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Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/25/22 9:23 p.m.

This is probably the first in a long line of threads about various locations...

 

So I have a landmark birthday coming up in January and I'm toying with the idea of a trip. Honolulu appeals to me because of a super geeky reason and since I live in the snow it could be a nice change from snow everywhere too. 

 

There is a downside though: I hate the sun ( like.....I'm actually allergic to it) and I don't swim, or do any other water based activities. An interesting cruise where I'm in a boat could be cool, and it would give my wife a chance to possibly swim etc would be cool, when we went to Keppel Island and she got to snorkel on the Reef and I got to see some cool sites so something similar would be fine. Pearl Harbor would happen but would there be enough other fun things to do for roughly a week?

 

So how is Honolulu in the off season? The 2nd option off the top of my head is vastly less sunny but has lots of Scotch

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/26/22 2:51 a.m.

I personally would steer clear of Honolulu.  It essentially a big city in the middle of the ocean. It can even have pretty bad traffic. If you like that, fine.  Pearl Harbor is certainly an attraction, but that side of the island is definitely the most city like. If you have a want to be on Oahu I would at least consider staying in other parts of the Island (e.g. North Shore or Kaneohe side)

I think the primary attractions in Pearl Harbor are the Arizona, Missouri and the sub.  All historically interesting but maybe two days worth?

If you like the idea of the islands but don't need as much sun or ocean, I would consider the Big Island, specifically Hilo if you want more of an island feel.  Kona side is very dry. Hilo gets a lot more rain and is more old school Hawaii. It a large island, so more driving, but lots of variation. 

Maybe an Island cruise that you use the Oahu stop to see the ships (one is actually a boat)?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
5/26/22 8:12 a.m.

Wear a hat, don't step on a sidewalk in bare feet at noon.  Waikiki has lots of cool tourist stuff.

That's all I got.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad MegaDork
5/26/22 10:24 a.m.

I went to Maui last summer (yeah, I know).  Be prepared for everything to cost a medium fortune.  Be aware that it's a looong flight.   

But some of the stuff was very cool to see: a beach that was only small boulders rolling in the surf and sounding like gods bowling alley.  Driving to the top of a 10,000 ft dormant volcano.  Snorkeling with the turtles (with fins and vest, anyone can do it swimming skill isn't necessary).  Some of the roads were really cool to drive.  Hiking through a rain forest to hidden waterfalls.  It was a cool trip and I'm really glad I did it but probably won't go back.

Wear sunscreen and make sure you get it everywhere.

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/26/22 10:51 p.m.
KyAllroad said:

I went to Maui last summer (yeah, I know).  Be prepared for everything to cost a medium fortune.  Be aware that it's a looong flight.   

But some of the stuff was very cool to see: a beach that was only small boulders rolling in the surf and sounding like gods bowling alley.  Driving to the top of a 10,000 ft dormant volcano.  Snorkeling with the turtles (with fins and vest, anyone can do it swimming skill isn't necessary).  Some of the roads were really cool to drive.  Hiking through a rain forest to hidden waterfalls.  It was a cool trip and I'm really glad I did it but probably won't go back.

Wear sunscreen and make sure you get it everywhere.

I've flown to Australia so I get the long flight thing, 13 hours each way lol. Sucks but I'm prepared for it

It's not that I can't swim, it's that I don't like it at all. Glasses suck at times.

 

Hidden waterfalls sounds great to me, stuff like that I'm totally down for

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/26/22 10:54 p.m.
aircooled said:

I personally would steer clear of Honolulu.  It essentially a big city in the middle of the ocean. It can even have pretty bad traffic. If you like that, fine.  Pearl Harbor is certainly an attraction, but that side of the island is definitely the most city like. If you have a want to be on Oahu I would at least consider staying in other parts of the Island (e.g. North Shore or Kaneohe side)

I think the primary attractions in Pearl Harbor are the Arizona, Missouri and the sub.  All historically interesting but maybe two days worth?

If you like the idea of the islands but don't need as much sun or ocean, I would consider the Big Island, specifically Hilo if you want more of an island feel.  Kona side is very dry. Hilo gets a lot more rain and is more old school Hawaii. It a large island, so more driving, but lots of variation. 

Maybe an Island cruise that you use the Oahu stop to see the ships (one is actually a boat)?

Actually the main attraction is over Kaneohe side so that's kinda where I was thinking of staying. Large cities aren't really my thing but most people I talk to seem to think you have to go to Honolulu if you are around Hawaii. I've never been so I guess I should at least see it

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/26/22 11:38 p.m.

I spent a week in Hawaii in December of last year.  Stayed on the western side of Oahu.

Its berkeleying gorgeous.  Lots of cool E36 M3.  Amazing sights, hikes, etc.  I was only swimming in the ocean water for maybe 40 mins total our whole trip.  Plenty of other stuff to do.

Get this book, its well worth the $20 just in the time it will save you planning activities:  https://www.amazon.com/Oahu-Revealed-Ultimate-Honolulu-Waikiki/dp/1949678121/

Some of my favorite stuff was just unmarked trails and while you can find them all on google, that book puts it all in one place.  The spitting cave is just a little tiny unmarked trail between two houses at the end of a cul-de-sac.  The hike up to the "pink pillbox" is just a random trail next to  the road into a subdivision.

If you want to be on a boat and out of the sun, the submarine tours that leave out of Waikiki are fun.

Pearl Harbor was something my family wanted to do.  When we went there the docks were under repair so you couldn't go out to the Airzona.  That honestly was just about the least exciting part of the trip.

Heed aircooled's warning about the traffic.  It is bad.  Like almost everywhere, almost all the time, not just Honolulu.  A lot of the island is protected parks, or mountains with limited passages.  The city has awful rush hour traffic, but even as far as you can get from it, you are on one lane roads and something as simple as a few people struggling to park at a roadside attraction can clog everything up pretty bad.  I spent at least 3x more time in the car than I anticipated that trip.

On a related note to the above, youve likely heard of "island time".  Its not as bad as it is on small islands, but there is definitely some of it going on.  IIRC It took us like 7 hours to get from our flight to our rented villa like 15 miles away between the COVID check after landing, getting our luggage, waiting in line for the rental car check in, then waiting for the actual car, then sitting in traffic, then checkin in at the villas.  Every step took way longer than I thought it would.  Prepare for that.

 

A few random pics (that apparently google has compressed the berkeley out of... wow)

You've seen these mountains in just about every jungle movie ever (most notably, Jurassic Park/World)

Standing on a pillbox:

About to walk up a lot of stairs straight up @ koko crater:

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/27/22 1:38 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

The main reason I want to go is Kualoa Ranch and to see where they filmed said Jurassic movies. My wife and I are big fans, she even walked down the aisle to a version of the theme song that makes most people cry

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/27/22 1:39 a.m.

Thank you all for the info too, this forum pretty much knows everything, right?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/27/22 8:37 a.m.
Antihero said:

In reply to ProDarwin :

The main reason I want to go is Kualoa Ranch and to see where they filmed said Jurassic movies. My wife and I are big fans, she even walked down the aisle to a version of the theme song that makes most people cry

My son is a huge fan of them so that's why we went.  There's only a few sets still there from Jurassic World 1/2 that you can mess around with.  The Indominus Rex overlook area, and the bunker that they narrowly escape when lava is running down the mountain in #2.  You can also see some of the areas that have been CGIed almost beyond recognition but its kinda cool.  The Mosasaurus pool being one of them.  Definitely not a bad way to spend a few hours.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/22 10:03 a.m.

What would you like to know pacifically? 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/27/22 12:11 p.m.

One good suggestion for Hawaii in general is if you are looking for the typical tourist souvenirs (e.g. calendars, chocolates etc).  Head over to Hilo Hatties or Walmart.  They will have a section for them and are way cheaper than the tourist spots.

johndej
johndej Dork
5/27/22 12:31 p.m.

We really liked the big island. Has the volcano to check out, lava fields and caves. The drive up to the observatory is awesome, covers a lot of eco systems in about 14,000 ft climb. Tons of sea turtles and waterfalls around. Black sand beach is cool. Hilo farmers market is very reasonable. Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
5/27/22 2:53 p.m.

I was stationed there for 3 years, from 06-09. 

It's expensive, as in a gallon of milk is $8 expensive. Rush hour traffic on H1 is pretty nightmarish. The area you described, kualoa ranch, is really gorgeous. If you take H3 it goes through a ridiculously gorgeous valley and through a tunnel, and when you exit the tunnel you'll have soaring cliffs/mountains of green on your right and a small town that backs up to the ocean on your left. It's really quite a sight. 

Waikiki is an excellent place for touristy stuff. You can get hand-painted coconut shells, go to a ton of bars/clubs/etc on the coast, get all sorts of corny leis and stereotypical Hawai'i souvenirs. The people are generally friendly towards mainland Americans, but there is a number of locals and Samoans (mostly in the southwest part of the island) that really, really don't care for mainlanders. They view Hawai'i as a sovereign nation that America basically went in and invaded/occupied.

Peal Harbor, which is now called Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is really nice if you're able to get in. Drive up H2 into Wahiawa and go to a place called Maui Mike's for some rotisserie chicken, it's some of the best you'll ever have. Just don't go during lunch hours as the line will be around the block.

I was in my mid-20s when I was stationed there so I was stupid and spent most of mine time getting drunk and laid, but I did experience a few cool things, like scuba diving in Maunalua Bay with some big sea turtles and I learned to surf.

Also as others said, it's a long flight.

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/27/22 10:08 p.m.
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

What would you like to know pacifically? 

I see what you did there.....

 

The answer is yes basically, the more I know the better

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/28/22 11:30 a.m.
infinitenexus said:

...The people are generally friendly towards mainland America but there is a number of locals and Samoans (mostly in the southwest part of the island) that really, really don't care for mainlanders. They view Hawai'i as a sovereign nation that America basically went in and invaded/occupied....

Which is pretty ironic considering, you know, they are Samoan!

There are very few actual Hawaiians left, and to be fair, are likely at least somewhat related to Samoans.

But, as noted, be aware that like any city / state, there are "bad"areas.  It's not all island paradise but it's also generally easy to avoid such areas.  Just being respectful will avoid most problems.

It does point out an interesting social dynamic in Hawaii that you can observe.  Oahu is basically made up of "locals" (born there), military, and "mainlanders" who generally are able to move there because they have money. 

 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
5/28/22 3:18 p.m.

You guys have made my desire to visit HI about as low as my desire to move to Denver. 

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
5/28/22 3:56 p.m.

Tim and I did This for a significant anniversary. Small ship cruise, 16 (?) cabins, saw every island but Kauai (it's arguably the most beautiful, people tell me, but also to the north away from the other islands). We went in late January. This was a pricey  vacation for us, but genuinely all-inclusive.

High points: Cruise actually begins in Molokai, which is still distinctly Hawaiian. Captain Cook Bay, where the snorkeling was noisy thanks to whale sounds; night diving with giant rays off of Maui; Hilo. I am a big fan of surveying a place with a cruise or tour that waves you by everything.
That said, I had been to Honolulu previously (for the Miata press intro--ask me about that!) and seen all its not-insignificant sights. I could spend a vacation there, but if seeing Hawaii is your goal, you have to see the other islands. And whales. Did I mention them?

Margie

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/28/22 11:50 p.m.

Honolulu is a big Navy base.  There are many other more beautiful places in Hawaii.  I was in the Navy and my best Hawaii trip was to the big island about 5 years after my time in the Navy.  

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/29/22 12:14 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:

Tim and I did This for a significant anniversary. Small ship cruise, 16 (?) cabins, saw every island but Kauai (it's arguably the most beautiful, people tell me, but also to the north away from the other islands). We went in late January. This was a pricey  vacation for us, but genuinely all-inclusive.

High points: Cruise actually begins in Molokai, which is still distinctly Hawaiian. Captain Cook Bay, where the snorkeling was noisy thanks to whale sounds; night diving with giant rays off of Maui; Hilo. I am a big fan of surveying a place with a cruise or tour that waves you by everything.
That said, I had been to Honolulu previously (for the Miata press intro--ask me about that!) and seen all its not-insignificant sights. I could spend a vacation there, but if seeing Hawaii is your goal, you have to see the other islands. And whales. Did I mention them?

Margie

Hmm.....a cruise of all the islands does actually make a lot of sense......

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/29/22 9:46 p.m.

 We renter a place on Maui that was 4200 feet up the Volcano.  Was completely different from the hustle and bustle.

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/29/22 9:47 p.m.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/30/22 9:45 a.m.

Be nice to the locals-they've put up with a lot of E36 M3 over the years. Tip well, smile, say thanks, etc.

Antihero
Antihero GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/30/22 6:36 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

Be nice to the locals-they've put up with a lot of E36 M3 over the years. Tip well, smile, say thanks, etc.

I live in a tourist destination so I absolutely get that.

CJ
CJ GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/31/22 12:47 p.m.

Many years ago my bride and I visited Kauai.  We were just exploring in the mountains and came upon a small asphalt road heading down into a canyon.  There were no road signs to say where  we were going and no traffic at all, but great scenery, so we kept going. 

About half an hour in, the road flattened out and we came to a small building... with a gate... and a guy in green... with a gun.  He was not happy to see us and, after some fairly intense questioning, politely asked us to turn around and leave.

Still don't have a clue what it was, but whatever it was, don't go there.

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