Author Topic: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii  (Read 3590 times)

nktokyo

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Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« on: August 21, 2013, 12:13:15 AM »
Hi All,

I'm planning to visit Hawaii for a wedding in the last week of October this year. The wedding is on Monday 10/28. I think I'll get in on Fri 25th and leave on the 30th.

I'm flying by myself and while I have some friends on the ground I'd like to do something other than sit on beaches in Honolulu. It'd be especially cool if I got to meet some of the folks on this forum.

So... in no uncertain order I'm looking for suggestions on where I should stay (does anyone want to lease a room, lol), things I should check out, places to avoid, any general advice for a mustachian heading to Hawaii for the first time. The wedding will be in Honolulu but I don't mind moving around the place on other days.

Cheers!

TrulyStashin

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 09:24:07 AM »
I was in Oahu, Hawaii in May for my son's graduation from Hawaii Pacific Univ.  Thanks to my Dad's service in the US Navy, we stayed at Bellows Air Force Station (great 2 BR condos for $100/ night) http://bellowsafs.com/Default.asp.  They have a campground there, however, that is open to civilians and honestly the beach was the most gorgeous beach I saw on all of Oahu (and we were all over that island).  It is uncrowded and non-touristy.  The sand is pink and the water is turquoise with either open beach or a shady area under the trees.  Just thinking of it makes me happy.  It is far superior to the tourist-overrun Waimea Bay beach.   We also enjoyed the nearby Serg's Mexican Cafe as one of our favorite "Dive of the Day" picks -- outstanding Mexican food for super cheap.   This part of Oahu is a locals-only kind of place.  Sometimes even the "locals" sometimes don't know about it.  My son who was posted here at Schofield Barracks for 4 years had never been to Bellows.  I couldn't believe it -- how could you miss such a place! 

Another great "Dive of the Day" is the La Mariana Tiki Bar in the warehouse area but along the waterfront of Honolulu http://www.lamarianasailingclub.com/ .   It is hidden and also non-touristy (for the most part).  It is the Mother of All Tiki Bars. Built about 60 years ago by a woman whose name I now forget, she picked up the whole establishment and moved it 300 yards down the waterfront when she and her business partner had a nasty split and he screwed her out of legal ownership of the land it was sitting on.  In less than a week, she and the Fans of La Mariana literally unbuilt the structure, moved it, and then rebuilt it.    It is funky and different with stunning views at sunset.

I also recommend Waimea Valley for a beautiful walk.  It has an small entrance fee but it is a nonprofit and the funds go to preserve native flora and fauna.  The walk up the hill to the waterfall is lovely.  Go for a swim in the waterfall!  http://www.waimeavalley.net/

Also don't miss the Byodo-In (Buddhist) Temple.  Free (we made a small donation).  Serene. Different.  http://www.byodo-in.com/

The Pali Overlook is also worth a stop to view the island and read the brutal, war-ridden history of Hawaii.  And we also went to the state capital building which my boyfriend dubbed the "Lyle Lovett" of capital buildings -- so ugly you don't really want to look but totally cool and fun.

We drove through Waikiki Beach and promptly decided it was a ridiculous tourist trap and not worth coming back.  Ever.

To celebrate my son's graduation, we had an amazing dinner at Duc's Bistro in Chinatown.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/ducs-bistro-honolulu

And, of course, Pearl Harbor and the associated memorials are not to be missed (don't overlook the U.S.S. Bowfin submarine and its memorial park -- fascinating and often untold story). 

Enjoy!!

dragoncar

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 12:15:43 PM »
Don't you get you ass kicked for going to locals only beaches? <--- watches too many movies

Nords

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 10:23:45 PM »
So... in no uncertain order I'm looking for suggestions on where I should stay (does anyone want to lease a room, lol),
VRBO.com and AirBnB are still the best websites for short-term local rooms.  If you're military (or a DoD civilian employee) then the Hale Koa is much cheaper and right on the beach.

things I should check out, places to avoid, any general advice for a mustachian heading to Hawaii for the first time.
People come to Oahu for many different activities, and it's tough to pick your top ten without knowing what your preferences are.  However you could browse the 101 Things To Do website (http://www.101thingstodo.com/oahu/) and ask questions about the ones that interest you.

In general, you want to stay off the roads between 5 AM-8 AM and 4 PM-6 PM.  Rush hour sucks.

I have a Google Earth plugin on my blog if you want to fly yourself around a virtual model of Waikiki and the rest of the islands:
http://the-military-guide.com/3d-hawaii-hale-koa-hotel-in-waikiki/

I've also put a bunch of other information and links on Early-Retirement.org, which you can read without registering:
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f47/faq-archive-e-komo-mai-hawaii-30671.html

There's a new app for last-minute deals on visitor activities:
http://www.hulacopter.com/
"New" is as of "last week", so check it again when you get here.  It should be populated with many more discounts on short-notice activities.

Don't you get you ass kicked for going to locals only beaches? <--- watches too many movies
You're absolutely right, you do watch too many movies!

nktokyo

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 07:41:33 AM »
thanks that's great!

SnackDog

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 09:21:19 AM »
The Kihei area of Maui has fairly cheap family-friendly condos for great prices relative to the rest of Hawaii.  My family has gone every year since the early 70s...

sassy1234

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Re: Good ideas for places to stay and things to do in Hawaii
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 02:25:19 PM »
Kauai is the best island.  All of the others are very commercial.