Post # 1
FI and I are spending the majority of our honeymoon on Maui (which I am very familiar with), but as an afterthought decided to add a side trip to Oahu for three nights. We will be staying at Turle Bay on the North Shore (I know one of the blogger Bees (Mrs. Parfait, I think?) honeymooned here, but it’s not so much the resort I’m curious about.
I am hoping to get an idea of the must see sights while we are there. I know we will only be able to do a couple things, so, I’m wondering what can’t be missed? We will have a rental car but don’t want to devote more than one day to the Waikiki area. More interested in secluded beaches, non guided snorkeling, and history (btw how much time does Pearl Harbor take to see?) We will be there in August.
I am little apprehensive about asking this question as I started a similar thread on a popular travel website forum, but got snarky responses saying I shouldn’t stay on the North Shore or I don’t have enough time to do anything. I know you Bees will be kinder than that. 🙂
The length of stay and hotel are non-negotiable at this point (booked).
We are both active twenty something’s and not especially interested in paid/guided activities unless they are unique to Oahu.
So, if you were in my position, how would your 3 days on Oahu go?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
I used to live in Oahu, and loved it very much. I would go to Hanauma Bay for snorkeling (can be busy, but a beautiful spot), Makapu’u Point (easy hike to the lighthouse, and good body surfing on the beach below (although can be good sized waves, so be careful if you are inexperienced), Kailua Beach or Lanikai Beach (soft sand, and fun kayaking), Chun’s Reef on the North Shore to see the sea turtles, and Matsumoto’s for shave ice.
Pearl Harbor depends on the crowds – could take an hour, could take twice or more that. There aren’t tons of really secluded beaches, but the North and windward sides will have some less busy spots.
The North Shore is lovely, and you will have time, maybe not to see it all, but to see plenty of beauty and island fun. Have a great time!
Post # 4
I second @littletree‘s suggestion for Hanauma Bay — definitely not to be missed! But try to get there before 9AM or you may not be able to find parking (the lot is relatively small), and keep in mind it’s closed on Tuesdays. Makapu’u is lovely too; I think a couple of girlfriends and I are planning to hike it again soon with our pups and do some whale watching.
There are four “parts” to Pearl Harbor — the USS Arizona Memorial (the most well-known), the Battleship Missouri, the USS Bowfin Submarine, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. You can do all four, just one, just two, etc., whatever you have time for. If you try to squeeze in all four, it will definitely take a full day. But if you do just the Arizona Memorial, it will take realistically about 2-3 hours total. I definitely suggest going to the National Parks website and booking tickets in advance. There’s a small fee of $1.50 a ticket to reserve them, but it’s well worth it so you don’t have to stand in line for hours on end. Just be sure to be there at least one hour before the tour time so your tickets don’t get reshuffled back out to those waiting in line, and so you have time to check out the awesome museums on the grounds.
Unfortunately there aren’t really “secluded” beaches here just because there are so many people. But if you go during the week it won’t be nearly as crowded as the weekend. And if you’re renting a car, you can also drive around the island pretty easily in a day, but since you only have three, you might want to forego that and just focus on specific areas for your time here.
I highly, highly recommend picking up a copy of Oahu: Revealed to give you a better idea of what’s here though. It’s easily my favorite travel book series and has definitely come in handy since we’ve been living here. If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me and I will do my best to help you out =)
Post # 5
Thank you both, these are exactly the type of suggestions I was looking for. I am glad to hear arecommendation for Oahu Revealed because I actually just picked it up the other day (haven’t made time to read it just yet).
Is it true theft is especially common? I never leave valuables in a rental car (or anything that could appear to have value) but I’ve heard its best to leave car doors unlocked to prevent smashed windows? I know it’s a random question but seeing as how both of you live there (or have before) I thought you’d good to ask.
Post # 6
@Snapdragon2804: Petty theft is common here, but honestly, anywhere with a lot of tourists is like that. If you do just as you suggested you’ll be perfectly fine. Don’t leave anything in plain sight (and don’t put anything in your trunk when you’re already in the parking lot of where you’re leaving the car) and generally just be aware of your surroundings. Some lots do have better security than others, but many have none at all. I’ve heard that about leaving the doors unlocked as well, but I never do since it’s my own car I’m driving around haha. We haven’t had any incidents yet and we’ve been to quite a few places so far, but I’m crossing my fingers just in case 😉