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Help first time to Oahu!

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posts: 181
reviews: 7
Help first time to Oahu!

We are Maui people but a almost free trip to Oahu just fell into our lap. We are staying at the JW marriot at kolina. Could anyone give me some imput on this island and hotel! Thanks!

Round Rock, Texas
posts: 11
reviews: 33
1. Re: Help first time to Oahu!

My wife and I were Maui people as well until we went to Oahu a few years ago. You'll need to get out of Waikiki to get the Maui feel, but there are truly some great beaches here that rival those of Kapalua and Napili on Maui. The hotel is located on the west side of the island and if you enjoy relaxing by the beach you'll like the JW. I'd suggest a rental car and would give you advice to do the following while you are on the island. Enterprise is about half the price of Hertz when renting from the airport. Here a few things to do.

- Day trip to Haleiwa (North Shore). Have breakfast at Paradise Cafe or at Cafe Haleiwa. Stop by Surf 'n' Sea...coolest surf shop around. Snorkel at Shark's Cove. You'll want to get there early in the morning as the parking is tight and along side the road. Don't eat at Jamesons. Overpriced for average food. Have lunch at Kua Aina for one of the best hamburgers we've ever had. If you are up for an adventure we HIGHLY recommend doing an adventure with North Shore Shark Adventures. You go out about a mile in a great boat, then they drop a cage in the water and you snorkel in the cage while a dozen Gallapagos sharks swim around you. This is probably the coolest thing that I've ever done. http://www.sharktourshawaii.com/. You will likely find yourself heading back to the north shore another day.

- Day trip to Kailua Beach. We think that this is actually the nicest beach on Maui, Kauai and Oahu. You can spend quite a bit of time there. Lots of surf shops in the area. The town has a Maui Taco's restaurant...good place for lunch. After lunch drive north along the coast then take the interstate through the mountain home. There are a few lookouts to stop at when driving through the mountains.

- Spend a Day shopping in Waikiki.

- There are a few movie theaters in Honolulu/Waikiki in case you want a break from the sun.

- Hiking Diamond head is fun but will eat up a few hours of time (plan for 1/2 day to go up and down, with the occasional stops for photo opps.

- Have a Mai Tai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (this is where we normally stay. Their Mai Tai bar is the home of the Mai Tai. You'll want a designated driver if you do; they are awesome, but strong.

- Have dinner one night at the Halekulani hotel. They have this fantastic open air restaurant where you dine under the stars while listening to beautiful Hawaiian music (this is not a cheesy ukulele band gig, its great music and singing). Its hard to describe, but worth the drive in to town.

Hope some of this helps. We are actually heading back ourselves to Oahu this August. We'll stay half of the trip at the JW for relaxation and the other half in Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiian for the nightlife.

posts: 181
reviews: 7
2. Re: Help first time to Oahu!

Thanks for your post. I havent slept since I booked this trip because Im nervous going somewhere I have never been. But it sounds really fun. We do like to relax by the pool and beach but we also like to get in the car and explore so it sounds like it should be fun.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
posts: 21,527
3. Re: Help first time to Oahu!


Buckley, Washington
posts: 109
reviews: 2
4. Re: Help first time to Oahu!

Ko'olina is quite a ways from most of the tourist hangouts on Oahu. This has it's advantages and disadvantages. One good thing is that you will be much closer to the great beaches on the West side. These are some of the best beaches, and the weather is drier than most other areas of the island. There are some who say that the West side is more dangerous (less friendly to tourists) but we've had no problems there. I think Yokohama Beach is the prettiest on Oahu, but I don't always get there because it's such a long drive from my usual Waikiki hotels.

5. Re: Help first time to Oahu!

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