We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help With My Itinerary

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
299 posts
57 reviews
Save Topic
Help With My Itinerary

Hello everyone! This will be my second trip to Hawaii. I'm quite excited, perhaps more so than I was the first time I went. I have a possible itinerary and I would appreciate any suggestions or tips you all might have.

Wednesday:

Arrive on the island around 230PM. I figure I'll just relax and wander around Waikiki and people watch since it will be late in the day and I will probably be tired from travelling from the East Coast. I'll look for some Thai food and make an early night of it.

Thursday:

Pick up car rental and do a driving tour of the island, stopping at random points of interest. I'll probably use the tour that was suggested here on TA.

Friday:

I don't have anything planned until 1PM. I'll do a O'ahu Nature Tour, Valley of the Rainbows. I did one of their tours last year and enjoyed it very much. What to do the rest of the day? Maybe some nightlife? After all, it is Friday night. Can't just sit in my room. I do that at home.

Saturday:

Get up early and hike Manoa Falls. What to do the rest of the day? Any local events? Festivals? Church happenings? 5Ks? (I like to run.) The date will be May 21.

Sunday:

Get up early and hike Koko Head. What's the best way to get there? I'm not renting a car except for that one day to tour the island. I hear this hike is pretty tough so I'm booking spa services for later that afternoon. What shall I do the rest of the day?

Monday:

7AM-4PM, do the Kualoa Ranch all day tour. 5PM, luau at the Hale Koa. 9PM flight home. Too much for my last day? My flight is late and I have to check out of the hotel at 12 noon. I will be quite bored so I figured I'd pack it with activities. The luau is only a few hours, so I figured I'd get right on the bus afterward and head to the airport.

What do you all think? I've got some days where I don't really have much planned. I am not a beach person (what am I doing in Hawaii, right?) I don't know how to swim so snorkelling and all that jazz is out. I like to hike. I like to eat. Maybe I should treat myself to a fancy dinner? I like the tours but I think I've got enough tours going on, or maybe I don't. I like looking at stuff. Is the Polynesian Cultural Center worth it? I figured since I was going to the luau at Hale Koa, I didn't need the PCC. Or do I?

Last year I went to Diamond Head, Pearl Harbour, the gigantic swap meet, the botanical gardens, and Dole. I might do Diamond Head again because I'm going to bring with me a brand new camera, but the others I am not interested in seeing again.

I'll also be skipping the shopping. We've got the same fancy overpriced stores here in DC.

I appreciate you guys, TA. Thanks in advance!

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
25,452 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Aloha,

Perhaps a museum, an art center, or a free hula show could fill some of your extra free time.

What I'm concerned about is your final day, and particularly your last night. I just don't see how you can do a luau at 5:00, a bus ride, and be at the airport early as necessary for your 9:00 flight. Those are a lot of logistics. You'll still have to collect your baggage, go to the bus stop, wait for a bus....

Can you move the luau? Does the ranch tour definitely have you back by 4:00?

Looks like you've done a lot of good research. Should be a really fun vacation for you. Do think about that last day, though.

Aloha

Edited: 05 May 2011, 12:35
NORTH CAROLINA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
7,278 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Help With My Itinerary

The Hawaii State art Museum is free it is off of S. Hotel st You can take the bus it's got a great lunch place in the lobby. You can walk to Chinatown from there it's just up the street.

Honolulu Academy of Arts is also nice If you would like to see the Doris Duke house Shangri La the tour leaves from the Academy the cost is $25 and includes admission to the Academy it's really a awesome house the architecture is stunning. You will have to call to see if they have openings they limit the amount of people per tour and it''s only wed-sat. there is a bus stop right in fron of the Academy the tour takes you over to the house in a tour van.

Bishop Museum which was renovated not too long ago is really worth a visit.You can take a bus there also.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
55,208 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Aloha,

I'm so glad you are coming back--can't wait for another wonderful trip report!

You do know that you can't take luggage on the Bus? They're pretty strict. You might want to look into another shuttle service to the airport, that would be faster and allow whatever luggage you have.

I think that you may be tired and dirty after the all day tour..........can you get a "hospitality room" at your hotel to clean up and such before your flight?

I agree that doing the luau that night is too much.

I hope you wander through downtown Honolulu--it's pretty, interesting (I'olani Palace, the aforementioned Academy of Arts, the Mission Houses, the various street vendors). The Bishop's renovations are wonderful and you can easily spend hours there.

Have FUN!!!!

Austin, TX
Destination Expert
for Austin
Level Contributor
2,167 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help With My Itinerary

I can't help with your itinerary - but I can't wait for your trip report, loved your last one!

Honolulu
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
1,524 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Aloha, just my two cent and suggestions. It sounds like you are staying at the Hale Koa Hotel by reading your review. So here is what I can offer.

Wednesday - Arrival to hotel will probably be after 4 pm. If staying at the Hale Koa, two Thai restaurant are available within walking distance. Singha Thai Restaurant on the corner of Ena Road and Ala Moana, diagonally across the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel, I favor for their Thai dancers during dinner time. Keo's, a walk across the compond of Ft. DeRussy to Kalakaua Avenue is everyone's favorite, I guess, because it has been around for over 30 years and of course the movie stars use to go there, as shown on the walls of the restaurant. Both are reliable.

Thursday - All I suggestion is you go counter clock to drive around the island, starting from Waikiki, Be prepared with maps and what you are going to do. Plan your day carefully. A couple of driving tours posted.

Friday - Go hike Diamond Head and take your pictures. After your nature tour, remember, HHV Friday night fireworks on the beach fronting HHV.

Saturday - After your Manoa Valley Hike, visit the Lyon Arboretum and enjoy the beauty of the rainforest through flowers, trees and lots more.

Sunday - I understand that the Koko Head Trail was closed a few weeks back. No hiking here.

Monday - Do Kualoa Ranch, but, don't see how you can do the luau. Also, be prepare to shower or clean up after your day at Kualoa Ranch. Depending on the activities, you will either be both dirty, sweaty and want a shower/bath.

Your shuttle bus will come for you approx. 2 to 3 hrs prior to your flight time. Be prepared.

Good luck, there is more, but, here are just a few recommendations.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
85 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Help With My Itinerary

To the OP...where is the thread with the driving tour suggestion that you said you found on TA? I am thinking of doing something similar...renting a car and spending a day driving around the island. Probably the second day I'm there since I will likely wake up really early due to the time change.

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
25,452 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Aloha,

How are you getting to your hotel? Round trip shuttles are around $15 to Waikiki.

Kuhio Mound hula shows on Sat. & Sun. nights sometimes have lots of adorable keiki performing. (6:30 this time of year) You can watch the sunset from there, also.

Swtx, it's in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

I like Islekane's suggestions, BTW.

Aloha

Edited: 06 May 2011, 02:05
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
85 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Thank you! I didn't see those links up there. Duh me!

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
27,185 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Help With My Itinerary

I would not go to PCC or any other luau if you are already planning to go to Hale Koa Luau.

But do plan to go to PCC if you make another trip to Oahu. It is the best.

Do rent a car a second day.

Take Driving Tour #1 one day. You can add Diamond Head & Kailua & Lanika Beaches.

Take Driving Tour #2 one day. You can add National Cemetery of the Pacific & Tantalus Drive.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
299 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Help With My Itinerary

Okay, everyone,

Thank you so much for your suggestions and tips. I see how everyone is saying that trying to do the luau before I get on the plane is kind of ridiculous. The luau is also offered on Thursdays, so I will just move it. It's a bit of a bummer because the tour I want is only on Fridays, but I've picked another one. I also do not want to rush back after doing the tour of the island so I moved that to Friday.

I have revamped my plans a bit.

Wednesday

Arrive

Thai food for dinner

Thursday

Oahu Nature Tour, Hawaiian Waterfall 8A-12P

Hawaii State Art Museum

Try to find this bakery I went to in China Town last year

Hale Koa Luau 5PM

Friday

Rent car and tour island. Out by 8AM, return by 7PM

Fireworks at HHV

Saturday

Hike Manoa Falls

Lyon Arboretum

Fancy dinner

Sunday

Hike Koko Head or Diamond Head

Get massage

Bishop Museum

Kuhio Mound hula show

Monday

Kualoa Ranch All Day Tour

Clean up

Get dinner

Get on plane. Flight departs 915PM

I did try to find information on Koko Head closing and I couldn't find anything. I did find some reviews of people who claimed they hiked Koko Head as late as May 1. When I get to the island I will try to find some more information. If I can't do Koko Head, I will do Diamond Head again.

Also, I am not staying at the Hale Koa. I am in the military though, so the activities they offer are available to me. I'm staying at some budget hotel on Nahua. I've already forgotten the name. Luckily, they wrote it down for me. : )

It is most unfortunate that I cannot take the bus to and from the airport. I knew about their luggage restriction; however, I thought it referred to large luggage. I only have one small carry-on, but it is still a luggage. I did not want to spend $30 on a shuttle to and from the airport, but I guess there's no way around it.

I will not rent a car a second day. I don't like to drive in the first place, but I understand it is the best way to see other parts of the island. I did a circle island tour with a company last year which was AWFUL. I also thought about making the tour on the city bus but after reading other people's stories, I see now the car is the best way to go. A necessary evil, but I can't make myself do it twice.

I forgot to mention that I saw I'olani Palace, the statue and China Town last year.

I'll save PCC for next year. It looks like Hawaii might be an annual trip for me.

Thank you everyone. You've all been very helpful. If you think of anything else, please don't hesitate to let me know. I appreciate your assistance.

Edited: 06 May 2011, 12:50