Just booked a solo trip landing in Honolulu on Dec 30th. I need to be in Kona the morning of January 2nd, but my time until then is completely unplanned. I know I'd like to take some surf lessons and do some hiking, perhaps visit the Pearl Harbor museum. I've been reading forums and looking at hotel descriptions and would love some more focussed advice. Here are my questions:
1) hotel suggestions. I don't really like crowds or touristy-type things, so I'm tempted to stay away from Waikiki. I do however, really like a great ocean view and as I've said I want to take surfing lessons - is Waikiki the best/only place for that? Would be nice to be able to walk to it. Price is not really a constraint.
2) New Year's Eve? I read about Duke's, sounds like it will be a madhouse. I'd love somewhere fun without being over the top, where I could sit and have a special dinner and a drink, preferably with a view, and perhaps a little entertainment.
Thanks in advance for any advice!