Kauai Day Tour

A morning flight to Kauai will allow you to enjoy a scenic ride up to the lush Wailua River & Fern Grotto, and the Waimea Canyon, also known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Ironically, from one of Kauai’s driest canyons will be able to see the world’s wettest mountain a few miles away that is always covered with clouds.

These are two of Kauai’s most popular attractions, with the canyon being one of nature’s most spectacular creations, and the fern grotto being one of the most romantic, which is why many honeymoons prefer this Hawaiian island. If you take a bus tour you see even more attractions. Throughout the day you can:

View a Russian Fort that was built on the west coastline of Kauai over a hundred years ago. You will see why many Western powers coveted Hawaii as a prime destination in the middle of the South Pacific.

Drive through the South Coast Poipu Resort to shop and do some sightseeing. If you don’t get the chance to see the ocean often from where you live, you will find the Spouting Horn to be an interesting phenomena. Take care not to get too close to it and watch your step along the rocks. Never face your back to the ocean if the waves are pounding hard on the rocks. Check out Koloa Sugar Mill, Queen Victoria ‘s profile and Nawiliwili Harbor to give you an idea what life was like in Kauai Stop for lunch at the Poipu Grill or the Lihue Restaurant for a refreshing meal break in a beautiful relaxing setting.

Cruise the beautiful Wailua River and enjoy a quiet ride while being serenaded by lovely hula dancers and listening to charming Hawaiian musicians. Near Kapaa, you can visit the Coco Palms Grove and see sacred birth stones used by ancient Hawaiian royalty.

Finish off your Kauai Day Tour by taking in the picturesque Opekaa Falls. Take time to meet the kind local people of Kauai. They truly personify Hawaii’s warm and friendly “Aloha Spirit”.

What You Should Think About When Booking Hawaii Hotels

Going on your Hawaiian adventure starts with the flights, but booking it starts with the hotel. Before you can enjoy the beaches and the culture you need to find a great hotel where you can dump your luggage. Whether you’re looking online or going through a travel agent, booking your an Hawaiian hotel has never been easier with this article.

The first thing to think about is where you’re staying. The Hawaiian Interisland Ferry is not back running yet, and it might not be for a while, so the only way to get from island to island is by helicopter or plane. Flights from Honolulu on Oahu to Kona on The Big Island are around $75 US per person each way and take around 40 minutes. For someone on a tight budget, making this as a day trip might be too much money, but for those who will only get to see the islands once in their life, this might be an expense worth taking. To help you get a better picture of this, you can depart Honolulu at 9am and arrive at Kona at 9:40am, spend a day on the big island touring up the volcanoes and, and then depart at 6pm and arrive back in time for the Honolulu night life at 6:40. These flights ensure that you can stay the bulk of your time on one island and then venture to the others when you please.

The second thing to think about is what type of hotel you want and need. Like every part of the world, Hawaii is home to beautiful five-star luxury hotels and one-star backpacker lodges, and it’s your choice how you want to spend your time and money. If you’ve never been to Hawaii before and you may never get the opportunity to go again then a higher rated hotel may be the best option for you. Many of the big name hotel chains are on the island, and these cater to tourists. The concierge will be able to answer most questions that you have, and they will be able to book bus and helicopter tours for you. They will also point you to the local favourites if you ask them nice enough. Staying in a lower rated Hawaii hotels and backpacker facilities have their benefits, because every cent you save can go towards your activities during the day. Spend some amount of time to get the best!

Interesting Things About Hawaii

Isolated Paradise

Even though Hawaii is part of the United States, the state certainly isn’t anywhere nearby. In fact, Hawaii really isn’t near anyone else. The islands are considered the most isolated population center on the planet. Here are some statistics to show just how remote this paradise is:

o Nearly 2,400 miles from California
o Almost 3,900 miles from Japan
o About 4,900 miles from China
o More than 5,200 miles from the Philippines

In the case of this island paradise, isolation won’t make you feel cut off from the rest of the world, however. You can find all of the same luxuries but without as much traffic, smog, noise, and pollution.

Land of Two Languages (and More)

The United States may not have an official language, but Hawaii has two according to its Constitution. According to the governing document, both English and Hawaiian are recognized languages in the state and all government business must also be conducted in Hawaiian. Hawaiian originated from a type of Polynesian language that was brought to the islands by the original inhabitants. Today, many people who were born into the Hawaiian culture speak pidgin which is a combination of the two languages with some parts of others thrown in. While Hawaiian and English are the two official languages, you’ll find others spoken on the islands as well. Nearly 5 percent of the population speaks Japanese and another almost 2% speak Chinese.

Unique Time Zone

When you travel throughout the United States by car, bus, train, or plane, you’re likely to cross into some different time zones. Of course, the difference isn’t much – an hour one way or another. However, if you’re flying to Hawaii that’s going to be an entirely different story because the state has its own time zone.

Known as Hawaiian Standard Time, the whole state is always 2 hours behind Pacific time and a full five hours behind Eastern time. That means when the alarm goes off at 5 in the morning in New York the midnight party is just getting started in Hawaii.

Tasty Exported Treats

Hawaii is home to some of the country’s most unique agricultural products. Considering its unique environment, this should be of no surprise. Most visitors to the island aren’t surprised that two of the biggest crops are pineapple and sugar cane. In fact, nearly one third of all money earned from exported agricultural products comes from pineapple. However, one of the popular crops does surprise some tourists. That crop is coffee. Hawaii is the only U. S. state where coffee can be and is grown.

Walk on Magma

The Hawaiian Islands didn’t just pop up one day in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They were formed thanks to volcanic activity. About 70 million years ago, that part of the ocean was known as a hot spot meaning it was a point of intense and recurring volcanic activity. As one of the earth’s plates moved over the volcanic area, the islands were formed from the magma which emerged and dried into igneous rock which became the foundation for all of the islands.

Many Places to See

While Hawaii is sometimes thought of as a single destination, it actually consists of eight main islands: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Ni’ihau. While all eight of these islands provide picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, they aren’t all going to give you quite the same experience. Kaho’olawe, for example, is the only one which is uninhabited. Maui, on the other hand, is the hot tourist destination for North American travelers while Oahu is the choice for Asian vacationers. That means both islands are going to have all the tourist trappings you’ll either love or hate. If you want something different during your visit, Molokai may be a good choice. As one of the least developed islands and one with a higher percentage of native Hawaiian residents, visiting the island can make you feel transported back in time.

Experience a New Culture

Even through Hawaii is part of the United States, the state’s isolation and unique cultural history has set it apart from the rest of the country in many ways. In fact, going to Hawaii can feel almost as foreign as going to an entirely different place, except you can still speak English and don’t have to worry about the exchange rate for the dollar.

While you’re on the island, you may get a chance to experience some of the cultural differences. Many of these, such as the luau, are demonstrated for tourists. Other traditions, like driving slower, will be things you’ll experience yourself and will have to become accustomed to while on the islands.

Home to the Only Royal Residence in the United States

For those unfamiliar with the history of Hawaii, the presence of a royal palace may be a bit of a surprise. But before the state became part of the country, it was run as a monarchy and the Iolani Palace in Honolulu about ten minutes from Waikiki. This palace was built by Hawaii’s final king, David Kalakaua. The total construction cost was $360,000 when it was finished in 1882. Even more interesting was that the palace was more advanced than the U. S. White House at the time. The palace had telephones and electric lights which wouldn’t be true of the White House for a little while still. Self-guided and guided tours of the residence are available and well worth the time.

Leave the Black Sand

On some of the Hawaiian beaches, you’ll find black sand. While it may be tempting to take some with you as a souvenir, the island’s mythology would strongly warn against such actions. That’s because taking the sand is said to anger Pele, the goddess of the volcanoes. She’s definitely not someone you would want to have on your bad side.

If you are worried about Pele, you may also want to be on the lookout for the ghostly Night Marchers who are said to roam in some parts of the island.

Most Affordable San Francisco Tours

Travel & tourism in USA which was affected due to recession is just coming out of the blues. All the savings & discounts given by companies like Travelocity have revived the industry. Travel package sales & reservation info chart have indicated that the following of the top 5 holiday spots; Hawaii, Vegas, Florida, California & Texas. Exotic locales, scenic landscapes, historical significance, salubrious climate, fun-filled casinos, pro-active ambience & such favorable environs do the spade work. SF is on the tour map of the international visitors. Of late, Hollywood & its dream merchants slowly fall within the selective category.

Honeymoon couples prefer to visit Hawaii. People with wanderlust get all info from Internet regarding hotel, airline, car-rentals, package details, discount rates, travel duration, etc. Leading tourism companies like Travelocity offer online info about what all you want. Travelocity provides ample concessions & sumptuous savings.

The following tips will help reduce your expenses. You can rent a car one day. Cable cars & the Muni are other alternatives for your travel within the city. Cable cars are cheap & funny. Muni also allows you to cut the expenses with their all day pass.

Purchase a city pass. This will get you into 6 famous SF attractions. You have 9 days of fun & frolic. It includes tickets to the De Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and Aquarium of the Bay, SF Museum of Modern Art, Exploratorium, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, and choice of either California Academy of Sciences & Steinhart Aquarium or Asian Art Museum. The value of the pass is only $49. One more super deal is the Alcatraz & SF City Tour. Tariff is only $71 per person. The tour of Alcatraz including the ferry ride over will compensate your payment. In addition you can undertake a city tour & visit China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, Victorian Mansions, Palace of Fine Arts, and North Beach, Presidio National Park besides marvelous views of Alcatraz & the Ocean. Tickets to Alcatraz often sell out fast. So, book in advance. You can get more discounts from the Concierge at your hotel. SF is the one of the most-visited tourist hot spots in the world with their use of cliffs & sea & fast-changing city landscapes.

City sightseeing runs SF bus tour. They arrange open top, English style double deckers. The tour guide is thoroughly professional with all the details on the fingertips. There are two tours Downtown loop tour & Golden Gate loop tour. In the second one, there are captivating visuals which tempt you to visit again. The tour bus transports you over the Golden Gate. It comes to a stop at a vista point permitting you to take snaps of the bridge. It also passes through presidio, past mansions worth of millions before reaching Fisherman’s Wharf. In the other Downtown loop tour, you can travel wherever you want. Buses run every 30 minutes. Bus stops at China Town, Union Square, Civic Center, Ferry Building, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf & the Soma District. Lombard Street is full of curves & contours the Crookedest Street. People drive down just for the heck of it. According to the guide, China Town is the largest congregation of Chinese Restaurants & open air markets. Next in order is North Beach known for the Italian dishes. There are many Italian cafes here like Pinocchio’s.

If you buy tickets online, instead of at the City Sightseeing office, you can save atleast $3 per ticket. You can enjoy city tours with airport shuttle service which operates between San Francisco Airport & San Francisco Hotels. There is provision for high speed Internet, TV Entertainment & baby car seat. They offer one way & round trip services. If you want to visit SF city, you can avail of the joint service from SF airport shuttle & city tour with abundant discounts. This involves a ferry trip to Sausalito. You can get a bird’s eye view with this 5 hours trip & 9 stops in between. Bay area, Angel Island, Alcatraz, Sausalito, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, Palace of Fine Arts, Nob Hill, Grey’s Cathedral, Lombard Street, GG Park, Japanese Tea Garden, Alamo Square & Cable Car Barn Museum. At Alcatraz, Bay Bridge, Angel Island from ferry, Coit tower, Sutro Tower, De Young Museum, Chrissy Field, City Hall, Conservatory of Flowers & Market Street a sumptuous food for a long-waiting glutton indeed. Book the tours atleast 48 hours in advance. Shuttle Tour Company operates 35 passenger shuttles. They also provide one day Muir Woods & Wine Country tours. One can visit Napa Winners. It includes a picnic ride over the Golden Gate Bridge & ferry bay cruise to San Francisco. Shopping at Sausalito & Golden Gate Bridge will be a fascinating experience for the tourists.

Location Aware Self Guided Tours Will Change the Way You Tour Forever

This is the newest trend in travel today.

Many of us have heard of GPS devices. You may even have one in your car or on your phone. These are a good idea. If you’ve not used one, let me explain. With a GPS device, you can type in an address (and some phones are even voice activated) and your device will find it for you and give you directions to reach that destination. As long as the mapping software is current, you’re good to go, right? Some of these devices can even store and find multiple way points (points that you program in) for you, giving you a route between each point. But what happens when you are on vacation and you want to tour the sights in a new area?

This is where Location Aware Touring comes in. These new devices use the same GPS technology, but in a different way. Now you don’t have to type in any addresses. Simply turn it on and start driving. Location aware devices know where you are and point out the sites along the way. These are called Points of Interest (POI). Some GPS devices you get with a rental car may have some of these POI included. They often brag about 30 or 50 POI. But there is a new breed of companies on the touring horizon.

These new pioneers are taking the bull-by-the-horns and rustling up 300-500 POI, in a given area, so that the visitor is treated to the equivalent of having a friend, who lives in that area, show them all the best attractions and also the secret spots no tour bus goes to. But not just sights. They also include shopping, dining, parks, beaches, cultural and historic landmarks. Many will list all the hotels and resorts in that area, so that when you’re done touring for the day you can find your way back easily. I found one device that even had a restroom button. It actually shows you where the next public restroom is located.

But that’s not all. These companies are popping up all over. I found websites for Location Aware (or GPS Tour) companies around Yellowstone National Park, Mt. Rushmore, San Francisco (this one was an electric car with the tour built in), on the Big Island of Hawaii, Canada, England (a 900 pub tour and more) and Paris, France. Each has their own features unique to their environment and location. I even found a website that offers software to build your own location aware tours.

But, as Ron Propiel would say, “there’s even more!” On the Big Island of Hawaii Donald MacGowan, co-owner of one of these innovative companies, says they will soon offer their Location Aware Tours, complete with videos of all 500 “sites” that will be downloadable to your iphone, 3G, Instinct, or Dare, so that before you leave on your Hawaii vacation you will have everything you need when you arrive. It takes all the stress away and saves, time, gas and money.

Now you can see why it is so hot!! It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s the way it should be. Just search for location aware tours or GPS tours for a complete list of companies offering this exciting new way to travel. Have fun.

Discover Polynesia – North Shore Hawaii

On Hawaii’s North Shore of Oahu sits one of its greatest attractions: The Polynesian Cultural Center. Stretching over 43 acres, the Polynesian Cultural Center features seven different Polynesian villages including Hawaii, Aotearoa (the Maori people of New Zealand), Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, and the Marquesas. These villages represent seven island nations in the Polynesian triangle.

In each village, you will see the native peoples of each nation right at home. You will experience a delicious blend of sites, shows, activities and food that will surely satisfy your cultural palate. Your experience will be authentic because you’ll find that the people in each village actually come from the island nation that the village represents. The villagers are usually students of the Brigham Young University- Hawaii campus and have come to Hawaii not only to be educated, but to educate others about their homeland. Approximately 700 students from Brigham Young University- Hawaii work at the Polynesian Cultural Center to put themselves through school.

Besides the shows and demonstrations in the villages, don’t miss the other great shows that the Center has to offer. There’s the Rainbows of Paradise, where you’ll see the villagers dancing on canoes in the waters of the Center. It’s pretty funny when there’s so much hip-shaking going on that one of the dancers actually falls off of the canoe and into the water! You can also visit the IMAX Theater to watch Coral Reef Adventures on a 65 ft. by 93 ft. screen. It’s surreal! You’ll feel as though you’re diving through the waters of Polynesia, discovering the beautiful wildlife that it has to offer. Finally, don’t forget to watch the Horizons show in the evening. This spectacular show is featured in the 2800-seat Pacific Theater, and is the final attraction of the night. It’s kind of like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, you won’t feel complete without it. With over 90 minutes of jaw dropping hip shaking, fire-knife dancing, warrior drumming excitement and more, you will more than get your money’s worth. This show is definitely a must-see.

In addition to the great shows at the Polynesian Cultural Center, there are other attractions to be experienced. You can visit the Hawaii Mission Settlement and learn how Christianity came to the islands. Or, you can hop on a tour bus for a tour of Laie, the Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus, and the Hawaii Temple (also known as Hawaii’s Taj Mahal). The Temple grounds are extremely beautiful and serene. Be careful, you might not want to leave!

Last but not least, you can’t forget to eat! The Polynesian Cultural Center boasts great restaurants that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest palate. However, you can’t say you’ve been to an authentic luau, unless you’ve experienced the Polynesian Cultural Center’s award-winning luau. From start to finish, each of your senses will be entertained as you experience the sites, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of Hawaii all at the dinner table! What could be more delightful than watching beautiful Hawaiian maidens performing the hula as you enjoy a delicious Hawaiian meal? It doesn’t get much better than this.

So remember, if you’re out on the North Shore and want to experience Hawaii and the rest of Polynesia at its best, stop by the Polynesian Cultural Center. Because there’s so much to do, you may want to mark your calendars and make a day of it. Also, the drive from Waikiki to Laie is about an hour, but well worth it. The Center opens around 12 noon, so make sure you have enough time to see all the shows in the villages. While their prices vary, just remember that there’s a package to fit everyone’s pocketbook. You most definitely won’t regret your visit, and you’ll be reminiscing about your experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center for years to come.

Take a Tour of Maui

Planning a trip to Maui? You should consider taking one of many beautiful Maui tours. There are so many things to see on the island of Maui. Taking advantage of a planned tour is a great way to be sure you won’t miss anything. With many different kinds of tours to choose from, you can soon be soaring, sailing or driving around the island in style.

The first type of Maui tours are ground tours. A comfortable bus tour is a great way to get an overview of the island. Choose a tour that offers breakfast and lunch and you’ll make the most of your day around the island. Want to get a little more up close and personal with the island? In addition to the traditional bus tours, you have the option of going off-road in an ATV or hummer tour if you prefer. Choose one of these ATV or hummer tours and you’ll see all the hiding spots of Maui. Some tours also offer guided hikes to beautiful waterfalls, rivers and mountain tops.

The second type of Maui tours are water tours. What better way to see an island than from one of the great bodies of water? A boat tour is a great option for anyone wanting to see the coast line and beaches of the whole island of Maui. If you’d like to get more intimate, however, you should consider a kayak tour down one of Maui’s many rivers. Escape from the world while gliding down a river in a lush, tropical jungle!

The final type of Maui tours are air tours. There are many options for seeing the island through a bird’s-eye view. Helicopter tours are a great choice. These tours will cover the entire island in just an hour or two, so you can see everything from the sky. Often these tours will take you to places you can’t get to traveling on the ground. Or take a hot air balloon ride and see views that no other vacationers will. You’ll never forget your time in the Maui sky!

Hawaiian Island Hop: What to See and Do in Hawaii

Oahu – The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

Your vacation in Hawaii will probably begin in the modern metropolis of Honolulu, the largest city in the islands. The Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, just northwest of the city, was decimated by Japanese bombs on Dec. 7, 1941, a date that “lives in infamy.” Early on that Sunday morning, 183 planes from Japan attacked the nearby airfields and then dropped bombs on the battleships, destroyers and support ships anchored at Pearl Harbor. During the air attack, a 1,760-pound bomb was dropped directly into the forward magazine of the battleship USS Arizona. Massive explosions and fires killed 1,177 men aboard the ship. The ship sank to the bottom, where it now rests along with the remains of the sailors who lost their lives.

The memorial building floats above the stricken battleship, which can be seen below in the murky water. Drops of oil still leaking from the hull are said to be the tears of the ship for so many lost lives. Visiting the memorial is an emotional and sobering experience. The first stop is the Visitors’ Center, with a film explaining the attack and the sinking of the ship. Then a short ride aboard a Navy shuttle boat takes visitors to the marble memorial building, floating over the remains of the ship. The time to visit is early morning, and getting tickets online in advance is advised. The tickets are free, but limited in number. Check your hotel concierge for shuttle information, or take a bus tour that includes the memorial.

Kauai – Fly or Float through the Garden Island

Zip-line – The zip-line tours on Kauai, Hawaii, are simply thrilling. The zip-line runs, connected by canopy sky bridges, soar up to 85 feet above the ground and take you over mango, eucalyptus and bamboo trees. See birds flying below you as you traverse between 200-foot high Norfolk pine trees, enjoying rainforest and mountain views. Ecology narratives are usually included along with all the safety equipment and instruction you’ll need to survive. (If you are afraid of heights, plan to spend this afternoon at the pool.)

Tube – A hundred years ago, workers on the Hawaiian island of Kauai dug a system of canals and tunnels to carry water from the mountains down to the sugar cane plantations. The sugar cane is gone, but the water canals remain. Hop into an inflated tube and ride the canal through mile-long tunnels and narrow flumes, seeing the interior rain forests of Kauai on the way. Be sure to reserve this popular attraction well in advance, and don’t miss it. (Unless you are claustrophobic as the tunnels can be worrisome for claustrophobics.)

Maui – The Best Drive to the Best Hike on Maui

The trail through the Bamboo Forest to the 400-foot high Waimoku Falls is as unforgettable as the drive to the trailhead along the Hana Highway. Both deserve a spot in “The Best of Maui.” The Hana Highway is 60 miles of curves, switchbacks and spectacular ocean-cliff scenery. Single-lane bridges enhance the driving experience and the adrenaline rush of this winding coastal highway.

It is hard to say where the Hana Highway begins, but you won’t be sorry if you drive the route from Kahului to the entrance of Haleakala National Park, a drive of about three hours. At the end of the Hana Highway, you’ll find the entrance to the national park. The Pipiwai Trail is well-marked and easy to follow. It will lead you into the Bamboo Forest along a boardwalk as it climbs around 800-900 feet in elevation.

You’ll love the dark creepiness of the dense bamboo forest. It’s like being ant-small and hiking through a gigantic lawn. There are several waterfalls along the way, but be very careful if you decide to take a swim. People have lost their lives being swept away by a flash flood or unexpected current along the slippery rocks. About a half mile in, you’ll come across a 200-foot high thundering waterfall crashing down a vine-covered cliff. You may be satisfied to stop here. It’s a worthy destination.

The trail ends at the amazing sight of the 400-foot high Waimoku Falls. It takes at least two and a half hours to hike the four miles round trip, and it is not recommended for a rainy day. Wear sturdy, non-skid shoes that can get wet in stream crossings. Bring plenty of drinking water, and don’t be tempted to drink from the streams.

A Little Warning from the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and has a land mass about the size of Connecticut. Similarities end right there. Hawaii has many surprises to offer the curious traveler, and if you are expecting a typical island-resort destination with high-rise hotels and surf-shop beaches, you will soon see the error in that assumption.

There are vast areas of wild black-sand deserts, lush rainforests, snow-capped mountain vistas in winter, spectacular waterfalls, and empty volcanic-gray landscapes without much vegetation. After visiting the beaches, the rainforests and waterfalls, do visit Volcanoes National Park. It will give you a new respect for the power of Mother Nature. But beware of the power of Pele.

The Goddess Pele

Native Hawaiians tell the story of the Goddess of Fire, Pele, whose spirit resides in the Kilauea Volcano. She is reportedly an angry goddess who was banished from her native island after a fight with her sister. Many stories exist about Pele and her large family, some that include dragons, gods, hatred, human sacrifice and conflict. Today, it is said that if you take any lava rocks from the Island of Hawaii, you will be cursed by the spirit of Pele until the rocks are returned. Many hotels and resorts receive packages from guilty travelers wanting to return their souvenir rocks to Hawaiian soil, to end their bad luck. So, here is fair warning: Don’t take samples of the volcanic rocks or colored sands of Hawaii. Pele may punish you.

Hawaii For People Who Don’t Like the Beach

So your significant other or family wants to go to Honolulu and Waikiki but you’re not too thrilled with the idea because you’re not really a beach, water activities kind of person. Are you doomed to a boring vacation of not getting to do what you want to? No! Honolulu and the whole island of Oahu have so many other things to see and do in addition to the famous beaches that even people who don’t like the beach love Hawaii!

For The History Enthusiast

Pearl Harbor alone can keep you busy for days. There’s the Arizona Memorial and Visitor’s Center, The Battleship Missouri, the Bowfin Submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museum. And if you want more war history, there is a free army museum in Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. You don’t even need to rent a car; tour buses and even city buses regularly pass by these sites. If you do have a car, parking at Pearl Harbor is free.

You’ve also got quite a few cultural museums. Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and its isolation has created a unique and fascinating culture. Honolulu is home to the United States’ only royal palace, the Iolani Palace and it’s just as beautiful as European palaces. You can also visit the summer royal residence for more Hawaiian Royalty and the Bishop Museum and the Mission Houses for Hawaiian history and culture. These places are also easily accessible by city bus but parking is tricky.

For The Naturalist

Hawaii’s isolation has created a different natural environment resulting in the evolution of plants and animals not seen anywhere else. You can get up close views of them at the various gardens throughout Oahu, the Audubon Center, The Honolulu Zoo, The Waikiki Aquarium or while hiking the many trails available to visitors. Even the Dole Plantation has a garden tour and a train tour where you will see plenty of native plants. Hawaii is especially known for its aquatic life that many people see while snorkeling or scuba diving but you can see a lot of it at the Aquarium without getting in the water if you don’t want to. Even just walking along the shore, you’ll see fish, crabs, shore birds and even sea turtles in their natural habitat. Sea Turtles like to sun themselves on the beach giving visitors an even closer look. During the winter months, watch for migrating whales.

For The Gourmet

Have you ever tried a Malasada? Kalua pig? Lau lau? Poi? Huli Huli Chicken? How about a traditional Hawaiian luau? After you’ve tasted all this delicious local food, try some of the many Asian restaurants from Japanese and sushi to Vietnamese to Thai and of course Chinese. Asian food is probably the most popular but you can find just about any type of food you’re craving. Plenty of spots offer ocean views, beachside seating and lovely breezes for some nice Hawaiian ambiance. For beer, try the Yard House which boasts over 130 types of beer. Don’t worry about missing any of your favorite sports, Waikiki has plenty of places to watch the game. Round Table Pizza in the Ohana East Hotel, across from the Hyatt, has televisions on almost every wall and serves great pizza.

Hawaii is well known for its surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and beautiful beaches, but Hawaii is also a great destination for people who don’t like the beach. Museums, the Zoo, the Aquarium, hiking, restaurants, birdwatching, all available year round thanks to Hawaii’s beautiful weather. And if you don’t feel like going out, the world class resort hotels have everything you need or want without going anywhere. Spas and salons, restaurants, activities for the kids, even activities for the adults, room service, in room movies, always plenty to do. Go out, stay in, either way, you are going to have a great time in Honolulu and Waikiki.

Oahu, Hawaii – Things To Do

Oahu, Hawaii, is one of the world’s most favorite places to vacation. Great weather, great food, and, of course, great things to do. From luaus and sailing to snorkeling and bus tours, Oahu’s got it all.

Luaus

If you’ve never done a luau, now’s the time. Oahu is famous for them, with the ones that stand out the best being the Polynesian Cultural Center and Germaine’s.

These venues are in and of themselves an Island paradise. Each features lush gardens, waterfalls and sandy beaches. The entertainment is extraordinary and the live shows in particular rival what you’d see in Las Vegas or New York City.

But the real deal about Luaus is the food. Most are buffet style and feature Kalua Pig, island fish, Chicken Long Rice and More. Exotic drinks, too, are to be had, ranging from the famous Mai Tai to the Lava Flow!

Water Sports

Oahu is about water so expect to get wet. Of course, there’s surfing, but that takes a level of skill to really enjoy. Instead, consider paddle boarding or snorkeling, both of which can be mastered quite quickly.

The water off the Oahu shore is ideal for sailing. There’s a constant, steady wind, so you can be assured you’ll have an awesome day on the water. I do suggest starting out with “cat,” which means catamaran. They are bigger, wider and more stable than a conventional sailboat.

Then there’s swimming with the dolphins. These mammals are beloved by all and are very friendly. Kids and adults alike will totally enjoy mingling with these playful, gentle fish. Many say this is the highlight of their Hawaiian vacation.

Tours

Oahu is loaded with day trips. For nature enthusiasts, there are jungle treks and waterfall hikes. Military buffs will enjoy Pearl Harbor, which includes the Pacific Aviation Museum, the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine.

Other sights you’ll want to experience include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, the rugged beauty of the North Short, and the beautiful City of Honolulu (great shopping!).

Oahu is the third-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, measuring 44 miles long, 30 miles wide and 112 miles round. It hosts the ONLY royal palace (Iolani Palace) in the United States.

Waikiki is Oahu’s main tourist attraction. It attracts some 72,000 visitors a day, which accounts for nearly 45 percent of all visitors visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Equally fascinating is that Honolulu is the second most expensive city in the U.S. right after Anchorage, AK.

Budget

Which brings me to my final point: Plan out your trip to Oahu or you’ll go over budget. Hotels aren’t cheap so it’s usually best to get a package deal. Personally, I find rental cars a bargain — it’s the price of gas that gets you (but that’s splitting hairs because Oahu is small).

Airfare is best purchased online via a reputable travel website. I’ve heard that late Sunday night is the best time to search for fares. You are going to want to assume that you’re going to do a number of tours and attractions. If you go the “a la carte” route, you’ll pay through the nose. Avoid this by pre-purchasing a card that bundles activities in a way that gets you through the “gate” at up to 55 percent off retail. That will allow you to use the savings for other things like another serving of savory pulled pork for dinner!