Aloha BLomeli, you lived in Oahu for 4 years, If you don't mind my asking, why'd you move to the mainland? Although Southern Cal is pretty nice as well. Do you have any advice on great but lesser known beaches on Oahu, and in particular good beaches to go snorkeling from? And when it comes to shopping for staple food items, is there a Sam's or Costco or are the local grocery stores the most affordable choice? Sorry for the littany of questions, but you seem like a knowledgeable person to ask. Thanks.........
Having just returned from another glorious visit to Oahu...
all the islands give people the chance to experience the meaning of aloha and the exotic beauty of polynesia. Ohau, however, was and is the Gathering Place, and as such has many things to offer that the other islands don't. Bud, most of the negative comments I have seen about Oahu are from those who never left Waikiki and were not Waikiki kind of people. If the hustle and bustle of Honolulu offends, you don't have to drive through it to get to pristine deserted beaches- you can stay on the North Shore or in Makaha or the Windward side. Moreover, the beaches you will find there have softer sand and the gorgeous Koolau Mountains as a backdrop, a combination that's not all that easy to find on the other islands. Each island has its advantages and beauties, but also its downsides. How many smooth, pristine and relatively uninhabited beaches can you get to in Maui, especially without a condo development right next to it? On Oahu they're all over the place. In fact, perhaps what frustrates people about Oahu the most is that many of the most beautiful beaches aren't near any hotel developments. Well, that's one of the reasons they're so beautiful!
Macjack, why are you directing your comments about the glory of Oahu to me? I didn't say anything negative about Oahu, just Waikiki. I have traveled every inch of Oahu. Waikiki is a place that any city would be proud to have and those who live on Oahu are very fortunate. Waikiki just isn't the kind of place that many people are looking for when they travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars on vacation. On the other hand many visitors like it, especially the Japanese. Waikiki as it is would not be financially viable without the Japanese who do not consider Waikiki to be crowded by their standards.
It appears that those in a position of power agree that Waikiki requires major improvements as evidenced by the Lewers Street reconstruction and the demolition of the International Market Place. I predict that there will be many more changes. If Waikiki doesn't change it will die.
I also got a similar response from people when I said I was going to Oahu...I found myself almost apologizing for going there instead of a different island (I've also been to the Big Island). I LOVED Oahu! And I agree with the less people know about how great it is, the less people will be in the great spots. Waikiki is a big city - it has cool areas, and the beach is fine. Rent a car and get out of town though - the rest of the island is BEAUTIFUL and we actually had beaches mostly to ourselves (late April), most of them looking like a postcard! I would watch out for your car in the parking lots though...especially if your car is the only one.
one thing you can't miss (unless of course you don't eat this) is going to Matsumoto's which is on the way to or on the way back from Haleiwa. They sell shave ice (aka snow cone, ice shave). It's the best. Especially right after coming from a long day at the beach. It's something even the locals will drive all the way over there for. Another thing is Mistuken chicken which is a pretty much a hole in the wall place in Kalihi. You may have to go pretty early in the morning as the chicken is so good they ususal sell out if you're not fast. THe last place I like to go to is Liliha Bakery in Liliha. They are open 24 hours a day with the exception of being closed on Sunday night and Monday. They just don't sell baked goods, they have a restaurant inside with counter style setting and the food is really good too.
have to agree with prior posts..lived in hawaii for 20 years and in south bay cali since like you do for the past 20 years..
we visit family in hawaii 3-4 x a year and love o'ahu, honolulu, waikiki, and the outer islands, too..we always stay at the sheraton moana and are never disappointed..but we always eat off property, duke's canoe club is a winner..
for comparison, we stay at the bacara resort in santa barbara ($500/night) which you may know, and consider it on a par with our waikiki exp. at the moana..
for an extra special dinner, wander down to the new otani kaimana beach hotel hau tree lanai..it's expensive, but you're sitting out under the hawaiian moon and with the palm trees blowing in the breeze..it doesn't get any better than that..
and take the H3 across the island...absolutely breathtaking!!!