Hi all! I, along with my Navy hubby and 3 young sons have just moved back to the mainland after living 3 years on Oahu. I thought that maybe I could help answer some of your questions. We also island hopped to Kaui and the big island while there so we might be able to help with that as well (although Oahu is my expertise.)
Hope I can help!
Waiting impatiently for April 3rd and our cruise on the Elation.
Hello Terri! How lucky for you to get to spend three years in paradise! I was wondering what you could tell me about The Marriott Waikiki Beach? We will be staying there in April and was wondering if it is in a good location? Also, is it true that is is wise to stay away from the west end of the island after dark? We will be renting a car and will be doing alot of island exploring. Any comments would be greatly appreciated! Any favorite restaurants that we should visit?
Hi and nice to 'meet' you! First let me address the west coast question. The 'Leeward' coast as it is better known is the most under-developed area of the island and comparatively the poorest area of Oahu. It is more 'local' friendly as a good number of native hawaiian's live there. So I would have to say yes, stick to the other coasts after nightfall. As far as restuarants go, TAKE YOUR PICK!! No matter what your taste you will find something delicious to eat on this island. So it really depends on what you like. For a unique dinner you could go up the coast to the Pacific Beach Hotel which has as it's one wall a HUGE aquarium. And if anyone in your party is having a special occasion you can arrange to have one of the divers who feed the fish in this tank hold up a sign saying whatever you want. We brought our kids there one day and had them hold up a "Happy Birthday Casey" sign for my son. The name of the restaurant is the Oceanarium and here is a good link to it http://www.pacificbeachhotel.com/ocean.cfm . If you decide on a Luau, the best one on the island is at the Polynesian Cultural Center which is a great attraction in and of itself. Your hotel, The Marriott Waikiki Beach is a really good pick because of its proximity to Diamond Head. Try to get a room with a balcony facing east for a spectacular view. Get up really early to see an amazing sunrise! Since you are renting a car you should take a few hours to circle the island (3 hours actually). If you don't want to do that you should at least take H3 (yes, even though it is an island Oahu has INTERSTATES, !) from its starting point near Pearl Harbor NE over the mountains to Kaneohe. Don't be deceived by the fog or rain you may encounter while going over the mountains there; it IS a rainforest afterall. Even though we traveled over those mountains to Kaneohe numerous times we NEVER got tired of seeing the whole pacific ocean open up in front of us like some amazing jewel. It almost brings tears to my eyes remembering it. It is an image that will forever live with me. That side of the island by the way, is almost always sunny so if you encounter rain in Waikiki just take a jump over H3 to the other side! Once you get down to that coast look behind you to see how amazing the mountains look from a distance. You can also glimpse small waterfalls coming down the crevices within the mountain walls. Hope this helps!
Thanks Terri.... this is so kind of you!!!!
We leave in 9 days for Oahu! We are renting a car at the airport and then heading up to the North Coast (near the Culture Center) Later in the week we move down to the Hiton in Honolulu before our cruise. Our friends insist on going to the Luau at Paradise Cove vs. the one at the center
We will be staying in a condo and will need to stop and get groceries. I don't think there is a store close to the area. Do we need to stop in Honolulu and get groceries there?
Thank you so much Terri for your geat information. We are SO looking forward to being in Hawaii this time around. Just about worn out our desire for the Caribbean. Been there TOO many times over the past few years. Also, what would you say is absoltley the most gorgeous beach on the island of Oahu? I hear it is Lanikae. Any other info would be so greatly appreciated.
Would you recommend seeing Hawaii by land or cruise ship for a first timer? My sister and her hubby are planning on going in September for an anniversary. They only have a week and the reviews for the Pride of Aloha which is the only ship doing 7 day iteneraries aren't that great. I know that he wants to do deep sea fishing and she wants to go to the PCC but other than that they don't really care what they do. Her main goal is just to go to Hawai! Any tips you have would be great. YOu could email me directly if you would like. Do you know of any deep sea diving that is better than others?
I belive in unicorns, dragons, good men and all mythical creatures.
I am also thinking of going to Hawaii next January and was thinking of either doing land or sea. Which do you think? I lived there for 13 months when I was married the first time in 1977 when my husband was in the Navy. He had just got out of boot camp so no money and could not afford to do things. I have always wanted to go back and see the sights nad the other islands. What are the don't miss things?