One more memory. My husband was driving, and went a little out of our lane (Maui). The oncoming driver gave him the "hang loose, don't stress" gesture. I think on the mainland, it would've been a different gesture!
Thanks for your suggestions, all... and that link further confirmed that Oahu's my best choice! Basically, I've narrowed down the millions of tempting activities and sights, to be as realistic as possible, and came up with a couple of definite goals:
-parasailing -Diamond Head -Polynesian center (for some hula, fire dancing, luau)
... and I'm still thinking of alternatives and options. This researching is really fun in the midst of winter!
Fitness Minutes: (87,307)
4,767 1/14/13 11:10 A
PS - If you are looking to save some $$$ we stayed in a vacation rental by owner (VBRO) in both Maui and Oahu. Each time we were a couple blocks from the beach and very pleased with our accomodations - which gave us the option of cooking. One place even stocked the staples! It was nice to be away from the busy hotels! If you do this, make sure your place has air conditioning, which is not a given in Hawaii! Locals rely on those tropical breezes. :-)
Barb Grand Rapids, MI EST
Fitness Minutes: (87,307)
4,767 1/14/13 11:05 A
Went to Oahu felt like I was in a big city on the beach, until we took some road trips to the far side of the island. Maui was quite touristy but beautiful. It wasn't til we got to Kauai that I felt like I was in a tropical paradise. Next time, I would go straight there!
Barb Grand Rapids, MI EST
1/14/13 10:59 A
Now my memory has been joggled. My point about Oahu is, overcrowding and congestion that lessen the mellowness you came there for. They have large open bars along the beach and there's a wait to get a seat.
After waiting, we were run over by some plastered guys who went around us to grab the vacant table.
For a 3-4 day trip, you'll want to pick one place for the whole stay. Oahu is overcrowded and overdeveloped, but still very beautiful and worth the experience. You might find the best deals for trips to Oahu, If you rent a car, you can drive away from the city to other attractions, see pineapple plantations or whatever.
Then again, I could be very happy with no car and a hotel room on the beach.
1/14/13 10:44 A
What a wonderful idea! I'm wondering why you're choosing Oahu - Honolulu is a huge city, but there is Waikiki Beach, which is very crowded, .. . We went several years ago, and I chose Oahu because I wanted to go to the north shore, the surfing capital, because that's my fantasy.
The north shore is out of the way, and rural. At our hotel, they were holding a world surfing competition, and we also saw the hugest waves and the Bonsai Pipeline. But that was my fantasy. It was really a dream vacation.
From what I hear, Kauai is a good place to go, if waves and the huge city are not what you're going for.
We flew into Maui, which used to be "the place to go" before Kauai. We stayed a few days there, then flew to Oahu, rented a car and drove to the north shore and stayed at Turtle Bay Resort (this was our splurge - on Maui we were conservative).
There are local flights between the islands. We could have saved money by only going to one island. I wanted to at least see two islands. The island named "Hawaii" has the big active volcano if you're interested in that - the sand is black there.
I used a travel agent, telling her just what we had in mind. It was an agency that I found online. If you search "Hawaii trips" there is all kinds of information. I called the number on one of the sites, and the agent was very familiar with Hawaii, so we found a less expensive but decent hotel on Maui, and chose the more expensive one on Oahu.
Then, we spent the last night in Honolulu before returning from there. The agent helped with planning what we wanted to do - snorkel on Maui was one thing. There are a zillion choices, but I"m happy with how our trip turned out.
We spent close to $3000 altogether. Staying in 3 hotels meant packing up and moving 3 times, and that part is not relaxing.
On Maui, there's a mountain where the sunrise is really special. You can rent a bike to go there and see it. We didn't know about that ahead of time, and chose activities by the water.
Just search online and you'll find the activities you're most interested in. It was well worth the trip. I"ll be happy to answer any questions if I can.
I know this may seem like a weird topic to bring up right after most people's holiday break, but I'm starting to plan a solo vacation for late May/early June, specifically a trip to Hawaii that I've long wished for (I'm in New Jersey). I haven't gone away on a vacation in 7 years, so I'm not very sure what I'm doing! So I was wondering if there are any Hawaiians, or those who've been there, who could give me some advice about traveling to Oahu and getting the most out of a 3-4 day stay.
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