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Advice on our 1st trip

Clarkston
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78 posts
105 reviews
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Advice on our 1st trip

We will be 4 nights-3 full day in Oahu before we fly to Maui for a week. We are 2 active seniors and have never been to Hawaii. We will rent a car in Maui but think we would do better taking a couple tours in Oahu. We will be coming at the end of February. Will we be able to swim? We are planning on doing a tour of Pearl Harbor and circle tour of island. We are debating whether to take a 2nd tour of Polynesian Cultural Center & Dole plantation or take a shuttle to Hana.....Bay & Diamond Head. Are these near each other? Would a bus take us to both?

We are staying at the ASTON WAIKIKI BEACH RESORT which sounds ok. The 1st day we just want to enjoy the beach & Waikiki. Is there anything you recommend on seeing or walking to from our resort? I thought Duke's would be a good restaurant to go to for one evening - get reservations?

Surrey, Canada
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754 posts
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1. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

You can swim all year round in Waikiki. There are several areas that have wave breaks, so no major waves, and the water is beautiful. Most will recommend you rent a car, but I understand about using the tours. I prefer someone else do the driving, and I like the tour guides. I don't think I would recommend the Dole Plantation with so little time. The garden is beautiful, but it's not a must see. I have done this tour before, and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't combine it with Dole. I do recommend the Polynesian Cultural Center. Wonderful day, long drive, long long day, but worth it. As long as you end it with the evening show, which I'm sure the tour does. I'm not a senior yet, however, we took both our mothers last time, who are seniors, and they really enjoyed the day there, even though it was long.

Do you plan on hiking Diamond Head, or just driving by? If hiking, you need to make sure you leave very early, and I wouldn't bother with a shuttle, rather I would take a cab. Much faster. Wear a hat, comfortable shoes, and take a bottle of water. My husband said it's not really a hard climb, as it has a gradual slope, and he did it with arthritic knees. Just take your time.

I love Duke's for breakfast, and if you get there early you can have a ring side view of the ocean. They have a wonderful breakfast buffet.

If you only have three days, and one of them is spent at the beach, then I would pick one day for a full activity day, and leave the rest for a return trip. So many people want to see and do everything at once, and it's just not possible. You end up exhausted. There is so much to see and do on Oahu, you will need several trips :)

For sure do Pearl Harbor, and then I probably would go to the Polynesian Cultural Center, but I'm sure I couldn't manage to hike Diamond Head too. No fear of not seeing it though, you will have a great view of it from where you are staying.

Have a wonderful trip.

Dallas
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22,486 posts
69 reviews
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2. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

Pearl Harbor is easily accessible by bus and cheap. You should reserve tickets on line for the Arizona Memorial for $1.50 each and avoid the lines to get tickets early in the morning.

I don't think I would recommend PCC for such a short stay.

Suggest that you go to the Moana Beach Bar for a nice evening cocktail, and be sure to see the Royal Hawaiian and Halekulani hotels. All is walkable from your hotel.

Maybe a sunset catamaran ride one evening from Waikiki Beach. We like the NaHoku II which leaves from the beach in front of the Moana hotel.

Make reservations if you want to do Dukes, but we also like Chuck's Steakhouse in the same hotel. Easy to get a great seat with a spectacular view if you get there early. Decent food, great service and a view you can't beat for the prices.

Clarkston
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78 posts
105 reviews
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3. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

Thanks so much for your reply. You answered a number of questions for me. I've read a number of guide books but they only tell you so much...... I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions.

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
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4. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

Yours is a common plan, and one that I have to admit, I don't care for. When you visit a place for only a few days, it seems counterproductive to rely on mass transit and packaged tours. Your impression of beautiful Oahu will probably be that it is crowded and full of tourists. Well, so are the other islands, it's just different when you rent a car! If you read everything on the right side of this page, you should have a good outline of what to do and see on Oahu. Please pay attention to the driving tours. I strongly recommend you rent a car for one day and go explore on your own. I'd do it on the USS Arizona day (make morning reservations), after your visit, you can explore the entire island on your own.

Here's a recent thread that might help, too:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k680302…

Dallas
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22,486 posts
69 reviews
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5. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

While I don't disagree totally with ddffpp, I don't totally agree either. We have gone for many years to Oahu, and been all over most of the island and done all the touristy things. Andy they are all great.

But, we go to Oahu and Waikiki because we love Waikiki Beach with the beautiful blue water, Diamond Head, surfers, catamaran rides, and all the shops and restaurants in an area that is totally walkable.

Now I know this is not for everyone, but we really enjoy that and don't ever feel like it is crowded or full of tourists to the point that we don't leave every time and can't wait to go back.

So, you could easily fill up the time you have there and never walk out on Waikiki Beach, look at Diamond Head or have a beachside meal or cocktail.....but I think that would be a huge mistake. Waikiki is just that !! It's Waikiki Beach for goodness sakes and it is grand and wonderful. Be sure you leave time to see it as well.

6. Re: Advice on our 1st trip

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