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Please critique my Oahu itinerary

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New York City, New...
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Please critique my Oahu itinerary

My fiance and I will spend 7 days in Oahu and 7 days on Maui for our honeymoon in June. I've been reading through the TA forums to put together our Oahu itinerary - it's been an amazing resource!

We're staying at the Waikiki Parc Hotel. I've included my travel plans below - please let me know if this looks too ambitious or if anyone sees any 'musts' that I have missed - any any feedback in general is also very welcome. Thanks in advance!

Day 1 (Thursday, 6/5):

Arrive 2:30pm

Do Waikiki self-guided walking tour - http://www.waikikihistorictrail.com/

Sunset at Waikiki beach

Happy hour at Kalakua Avenue

Dinner

Day 2 (Friday, 6/6) – Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Beach in afternoon

Possibly surfing lesson at Waikiki

Catch Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show at 7:45

Day 3 (Saturday, 6/7) – Southeast and Windward

Dusty's Driving Tour #1 (Mini-Circle Island Tour) - thanks, Dusty!

• Snorkeling at Hanauma

• See the Halona Blow Hole

• Sandy Beach and Halona cove

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and Makapuu Point Lookout

• Eat in Waimanalo

• Beaches by Waimanalo (Waimanalo Bay / Bellows Beach / Lanikai Beach)

• Dinner at nearby restaurant (near Lanikai Beach / Kailua)

• Take Pali Highway (61) back to hotel

• Stop at Pali Lookout on the way back (on Pali Highway 61) if it’s light out

Day 4 (Sunday, 6/8) – Kailua Beach (snorkeling)

Kailua Beach Park

(Pick up a picnic lunch)

• Snorkeling

• Kayaking / windsurfing

• Evening: cocktails at House Without A Key

Day 5 (Monday, 6/9) - North Shore

• Dusty's Driving Tour #2 (Circle Island Tour)

• 2-hour ATV tour at Kualoa Ranch

• Haiku Gardens

• Valley of the Temples

• Dole Pineapple Center

• North shore beaches

Day 6 (Tuesday, 6/10) – Diamond Head and Honolulu

• Climb Diamond Head Summit

• Honolulu

• Hawai’i State Capitol, Ioani Palace, Kamekahema Status, Kawaiahao Church

• Can do Aloha Tower Marketplace for lunch

• Maybe go to top of Aloha tower for bird’s-eye view of Honolulu

• Chinatown & art galleries

Hawaii Maritime Center on the water

Day 7 (Wednesday, 6/11) – Polynesian Culture Center

Day 8 (Thursday, 6/12)

Breakfast

Depart to Maui at 1pm

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Saint Cloud...
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1. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Not much left in Aloha Tower Marketplace. Go to the observation deck in Aloha Tower. It is free. See the Top Question for Chinatown, Historic Honolulu & Aloha Tower.

Hawaii Maritime Center has closed.

Add National Cemetery of the Pacific & Roundtop Drive/Tantalus Drive. See the Top Questions for National Cemetery of the Pacific and Driving tours (#3).

Add Ala Moana Beach Park & Magic Island. In summer months, Magic Island is great for sunsets. Though the sun will set over the Ewa Plain.

For the Waikiki Historic trail, you can do it in one day or split it up on several days.

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2. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Are you considering jet lag in your plans? You'll probably be quite tired on your arrival day and it will take a few days to get used to the Hawaiian time zone. I wouldn't really plan on doing too much when you first arrive. You'll also probably wake up at 4-5am the first few days, too, and get sleepy early on in the evening.

Consider swapping Tuesday with Saturday so your driving tours aren't on the weekend, and then you can visit the KCC farmers market on Saturday AM before hiking Diamond Head.

Edited: 22 May 2014, 13:44
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3. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Make sure you allow time for Haleiwa on your north shore day. It's a cool town. I think your plans sound fun, not too scheduled.

My 2 cents on jet lag - I think it's best to push through (we have a 20 hour time difference to contend with!), your arrival day sounds low key enough. It's so nice to take a dip at sunset on your arrival day.

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Haleiwa
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4. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Great list, I will probably steal some for myself. Quick question, where do I find Dusty's Driving tours?

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5. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

That's a beautiful first-timer's itinerary. Busy, yes, but you are truly going to enjoy the beauty of Oahu. I'm tempted to hop on over to the Maui forum to see your itinerary there, too!

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Oklahoma City...
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6. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Day three is a big with snorkeling at Hunauma Bay followed by the lighthouse hike. The sightseeing in between won't take much time but you will need to get an early start to fit this in before lunch.

I think I am interpreting this correctly since you say you are eating in Waimanalo then again in Kailua. There aren't many places to eat in Waimanalo unless you want fast food. I would take out from L&L Drive In or Keneke's and eat on the beach. Both of these places serve plate lunches, a classic Hawaiian food item.

If you like or would like to try poke, go to Tasty Treats next to Shima's market in Waimanalo. If you ask for a "poke bowl" you will get poke of your choice on top of warm white rice. That also makes a nice beach lunch. It's take out only and buying there will make you feel like a local, as will shopping in Shima's.

Also, unless one member of your party has a military ID, Bellows beach is only open on weekends. The military uses the beach for training M-F. If you have a military ID you can use the beach inside Bellows AFS. Waimanalo Beach is part of the whole bay beach and will be much the same as Bellows. It's the most beautiful beach on the island, in my opinion.

Dinner in Kailua is a good idea but it will probably be dark for the drive back. I'm not sure what time of year you are going but most of the year sundown is around 7 PM so it will be dark unless you eat early. You could take a short detour between Waimanalo and Kailua and see the look out before your Kailua beach/dinner stop. It's only about 5-10 minutes up the road.

In Kailua we like the Willow Tree for casual Korean or Haleiwa Joe's for a nice dinner in a botanical garden, but there are many choices.

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7. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

+1 to Keneke's in Waimanalo. Its a total dive, but I love their Kalua pork.

My impression is that the snorkeling isn't that good near Kailua Beach Park. Maybe if you swim out to Flat Island it might be better. Instead, snorkel at nearby Lanikai beach since the reef is much closer to the shore over there.

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Santa Monica, CA
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8. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Chevy - the driving tours are on the right side of the page on a computer: Driving Tours on Oahu, the 6th item down. If using a phone or tablet, I believe you need to go to the bottom of the page to find those things.

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Saint Cloud...
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9. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

"Quick question, where do I find Dusty's Driving tours?"

In the Top Questions on the right side of this page. Driving Tours on Oahu

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10. Re: Please critique my Oahu itinerary

Neither Kailua Beach or Lanikai have good snorkeling unless you are looking for other critters besides fish. Yes, you can see some fish but there are much better places to snorkel on Oahu, especially during the summer months.

Check out the Pupukea/Waimea Marine Life Conservation District on the north shore. Three Tables and Shark's Cove are the best 2 places on this side of the island for snorkeling.

If you do want to snorkel while on the windward side, just past Makapuu is Kaiona Beach Park, nice little reef out there.

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