Day Time Activities in Oahu-Honolulu in May?

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  1. Hi everyone,

    I know that there more other threads about what to do in Hawaii, but I am looking for some more in depth answers. Some background: this will be my first trip to hawaii, and I'll be going with my boyfriend and another couple. None of us have ever been to hawaii. We'll be staying at the Marriot in Honolulu near Waikiki beach i think.

    I'm wondering if you guys can recommend some DAY time activites? For night time activities, I can reference the other thread on here hehe.

    What I'm really looking for are activities that'll give me a good impression/essence of hawaii (if that makes sense?). We love out door activites, like snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving, hiking to waterfalls. But when I looked online, there are SOOO many companies that offer these services, are there any particular ones that you guys like?

    Are there any places to eat for lunch/breakfast that you guys love?

    Also we'll be renting a car, so are there any nice places with waterfalls or really like secluded/beautiful beaches that we can check out?

    Looking online is sooo overwhelming since everything looks amazing! TIA girls!
  2. Here are some activities:

    1. Visit the Arizona Memorial (Memorial to those that died in the attack on Pearl Harbor)
    2. Hike up Diamond Head (an inactive volcanic crater)
    3. See the fish at Hanauma Bay
    4. See the Turtles at Turtle Beach
    5. Sea Life Park
    6. Honolulu Aquarium
    7. Drive around the island (takes maybe 4 hours to do so)
    8. Walk down Waikiki
    9. Shop at Ala Moana
    10. Dole Plantation and their Outdoor Maze

    Eating: Tell me what kinds of foods you like and I'll be better help. There are a million wonderful places to eat.

    Also, let me know if there's more you need to know about the above.

  3. ONe more I forgot:
    Polynesian Cultural Center (Closed on Sundays)
  4. I'm also traveling in May.

    I have basically everything on rileygirl's list in addition to:
    - Paradise Cove Iaua
    - Honolulu Zoo

    The Cheesecake Factory is definitely on my list. In my research I found these restaurants / bars were recommended (although I havent tried it myself):

    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Senor Frogs - giant frozen margaritas - Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 313 Lewer’s St. and Kalakaua Ave.
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Ala Moana (Jackies kitchen and try the spring rolls)
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Jamba Juice - fruitty pebbles
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Pearl bar and restaurant at the Ala Moana Centre.
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Dukes

    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Cold Stone - ice cream

    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Bubba Gump
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Mai Tai Bar at the Ala Moana shopping centre

    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Teddy's bigger burgers
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]California Pizza Kitchen
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Sea Side Bar and Grill
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Arancino – Italian restaurant
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Alan Wongs restaurant
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Pineapple Room - 3rd floor Macy's Ala Moana
    -[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Shirokiya – Japanese Food
  5. ooo yay thanks sooo much girls!

    rileygirl- have you gone scuba diving and parasailing? There's so many companies that offer those activities, but which ones are the best? Does it matter? Also the food that we generally agree on are spicey food haha. The favorites are japanese, korean, vietnamese, and of course american. We also love steak, fresh simply done seafood, burgers and fries and noodles. Any recommendations?? :graucho: TIA! You are the best!

    dimple- paradise cove is a place? Like a beach? I need to google this asap hehe. What hotel are you planning to stay at? I THINK we're going to stay at the hiltons..but pictures can be soo decieving haha.

    is the Waikiki beach really crowded? Is it clean? I'm scared when I go there it'll be hella crowded and just not the beaches at san francisco if you have been there before :/ Are there any really nice, not crowded, and just undisturbed beaches with wildlife in the Oahu area?
  6. i would say you might want to try kayaking at kailua beach. there are a few islands which you can kayak to. i can't remember the name of the kayak rental place, but you can basically rent it and walk right down to the beach (the kayak is on wheels), it's not very far.

    the best beach by far is lanikai beach, which is also in kailua. the sand is very powdery and clean, and the water is gorgeous.

    the best shopping is definitely ala moana center. it's an outdoor mall.

    matsumoto shaved ice is pretty famous and on the north shore. also, you might want to try the famous shrimp truck which you'll definitely see if you drive around the island. it's located in kahuku.

    jackie's kitchen closed down so don't go looking for that.

    mai tai bar is fun and relaxing. it's in ala moana shopping center.

    definitely try a plate lunch...not fancy at all (like $5 to $7) and unhealthy. you might want to try L&L drive inn, or if you want something more gourmet but without gourmet prices, try Kakaako kitchen, located in ward shopping center. Zippys is also very's everywhere on oahu and yummy.

    You might want to try Michel's which is in Waikiki. It's a fine dining restaurant where you are basically sitting on the beach but inside an air conditioned restaurant. they have huge windows which are open so you get to see all of waikiki. it's best to go there at sunset but expect to pay a lot. their appetizers and desert are awesome and entrees just okay.

    the diamond head crater hike is good. Oh, also the makapuu lighthouse hike is nice and short but great views.

    sorry, that's all i can think of right now.
  7. Hi everyone,

    I'll be traveling with Lec8504 (OP) this coming May. Thanks so much for all the recommendations. We really appreciate it. I'm so excited I can't wait!!!!!
  8. Hanauma Bay for snorkelling. Waikiki beach can be crowded, best beaches in Oahu are on the other side, Kailua and surrounding areas - the drive there is pretty too. Also, visit North Shore esp. if you like surfing, body's also a nice little beach town. On the way there is the Pineapple plantation and outlet mall I think. Polynesian Cultural Center.

    For luau I highly recommend Germaine's Luau :smile:
  9. ^ thanks designerduds!

    someone else also suggested hanauma bay, so I'll definetly be hitting that up...I guess it's good to get a rental then...since I really like the more calm less people beach.
  10. I prefered Hanauma Bay and Kailua for the beaches, but sometimes headed out to Waikiki for people-watching. But yes, it is crowded.

    Is the Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium closed now??? I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned, as it was my favorite weekend activity when I briefly lived there about 5 yrs ago.
  11. oooh, I lived in hawaii for two years, definantly Germaine's Luau! But if your going to do PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) which is basically like, "disneyland" for the islands do the Luau with the grand show afterwards.

    major things to do:

    1. North Shore (shrimp shacks, small surf shops, beautiful waves, dont forget Matsumotos shaved ice, you cant miss it because there is always a huge line)

    2. Polynesian Cultural Center

    3. Trip around the island

    4. I'olani Palace (the only official "palace" on US territory)

    5. Waikiki at night (beautiful sunsets, gorgeous surfer dudes, great shopping, dont forget at sunset they have half-naked island dudes run along the beach and light the torches on fire and blow the conch [the large shell])

    6. Haunama bay

    7. Macadamia Nut farm (free samples!) its in Honolulu off of Kamehameha Highway

    8. all of the other suggestions everyon has written.

    I love hawaii! I wish I still lived there. :smile:

    and if you want a discount in Honolulu or Wakiki just tell the cashiers your "Kamaaina" (kah-mah-aye-nah) which means local. Sometimes you have to show your ID but most of the time tourists dont know kamaaina or what it means so they usually dont require proof. :smile:
  12. thanks bonnieC and tokidokilover :smile:

    So for sure at least we have a couple of spots that we will definitely have to hit..can't wait!!
  13. Most hotels on Waikiki have excellent concierge services, so you can just go and book whatever activities you want there. Also there would be lots of travel agents/tourist attraction info kind of things spread out everywhere in Waikiki as most people there are tourists.

    There would be tons of things to do during the day, especially for active and outdoorsy people like you guys. If a lazy butt like me had lots of things to do, you guys would be fine. I remember it was rather expensive but you can even swim with dolphins in Sea Life Park. But even if you don't do that, the park itself is nice and drive to it from Waikiki is also great, with Haunama Bay on the way.

    A drive to the North Shore would be nice too. I once went to a park called Waimea Falls, where they had diving shows and hula shows, etc.

    And honestly, you can pretty much just hang out on the beach and spend days just shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I literally spend minimum of 2 full days shopping in Ala Moana Mall alone whenever I go to Honolulu.
  14. ^ thanks for the tip Nana :smile:

    How far is the drive to the north shore from the ala moana shopping center?

    Also is it a good idea to book the car ahead of time or is it relatively easy/same price to book it when we are there?
  15. I checked google and it says 28 miles. :smile: BTW, Ala Moana is very close to your hotel. Only about a mile?

    Around what day are you going in May? I ask because there's something called Golden Week in Japan when so many people would be on vacation. I don't know about these economically challenging days, but Honolulu used to get packed with Japanese tourists taking advantage of that week.

    I don't think renting a car after getting there would be tough to do. There was one time I couldn't get a car from anywhere at all but that was during Christmas. I don't know about Marriot but lots of hotels also have certain agreement with rental companies and set aside certain number of cars to be rented by the hotel guests. So the concierge would be able to book one for you if you are out of luck and can't find one. Perhaps you should call or email your hotel and ask if they offer such set up?

    And it wouldn't hurt to book one before leaving if you can find a good deal somewhere, especially when you are planning to get pretty good use of it. Lots of places are easy to get to with buses and trolleys but since there are going to be four of you, having a rental would be totally worth the price.