive the south shore back from Makaha to Honlulu.
4) If doing number 3, Waimea Falls and Botanical Gardens is a very nice visit and there is a nice seafood place in Sunset before you cut back inland to goto Schofield Barracks.



Unfortunately, I hear that the World Famous Monkey Bar at the Pearl City Tavern, open since before WWII I believe, is gone. That was a nice stoip on teh way to Barber's Point.

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Post #: 11
RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/5/2013 11:29:11 PM   
Mistmatz

 

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Thank you all for the responses!

Lots of stuff to digest and plan for. I guess I should extend my stay right away, 10 days will not be enough for all those activities and scenic places.

I will upload some photos when I am back, for now I'd like to thank you all again.

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If you gained knowledge through the forum, why not putting it into the AE wiki?

http://witp-ae.wikia.com/wiki/War_in_the_Pacific:_Admiral%27s_Edition_Wiki


(in reply to Bullwinkle58)
Post #: 12
RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/6/2013 2:10:37 PM   
MineSweeper


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Went to the Big Island a few years back....absoultely gorgeous. So many different types of weather.

http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2009/06/world-of-climate-zones/


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RE: Travelling to Hawaii - 1/7/2013 9:35:01 PM   
CaptDave

 

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Since the Moose mentioned Barber's Point, I'll add that it is no longer a military installation (except for a handful of buildings) and has open access. Not much particular to see -- there is a small museum I haven't visited -- but at least you can say you've been there.

Another off-the-beaten-path site I wanted to mention before is the Hawaiian Plantation Villages, a little west of Ewa, which is a re-creation of the housing areas for the plantation workers back in the day. Most, if not all, of the guides there appear to have a family connection to the plantations, making the tour that much more poignant.

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Post #: 14
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