Waikiki Hawaii

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    Apr 21, 2011 5:05 AM GMT
    I'm headed to Waikiki this Thursday, does anyone have any local wonders or places to check out? I want to make the most of this vacation. I'm planning on renting a car to drive around the island as well. icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 21, 2011 5:57 AM GMT
    Check out North Shore, but before that stop by Haleiwa it's a great surfer town if ya know what I mean.

    Dole plantation is also worth visiting. You can stop by before you head out to Haleiwa and North shore. Don't forget to try their pineapple ice cream it's to die for.

    Hanauma bay is the best spot for snorkeling if you're into it. Water is very clean and clear. The wave is broken by the coral reefs before shore so the water is very calm. They make you watch an educational video before entering though...icon_neutral.gif

    Lanikai beach is the most picturesque spot, outlooking the twin moku islands. You might see they doing swimsuit shots with models here too. Photographers like this spot.

    Go hike up Diamondhead. You won't be disappointed with the view I promise.

    Get a sunset drink at house without a key (halekulani hotel) or Duke's (Waikiki outrigger on the beach right next to Westin moana surfrider). Former is more posh and elegant while the latter is more vibrant and rowdy.

    Those are the things that I liked. Other stuff were more depressing like the punch bowl, pearl harbor, iolani palace, Poli lookout, bishop museum, etc I wasn't crazy about. I hated the luau because I felt it was catered more to the heteros and shit. Loved the hula boys though they were so cute, so I guess it's a wash?

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    Apr 21, 2011 11:30 AM GMT
    Waikiki is very touristy, and while I was a bit bored, it is a good place to relax, stroll up and down the beach, browse tacky shops, etc. I thought the Japanese presence was interesting, although it may have happened to be Japanese Spring Break when I was there. Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head were highlights. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I found nothing to see or do on the North Shore since I don't surf. A drive around the island would be interesting for the scenery... we went up through the middle though.
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:13 PM GMT
    tomcat89 saidI'm headed to Waikiki this Thursday, does anyone have any local wonders or places to check out? I want to make the most of this vacation. I'm planning on renting a car to drive around the island as well. icon_cool.gif


    Very touristy so much much of a fan. Check out the north shore. Go see pearl harbor.

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    Apr 21, 2011 2:17 PM GMT
    If you can find a way to sneak up the Stairway to Heaven, you'll never forget the adventure!
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:19 PM GMT
    It's very touristy.

    also, the polynesian adventure on the north island... not worth the drive / cost...
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:23 PM GMT
    I liked Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. It felt a little like NYC on the beach. I took the bus all over the island. Went to Kaneohe and the Dole plantation. Also went to Wiamea Bay and the park. The flora there was AMAZING.
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:23 PM GMT
    Waikiki is too busy during the day. Try the international market place at night. Off of Nimitz hwy you can tour the I'olani palace. Take H3 past Kailua where it becomes the "Pali" hwy and take the scenic view for the windy Pali lookout.
    My favorite beaches that you would find most beautiful are makapau, waimea and sunset on the north shore. Any beach in Kailua is amazing! Sharks cove for snorkeling which is before sunset. Book a show that the Polynesian cultural center out past kahuku. You will really get a taste of the Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. Favorite restaurant is haleiwa joes, and cholos all in haleiwa. Try the royal Hawaiian downtown for a nice brunch. Stay away from things you can do any where else in the world lol
    If I was there now I could be your guide ;-) enjoy!!
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:31 PM GMT
    Eggs and Things for Breakfast! you'll have to line up at the door.... but its damn good! definitely do Pearl Harbour!!! and the deeper you venture care to venture into the international market place the better it gets! icon_biggrin.gif have fun!
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:31 PM GMT
    I loved hiking the Diamond Head Crater trail. It can get crowded, so leave early.
    DiamondHead4_sm.jpg

    I dont know how long you are going for, but if its more than 5 days, you could take an inter island flight and stop in Maui or something for a day or two.
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    Eggs and Things for Breakfast! you'll have to line up at the door.... but its damn good! definitely do Pearl Harbour!!! and the deeper you venture care to venture into the international market place the better it gets! icon_biggrin.gif have fun!
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  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Apr 21, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Go to Diamondhead Beach -- it's about a 20 minute walk from Waikiki, is gay, unofficially nude, and just very relaxing. The beach itself is a little rocky, but the sense of isolation is great. If you happen to encounter somebody who fancies you, there are bushes/trails where you can do the deed.

    I also like the Polo Nude Beach on the north shore. Again, totally isolated and relaxing. And the beach itself is great. If you go up here, eat at the Grass Skirt Grill.

    For a good workout, rent a kayak in Kailua. I agree with the Hanauma Bay recommendation for snorkeling.

    The Sheraton Waikiki (not to be confused with the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, which is a dump) has a happy hour from 5-7p (I believe) in its bar (Rum Fire) that is ocean front, and mai-tais are only $5. That's super cheap for the setting and Hawaii. I've watched the sun set and stumbled out of this place many a time, always with a smile on my face.

    Everybody should see Pearl Harbor once in their life. It's sad but an important part of history.

    If you're into sushi, and not the zen/minimalist/California-ized experience of sushi, go to Mitch's Seafoods near the airport. It's an absolute dump, but they have the best sushi I have ever had outside Japan. Also, there is Ono Seafoods in Honolulu; google them; best ahi poke ever. They make it fresh to order.
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    I used to live on Oahu. You can have a great time, so long as you get out of Waikiki, especially for food.

    Local food is fantastic! It won't help your fitness level, but hopefully you can get in plenty of surfing, snorkeling and other activities in to keep things in check. Here are my recommendations - some are probably out of date, so check locally or online for updates.

    Go to a local plate lunch place for two scoops rice, mac salad and a meat - fried mahi mahi and teriyaki chicken are two of my favorites. L&L Drive In is a good chain with locations everywhere, but my favorite place is on Kapahulu near Waikiki - Rainbow Drive-in. No inside seating, but a lot of fun.

    Near Rainbow on Kapahulu are another couple of fun places. Waiola Bakery has Hawaiian shave ice, a great treat. It's not a snow cone, the ice is shaved much finer, and there are lots of delicious toppings - including mochi (sweet pounded rice flour candies), azuki beans, and so many flavors of syrup you can't even imagine (my favorite is lilikoi, the local name for passionfruit). Irifune is a fun Japanese place - very local-style Japanese food, but in a funky, surfer-style environment.

    For a nice meal in beautiful surroundings, go past Diamond Head to the Kahala Resort and eat at Hoku's. Reservations required, but it's great Asian Pacific fusion food.

    Chinese food in Hawaii is excellent. Local cheap Chinese places (mainly Cantonese with a bit of an island flavor) are known as "chop sueys." Delicious. You can also visit Chinatown, just past downtown, for dim sum or just shopping and sightseeing in a real local atmosphere. It is NOT touristy like Chinatown in, for example, San Francisco.

    Otherwise, just stay local. Locals are very picky about their food and you will find it very inexpensive, compared to Waikiki tourist traps.

    In terms of sightseeing, glad you're going to be glad you have a car. I would split the island up into at least three trips. First, drive out Kalanianaole Highway toward Hawaii Kai, then turn north and visit Waimanalo and Kailua, returning to town via the Pali Highway. You will pass Koko Head on your right, then Koko Crater on your left, two volcanic cones that are not as well known as Diamond Head but equally cool. Koko Crater has a nice, easy walk into some mildly interesting botanic gardens in the crater, but the nice part is just being in the crater. Personally, I would bypass Hanauma Bay - terribly crowded and touristy. Again, you'll have more fun if you go local. Stop at Sandy Beach for a gander at the hot bodysurfing local guys, but be very careful of the waves - it has a steep drop-off just offshore and you can easily get dropped 10 feet on your head. Next stop should be Makapu'u. The walk to the lighthouse is very scenic. When you're almost there, you can climb down the cliffs to the right to the tidepools, which are beautiful. Don't do it if you're out of shape, and again, watch the surf - it it's too high, it can be dangerous. The beach just past the point is a gorgeous small crescent, but like Sandys, the waves can be daunting. Take care. If it's a weekend, the beach at Bellows AFB in Waimanalo will be open to the public - one of the most stunning places on the island. The waves are always long and gentle, with soft white sand. Kailua Beach Park has a similar, very gentle beach, not quite as pretty in my opinion, but there are more services around as it is right in Kailua town. Stop at the Pali Lookout on your way back town, it's a great view over Kailua, Kaneohe and the rest of the Windward Side.

    Whew. I will try to post more later, lots more advice to give.

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    Apr 21, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    No one even mentioned shaved ice!! You can not leave the Islands without having tried it. The best is matsumotos in haleiwa. Island snow in Kailua is best known bc pres Obama always goes there
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    Kanaka24 said Book a show that the Polynesian cultural center out past kahuku. You will really get a taste of the Hawaiian and Polynesian culture.


    I have to disagree with this - it's owned by the Mormon church, and they use it for proselytizing. The Mormon church has spent a lot of money and time advancing anti-gay causes in Hawaii. Give it a pass and spend your tourist dollars elsewhere.
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:50 PM GMT
    Ahh nice insight but I didn't find that at all. I've been going there since the early 90's and it's changed very little. don't let that keep you from experiencing the culture and history. It's worth it!
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    All this Hawai'i talk has me jonesing for my return to the islands for my 40th birthday extravaganza in 3 years, woo hoo!

    I didn't like the shaved ice though. And I don't get the Waikiki hate. Yeah, it's touristy, but it was so much fun.
  • toybrian

    Posts: 395

    Apr 21, 2011 2:57 PM GMT
    Tomcat, i was there again last year and many of the great things I wanted to see again were taken over by other group and the tour guides in the hotels said how commercial they got because of that and the Polynesian lauaui wa s one of them . Talk to them and found it easier to book everything this time there instead of with travel agent like I usually do. If you are a runner then you will love running around Hawaii every morning. Ran from hotel to Navy Base and back and put in 5 miiles every day and loved running along the beach when possible but mostly loved the sitting outside for the moon to go down and be on the beach and watch the crabs come out also. Did many shows and found the best one was at the hotel I stayed at across from the cultural market in town. Have a great time and take many pics and hope to see them on here..
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    Apr 21, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidGo to Diamondhead Beach -- it's about a 20 minute walk from Waikiki, is gay, unofficially nude, and just very relaxing. The beach itself is a little rocky, but the sense of isolation is great. If you happen to encounter somebody who fancies you, there are bushes/trails where you can do the deed.


    I never made it there. I only went to Queen's Surf, where all the old leathery gays lay out in their neon bikinis, lol. I did get it on with a surfer guy in the public toilet there though. Ah the follies of youth.

    SwimBIkeRun949 said
    The Sheraton Waikiki (not to be confused with the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, which is a dump) has a happy hour from 5-7p (I believe) in its bar (Rum Fire) that is ocean front, and mai-tais are only $5. That's super cheap for the setting and Hawaii. I've watched the sun set and stumbled out of this place many a time, always with a smile on my face.


    This was a fun time/place. I agree with this recommendation.

    SwimBIkeRun949 said
    Everybody should see Pearl Harbor once in their life. It's sad but an important part of history.


    I was there shortly after 9/11...and they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't willing to hang my backpack in the tree. They didn't have public lockers you could rent yet. Very disappointing, because that was a long ass bus ride from my hotel in Waikiki.
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    Apr 21, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    RunintheCity saidAll this Hawai'i talk has me jonesing for my return to the islands for my 40th birthday extravaganza in 3 years, woo hoo!

    I didn't like the shaved ice though. And I don't get the Waikiki hate. Yeah, it's touristy, but it was so much fun.


    How about you stay with me at my place?! ;-) hooker watching is about all I do downtown hehe
  • mustangd

    Posts: 434

    Apr 21, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    Kanaka24 saidNo one even mentioned shaved ice!! You can not leave the Islands without having tried it. The best is matsumotos in haleiwa. Island snow in Kailua is best known bc pres Obama always goes there


    matsumotos for shave ice absolutley, also in haliewa, kua aina sandwich shop. in waikiki, moose mcguillacuddys for breakfast, great value and food. lunches aren't bad either, great place to grab some eats, and a toddy, then walk the short distance to the beach and beach yourself for some sun and relaxation...

    pearl harbor...worth the trip a solemn experience.

    if you have a car parking in waikiki can be problematic, but driving around the island is great, watch for the fresh shrimp places along the east coast. stay clear of the ewa area, not so freindly to us haoles.
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    Apr 21, 2011 3:11 PM GMT
    Oy,

    thanks for ALL the advice icon_smile.gif I'm pretty excited. I'll have to let you know how the trip goes when I return icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 21, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidnot to be confused with the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, which is a dump


    I agree 100%.

    Ooh I forgot to mention go to this place call Duc's bistro in Chinatown. Really good French Vietnamese food for great price. Ambience is very old world charm. http://www.ducsbistro.com/ducbistro/Welcome.html
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    Apr 21, 2011 3:20 PM GMT
    Kanaka24 said
    RunintheCity saidAll this Hawai'i talk has me jonesing for my return to the islands for my 40th birthday extravaganza in 3 years, woo hoo!

    I didn't like the shaved ice though. And I don't get the Waikiki hate. Yeah, it's touristy, but it was so much fun.


    How about you stay with me at my place?! ;-) hooker watching is about all I do downtown hehe


    LOL. I want a suite somewhere. I am trying to talk friends into coming with me and we just party for a few days.
  • leaozinho

    Posts: 177

    Apr 21, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    If you like design and celebrity history, Doris Duke's house "Shangri-La" is a must see. book an appointment through the Honolulu Museum of Art. It is located on the other side of Diamond Head. I was there with friends this Feb 2011 for a vacation. Yes, it is touristy but there are places to go that are fun...it depends on what you like to do.

    Chinatown is cool, downtown, Iolani Palace, Museum of Art.

    Sandy Beach is 1/2 out side of Waikiki. Better beaches are not in Honolulu.

    Byodo In Temple is spectacular. a japanese buddhist temple set in the mountains. Manoa Falls hike is within Honolulu.

    HaleKulani Hotel Resort is the best place in Waikiki for high end dining, bar.

    Top of Waikiki has a great view and a happy hour $4 drink special

    Hula's is a must for gay bar.