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nate4341 Honolulu - A travel report by Nate
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Honolulu,  United States - flag United States -  Hawaii
9695 readers

nate4341's travel reports

Oahu, Hawaii

  13 votes
There are two ways your visit can go: 1. You can do all the touristy things like hike Diamondhead, visit the Dole Plantation, and hang out at Waikiki beach, and have a good time; or, 2. You can know the places to go, and have the time of your life.

There are so many things to do here that you could keep yourself busy every minute for 2 weeks straight; or, you can recline, relax, and let the resorts worry about your needs whileyou worry about soaking up the rays. I, personally, recommend the first option. Surfing, snorkeling, diving, rock climbing, sailing, jetskiing, hiking, cliff diving... Who could pass this stuff up? Besides, what better way is there to earn a day of soaking in the ocean and lying on the beach than to push yourself to nearly absolute exhaustion the day before? If it is the relaxing life your looking for, don't settle for Waikiki beach; buy a rubber raft, fill it with water, wine, and some picnicing food, and swim out to one of the smaller islands (bird sanctuaries) that encircle Oahu, the majority of them are less than 400m away. I'm going to start my favorites in here due to space restrictions: Hiking- Kalena Pass. This hike starts in a valley on Schoefield Army Base which the Japanese Planes flew through in order to avoid radar on thier way to bomb Pearl Harbor. It is a very thin ridgeline hike to the second highest peak on the island. The initial ascent is very steep and has some parts that reach up to about 5.1 level scrambling. If you're not in the best shape, you're afraid of hights, or if it's windy or rainy, this trail is probably not for you. I recommend getting a hiking book to guide you to the best trail. Luau- Paradise Cove. Imagine beautiful hula dancers dancing on the beach with the sun setting over the ocean, tiki torches burning, giant palm trees lining the shore, and a Mai Tai in your hand. Pretend you hear Hawaiian music in the distance mixing with the faint sound of lapping waves and feel the soft flowers from the lei on your neck. Now multiply what you think this would be like by 10, combine it with great food and a great show, and you have Paradise Cove Luau. I recommend getting the best seats. It's worth it and you get free drinks.

Favourite spots:
Surfing- head to Sunset beach. There is a dangerous breaking point but it makes for some of the best waves in the world. Climbing- only one spot- Kenau Point. It's quite difficult to find so if you're interested, get ahold of me and I'll give you specific directions. There are about 30 routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 and nearly all of them are bolted and set for toprope. Cliff diving- Muanaloa Falls. This is another tough one to find. There is a 15 ft. waterfall with a 20 ft. deep pool at the bottom. There are places to jump from 15, 40, and if you've got the courage, 60 ft. There's a small hike to it and it's worth it even if you don't want to swim. Snorkeling- Hanauma Bay. I'm pretty sure It's a $5/person entrance fee with a $1 parking, but the beach is amazing and the snorkeling is better. Beach- Bellows beach. Oddly enough, this is on Bellows Airforce Base, but here the water seems bluer and the forest, greener than anywhere else on the island.

What's really great:
I realize that I've given the best climbing, best surfing, best beach, and best cliff diving already, but if you want all four in minutes..... Waimea beach! This is what Oahu is known for. First off, the surfing here rivals Sunset beach any time of the year besides May - August. During the winter I've seen swells get up to 15 ft. and i've heard tales of up to 20, but during the summer, it resembles a swimming pool. Second, there is an approx. 30 ft. boulder perfect for boulering or toproping, but it's kind of a nuisance during the winter because it's always covered with sea spray and extremely slippery. Third, There is a 20 ft. rock out a little ways where locals and tourists alike wait their turn to jump off into the waves. This area closes off during the winter due to the high waves and HORRIBLE undertow. (Wintertime is a very bad time to go if you are not an experienced swimmer or surfer because sea conditions become trecherous.)

Even though I kind of bad mouthed Diamondhead in the intro, it is probably the best veiw of Waikiki and Honolulu that you will get. The hike is easy but the view is actually worth the boring walk. If you're on that side of the island, you can't miss it. It's the hill right on the shore just east of Waikiki, if you drive towards it and ask around it's simple to find the entrance.

Take a dinner cruise from the Aloha Tower area. I recommend the most expensive one named.... well, I can't remember. It's something like Five Star or Hawaiian Star or something with Star in the name. You float off the shore of Waikiki while the sun sets and it's a pretty good way to cap off your vacation. See the lights of the city coming on as the sun sets. Very relaxing, great for couples.

Stairway to Heaven. It, coincidentaly, is a metal stairway leading up to what seems like heaven. Very narrow, very steep, and extremely exhausting, this is not a hike for the faint of heart.

There are numerous hotels along Waikiki beach and in that general vacinity, and the price range varies widely. You can find a hotel to match any need simply by searching online, but the ones I find most commendable are a little bit more expensive.

If you are going to stay in the Waikiki area, I highly recommend the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It's right on the beach, minutes away from everything in town, and has the best atmosphere of any hotel in the city (in my opinion of course).

I also would like to recommend Outrigger Reef. This is also on the beach, not quite as decked out as the Hilton, but I've always gotten good service here.

Turtle Bay is supposed to be the Premier Resort on the Island but I've never been. This place is on the northern point of the island and is much more secluded than the rest. It has it's own private beach and a golf course and.... that's about all I know. Oh! I do know that it is really expensive.

I'm not going to give specific directions to these places but they are all in the Waikiki area. Wave, Zanzibars, Blue Tropics, Scruples, Red Lion, Oceans.

The wave is the place for the late night crowd, where local rock bands will play on Friday and Sat. nights. They usually play from about 11-2 and then it becomes mostly techno and R&B. All the clubs are open until 4am on the weekends.

Blue Tropics is a bit away from it all, more toward the convention center. Nice place, but it is an 18 and over bar. Of course in the states you have to be 21 in order to drink.

Zanzibars is a little bit more of a classy club... meaning dress shoes and collared shirt required. A bit more expensive as well. I don't like the place much but alot of tourists seem to head there. All R&B and has a VIP room.

Oceans is a club for the older crowd. 23 and up only. I've never been seeing as I'm just turning 23, but as soon as I get back......

Kelly O'Neil's my favorite pub in the city. It is definitely the place to begin the evening, and for many, it becomes the place to end it as well. There are live cover bands that play classic rock on the weekends and you can catch a game of darts while you're warming up.... as long as you go early. Around 10 Kelly's gets PACKED, I mean shoulder to shoulder packed.

The Hide Away is an aptly named hole-in-the-wall with a dark atmosphere and more relaxed scene. It is near the Wave and you can sometimes catch the local bands playing.

The Fox and the Hound is a small bar directly across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I go here when I am looking for a more low key, relaxed evening. There are live cover bands playing classic rock on the weekend here as well, but seeing as how it is a bit off the strip, it doesn't attract as much of a crowd.

My advice if you are looking for a up beat night is: wander out to the strip and follow the crowds.

Haleiwa Joes is in my oppinion the best resteraunt on the island - not the one in Haleiwa, the one in Kaneohe. There is excellent food, excellent service and the best Hawaii atmosphere on the island. Go before it gets dark so you can walk down to the garden.

To Dai Resteraunt in Waikiki for excellent all you can eat seafood. $30/person but well worth it.

The chicken lady.... I know that sounds foolish but it's simply a lady who sells roasted chicken on the side of the road on the way to Kenau Point. Best chicken I've ever tasted! Get ahold of me for directions.

Bucca De'beppo's. It's an italian resteraunt in the Ward Center in Honolulu. Huge dishes and very tasty.

If you have the money RUTH'S CHRIS. Between the Aloha Towers and Waikiki, this is the best steak you'll have on the island. While it's around $30 for a steak by itself, it's well worth it.

There are also a few resteraunts in the Aloha Tower, and the Ward Center that are worth checking out.

Other recommendations:
I'd like to take this part to appologize for the lack of photos but I am currently separated from them. It'll be about 3 months before I have a chance, but as soon as I can, I will update.

If you have any questions about specifics, get ahold of me.

Published on Sunday October 24th, 2004

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Thu, Aug 11 2011 - 11:39 AM rating by mistybleu

Excellent report filled with great general information.

Mon, Oct 24 2005 - 08:23 AM rating by etelka610

Hi Nate, I love this report. You've given so much detail. Its so lame when a person judges your report by its pictures, or lack there of, you'd think they could use their imagination.

Sun, Oct 24 2004 - 09:57 PM rating by gloriajames

enjoyable report but lack pics :(

Sun, Oct 24 2004 - 08:24 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii nate,
well i liked your report and it was great pleasure reading it,so i am waiting for the pictures too.

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