Going to Oahu
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Oahu in October
I'll be in Oahu in early October (with husband and 5y.o) and
am hoping to find the best place for placid waters and
snorkeling. There are no surfers among and 2 out of 3 of us
are pretty mortified by big waves. Any recommendations as to
which part of the island to be in? We're hoping for less
tourist-y, more off the beaten path. Any specific lodging
recommendations that aren't too pricy would be really
helpful too! Thanks! UnGidget
Look at Kailua, which is on the 'windward' side of the
island. It doesn't have the rows of resorts and big hotels
as you find on Waikiki, it is more of a beach town where
people really live, and has one of the most beautiful
beaches in the world. It is not the greatest snorkeling
beach, however. Ko Olina (on the west side of the island)
has some lovely manmade lagoons that are good for snorkeling
and very protected with very mild surf. They are surrounded
by huge resort hotels, which might not be the setting you
are looking for.
We stayed in Kailua in an apartment that we found through a
vacation rental site that was a 5 minute walk from the
beach. There was a little store where we could go for coffee
or sandwiches, and for snorkeling, we would drive and spend
the afternoon at Ko Olina and of course went to Hanauma Bay
which is world famous for snorkeling.
wish I were going
I can't help you with places to stay b/c my sister lives
there and that is who we stay with, but I know there are
condos to rent that are cheaper than the hotels. There is a
Costco so you can shop there and do all your cooking.
As for swimming in low wave, mellow situations where you can
also snorkel and not worry so much about your 5 yr. old, I
can't recommend the Ko'Olina Lagoons enough!
There are four man-made lagoons and one natural lagoon
(natural one is not on that website, but it's the first
lagoon when you pass through the gate and only 10 parking
spots available so you have to get there early). The lagoons
are protected by the surf and have virtually no waves. The
water is clear and the snorkeling in the natural lagoon is
amazing. Among many types of tropical fish, we've seen the
elusive humuhumunukunukuapu'aha and countless sea turtles
there (literally, every day, and they will swim right up to
you; but don't touch them, they are a protected species)!
There is the Marriott Hotel there and some condos (permanent
residents, many of them are rentable and time shares, even
in the Marriott) but it is not touristy. It's a little known
secret and sounds exactly what you are looking for! There is
grass, sand and calm, clear water. Each lagoon has its own
splendor about it. It's on the West side of the island and
far from where the majority of tourists go. It's actually
the 'desert' side of the island!
The North Shore could potentially still be calm (it's calm
in the summer, but then the winter months bring up the
surf). If it is still calm, Waimaea Bay is just gorgeous and
has some good rock pilings that on the north side of the
stream that are good for snorkeling also. A must see. You
can also hike up to Waimaea falls in the park across the
street from the bay. A little further north of there is
Shark Cove (no sharks, just the name). It's a great
snorkeling spot as long as it's not crowded.... but you will
want reef shoes for all of you as it is shallow in many
parts and quite reefy. From there, you can find turtle beach
where sea turtles come up on shore to rest and the Turtle
Watch Team protects them 24 hours a day. What's nice is they
will talk to you and teach you about the turtles and why we
shouldn't touch them, etc. Sea Life Park is a good place to
take your child too. You can feed the turtles and if you do
the dolphin show, you overlook the ocean and may be
surprised by whale spouts out there! Have a great time and
totally check out the lagoons! LogicalMama
Head to Lanikai-a sweet, mellow beach town across the island
from Waikiki. The beaches are super calm, beautiful, clean,
and have super soft sand. I lived on Oahu for 8 yrs and have
returned several times with my husband and kids and we have
rented some great places through Lanikai Beach Rentals. The
owner, Rick, has kids and is super helpful in getting you
into the right property for your family. Aloha! Aloha Mama
We just spent 10 days on Oahu and loved it. I strongly
recommend you get a copy of Oahu Uncovered, a book with
everything you want to know (friends who went in June
agree). Read more at:
http://www.wizardpub.com/oahu/oahu.html Local TV will give
you ocean conditions and forecasts. One key tip: Make sure
you all have water shoes and wear them -- just off the sandy
beaches lurk sharp rocks and reefs. And always be careful
about even small waves.
Close to Waikiki is Hanauma Bay, a nature preserve where
snorkeling is like in a giant aquarium -- get there by 8
a.m. to beat the crowds -- it does close when it gets too
full and it's not much fun to swim elbow to elbow. Read more
I grew up on the Windward side of Oahu and we always start
out in Lanikai for swimming. Lanikai is mostly residential
and the water is very clear and still. It is great for kids
and swimmers who need to get their confidence up in the
For specific places to stay, sorry. There is a lot of secret
B&B activity in that area. Lots of 'don't tell anyone you
are a paying guest' for all the obvious reasons. So, google
or just call some realitors in Kailua (808)for a current
referance. You might call some places over there and ask
them honestly and be candid about what you are looking for.
Under the radar stuff is good in Kailua.
If you want some gorgeous shade, Hoomaluhia Botanical
Gardens is so pretty you can not believe it. Also in
Kaneohe, the Byodo-in Temple in Valley of the Temples is
fantastically lovely and easy with kids. I love having an
expensive-but-worth-it dinner at Haiku Gardens which is also
Unless you are a strong swimmer, don't go in the
water 'tho certainly enjoy the fabulous beauty of
Waimanalo Beach OMG. Keneke's BBQ for coconut ice cream &
ono plate lunchez and the crazy, ever changing murals, and
apocolyptic advice painted in the dining area is not to be
(There are some calm little beaches on the North West
shoreline with good snorkeling.)
Aloha Nui Loa!
We stayed in Waikiki because we really wanted to be able to
walk everywhere-- shops, beaches, marketplaces,
restaurants... But downtown Waikiki is like downtown Walnut
Creek--not that metropolitan... Regardless of where you
stay, find a Snorkle Bob's as soon as you arrive. Rent
masks, fins, and snorkels that do not allow water to flow
back down into the tube--you pay a bit extra for that valve,
but it's worth every penny. Then go to Hanauma Bay, just up
the coast from Waikiki
truly lifechanging. Protected, magical, calm, and filled
with tropical fish. Very easy and accessible for all ages.
I turned around once in 3 feet of water, and 2 sea turtles
were swimming a foot away from me. (FYI--it's illegal to
'bother' them.) Go, have fun! heidilee
I can't speak to how the waves will be in early October, but
we visited the North Shore of Oahu this past March, and
found them to be very big.
Our family (parents & a 2 1/2 year old) and our friends
(also parents w/ 2 1/2 year old) *loved* the peace, quiet
and calm of the North Shore.
Our friends stayed at Turtle Bay Resort (pricey), but we got
a good deal renting a sweet 2 BR cottage (1 official
bedroom, the 2nd bedroom is a loft) 10 minutes down the road
from our friends in an area called Sunset Beach. Check out
http://www.vrbo.com/168034 for more info. I notice their
prices are higher then when we were there (I believe early
March was considered 'off season'). But even if that place
is out of your budget, I'd still recommend talking to the
owners (they're in So. CA) to get a sense of waves in
October (the owners' son, daughter-in-law & 3 children live
in a larger house on the property, so you can get first-hand
and very accurate info on that part of Oahu).
Note that Sunset Beach isn't in a town, per se, so the
closest grocery store & tiny eateries are 5-7 min drive
away. The cute town of Haleiwa (pronounced Hall-ay-ee-vah)
has many more shops & restaurants and is ~ 12 min drive.
Happy travels to you!
Where to stay near Waikiki?
Hi. My husband, 2 kids (will be 3.5 and 1.5 yrs) and I are going to Oahu in
August for a wedding. Any recommendations on kid-friendly places to stay
and things to do near Waikiki? Thanks!
Unless you REALLY need to be in Waikiki, I would advise
against it. We are really big fans of vacation rentals in
Kailua near the beach. Just google vacation rental kailua or
lanikai. Lower key, more relaxing, more room. In the
absence of that, we just stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian
Village. It is a bit like staying at Disneyland or an all
inclusive resort. The pools are nice, the location is great
and they have great deals right now with suites for larger
families. We just are not a big fan of Waikiki. That being
said, we had a great time. If you do go there, do not rent
aqua cycles etc. at the Lagoon. Walk towards Diamond Head
about 100 yards in front of the Hale Koa and there is a
concession at 1/2 the price.
Seeking current opinions on Waikiki
Hi everyone.. we will be 8 people (4 kids from 4-17)
traveling to Hawaii for my 40th birthday next year
(February). We have a time-share (wyndham) and are
researching all of our possiblities. My first question is
for those of you who have stayed in Waikiki, how was the
experience overall? Was it too noisy, too touristy? We don't
need extreme quiet or peacefulness, but aren't big partyers
either. We just want to relax on the beach and possibly to
do some sight seeing. With so many kids we don't care about
shopping or clubbing and don't want to be surrounded non
stop by people (anyone been to Stonehenge or the Catacombs
in Paris in the summer knows what I'm talking about) But of
all the Wyndham places we've researched, their Waikiki place
looks the nicest, and is one of the few that's actually
right across from the beach. We don't really want to rent a
car. There are places in Princeville, Kauai that look nice,
but most of the beaches are non-swimmable or far away.
Anyone stayed in Kauai at a place like that with kids and
been happy driving to the beach?
We just got back from Kauai and it definitely our favorite
island. There are incredibly good beaches on the North shore
past Hanalei (Tunnels) and Poipu - while more people - has
calmer water. Winter the ocean is rougher but there are
still days when the ocean is calm. We stayed in the
Princeville area recently but have stayed in Poipu as well.
Rarely on the west side. Waikiki has way too many people,
noise and shops are very expensive. My teenagers love it -
but we don't :-) Kauai has good hiking and 'ziplining -
which is fantastic fun and not available on Oahu (that I
know of). However, the North shore of Oahu is very quiet -
calm and gorgeous - so don't completely write off Oahu. Maui
- very expensive and lots more people. The Big Island - our
2nd favorite - again, quiet, gorgeous, not many people -
lots of activities. You'll have a great time on any Hawaiian
island if you stay away from the crowds so you don't have to
be watching who the kids are running into or tripping over
or screaming in front of. Have fun! catgetsdown
Oahu in December with 2 kids under 5
My family ( 2 kids 5 and under) are taking 10 days in Oahu in late Dec. Never
been and would love recommendations on places to stay. Looking for a place
near or on the beach, ideally a vacation rental. Happy with hotel
recommendations too. Maybe northshore? Also any recs for first two nights in
Honolulu after we land to get the kids adjusted after the long flight?
I lived on Oahu for eight years and have since returned several times
with kids and we have stayed in Kailua and rented from
The owner has kids and will steer you to the right property that bests
suits your family. The beaches in kailua and neighboring Lanikai are
breathtaking, calm, warm and full of shade- perfect for families! Try
to minimize time in waikiki and do a day trip or two to the n shore.
Kailua is the perfect distance from all and you'll really feel like
you're on vacation there.
Mama of 3
Oahu in August
We (2 adults and 8-yr-old daughter) are planning a 1-week trip to Oahu
in August. As we've never been to Oahu, we'd welcome any and all
recommendations on where to stay, what to see and how best to budget
our 7 days on the island. A mix of beaches and other sites (maybe the
zoo or aquarium) might be nice. Should we drive around the island, or
stay on one side? Thanks for your thoughts!
We've got Hawaii on our minds!
We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Waikiki last year when we were in Oahu and loved
it. The views were great (this is before they were building the mammoth Donald
Trump hotel), rooms were nice and clean and all of them were suites, free breakfast
(good food) and free nighly snacks, you're right in the middle of downtown Waikiki
so lots of shopping and sightseeing, swimming pool was great and best of all, it's
only a half a block to the beach. Skip the zoo but check out the aquarium and
don't go to Sea Life park (not worth it). Since island is so small, definitely
worth going around island to check out things. Cool things to check out are
Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Plantation, Waimea Falls Park, and Sunset Beach.
Best beach for sunset is the beach across the street form Waimea Falls Park.
Wish I were in Hawaii
My wife and I and 2 year old son just got back from a great 9 day
trip to Oahu. We stayed on the North-East coast in Punaluu at a
great guest house (http://www.vrbo.com/229721). Oahu has lots of
great stuff to do but would not recommend the zoo or aquarium or
really any other organized event-whats special are the beaches and
The best beaches are on the north shore but can be rough waters,
less so in the summer. The north shore has a great laid back vibe if
thats what you like. Kailua beach is a gem. Wakiki is a great beach
and major tourist destination; it is lots of fun but overwhelming
with people and shops. We divided our time between these places so a
car was a must. Our house rental had a great outdoor grill--dining
in Oahu can be hit or miss unless your willing to spend a lot of
money--so cooking for ourselves was great. One great place to eat
and drink is Rumfire restaurant at the Sheraton Wikiki. We did one
trip to the west coast but was not impressed with anything there.
Wherever you choose to stay you will have a great time, there are so
many things to do and see. Have fun!
Oahu and Kauai with a 2.5 yr old toddler
hi! any updated recs on where to stay, play, and eat in Waikiki, Oahu? We will
be going there in May and staying only for 3 nights, but the lodging aspect is
perplexing. We would like a one bedroom. We have a condo in Kauai (near
Kapaa) but welcome input about where to go and eat. We will be next to Lydgate
Park, so that will keep the tot happy/entertained for a bit.... Thank you!
Stay: Queen Kapiolani has good rates and it's on the ''quiet'' side
of Waikiki. The New Otani Hotel is a little further away, VERY
quiet, but more expenisve.
Play: the zoo is decent and cheap. The Aquarium is OK: small
compared to Monterrey or other big aquariums, but decent. There
is a Children's Discovery Museum that is awesome, you may get a
deal if you are a member of a local Discovery museum. Further
away (need car), the Sea Life Park is a fun place for children,
but expensive ($30 per person, under 3 free). Another fun place
with children is the Dole plantation: the chu-chu train, feed the
fishes, yummi pineapple icecream). If you do have a car, check
Kailua/Lanikai and the North shore, the beaches are awesome and
the drive amazing.
Eat: a local chain called Bale has good cheap vietnamese food.
Chinatown has several decent places. There is an american diner
to the side of the Princess Sheraton Kaiulani Hotel (can't
remember its name) that has decent food for a good price and
entrataining shows-OK for families.
Enjoy Oahu, there is a lot more in the Island than Waikiki!
Love the beach!
Looking for condo on North Shore on Oahu
I think I'm going to Oahu in July for a conference and would like to tack on a family trip.
The conference is in Honolulu, but we'd like to stay elsewhere beforehand, maybe the North
Shore although we're open to other areas as well. Any ideas for a family friendly location on
the North Shore? A condo/house would be ideal. I have a 4 year old and would like to be close
to a beach with mellow surf. Thanks for your help!
You might consider renting a condo at Turtle Bay Resort, which is on the north shore of Oahu. I stayed
there years ago. Not sure about what hotel/resort services you have access to, but the condos are on the
same property. check out www.vrbo.com and type in turtle bay. There are also some great rental houses on
the north shore as well (malaekahana, near Kahuku has mellow beaches and some authentic beach houses).
Kailua is also fabulous and has some vacation rentals (www.hiatthale.com is our favorite). It won't feel
touristy at all. It is certainly better than Waikiki!
my family, which consists of 3 kids (2,6,12) are heading to Oahu in February. I have
already made reservations at the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Tower (former the
Aston?) but can always cancel if need be! So, does anyone have any feedback or
experience with this hotel or can recommend another? The nice thing about this
place is that its more of a condo style room, 2 bdrs/2 bath with kitchen.
I am also planning on making reservatins with dolphinquest so that my kids can
swim with the dolphins. experience/feedback with this group would also be
We stayed at the Aston (now Resortquest) Waikiki Beach Tower back in
the summer of 2003 in a 2 br condo (my family of 4 and my parents). It
was wonderful! If I could afford it, I would stay there every time. Condo
was large. Loved having a full kitchen and washer/dryer in the room.
The view of Waikiki Beach was awesome--my dad loved to wake up
early, grab a cup of coffee, and watch the surfers from the lanai. Great
location across the street from a calm, protected, not-so-crowded section
of Waikiki Beach. Service was superb--particularly the valet parking
staff. They were super-helpful and friendly.
We are taking a family trip to Oahu in November with our son who will be 11
months at the time. We have visited several times (I have family there) but this
is our first time traveling with a little one. Any recommendations on condos in
the Waikiki area? We are meeting my husband's family who will be staying at
the Hilton. We would like a one bedroom with a kitchenette but are open to
suggestions. Our hope is that by being near them, we can fit his naps in and
get him to bed at a reasonable time. Thanks!
We stayed in a condo in the spring with out 13 month old. A
condo is the way to go. We researched condos for one that was
close to the beach (so we wouldn't have to schlep all the beach
gear too far), had a pool and had consistent positive reviews.
Our top three were:
Waikiki Beach Tower. We stayed here (and is the only one we
can personally vouch for). Across street from beach, centrally
located along beach, friendly staff, a pool, large rooms. We'd
stay here again. Only drawback is that it's pricy.
Pacific Monarch. A long block or so from beach. Centrally
located. I think it was the cheapest of the three.
Waikiki Shore. The closest of the three to the Hilton. No
pool, but if you book through Outrigger Hotels, you can use the
pool at the Outrigger Hotel next door. Technically it's on the
beach, but it's long and narrow and only the narrow end abuts
There are probably condos even closer to the Hilton that are
further from the beach that cost less. If you are going to
spend a lot of time on the Hilton property, that's something to
consider. We recommend the guidebook "Oahu Revealed" as a good
Does anyone have or know of a nice condo or hotel with a full
kitchen on Waikiki beach?? Will be travelling at the end of
April. I have read previous entries but have had no luck. Thank
We just stayed at a really nice and convenient condo in Waikiki.
The Castle Waikiki Shores was right on the beach which was
perfect for our toddler. It was a one bedroom room with kitchen
and w/d in the unit. Furnishings were nice and it also had daily
maid service. Our room was in the middle of the building which
was nice cause it overlooked the park (and not the street) and
you could kind of see the ocean from the lanai. Higher floors
probably had better views but we were only on the second floor
which worked out great for us cause we just took the stairs
instead of waiting for the elevator with our anxious toddler.
Parking was extra but it was right in the basement of the
building another plus for us.
We are thinking of making our first visit to Oahu this December.
We're tending towards the Waikiki area, for the music, but I would
really welcome lodging recommendations for anywhere on Oahu.
Usually we prefer small quiet places, but we figure it's time to
check out all the hubbub.
We're thinking of 7-9 days, hotel or condo or ... Not too pricey
but nice, preferably with an ocean view and air conditioning. Any
recommendations or advice? Also, is there any place to stay away
For a ocean view, in Waikiki, I have liked Waikiki Shores condos
and the Sheraton.
I did not see your original posting, but if you are interested
in an Oahu lodging on the beach and you can spend the money,
nothing gets nicer than the Kahala Mandarin Oriental. It is
beautiful, complete with dolphins in a lagoon-like area around
the hotel and fabulous hospitality. The beach is lovely, and
really, if you never wanted to leave you would not have to,
except if you snorkel, you must not miss Hanauma Bay. My
husband and I went there for our 15th wedding anniversary last
year and had a fabulous time. It is away from the strip of
hotels and has a very getaway feel to it.
We are going to Oahu for 5 days, staying close to Waikiki
beach. We are really in need of a few days away from everything
and would like to make this a fun-filled and stress-free trip
where we can do things as a family(one 7 year old girl) and also
as a couple. We would love to sign up for a tour or any other
good activities but are lost with all the possibilities. We
don't know which ones are the ''good'' ones. We read about tours
that include things like going to falls or snorkeling or a
dinner tour or something that includes a show. Has anyone
gone on tours or signed up for activities and can recommend
some? The thing we are trying to avoid are tours where we'd end
up with a hundret people crammed on a tiny boat for 7 hours.
Also, any restaurant or buffet recommendation is appreciated.
We checked out previous listing and they are great when it comes
to kids activities, but there is nothing about tours or grown up
activities or restaurants. Thanks alot from a family ready for
a little vacation.
The Honolulu Zoo (honoluluzoo.org) is wonderful. There is also
a very nice rose garden near or in (I can't rememeber) Kapiolani
Park in Waikiki. Check the Honolulu City and County website.
There are listing for lots of free things to do...like concerts
in the park, movies on the beach, and arts and crafts fairs.
Oahu can be great, but I highly recommend getting out of Waikiki
as much as you can. A few ideas: 1) Kailua beach park -- about
30 minutes from waikiki. Sandy bottom beach, great for swimming
and hanging out. Get snacks and lunch at Kalapawai market (near
beach park),and after swimming and fun go to Island Snow (kitty
corner from Kalapawai)for shave ice. 2)Waimea Falls on the
north show has a nice tour, diving and hula shows that are
relatively mellow (i.e. not too touristy), and it is beautiful.
You could go on a tour to get there, but I think most of the
tours spend about an hour there and try to fit in too many
things. We learned that we got a big discount at Waimea Falls
by showing our rental car key. 3)On the south side of the
island is Sea Life Park. Again, a nice mix of shows and local
flavor in a beautiful setting. Pick one activity a day and have
I just returned from Oahu for 7 days with 4 kids -my 3 children
(13,15,21)and my 13yr olds friend. I highly recommend the
Polynesian Cultural Center. It was by far the favorite of all
of us. We purchased a tour from Cheap tours for $75. per
person plus tax. This included an air conditioned bus ride to
and from with a guide who talked about the island during the
hour ride, a luau buffet dinner with flower lei, all the
activities at the park and a fabulous show after dinner. It
was a long day 10 am to 10 pm but well worth it. The park is
set up with little ''islands'' that represent the different
cultures (Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, etc). Don't miss
the Samoa show. The Tonga show was also good. It had
activities for all ages and the food was good. We also went on
a package tour of snorkling in Hanauma Bay and then a dinner
cruise which ended up costing $35 per person plus $5.00 per
person to enter the snorkling park. Take a lunch with you to
the snorkling. I would recommend the snorkling highly. The
dinner cruise was fun, food pretty average but good and if you
want to tour the bay on a ship worth it. This tour also
picked you up in Waikiki. If you get motion sickness- skip it.
We also spent time at the beaches trying to boogie board and
surf. For a restaurant in Waikiki, I would recommend Moose
Mcgillacuddy's on Lewers street. They have a great happy hour,
(kids welcome) and early bird dinner specials.
We also went to the Dole Plantation tour. Pretty boring. The
Arizona Memorial was very sobering. I am not sure a 7 year old
would understand but it was informative and if your child is
interested in looking at milatary items, they have a pretty
good museum which is free as is the tour. Go early to this one
because it fills up fast.
We drove to the other side of the island to see Waimea (sp?)
Falls but the falls were not flowing so that was a bust. It is
supposed to be beautiful and you can swim in them, but they
only run when they have just had rain.
Hope this helps.
Other activities on Oahu not mentioned I'd recommend: Snorkeling
in Hanauma Bay. Because the fish come in very shallow, a child in
water shoes (essential) can wade with fish. You can get an easy
bus ride(possibly a free one) from Waikiki. Also there is a
children's museum called Hawaii Children's Discovery Center just
outside Waikiki, the turn off for it is near the Ward Center I
think. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu is fascinating, more for an
older child probably. Watch for the free buses that will take you
from Waikiki to all kinds of spots around the area. We loved Sea
Life Park. Also I like Ala Moana beach for kids, it has no waves.
There is a book ''Fun with the Family in Hawaii'' that is an
excellent resource. Have a blast!
This is in response to the last newsletter where someone
recommended the Polynesian Cultural Center in Oahu. If you have
never been there you should be aware that the PCC is very ''It's
a Small World-ish.'' When you enter you can have your picture
taken with a ''real Polynesian'' (a brown man in a loin cloth
holding a spear) and the lives, people and cultures of the
islands are made ''fascinating'' and ''exotic'' for tourists. I
personally found it pretty offensive, although others obviously
think it's great. Also, the PCC is owned and operated by the
Mormon Church and all the profits go to support
their ''educational activities,'' i.e. missionary work, around the
globe. It is a very popular tourist destination (people arrive
by the busloads), but it definitely is not for everyone.
We will be traveling to Oahu in October and we're looking for a
2 BDR @ 2 bath condo that is in Waikiki close to the beach or
shops. My brother is getting married at the Sheraton in
Waikiki. Our son will be a year when we go so preferably a
somewhat child friendly place. We're on a budget so we're
trying to get the most for our money. Any suggestions would be
greatly appreciated or websites you've used and have had success
My first thought is that if you want ''child-friendly'', you
should be on the zoo/Diamond Head side of Waikiki, not right in
the heart of Waikiki. You are still walking distance from the
excitement, but far enough away that it is a lot more peaceful.
There are great park areas, the zoo, and a very nice child
friendly beach (San Souci). Try the Colony Surf condos. There
are a couple others near the Colony Surf, but I can't think of
the names. Also, you might want to try in the town of Kahala,
although this might not be too budget friendly. Have fun!
We are thinking of renting one of the condos at the Turtle Bay
Resort on Oahu - has anyone been there and what do you think? Any
other recommendations on Oahu away from the Waikiki madness?
We'd like something relaxed and not too expensive with our two
young boys. Any advice on the island welcomed.
My husband and I stayed in a condo at Turtle Bay a couple of
years ago. I loved it but it took my husband a day or two to
warm up to it. He likes more traditional hotels that are more
plush and have room service. I loved being able to make a
sandwich at 1am if I wanted in the well equipped kitchenette!
Ours was clean and comfortable but a bit dated in decor. It
looked out to the golf course and had a nice little deck. It
was just a minute or two walk to the main hotel and beach. Very
quiet and serene. Ours did not have central a/c, just one a/c
box in the bedroom. I would be sure to ask if there are any with
central a/c as that was the one thing I would have changed.
There are smaller beachfront bungalows that had outstanding
views but for the money, I was glad we went with the golf course
view. The buffet brunch at the hotel is outstanding and our
family who lives on Oahu often go just for the food and music on
the weekends. The North Shore is a peaceful place in summer and
a great alternative to staying in crowded, touristy Waikiki. It
gets a huge surfer crowd in winter but is pretty dead spring and
summer, in a good way. Turtle Bay is close to some great
beaches that locals frequent, a state park with amazing
waterfalls and quaint little towns. We went before our baby was
born but I would definitely go back with her. Kid-friendly for
I just joined the network as we are moving to the Bay Area in
about a year but we presently live in Hawaii; where I am from.
My mom actually owns and rents out a very nice condo (some are
not)in the Turtle Bay complex. It has a downstairs bedroom and
a loft upstairs with two twin beds. I believe that the couch
also folds out for more people. It has two bathrooms. Turtle
Bay has undergone some major renovations in the past year or so
and is apparently really nice now. The north shore of Oahu is
considered the ''country'' side of the island. It's much more
laid back than the rest of Oahu. There are nice beaches
although it depends on what time of the year you are planning
on going. During the winter months the waves are notoriously
HUGE and great for watching but much too dangerous for swimming.
If you are looking for a quieter less ''touristy'' type of
vacation avoid Waikiki. On the north-eastern side of Oahu,
Kailua- the town where I live, has beaches that are considered
some of the best in the world. You can rent Kayaks or get a
windsurfing lesson or just veg on the sand. The North Shore is
kind of isolated from the more active parts of the island.
It's about 45 minutes to get to Kailua or Honolulu. That may
not seem long to people from the mainland but people here treat
it like it's a roadtrip.
Feel free to email me if you want more info or specifics on the
Can anyone recommend condos or houses they have used in Oahu? We
are travelling with a two year old and grandparents and would
like a 2-3 bedroom. We see lots of hotels listed but would like
a kitchen. Thanks!
Last year we stayed at Waikiki Sunset near Diamond Head; they
have 1-2 bedroom condos which include the room(s), a living area
that has a pull out couch and dining table and a kitchen with a
counter for seating as well. Some floors have laundry
facilities. They are near the beach and the zoo! We are going
to Oahu again this year with 3 other families and are staying
again. Log onto www.hawaiiconnection.com for information and
reservations on various condos in the area. Incidentally, you
can get a cheaper room if you are on the lower floors. The
upper floors of course, have the views which are not that
important for us and made the condos cheaper! Please email me
if you want more information on other things to do.
Have you looked for rental houses in the communities of Lanikai and
Kailua? They''re on the northeast side of the island, a fairly short drive
from Honolulu (take highway 61 to get there), and there are lots of small
houses in nice residential communities that can be rented. Also, in
Lanikai, you're really close to an absolutely lovely beach for swimming
and snorkeling. If you like low-key, this is the place for you.
There's only one condo on the water in Waikiki, Outrigger
Waikiki Shore. We have stayed there many times, it's getting
pricey. 1 bedroom condos are really a big room with bed area
separated by an accordion (folding) door, they have full
kitchens and laundry. Condos have a view along the beach (away
from Diamond Head) over Derussy park (so not obstructed even
though not technically ocean facing) and use of the facilities
at Outrigger Reef next door including a decent pool.
Ask for one bedroom ocean view, as high a floor and as close to
the water as possible for best view.
We will be in Waikiki for a week in February with our toddler
who turns 2 at the end of the month. (I'm teaching a one-day
class - hooray for a reason to do a family vacation!) Can you
recommend things to do, places to go in Oahu that would be fun
for us to do with her? Our hotel is right in the downtown area
by the International Bazaar. We won't have a rental car for the
week, though we might rent a car for a day or two.
If you can get away from Waikiki, maybe even by bus, there is a
calmer (no waves) and less crowded beach at the Ala Moana park.
A longer drive, very pretty (may be shuttles from Waikiki) is
Sea Life Park--it's a smaller version of Sea World. It's the
right size for kids, our daughter loved it when she was 2. The
price is high for adults.
In Waikiki (a bit of a walk down the beach towards Diamond Head)
there is a pretty nice zoo, with reciprocal membership from
Oakland Zoo. Further down is a nice little Aquarium, with
reciprocal membership from Monterey Bay Aquarium. Even further
(not much past the Aquarium) is a hula show (it's either
sponsored by Kodak or was sponsored by Koday years ago--I
forget), they ask all the kids from the audience to participate
at one point and teach them a little hula.
Besides that, our daughter's favorite things are playing at the
beach and pool, and the corny poolside shows that many of the
We just got back from a trip to Oahu visiting family. We took our
20-month old son with us and can recommend the following
activities, all very close to Waikiki:
- Ala Moana Beach Park (very family friendly, clean beach)
- Koi (carp) ponds and escalators at Ala Moana Shopping Center
(across the street from the beach park). The shopping center has
a huge food court with lots of high chairs.
- Waikiki Aquarium (scale is perfect for a toddler)
- Honolulu Zoo (a ten minute walk from the Aquarium)
- Kapiolani Park (huge grassy park where the zoo is located)
We went to Oahu when our daughter was two, and I recall
her enjoying the activities in the giant park along the coast
just past Waikiki toward Diamond Head (the name escapes
me). She loved the Zoo, there's a small aquarium, and
there's lots of room to run and play. Enjoy your trip!
I am from Honolulu and enjoy taking my children back home to
visit...here are the places/things we've enjoyed...
The Waikiki Aquarium(a short walk towards Diamond Head from
The Honolulu Zoo(in Waikiki)
Kaimana Beach (lots of toddlers here) - located on the Diamond
Head side of the Aquarium in front of the New Otani Hotel
Rainbows Drive-In - a plate lunch place in Kapahulu(near Waikiki)
Kapiolani Park - across from the Aquarium
Haunama Bay Beach - feed the fish and watch them swarm! Drive or
take a bus.
Kahala Mall - for shopping and coffee
A former Kamaina
We were in Honolulu this July and went to the Children's
Discovery Museum (I don't remember the exact name). It
was great fun for our 3 and 1-year olds. There's a section
where you can learn about the cultures of many immigrants
to Hawaii; a reading room; a 'town' with doctor's office, fire
station, bank, etc., and much, much more. We spent many
hours there, and they would have liked to have spend
I found out about it in the front of the phone book, I think the
yellow pages. There's a great list of places to go. We also
went to Senator Fong's Plantation, which is on northeast
Oahu. We like botany, so we enjoyed it - there's a tram ride
through his large gardens with lots of native plants.
On Oahu, we stayed at a guest house in Lanikai, one block from the beach. It
was a bit of a dive, but they took us for less than a week, which is against
their habit, so overall we were glad to be there. It was $80/night, and matches
pretty closely the description of the Waimanalo guest house room-with-lanai (in
our case, really a patio facing the hill, with a side view of the sea), and
while it does not include snorkel gear, it does include a washer and dryer, very
useful with a baby. I'll be glad to give you info if you email me. The
windward coast (Waimanalo is also on the windward coast) is really beautiful,
and has everything from protected beaches like Lanikai to wild surf on Sandy
Beach near the blowhole (we tried some of each, with a beach umbrella for the
baby, who, it turns out, doesn't mind the beach but HATES the sea. We'll work
We didn't see ANYONE camped on any beaches on Oahu, but we did not
circumnavigate the island -- not enough time! We navigated the southern half on
the coast road. The northern half may be a different story.
Just got back from a week on Oahu with kids age 4 and 8. It was great. We
stayed at a B&B in a small beach town called Waimanalo, about a half hour
from Honolulu. I would recommend the place we stayed, called "Nalo Winds"
For $550 for 7 nights we had the "mermaid suite," a good-sized bedroom with
a queen bed, a teeny bathroom (shower only--no tub), and a large lanai
(screened porch) with a double futon, table and 4 chairs, and kitchenette
with small fridge, 2 burner hotplate, microwave, toaster oven, coffee
maker. The kitchen was stocked with coffee, tea, milk, juice, fruit,
yogurt, cereal, muffins. One of the things I liked most is that the lanai
opens onto a private garden with a small lawn and hammock. The rental also
includes the use of a wide selection of snorkelling equipment (some kid
size), adult bikes, coolers, a gas grill, washer/dryer, kiddie pool. It
sort of felt like borrowing someone's slightly funky, but comfortable beach
house (oh, it's half a block from the beach). There's no tv/vcr, which we
didn't miss, and sound carries perfectly from the bedroom to the lanai, so
it's hard for someone to take a nap in one room while others are playing in
the other room.
I wouldn't think Hawaii would be a great place to camp for a week, but
maybe for part of the time. It can get really hot and also rainy. You would
need to get ice daily to keep food cold. Be sure to find someplace with
showers for all the sand and saltwater (some beaches have showers...)
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