Old 09-07-2017, 03:33 AM   #1
SweetErika
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Question Oahu Tips?

We're planning a trip to Oahu in early November. We'll be staying in the Ewa Beach neighborhood and spending a couple of days doing the Pearl Harbor stuff (our 7yo is obsessed with WWII specifically and the military in general, so that's why we chose Oahu ). That leaves about 4 days free. My mom, hubby and baby will complete the entourage, and we'll rent a car. My mom is the only one who's been to Hawaii, even though all of us adults are pretty well-traveled.

Any Oahu-specific suggestions, Litsters? We don't mind seeing important sights, but all generally prefer to stay away from tourist traps and throngs of vacationers, if possible. What are your must sees and do's, especially off the beaten path?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetErika View Post
our 7yo
but but but that was just yesterday - wow

I am of absolutely no assistance on Hawaii or probably much else, as I may have been told, but seeing SweetErika posting certainly is a smile for me.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:53 AM   #3
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We were there about 15 years ago, there are two things I remember.

first, my 10 year old daughter thought the hookers were very pretty and wondered why so many pretty girls were hanging around across the street from our hotel on Waikiki.

Second, we took a guided trip around the island that was pretty good, don't really remember much of the detail, but we all enjoyed it.

We only spent 3 days there before going to Maui for a week.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:05 AM   #4
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Oahu is hard to avoid the tourists on. Following are a few things to do (they are on the Northshore as there are fewer people than in Honolulu -- but still alot):

* Drive the H3 to Kaneohe -- coming through the tunnel at the top of the mountain range is an amazing experience

* Kualoa Ranch is cool

* Hanging out on Sunset Beach or one of the other huge beaches there is cool

* Snorkeling in Shark's Cove is awesome -- google it, it is an amazing place

* If you guys are into walking, there is an old road you can walk to Kaena Point which is the furtherest point west on Oahu and there are typically a bunch of seals hanging out there

* Haleiwa has some cool shops and restaurants -- Haleiwa Bob's pizza is good

* Ted's Pies

* Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

My two cents
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightL View Post
but but but that was just yesterday - wow

I am of absolutely no assistance on Hawaii or probably much else, as I may have been told, but seeing SweetErika posting certainly is a smile for me.
I know, right? He just started 2nd grade and is so big now, especially compared to his baby bro (who takes up almost all but a little lurking time these days!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by albertaboy View Post
We were there about 15 years ago, there are two things I remember.

first, my 10 year old daughter thought the hookers were very pretty and wondered why so many pretty girls were hanging around across the street from our hotel on Waikiki.

Second, we took a guided trip around the island that was pretty good, don't really remember much of the detail, but we all enjoyed it.

We only spent 3 days there before going to Maui for a week.
LOL @ your daughter. I don't think Waikiki holds much appeal for any of us, so we may avoid that scene altogether. I've read the Chinatown is kinda cool, but we don't need to go to Hawaii for that.

With a car, touring around the island is definitely in order!
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glycerinelimits View Post
Oahu is hard to avoid the tourists on. Following are a few things to do (they are on the Northshore as there are fewer people than in Honolulu -- but still alot):

* Drive the H3 to Kaneohe -- coming through the tunnel at the top of the mountain range is an amazing experience

* Kualoa Ranch is cool

* Hanging out on Sunset Beach or one of the other huge beaches there is cool

* Snorkeling in Shark's Cove is awesome -- google it, it is an amazing place

* If you guys are into walking, there is an old road you can walk to Kaena Point which is the furtherest point west on Oahu and there are typically a bunch of seals hanging out there

* Haleiwa has some cool shops and restaurants -- Haleiwa Bob's pizza is good

* Ted's Pies

* Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

My two cents
Yeah, I know Oahu is tourist-central. It's too bad Pearl Harbor isn't on a quieter island. My son is so damn excited about seeing the objects of his WWII obsession, though, so we'll make the best of it! Hopefully going low season, staying out of Waikiki, and having a car will help us avoid the bulk of the tourists, too.

Great suggestions that I'll be sure to check out in more detail, thanks! We're definitely into snorkeling and walks/easy hikes. Hubby can watch the baby while the rest of us snorkel; apparently he's afraid of swimming in open water (some such about fish nipping at him ).
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SweetErika View Post
Any Oahu-specific suggestions, Litsters? We don't mind seeing important sights, but all generally prefer to stay away from tourist traps and throngs of vacationers, if possible. What are your must sees and do's, especially off the beaten path?

Thanks in advance!
Not off the beaten path, but the Bishop Museum is worth anybody's time.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:10 AM   #8
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Not off the beaten path, but the Bishop Museum is worth anybody's time.
Thanks for the tip! The Bishop looks very cool (and it's a heck of a lot more reasonable than the Polynesian Cultural Center, which may not have enough to hold my kiddo's interest for the hundreds we'd spend on admission).
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:59 AM   #9
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I lived on Kauai for many years, and went to Oahu occasionally. The Bishop is great. Don't waste your time with the Polynesian "Cultural Center." It's basically a theme park owned and operated by the mormon church. They use the proceeds to send missionaries to distant islands. The Bishop, on the other hand, will teach you more about the culture than any other single place you can go.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:30 AM   #10
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I lived on Kauai for many years, and went to Oahu occasionally. The Bishop is great. Don't waste your time with the Polynesian "Cultural Center." It's basically a theme park owned and operated by the mormon church. They use the proceeds to send missionaries to distant islands. The Bishop, on the other hand, will teach you more about the culture than any other single place you can go.
Awesome insider info, thank you! Glad to hear my instinct was correct on the PCC...we're definitely not interested in a theme park or supporting the Mormons! My son has a bunch of friends/schoolmates who are Polynesian, and we're interested in learning more about their culture. Their cultural pride, family values and generosity are just amazing, from what we've seen in our local families!
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:04 AM   #11
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Visiting Oahu

My boyfriend and I made our first trip to Hawaii last year, and we absolutely fell in love with the islands! We split nine days between Oahu and the Big Island. This year, we went back to spend a week in Maui.

So many great things to see and do at the Pearl Harbor historical site; it could easily occupy a full day and maybe more.

Definitely plan on a drive to the North Shore! The beaches and the surf are beautiful. Be sure to check out Sandy's Sanwiches -- the most delicious fresh fare you'll find on a food truck anywhere.

November is the beginning of whale season, and we really enjoyed the excitement of a whale-watching boat tour. Amazing to see the gentle giants so close!

Lastly, if you're feeling adventurous, consider a helicopter tour of the island. It was worth every penny!

If your kids are into the "Finding Nemo" or "Finding Dory" movies, they'll enjoy swimming in the ocean with all of the beautiful tropical fish around them. And keep your eyes open for the graceful, green sea turtles too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:02 AM   #12
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Tasty, what was your favorite part of Pearl Harbor? My son wants to do the Arizona and USS Bowfin Sub, plus maybe the Missouri (we have an awesome Museum of Flight here in Seattle, so we might sit the aviation museum out). We'reiterated budgeting two days, just in case, since that's the main reason we're going to Oahu.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:38 AM   #13
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When you drive on the H3 and come out the tunnel, keep going straight to kailua then to Lanikai. the beach is incredible
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:27 AM   #14
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When you drive on the H3 and come out the tunnel, keep going straight to kailua then to Lanikai. the beach is incredible
Ooh, that looks gorgeous, thanks! Adding it to my list!

What do y'all think about Waimea Falls? I know it's touristy, but is it worth it? I think my son might enjoy it and it looks like most of the other waterfalls and hikes aren't suitable for us (I have a disintegrating knee and we'll be wearing the baby).
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
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I know you said Oahu, but this being a sex site, I feel compelled to point out the nude beach "little beach" on Maui. If you are renting a car, take a day and drive all the way around the north and east sides of Oahu; it won't take long. Drive past Pear Harbor and get a feel for the desert on the west side, but don't spend much time there.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:45 AM   #16
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I know you said Oahu, but this being a sex site, I feel compelled to point out the nude beach "little beach" on Maui. If you are renting a car, take a day and drive all the way around the north and east sides of Oahu; it won't take long. Drive past Pear Harbor and get a feel for the desert on the west side, but don't spend much time there.
Yeah, no nude beaches with my mom in tow! Probably no sex, either, since I'm sharing a bed with the baby and hubby will share a room with the 7yo!

We are renting a car, so we'll be able to explore the island at will. There are supposed to be some great beaches and snorkeling sites on the west side that we're planning on checking out.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:43 AM   #17
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Hey!

Ewa Beach is a great choice for a place to stay! Much quieter than in town.

If you want a real “local” beach, Yokohama is the BEST. I highly recommend.

If you hike Makapu’u (easy and paved) in November, you might be able to catch some whales.

Lanikai Beach is hard to find parking, but gorgeous.

After you visit the Bishop, you might consider taking your son to the Pali Lookout. It’s beautiful and has some good history behind it. I agree with the recommenders who’ve advocated for Bishop. It’s much less expensive than other options, and had some amazing exhibits.

Enjoy your stay!
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:50 PM   #18
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Ewa Beach is a great choice for a place to stay! Much quieter than in town.

If you want a real “local” beach, Yokohama is the BEST. I highly recommend.

If you hike Makapu’u (easy and paved) in November, you might be able to catch some whales.

Lanikai Beach is hard to find parking, but gorgeous.

After you visit the Bishop, you might consider taking your son to the Pali Lookout. It’s beautiful and has some good history behind it. I agree with the recommenders who’ve advocated for Bishop. It’s much less expensive than other options, and had some amazing exhibits.

Enjoy your stay!
Thanks for the awesome info, Katie! The TripAdvisor forum people had scared me about our "illegal" Ewa rental and the traffic, so it's nice to hear some positives. I think we'll be happy in a house right next to the beach where we can fish and such.

I will definitely put Makapu’u on our list. Easy and paved sounds good! We won't be able to do some of the more challenging hikes with the baby in tow plus my disintegrating knee. We decided to bring an umbrella stroller as well as babywear, so it's good the stroller will get some use at the Bishop, Makapu’u, Waimea, etc. Carrying a 20 lb baby in warm weather is major work!

I'm super excited about the trip in a couple of weeks (maybe not so much about the flights with the baby, but we'll survive)!
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:06 PM   #19
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Poke and fish tacos. Best ever. Spent 3 yrs on the big island so cant help much w oahu. Hot ponds?
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:35 PM   #20
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Dollie

Our oldest son and his young wife spent three years near the Marine base and and little time to go to beaches.

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Originally Posted by SweetErika View Post
Yeah, no nude beaches with my mom in tow! Probably no sex, either, since I'm sharing a bed with the baby and hubby will share a room with the 7yo! Sounds like a romantic expensive baby adventure.

We are renting a car, so we'll be able to explore the island at will. There are supposed to be some great beaches and snorkeling sites on the west side that we're planning on checking out.
Someone's gotta warch mom and the little kids.

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I know you said Oahu, but this being a sex site, I feel compelled to point out the nude beach "little beach" on Maui. If you are renting a car, take a day and drive all the way around the north and east sides of Oahu; it won't take long. Drive past Pear Harbor and get a feel for the desert on the west side, but don't spend much time there.
The little kids will forget most details by the time they get home.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:40 PM   #21
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http://www.kenekes.net/

If you're driving around the island, plan on a plate lunch at Keneke's. The kalbi ribs are awesome.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:24 PM   #22
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That 7 year old

The 7 year old will make things tough. I lived on Oahu for a few years with my wife before kids and it was worth it. The hiking, the tours, and most of the places aren't very friendly for the little kids, even 7 year olds.

If you're on Waikiki, you can see another military historical location and look at the museum in the bunkers under the west side of Waikiki Beach. That's fun and there are some good things to look at. You can try Diamond Head as a hike or Makapu'u but those are on the far end of the island by Hawaii Kai. Hanauma Bay is another good spot for snorkling but it gets competitive with the tourists and the traffic.

I would recommend going along the west side to Yokohama Beach and appreciating just how powerful the ocean is. Those waves can get pretty gnarly so if your 7 year isn't a strong swimmer, look out.

Lastly, the North Shore is pretty good but it's a long drive and the pay-off isn't that impressive. The best beaches are Waikiki because the surf is light, there is no rip, and the most amenities and things to do are there.

Get breakfast at Liliha Bakery at one point during your trip. It's worth it. It's in Liliha, not far off H1 through town.

Wear sunscreen all the time. Leave nothing in your car or trunk when you park.
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:45 PM   #23
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hey erika, just bumping cuz i'm curious what worked for you from the suggestions. from the timetable you mentioned in the OP, i'm guessing you're on the trip right now.

ed
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