Airline: AA from DFW. Trip home was overnight, so used points to upgrade to 1st class so we could sleep. Best $400 we ever spent!
Hotel: Hilton Hawaiian Village. Great hotel with beautiful rooms but way too crowded in the Waikiki area and the beach was neither good for snorkeling, body surfing, or boogie boarding. Boring! Would rather stay on North Shore.
Traffic: Horrible! H1 is always jammed day or night either direction. Honolulu is hard to get around.
Drinks: Great pina coladas at Hilton Hawaiian Village Tropics bar. Longboard beer.
Food: Nothing to rave about. Shrimp trucks on North shore (Romy's) were OK. Hiroshi's in Waikiki was overrated. Tropics at Hilton Hawaiian Village was OK. Dukes was OK - fish tacos were the best selection. Wailana on Ala Moana near Hilton Hawaiian village had great breakfast - wonderful corned beef hash and moco loco. Fresh fruit at roadside stands on North Shore. Must try Shaved ice (with condensed milk but leave off the sugar beans - yuck!) at Matsumotos in Haleiwa on North Shore.
Pearl Harbor: A must but don't expect too much.
Diamond Head - the hike is about 2 hours total and you need to be in semi good shape especially for the 99 step climb. Cool view.
Pali lookout: Fabulous view - cold. Look for wild chickens with chicks in the parking lot.
Waimea valley: Easy hike to the waterfall seen in Lost. Beautiful plants along the way.
Kualoa Ranch (where they filmed Lost, Jurassic Park, and many more). This was the BEST! Took the 2 hour ATV tour. Worth evey penny!
Hanauma Bay: Great snorkeling but get there early or the parking lot will be full and you can't get in.
Sharkes Cove: More great snorkeling - even better than Hanauma but not as easy to get to - lots of rocks/reef on shoreline.
Xtreme Parasail: Great crew wonderful experience. Went at 5:30 and the rainbows in the valley on shore were unbelievable!
Makahana Catamaran: Did Friday night fireworks trip but no fireworks because they actually view the Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks and they were delayed. Just an OK trip.
Paradise Cove Luau: Nice experience on the beach at Ko Olina. They tell you to get there at 4:30 but you can get there at 6:00 and have plenty of time for drinks and activities before dinner at 7:00 and entertainment at 8:00. Food was just so-so, but I think they all are. Also saw the Hilton Hawaiian Village Luau because it was on top of the parking garage and we could see it from our balcony. Definitely not as authentic as Paradise Cove and about $25 more expensive.
Ho Omaluha Garden: Beautiful drive through with a visitor center. Take a nap on the lawn.
Dole Pineapple Plantation: Must see. Take the train. Garden is OK. Eat a Pineapple Whip with pineapple & coconut on top. Try out the maze - largest on earth.
Helicopter tour: Take it first to get oriented to the island.