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What to do and see in Hawaii?

calebibcalebib Senior MemberPosts: 1,701 Senior Member
Ana and I are heading to Hawaii for about 9 days soon and I'm looking for some suggestions for things to see and places to go. We're flying in to Honolulu and we are staying about an hour away for two nights before we fly down to Hilo on the Big Island for the rest of the trip where we'll be staying with some friends.

While in Honolulu we are going to Pearl Harbor and we've heard to North Shore is really worth seeing. Once we head down to the Big Island we want to go see the lava flows and the humpback whale viewing is supposed to be good this time of year. We'd love to go camping somewhere off the beaten path and avoid to super touristy areas as much as possible, ideally some secluded beach or somewhere else picturesque.

Neither of us has ever been to Hawaii and we want to make the most of our trip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Replies

  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,598 Senior Member
    I moved to Waimea on TBI in July of 2012 but have since moved to a little town just outside of Hilo and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

    If you can get your hands on a copy of this book it will add enormously to your visit to TBI. Get it beforehand and use it to make plans.

    http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/book-updates/big-island

    I think we paid $20.00 for ours and it's worth twice that.

    I know I'll come up with more as I think about it and if your friends live here then they'll know all the local spots also but my initial thoughts are Honolulu, yeah, Pearl Harbor is a must and the North Shore is gorgeous. All of Oahu is pretty touristy and I only go there for work But maybe Slanty Eyed Shootist can steer you in the right direction. He's from Hawaii.

    As far as TBI, I have been on the night time snorkeling trips to see the Manta Rays and it is definitely worth it!!
    We took a boat ride to see the lava where it enters the ocean and that also was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'll never forget.

    DSCN0804-1.jpg

    Relatively uncrowded beaches on TBI are Puako, A-Bay at Waikoloa, Hapuna Beach is great if you get there before 9:00. Great snorkeling at Hapuna.

    There is an incredible Botanical Garden near Hilo. Akaka falls is a must as well as Waipio Valley. Shame on me but I have yet to go to Volcano but I hear that is a must.

    I'll think of more later . . .

    If you have time, maybe we can get together and share some Smoke Pork Lau lau, open a few Longboard Lagers and talk story.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,638 Senior Member
    U.S.S. Missouri, U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, the Punch Bowl...for starters...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    If you're into seafood, you have to make time to eat at Duke's. Freshest tasting seafood I've ever had, hands-down.

    As for stuff to see, I agree with PFD and Jayhawker: Pearl Harbor is a must. The USS Arizona Memorial is downright haunting. You are literally standing over the sunken ship and can still smell oil that slowly rises out of it, a drop or two at a time. I forget the estimate, but this still hundred of gallons still in it.

    While you're there, also check out the USS Missouri. That ship has seen some serious action and still has a very large...eh, dent...in it from where a Kamikaze plane skipped off of its side.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,467 Senior Member
    just being there is going to be fun. Way better weather overthere than here this time of the year. January is my fav time to go there since its in the usually in the 70s (cold for them) and warm for me. even if it rains, its like a warm shower.

    Spend some time in honolulu and wikiki beach. If both of you are mobile you can walk from one end to another. Its touristy, but is hawaii and everytime go i stay at least one night there.

    If you want, there is the Royal Hawaiian Mall with alot of high end shops i cant afford, but its fun to see how the are catering towards the more affluent, its located on the beach side. at one time the had a shooting range for the tourist. it was expensive, but i did it for S&G. all of the guns were tethered and all were 22LR. more or less across the street is an "international market" with lots of stalls/shops and such. mostly junk, but you can wonder around there.

    there are/were a couple gun shops in honolulu too. the prices on them were higher than here the last time i was there, but they did have some really nice toys and older ones too. one of them had a indoor range where there were several japanese tourist having fun. most of them were shooting ARs.

    You will need to buy at least one "Red Dirt shirt" too. there is a story of how they came into being and its cool. They have a web site and you can find the stores on the island you will be on. The RDS stores offer more than the shops that just have a few of them.

    iirc, there is a military musuem? near wikiki.

    everytime i go there i want to drive up to the NS but i get so comfy, i just become a couch potato.

    i havent been to the big island yet, but you can do a horseback ride into the volcano area. i want to do that when i go there.


    one thing you may notice is that the hotels in wikiki really dont have outside walls on the lower level. Its like an open plan. Several time while i was walking around, i ended up in a hotel lobby. its just something i noticed while i was there. Some of them on the other islands will have the same.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    You've got to visit Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It's in Honolulu situated in a dormant volcano crater. It always left very emotional and humble to be there.

    Watch the news before heading to the North Shore. There have been some humongous surf out there lately. You could get stuck in really bad, lookyloo traffic out there. If the surf is calmer now, Shark's Cove is a really cool place to see. It's on the North Shore. I once saw a humpback breach only a short ways offshore there. Awesome! cross the street from the cove is a road that will take you to an ancient heiau, a sacred Hawaiian site. You get a great view from there. Make sure to bring some fruits or other food to leave as an offering at the heiau.

    And don't forget to enjoy the Hawaii State Sport, eating. The state motto is "Eat to sleep, sleep to eat."
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    You've got to visit Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It's in Honolulu situated in a dormant volcano crater. It always left very emotional and humble to be there.

    Watch the news before heading to the North Shore. There have been some humongous surf out there lately. You could get stuck in really bad, lookyloo traffic out there. If the surf is calmer now, Shark's Cove is a really cool place to see. It's on the North Shore. I once saw a humpback breach only a short ways offshore there. Awesome! cross the street from the cove is a road that will take you to an ancient heiau, a sacred Hawaiian site. You get a great view from there. Make sure to bring some fruits or other food tileave as an offering at the heiau.

    And don't forget to enjoy the Hawaii State Sport, eating. The state motto is "Eat to sleep, sleep to eat."
    I've been to Hawaii and got out of the airport exactly twice. I spent five days there both times. I've never been anywhere but Ouahu. That was more than I could stand. Pearl Harbor with the Big Mo and Arizona Shrine are a must for any American. But Slandeyed is a Native from there so I know he would be a great guide, however he doesn't live there anymore. Too bad, because he could put a different "Slant" on things, :jester:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,598 Senior Member
    Caleb, check your IM.

    Paul
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,467 Senior Member
    I forgot to add about Pearl.

    they have a tour bus. more like a hop-on-hop-off bus that takes you to ford island. there you can access the Missouri and the Aviation Museums. when i was there they had 2 of the 3 buildings with Aviation stuff. The 3 building was being used by some SEALS for training. the island is still active so you cant wonder around, but the things to do/see was nice. depending on how much time you spend in each area, you could easily spend the whole AM/PM there.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    We got married on the big island and spent two weeks there 11 years ago.

    Mona Loa nut factory tour outside Hilo is delicious...

    The observatories at the top of Mona Kea are fun too, but be aware you leave Kona or Hilo at sea level and arrive at the observatory summit at 14,000 feet in a matter of hours. My wife had altitude sickness and we had to come down.

    A helicopter trip over the volcanoes is a hoot.

    In Kona, do a coffee tour of Greenwell farms.

    The botanical garden in Hilo is excellent and on a must list.

    The Hilo Farmers market is also a must. http://www.hilofarmersmarket.com/
    not only food but excellent local crafts, I would go on a Saturday early.

    Hilo is a more industrial port like city and not real touristy.
    It also has it's bad parts so be aware.

    Kona is Tourist central. Waimea is a more normal town. The north shore is absolutely small town.

    One of the neatest things about the big island is how the weather works. The prevailing winds are from east to west, and with mona kea and mona loa the force the air up and it rains on the east side of the island and it is lush. Just west of Waimea there is a line where the vegetation and rainfall change. It is almost desert like and dry on the west side and incredibly quiet compared to the east side of the island.

    We rented a jeep to run around because some of the remote roads are not in great shape.

    Enjoy!


    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK!!! how could I forget.... worthwhile! Walk out onto the active lava flows and visit the park restaurant and tour lava tubes and the fauna.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I should also add that the Dole plantation is pretty cool. I had never seen exactly how pineapples are grown until I check it out. I didn't realize just how long they take to bear fruit (2 -3 years) before the tour.

    http://www.dole-plantation.com/
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Forgot to add, you'll be able to see snow on the Big Island. Top of the volcanoes. Yep, snow in Hawaii.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    The observatories at the top of Mona Kea are fun too, but be aware you leave Kona or Hilo at sea level and arrive at the observatory summit at 14,000 feet in a matter of hours. My wife had altitude sickness and we had to come down.

    We were thinking about going there. The altitude is no problem though, our house is at 8400 feet above sea level and we going hiking at over 12,000 frequently.
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    I should also add that the Dole plantation is pretty cool. I had never seen exactly how pineapples are grown until I check it out. I didn't realize just how long they take to bear fruit (2 -3 years) before the tour.

    http://www.dole-plantation.com/

    That looks interesting as does the macadamia nut farm.
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,626 Senior Member
    When I lived there, Hanauma Bay was high on my list. It's a fish sanctuary not too far from Honolulu. Great snorkeling, and the fish have no fear!
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,466 Senior Member
    If it was me, I would want to look into hunting and fishing also.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    Spam is the state food.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    If it was me, I would want to look into hunting and fishing also.

    Wild hogs and wild turkeys, correct? I don't think there's much else outside on enclosed ranches as far as hunting, but the fishing, I would imagine, should be excellent.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Hunting at the Parker Ranch... meh.

    http://parkerranch.com/waimea/hunting/

    Fishing for tuna! :cool2:

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    I looked into hunting but it's pretty pricey. I think I'll be spending too much time drinking on the beach to do much hunting anyways.
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