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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oahu Vacation Trip Report 1

A trip to the north shore wouldn't be complete without a shave ice from Oahu's Matsumoto's in Haleiwa. Dear Best Hawaii Vacation Blog visitors,
We are so happy to be able to post another Hawaii Vacation Trip Report from one of our blog visitors who recently visited Oahu on their Hawaii Vacation.

Here is what Joanne and Art Sala of Marina del Rey California have to say. We are sure you will also appreciate their Oahu vacation photos!

"We urge visitors to see ALL of Oahu. While Waikiki beach always has nice sunny weather and plenty of amenities, we prefer to get away from the crowds, chain retail stores and big box hotels. Our recent vacation included a one-week stay at a studio cottage in Kailua which we found on the VRBO website. Kailua has a beautiful beach and excellent restaurants.

We highly recommend Baci Bistro. Worth the drive to eat at this fine Italian restaurant where fresh local fish and organic produce is always on the menu. Another great spot to stay and get away from the crowds is Hawaii Kai, close to world-famous Hanauma Bay for snorkeling and lots of beautiful sunny beaches nearby including Sandy Beach Park.

World-famous Hanauma Bay--thee place to snorkel on Oahu. Not to be missed.  Arrive early,leave happy.

Of course, the absolute must visit attraction of Oahu is Pearl Harbor. Every American should see the USS Arizona Memorial and accompanying museums at least once in their lifetime. I was so moved by the experience. Plan to spend an entire day there. Much to see including the USS Bowfin Submarine, the Battleship Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Loved this experience, but perhaps mine was colored by the fact that my father volunteered to join the Navy after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7th 1941. My father is 84 and still talks about his days as a WWII airplane mechanic who lived aboard a Liberty Ship which patrolled the waters around the New Hebrides island chain.

If you hike to the top of Diamond Head, you'll be rewarded with views of Waikiki and beyond

No trip to Oahu would be complete without a hike to the top of Diamond Head. This is a well-traveled, popular attraction and if you can put one foot in the front of the other, you can and should do it. It's about a 45-minute walk up and 20 minutes back down. The day we went we were amazed to see so many travelers of all ages and sizes making the climb--some in high heels or flip flops! I think I was more amazed by the assortment of questionable footwear than I was the people.

My advice: No hiking boots necessary, just a good pair of supportive tennis shoes with good traction on the soles will serve you well. Please leave the flip flops and high heels back at the hotel! Word of warning: there are two funky narrow staircases to climb near the top, plus a spiral staircase. If you're horribly claustrophobic or seriously fear heights, this hike may not be for you. Views from the top are phenomenal. Well worth the effort and it's a nice workout before a hearty Hawaiian lunch back in nearby Waikiki.

A monk seal is cordoned off from the public at beautiful Sandy Beach Park; great surf at this beach too.

Last but not least, we were lucky enough to be in Oahu during the winter. Waves on the North Shore were pounding around 8 to 12 feet when we visited the beaches on that side of the island. Saw lots of experienced surfers riding monster waves. The day we left town the surf at Waimea Bay was reported to be a whopping 18 to 22 feet! If only we could've seen that.

A conveniently located surf shop near Waimea Bay.

There's always next visit to Hawaii!"

Much mahalo again, Joanne and Art, for sharing your Oahu vacation with our blog visitors. We can't wait to hear more from you about your next visit to Hawaii - curious where that will be! Enjoy the islands, just as Joanne and Art did and do. There is no place like Hawaii. Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations

Hawaii Trip Reports

Big Island Vacation Trip Report 1
Big Island Vacation Trip Report 2
Molokai Vacation Trip Report 1
Maui Vacation Trip Report 1

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