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Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

Los Angeles...
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Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

Recommendations on where a good base camp would be please.

Just bought plane tix for 2/3-9. I have a 4 year old who is somewhat hydrophobic and a 1.5 year old who is fearless. I'd like to stay close to a calm water beach. My husband has Celiac disease so we need a few restaurants nearby that really understand gluten free due to medical necessity & not just because it's the diet trend of the moment. We plan to stay in a VRBO or airbnb with a kitchen so we'll cook at least half of our meals but we want to have the option of eating out.

We live in Los Angeles and so Honolulu or Waikiki are really not appealing. We want to get away from the crowds. Or at least have the option to.

I was looking at Kailua. It seemed to have calm beaches (is this still true in February?), at least a few GF restaurant options and seems slower paced/less populous than Waikiki or Honolulu but also just a short jaunt to either of those locations if we did want to head to "the city" for a meal or event. Am I right? Or would we just get rained on the whole time in Kailua in February? Would it be much better to be on the other side of the island?

Any other good location suggestions?

TIA!

Saint Cloud...
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1. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

This page has some gluten free info:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28932-c194559/Hawaii…

Santa Monica, CA
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2. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

While I appreciate your issue about staying in busy Waikiki, it really will make your lives easier to stay there. First, there is an excellent swimming area that is walled off, so it is calm, shallow, and perfect for children. Restaurant options galore, and they are well aware of food requirements, such as celiac, vegan, vegetarian, etc.

I recommend you focus on hotels and condos on the Diamondhead side of Waikiki. It is quieter, close to the zoo and aquarium (great for your aged child) and the calm swimming beach, too. The Aston Waikiki Banyan is a condo complex just a couple of blocks from the water and reasonably priced parking, too.

We stay in Waikiki and take day trips to other parts of the island. With a picnic basket full of goodies, you can take off to empty beaches on the north shore, botanical gardens (please check them out, children really love them and you can sneak a little botany or biology into their lives).

If you really want a quiet area, you might try KoOlina, where Aulani is located.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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3. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

You will find morning and late evenings to be the wettest in Kailua. There is a reason why it's so green over there. Unless we get some storms, which is possible, it shouldn't rain all day. More of a short shower, mist and then it's over. The beach is pretty calm there year round. The leeward side, which Waikiki is a part of will have the best weather and calm beaches during this time of year. You may also want to look at the KoOlina area. Same leeward facing shores, a bit isolated and expensive.

Virginia
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4. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

I think sometimes Waikiki gets a bad rap for being in Honolulu, but at least for me, when you are actually in Waikiki it is like its own little world--you can go into the city if you want to, but while in Waikiki I don't actually notice the city at all. I think Waikiki is a wonderful place for kids....you don't have to drive anywhere for the day to day things, but you also have the luxury of being able to drive to a variety of places in Oahu if you want to.

I have never felt anything but relaxed and happy while there. And my family absolutely loved our ocean/beach experience this last time. The water is simply beautiful--there were enough waves to make it interesting, but wasn't rough at all.

As for Kailua, I haven't stayed there so I won't pretend I know that experience. But we did drive through the area and stopped at the beach. I found the beach to be very beautiful, but overall I didn't find the area to be as inviting as Waikiki. It is a beach town that seemed just okay to me. I just got the sense I would have felt like I was staying in a town, and could go to the beach when I wanted to. It was missing that all-inclusive/charming quality that Waikiki has for me.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

Thanks for the GF link!

I don't think Waikiki is for me. I don't want to shop. I don't want to fight crowds. I very distinctly remember even as a 21 year old thinking that if I ever came back to Oahu I would stay on the North Shore, far, far away from the mobs of tourists and commercialism of Waikiki. But now I have two small children and I'm going in February so North Shore is out.

I might be able to do Diamond Head area, but my preliminary VRBO searches aren't turning up anything even remotely reasonably priced for my dates. I would love to spend around $150/nt for a 2 bed place with a kitchen. I've found a few options in Kailua, but maybe that's because it's the wet season???

A few people mentioned Ko Olina. Is there anything there besides resorts?

South Coast NSW
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6. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

My favourite condo block at Diamond Head is the Diamond Head Hotel Condos. A 2 bed there is probably going to be more than your budget will allow for though.

http://www.vrbo.com/41987

^^ That one is the one I will most like to stay at. I can see me on that lanai furniture. But it is nearly double your budget.

2 beds anywhere that I have ever seen on Oahu are unlikely to come in at your budget. :( I would love to spend the same amount you have mentioned on a 2 bed but having spent months now looking for condos for myself and for other people, I would have to say that budget is quite unrealistic for what you are looking for. Most of my looking has been in Waikiki, I will admit.

Maybe Oahu is not the island for you, this visit?

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

beedoo747 so can you recommend the Damond Head Condo as a place to stay.......

Just interested in your thoughts on the place....both good & bad & the rental agents

South Coast NSW
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8. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

Rangerjohn - as with any condo, it totally depends on the unit itself. I have heard that some in the block are dated furniture and fittings wise, but that goes for any condo block on Oahu in my experience. The ones that have been renovated have generally been done to a very high standard.

I think the only condo you will never strike dated fittings in is Trump - but I do know some of the furniture in there is a lot older than the building itself! :) So even with a brand new condo block, you could still find yourself spending time with older furniture because some of the owners buy secondhand or even move their own old furniture in there and buy new stuff for themselves.

A lot of the condo blocks down that end are 30 day minimum rental buildings, eg Colony Surf, etc. This is one of the rare buildings down that Diamond Head end which can be booked as less than 30 days rental.

If you pick one you like the look of on VRBO or via the agent who handles most of the bookings there which is ObrHI you should be fine -

obrhi.com/Rentals/categoryid/28/diamond-head…

I have heard excellent reports re ObrHI and they really look after their clients from everything I hear.

There is also this one, which I would book in a heartbeat - the bathroom is to die for. But it is pricey and the owner is not on island like ObrHI are.

http://www.diamondviewcondo.com

The place gets excellent reviews on TA as well as other sites, even when people did not like the room decor they have spoken highly of the location, the views, and OBRHI.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60982-d87005-R…

There are some condos in the block for sale, and that includes one which used to be on my favourites list on VRBO but has since been removed from VRBO, I think because they are selling it.

hawaiicondomania.com/condos/DIAMOND-HEAD-BEA…

I just love this quirky little building, I love the lanais which are spacious and a lot of them have excellent lanai furniture - and if we can fit it in, I intend to visit it while on island and take some photos of my own to use on my blog. We are thinking we might snorkel near here anyway, so maybe I can get some pics from out in the water.

The one downside to this property in my opinion - and this is just me because I like to be near Ala Moana - is the distance from Ala Moana & Waikiki. But in this case, the person wants to be away from all that, so it is a good option for them to consider.

Anytime I mention a place, I am suggesting it as an option for people to consider. When I say it is my favourite down that end, this is based on the - ok, I spend far too much time doing this, I will admit - huge amount of research I have done on these buildings, plus conversations I've had with people who live on island and recommend places to their relatives to stay in, and conversations with people who have stayed there. One reason the locals I have spoken to like their friends staying in this place is because it is easier to collect them from, thanks to the location.

People have to make their own decisions on whether it will work for them. I'm just trying to provide as much information as possible so they can make a good decision for themselves, based on their wants, needs, and situation. :)

Saint Cloud...
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9. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

adalau

Please make a trip report during or after your trip. Mention the gluten free restaurants/shops you went to.

I'll add the trip report to the gluten free page.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Best Location for Feb in Oahu-2 young kids & Gluten Free

beedoo.........Can you recommend this condo or any others with having actually booked & then stayed there?

It seems perhaps you could first qualify this in your posts & that your "favourites" or recommendations are based on your "google" research rather, than your own first hand evidence/experience.