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I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

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Atlanta,GA
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65 posts
35 reviews
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I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Well folks, the title says it all. Hubby and I will be in Oahu 9/20-9/25 for the first time and I would really like your constructive input on our itinerary. We are in our early 30s and love good food, nature, music and shopping, as well as just lounging on the beach. Here goes:

9/20- *Fly in and arrive at the hotel

*Aloha Festival activities- Will there be a lot to do that night? Parades, food vendors, etc. or should we make other plans (?)

9/21- *Brunch at Orchids

*(Not sure what to do in Waikiki this day. Need suggestions. We won't have a car until Monday.)

*Dinner Cruise

9/22- *Hanuama Bay snorkeling

* Stop by Ono Hawaiian and Leonard's for lunch

* (Need suggestions for 2-3 hours in Waikiki before we pick up the car. Could we rely on The Bus and go to Kailua/ Lanikai Beach?)

9/23- *North Shore Day- We plan on doing the Tantalus Drive and dropping by Byodo-In Temple before heading up North. We want to do a shoreline drive from kualoa beach park to hale'iwa where we'll have lunch and shave ice. We may kayak in kahana bay and do some shopping.

* No plans for the evening, but if we feel up to it are there any clubs/lounges for early 30's into pop/hip hop ?

9/24- * Aloha Swap Meet

* Day in Kailua. Lanikai Beach and Makapuu Lighthouse

* Chief's Luau. Are there any discounts for this show in local booklets? I've searched online and can't find anything.

9/25- Late flight out so we are going to

*Drive the Kahala neighborhood. See Diamond Head.

*Explore Chinatown

*Grab dinner at Nico's Pier 38 or La Mariana. (Please weigh in on which is better.)

That's all I have so far. I am looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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42,858 posts
19 reviews
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1. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

<<North Shore Day- We plan on doing the Tantalus Drive and dropping by Byodo-In Temple before heading up North.>> Do you have a good map? Tantalus is in the wrong direction. Your plan zig-zags.

<<Aloha Swap Meet * Day in Kailua. Lanikai Beach and Makapuu Lighthouse>> Again, that route doesn't make sense.

Do you have a good map of Oahu?

I don't know why you would want to drive the "Kahala neighborhood." You can see Diamond Head from ALL over the place. If you want to go to Chinatown ... why not include Iolani Palace. Hawaii was a kingdom, the Iolani is the only royal palace in the US. Learn a bit of Hawaiian history.

I would take a sunset catamaran sail rather than a dinner cruise.

Seattle
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4,687 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Agreeing about taking the catamaran sail rather than the dinner cruise. Both the price and the food quality on the dinner cruises get terrible reviews! You can go out for dinner someplace good after your cat sail.

If you can only go to Nico's or La Mariana, I'd suggest La Mariana. The tiki bar atmosphere is magical. But why not do both??

Atlanta,GA
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65 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Thanks BLBL. I have the best map- Google : 0. I do realize there will be some zig zagging, but I want to be sure we get these things in. The only day we will have a car for the swap meet is Wednesday- otherwise we would spend all day in the Kailua area. That's why I asked about The Bus. From what I am reading, it's not always timely. Iolani Palace is on my short list. I can certainly add it to the itinerary.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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3 reviews
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4. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Actually TheBus runs on a tight schedule and it more often than not is on time!! It just takes forever to get anywhere on it. Is there some big draw for the swap meet? I've been on Oahu for a total of over 7 years and I've never been.

Atlanta,GA
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65 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

No big draw at all to the swap meet. I just thought it would be a good place to grab some souvenirs. I am completely open to other ideas on where to shop.

Oklahoma City...
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1,380 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

If you don't have a big desire to go to the swap meet I would skip it. Whole the prices are low at there a lot of the stuff at the swap meet is imported and not made in Hawaii at all. There are many places to buy souvenirs if price is not your main goal.

With limited time and a route that takes you in the opposite direction I woild skip it.

Philadelphia, PA
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1,101 posts
27 reviews
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7. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

The first response hit it on the head, you need a better map!

First full day, spend on Waikiki beach. Definitely do a catamaran sail instead of dinner cruise, then enjoy a decent dinner at one of the Waikiki restaurants.

Second day, how are you getting to Hanauma Bay and then back to Ono Hawaiian/Leonard's, if this is all before you pick up the car? Definitely no time to mess with a bus to Kailua in there. Maybe a stop at Koko Marina Center for a bit? There's a Kona Brewery there that's nice for a meal, also some watersports rentals available.

Third Day- North Shore, stop at the Byodo In Temple first, just before Kualoa Ranch, then drive your loop to Haleiwa and do the Tantalus drive at the end. Zig zagging in morning traffic is just nonsense.

Fourth Day- definitely don't start at the Swap meet before heading the other direction to Kailua, again AM traffic to consider. How about a Diamond Head hike in the morning instead of just "seeing it"? You can definitely drive through Kahala on the way to Kailua on this day too.

Last day- If you're spending part of the day in Chinatown (which honestly can be over pretty quick) then you are right there to see part of downtown too, ie. Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Hawaii State Art Museum, etc. La Mariana is a nice stop near the airport. I haven't tried Nico's yet, but hear mostly good comments with some saying it has slipped some.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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19 reviews
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8. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

You need a real map ... something you can spread out on the table and study. Get a feel for the topography ... and big picture. Google maps are cool ... but they aren't a substitute for large paper versions.

Also - given all the WONDERS of Oahu ... I would not put the Swap Meet on your list. It's mainly junk imported from SE Asia and China ... or "seconds" (merchandise with flaws) ... and it is HOT. There are so many places to shop on Waikiki - as well as the Ward Centers and Ala Moana (shopping) Center. To go out of your way for the Swap Meet when you have so few days ... isn't wise. Keep your eyes open for arts and crafts fairs, too.

Consider adding another car rental day.

Oklahoma City...
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3 reviews
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9. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Sorry, I disagree about maps. We travel all over the world and have not used a paper map for years. You can easily enlarge or reduce a Google map, and you can use the satellite feature to see topography way better than you can with a paper map.

You can use Google maps to zoom in on a destination and see the actual buildings, you can't do that with a paper map.

If you feel more comfortable with a paper map go ahead and use one, but for some people a digital one is more functinal.

Newport Beach...
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10. Re: I'd love YOUR input with my itinerary.

Don't forget to factor in a little jet lag....even with just the 3 hours we experience coming from CA it takes a day or so to get caught up. So don't plan too much your first day...just enjoy a cocktail or two and a dip in the ocean...you're now in paradise! :-)

I love your plan to have brunch at Orchids! Excellent!!

When you get your rental car enjoy your trip to Lanikai and Kailua....stop and have lunch along the way at Buzz's Original Steak House in Kailua....really good food and drinks....now go and have fun at beautfiul Lanikai Beach...one of my favorties!

Have fun!