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Oahu... The quieter side

Folsom, California
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Oahu... The quieter side

Hello All,

My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to Hawaii in May and are thinking about visiting Oahu for part of our trip. I went there 5 years ago and stayed in Waikiki and it was not my favorite. I felt like it was the Hawaiian version of Manhattan. Do you all have any ideas of locations to stay in that is a good mix of tourism and local culture? We are looking for a place that is visually stunning, has access to good beaches and restaurants but is not filled with high rises like Waikiki? Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for your help!

Santa Clara...
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1. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

Why Oahu again then? Have you considered the other islands? I have been to Maui the most and really like the good mix of good food, some night time activity - though nothing like Waikiki - excellent beaches and snorkeling. Big Island is more quiet and has the active lava, and very good snorkeling too. I still haven't been to Kauai yet but it is on the to go list - to see the Pali Coast - but my hubby thinks it might be too quite for him.

If you are only considering Oahu, consider North Shore/Turtle Bay or Kailua.

Folsom, California
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2. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

Thank you for your post. I have actually been to all of those islands and had a great time. My husband has never been to Oahu and I felt like when we went last time we didn't get to explore the other side of Oahu. We went on a short excursion which peaked my interest to see what else Oahu has to offer.

California
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3. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

Ah ... I, too, am drooling at the Hawaiian Airlines rates out of SMF. <<I felt like it was the Hawaiian version of Manhattan.>> Manhattan? Ummm ... not even sorta close, but I understand that you don't like the density.

Here's the deal: the vast, vast majority of accomodations are on Waikiki. There is no mini-version of it on Oahu. Maui would be the closest.

Turtle Bay on the North Shore is beautiful, but doesn't have the diversity of things to see and do that Waikiki does. Ko'Olina may be OK in another 10 years or so, but for now it is isolated ... not much there at all. Kailua is fun, but you would need a vacation rental or perhaps a close-by condo.

BUT - if your budget will allow - take a look at The Kahala! It's on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki. Great beach. Nice resort. With a shuttle to Waikiki for restaurants.

Here's a website that will show you aerials --- scroll and and click. Take a look at The Kahala. I don't care for the commentary.

hawaiirevealed.com/free-travel-info/oahu/oah…

I understand what you are saying - and the north, east and south shores are beautiful. I'd pick up a new travel guide for Oahu and a good map. There is plenty to do!

Saint Cloud...
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4. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

" I felt like when we went last time we didn't get to explore the other side of Oahu. We went on a short excursion which peaked my interest to see what else Oahu has to offer."

Mu advice to almost everyone is to rent a car the entire time on Oahu & get out & explore Oahu.

Far too many people spend the entire time in Honolulu except to rent a car one day & try to see the rest of the island that day.

Read the Top Questions on the right side of the page. Driving tours, maps, websites, etc.

Order the free Oahu travel planner:

1-800-GOHAWAII

Santa Monica, CA
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5. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

What Dusty said! Without a car, your experiences will be almost entirely of the busy city. It is a great base to come home to at the end of the day, but I would not want to experience it every day of my vacation, either.

Try Kailua for a quieter vacation. North shore also has some VRBO houses, or check this out on the North Shore:

www.keikibeach.com/index.php…

I've not stayed there, but it looks really cute.

Saint Cloud...
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6. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

"Mu advice to almost everyone is to rent a car the entire time on Oahu & get out & explore Oahu."

My advice to almost everyone is to rent a car the entire time on Oahu & get out & explore Oahu.

California
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7. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

Mu, mu, Dusty!

Oklahoma City...
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8. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

I agree with you about Waikiki, for us it is fun for a day but we would not spend an entire vacation there. We are currently in the middle of an 11 day stay on the Big Island but started the trip on Oahu.

For the the Oahu trip was mostly to see family and this time we stayed in a one bed room rental in Kailua. We loved it, it's fun, close to great beaches, and has the local/tourist mix you are looking for.

While we were there we found out that president Obama was also staying in Kailua. We decided we must have made a good choice if the president was there!

We also got to see our nephew and his fellow soldiers return from Afghanistan on Jan. 5. Welcome home to all of them.

Santa Clara...
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9. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

carol - Jessica Simpson and her family were there that same week!

Saint Cloud...
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10. Re: Oahu... The quieter side

"We also got to see our nephew and his fellow soldiers return from Afghanistan on Jan. 5. Welcome home to all of them."

Thanks for mentioning the soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

And thank your nephew for his service to our country.