Lives in Hawaii
Since Sep 2007
Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas, Military Bases & Facilities
Historic Sites, History Museums, Specialty Museums
Historic Sites, Ships, Points of Interest & Landmarks
This is a very relaxing place to enjoy dinner and drinks as you watch the sunset and enjoy the tropical breezes. Enjoy the pleasant sounds of local entertainment and the graceful hula dancers. This is a go-to place where we always take visitors. Lunch is also very pleasant, and service is gracious. Dine at leisure, and be sure to save room for the delectable macadamia cheesecake for dessert!
This place would make a great stop for lunch or dinner on the way back to Waikiki from a visit to the Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor/Swap meet. Lunch is nice and casual. Just walk in and order at the counter and then find a seat. You can dine outside, under the umbrellas, but, eating inside, you can still enjoy the balmy breezes, and it's more comfortable.
Eat like a local and have your dim sum experience at Happy Days Seafood Restaurant in Kaimuki. Admittedly, it can be somewhat overwhelming to have all these options wheeled over to your table via cart, but, just take your time, and enjoy. To this day, I still don't know all the names of the things I like, but I usually just point. No matter what you pick, you won't go wrong.
To me, a visit to the Arizona Memorial is an absolute must for any first-time visitor to the islands. The historic significance of Pearl Harbor makes this an educational and unforgettable visit.
You can't come to Oahu for the first time without having visited Waikiki Beach. And, even better, make sure you dip your feet into the Pacific Ocean while you're there. Waikiki is always interesting and makes for great people watching. It's not a "hidden gem," as evidenced by the crowd, but, as a first time visitor, you should plan to visit Waikiki, check out the beach, and cruise Kalakaua.
This is another place that I would highly recommend for the first-time visitor to Hawaii. It is a national historic landmark as well as the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. Before entering, you are asked to put on little booties to protect the floors as you tour the palace. It's well-worth a visit and will give the visitor a better understanding of the history of Hawaii.
There are many beautiful beaches in Hawaii, but on Oahu, in my opinion, this is one of the most scenic, next to the North Shore. This is a nice, calm beach that is very picturesque. The water is beautiful, and this would make a nice place to visit when you're exploring the windward side of the island. Drive along the breath-taking H-3 to the windward side, pick up lunch, and include a stop at the Kailua Beach Park. So relaxing!
While visiting Pearl Harbor, a trip to the Battleship Missouri would be recommended. At the Arizona Memorial, you can witness the start of the war for America, and, fittingly, the Battleship Missouri, will allow you to see where the end of the war occurred. The tour guides are excellent, and it will also give you a chance to visit Ford Island, where the Battleship Missouri is moored. Ford Island is brimming with historic value, and lends yet more of the historic backdrop for your visit to the Missouri.
There are so many places to see and things to do on Oahu, but I like to recommend the Bishop Museum because it gives an overview of the island's history. A visit here helps you appreciate the uniqueness of Hawaii and her inhabitants. It's a pleasant place.
Okay, this is a must-see. We bring all of our first-time islands guests to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Located in Laie, another beautiful part of the island, it is a drive or a ride from Waikiki, but it is, in my opinion, so well worth it. Visitors can stroll through different Polynesian lands (Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Marquesas, Aotearoa, Hawaii) and watch shows and experience various activities (dancing, singing, drumming, etc). It's a great overview of Polynesia, and the people you'll encounter in each village are actually from that area. Many of the performers/guides you'll encounter are students at the nearby Brigham Young University. There are staggered showtimes, so, as
I like this museum, the Hawaiian Mission Homes. It's not the largest museum on the island, but I like that it gives a look at what life might have been like for the missionaries who arrived in Hawaii in the 19th century. Stroll through the restored homes.
I've reviewed this Hawaii Plantation Village more extensively on one of my reviews, but I believe that this should be a must-see on a visitor's itinerary. If you want to understand present day Hawaii and how its diverse population came to be, you will find the Hawaii Plantation Village tour illuminating. I love visiting replica homes showing what it was like for each group who came to the islands during the height of the plantation era. It's fascinating, and, in my opinion, one of the least known historic gems on the island. It's in a part of town called Waipahu that most visitors don't really get to see, but it's well worth a visit. It's not too far from Pearl Harbor and would make a great visit as part of a day spent in the Pearl Harbor area, or a subsequent visit pairing the Hawaii Plantation Village with a visit to the Aloha Stadium swap meet. The guides are great. Not to be missed! You'll gain an entirely new appreciation for the island's history.
Another place that we love to take visitors to. Other than the price to park in the lot, there is no admission. Come and enjoy the beautiful views and crisp breezes.
The Farmer's Market at KCC is a great place to visit. It's a place that locals and visitors alike frequent. It's fun to walk around and look at all the items being sold -- fresh local produce, beautiful flowers, specialty items like honey and lavender, jams, nuts, breads, etc. Plus, you can enjoy food there -- pizza, shrimp, fried green tomatoes, abalone, pastries. You name it, you can find it. It's a very fun activity. There are crowds, and a lot in the crowd are Japanese tourists. But, the crowds are polite and the fact that so many come out to this farmer's market attests to its popularity and value.