Vacation to Hawaii (Oahu)! Best Luau? Any other recommendations for me?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael D. Bunting, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Off to Hawaai in about 10 days for a nice relaxing vacation with my wife.

    It is our first time to visit Hawaii...so we are staying on Oahu (Waikiki beach / Honolulu).

    Can you all recommend any Luau's?

    I keep reading about the Polynesian Cultural center and how it's supposed to be the best Luau...but some of the reviews have been mixed (some loved it...some hated it!)

    Other plans:

    Pearl Harbour
    Diamond Head hike
    North Shore
    Check out some "Lost" filming locations
    RELAX [​IMG]

    Any other must do's - recommendations?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Check out the Punchbowl National Cemetery. The mosiacs depicting the major WWII battles of the Pacific are facinating.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The Arizona
     
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    Luau's in general are really "touristy" in my experience. You would be much better off finding a really nice restaurant. Also - if you really want to enjoy Hawaii - leave Oahu and check out the other islands if you can. Hono is great for overpriced shopping and people watching - neither of which I am against btw.

    Kauai is one of the garden spots of the universe....
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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  6. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Thank you one and all for all your suggestions and information.

    Will definitely add the Punchbowl National Cemetery to our list.

    As far as checking out the other islands of Hawaii (besides Ohau) - we will see what we can do. Glenn, thanks for providing the link to the good deals with Go! Airlines on flights between islands...if we do any island hopping - that definitely looks like it will work out nicely.

    Luau: Looks like we will be checking out the PCC Luau after all. Being Active Duty Military (Air Force) I can get discounted tickets from Hickam AFB there in Honolulu and it makes it a bit more affordable to us this way. I guess it's just one of those things you have to do when you are in Hawaii [​IMG]

    Anyone happen to have any dining recommendations?
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I've hiked Diamond Head when I had a 1/2 day to kill in Oahu before flying to Kauai. It's a nice hike, bring a flashlight and sunscreen, the flashlight is for the tunnel you have to hike through and up to get up to the rim. If it's the same as a few years ago, there isn't any lights in them and although they have windows and railings with stairs, it's nice to have a little flashlight to go with.

    Riding the bus is still fairly cheap there too...

    Jay
     
  8. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    Wow, another ChristopherG recommended Kaua'i. My favorite beaches and great golf courses are on Kaua'i. A great public golf course and the best bargain in island golf is there. I lived on Oahu for about 4 years as child and visited only once, in 1992, and you can have the Honululu traffic. A luau is only ok, no matter which one you go to, but Hawaiian women in grass skirts are great everywhere. Even some of the tourist attractions that teach and explain hula dancing as story telling are worthwhile. A group called Society of Seven was performing in one of the downtown hotels, and I could recommend them as they have been around a long time. Some more traditional Hawaiian music can be found several places and is great as well.

    Chris
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    If you want to get a good taste of the other islands, I would highly recommend a cruise between the islands -- of course, not for this trip, Michael [​IMG] . It's a great way to see a bunch of islands without the normal hassle of island hopping via plane.

    We did this one our first visit, spending a couple of days on Oahu before the cruise. We then had stops on Maui, Hawaii (both Hilo and Kona sides) and Kaua'i. This gave us a chance to decide where we wanted to spend our time on our next visit.

    That next visit was 5 days each on Hawaii and Maui. Plan on wasting most of a day traveling between the islands, when you count the time to (1) check out of your hotel, (2) drive to the airport, (3) drop off the rental car, (4) deal with the airport, (5) get your luggage at the next island, (6) get your rental car, (7) drive to your hotel and (8) check in. I can deal with that once per trip, but if I wanted to visit more islands, a cruise is the only way to go.

    Our next visit will probably be to Hawaii and Kaua'i for about the same 5-7 days each. We enjoyed Maui, but it has become a lot more crowded since our first visit 15 years ago -- but nothing like Oahu. The Honolulu area is the one place where I had no desire to drive -- too much traffic.
     
  10. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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    Michael, discounts or not, stay away from the PCC and luaus in general. We did one when we went & I really regret spending the money. It was cheesy and touristy, and I was miserable the whole time. On top of that, the food was nearly inedible.

    The things I enjoyed in Hawaii:

    The hike up Diamond Head (mentioned by Jay)
    Pearl Harbor
    The road to Hana (on Maui)
    Haleakala Crater NP (on Maui)
    Volcanoes NP (on the Big Island)
    Black sands beaches & lava tubes (on the Big Island)

    We did the island hopping thing and found it more enjoyable than Scott apparently did. The difference is that we didn't bother transferring hotels, so no hassle with luggage. We got up early, caught the first (short) flight to Maui, rented a car, and managed to do Haleakala crater, the road to Hana, and the Seven Pools in one day. Caught an early evening flight back to Oahu. Same thing with our trip to the Big Island - we were able to see all of Volcanoes NP and some of the other sights in one day.

    Now, ideally you'd want to spend more time on each of those islands, but for a first trip it's a reasonable way to see most of the highlights.
     
  11. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    Paradise Cove is another luau site that is popular. It's not in Waikiki but on the other side of 'Oahu.

    http://www.paradisecovehawaii.com/

    Look at the preview video link at the bottom of the home page.

    Since I am a kama'aina (local), I have not experienced most of the tourist attractions but Activities and Attractions Association of Hawaii - Oahu can give you ideas of what to try. Another is 101 Things to Do. And Free (or Almost Free) Things to Do.

    Try Anytime Grinds to see what kind of "grinds" (food) we have.

    Enjoy your stay!
     
  12. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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  13. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Oh, thought I'd mention. If the place is still there in the airport in Honalulu, there is a "sleep and shower" right in the airport gate area where you can get inexpensive showers and a simply bed to crash in. It's not the hilton but it's cheap and PERFECT for the time you may want to simply crash or grab a shower before a flight out and you don't have time nor want to spend money on a place. My sister and I stayed there when we arrived from Hong Kong and had a flight to Kauai the next day. You can even simply buy a shower if you want to refresh yourself before or after a flight. Very handy, wish all airports had something like that but I've only seen it there.

    Jay
     
  14. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    Mike, being active duty, you might be able to check out a gorgeous drive from Schofield Barracks to Waianae. I don't know if it is still open, but, when I was stationed at Pearl (80s) it was.
     
  15. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    We leave tomorrow night and I just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful posts and all the information everyone here has given us.

    I'm wishing I would have made the reservation for 2 weeks (not just 1) but I guess there is always next year [​IMG]

    We'll try to get in as much as possible for 3-4 of the days we'll be there...the other days...we'll be on a beach somewhere [​IMG]
     
  16. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    This is Kolekole Pass (ko-lay ko-lay), which is closed to the general public since it is a military access road. Being in the military, you might be able to drive on it.
     
  17. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    I'll be in Oahu and Maui for 10 days the 1st of Oct. Never been there so i'm open for any suggestions. 4 days in Oahu and 6 in Maui.
     
  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    For Oahu, there are plenty of recommendations already in this thread, so I'll refrain from repeating those.

    As for Maui, drive to the top of Mount Haleakala (10,000 ft dormant volcano), or if you are more adventurous, take a sunrise bicycle trip from the top of the volcano. Also, take the road to Hana and the 7 pools. If you are staying in the Ka'anapali Beach area, beware that the road into the area gets quite busy around Lahaina in the afternoon (they are talking about building a bypass). Traffic backups are very common.

    October is probably too early for whale watching, but we took a katamaran whale watching ride when we were there in February. If you are in the Ka'anapali Beach area, there is a restaurant in the Whaler's Village complex that has the most incredible crabmeat ragoons, served with some sort of red sauce. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but it's the only one on the beach with outdoor seating covered with grass umbrellas.
     
  19. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Thats where i'm staying, Kaanapali hotel. Hopes its nice. Got a room on the beach.
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    If you are a golfer, Kapalua is a short drive from there. Also, if you continue on the road past Kapalua, the road winds along some of the most beautiful coastal red volcanic cliffs and bluffs you'll ever see. It's a wonderful drive.
     

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