1. I would be remiss to not mention food only because what is a vacation without unique food experiences. Poke ( pronounced Poe -Kay ) is raw tuna or ahi. Foodland makes it very good and so does Food trucks near Chinaman’s hat! I had the best poke from a guy who buys it fresh from the fish auction. Rib lets from Helenas or Highway Inn are amazing also. Leonard’s bakery is a must stop if you have a sweet tooth! You never had a better donut in your life. Please rent a car to drive to these great eating spots! Their is a truck parked on the other side of the island also serving Leonard’s pastries. God I wish I had ate more then one!! Last but not least – I recommend trying bonefish in gravy. I had this at the Highway Inn. This is authentic cuisine which is a fave of the locals and now I know why. Bonefish is hard to catch! Ask any fly fisherman trying to catch one of these silvery skinned strong fish who fight hard when they are reeled in even by the most experienced fisherman.
2. The next logical stop is a great hike to burn those calories off after eating so good! That would be diamond head. The photo above I took on the initial hike up looking down toward the man made Tunnel to get inside the volcano which is where the adventure begins. After you spend a good hour and a half hike with plenty of water and macadamia cliff bars- you will find yourself overlooking the most gorgeous views of Oahu. This national park is visited by at least a million people a year! I met one man who runs it 4 times a week up and down for exercise! Wow. Now that is a motivator.
3. Seeing the firework show done every Friday at 745p by the Hilton is a must. You can enjoy the beautiful sunset while sipping on a Mai Tai sitting on Waikiki Beach culminated by the sky lit up by fireworks. It is Nivana!
4. Rent a car to go to The Polynesian Culture center. My dollar rental magazine had a coupon for buy one get one free into this awesome attraction! That was a $60 savings and worth every penny. Don’t ya think my smile indicates that!
5. Don’t forget to enjoy nature. The birds are adorable.
6. Enjoy the environmental aspects of the islands by checking out the rich coral, fish, and rich history found in what lies beneath the sea. Ok – maybe it’s just those hot chicks on surf boards. Even the dude surfer seems to be about to fall off his board staring those girls down!
7. Go explore the island by driving leisurely down perhaps the Wainae Coast. You will experience a slower pace, but I must warn you that there is heavy traffic at times so being patience is a must. I found it worth it. The views were worth it on the secluded beaches we found to enjoy.
8. Make sure to take in some history by seeing Pearl Harbor or visiting the rich history of the military bases. There a few ways to enjoy this. One is by tour guide that I think is a must if you are short on time. My favorite way again is by renting a car. It is fairly easy to snag a free ticket to ferry across to The USS Arizona Memorial. Warning: windy weather can cancel ferry service . Get there by 630am and you are sure to get on a ferry as the wind will not have kicked up that early in the morning.
9. Make sure to visit one of the five botanical gardens. I was mesmerized by the beauty at Wahiawa.
10. Please think about going to the Aloha Bowl on either Wednesday , Saturday , or Sunday. You will definitely enjoy the opportunity to save money on a souvenir that could cost you half of what you might pay in downtown Honolulu.
Please return soon as I will expand on a few of these tips in the next couple of blog posts!