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Oahu and Maui Hawaii Tips - Lots of info to share

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  • Jan 12th, 2018 6:34 pm
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
366 posts
113 upvotes

Oahu and Maui Hawaii Tips - Lots of info to share

I posted this in another thread but I will post it here so others will see it easily. There are many tips and tricks to having a great Hawaii experience, here are just a few.

There are so many places that hotels or people on the street will try to sell you tickets to, like "circle tours". They drive you around the whole island and stop to eat/shop. Seems like a good deal, but in reality, they take you to pre-arranged traps where you will go and eat (not the best of the places, ie not the best shrimp truck) and they will take you to places to shop. you are basically stuck on the bus and cant stop anywhere else. Oahu has so many beautiful places, but if you aren't driving yourself, you will never be able to access them. Driving in Hawaii is super easy if you are from Toronto, its laid back and people drive slow.

In maui I always stay in Lahania, it’s a town on the west side of the island, it’s a strip of private beaches that the different resorts own, so they aren’t too crowded, nice and relaxing. I always stay at “the royal lahania resort” royallahaina.com the tower rooms are really nice if you get a ocean view room, they also have those cottages that you can rent if you are going with a few families. It is on a golf course right on the beach, its amazing. At that hotel they have one of the best luau’s on the island and its usually included for guests of the hotel or at least there is a discount. If not that place, get any hotel in the area, there are nice shop and stuff that you can walk to from the beach. https://www.whalersvillage.com/en.html also if you are going to Maui, when you arrive go to Costco and pickup water, snacks, food, sun screen and stuff that you will need. do this because it is a long drive from the hotels and its the cheapest way of getting all that stuff, if you buy these things in Lahinia it will be double the cost.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stay in Kihei when you are on Maui. Everyone will tell you, oh its cheaper there and its the same... IT IS NOT. It is cheaper, but the beaches are garbage, the area isn't nice at all. its on the other side of the island and near nothing.

Lahania town is a really nice place, there is a stretch of shops and nice restaurants that is within about a 5 minute drive from the hotel, http://www.visitlahaina.com/ . There is a GREAT shave ice place here, be aware that not all shave ice is the same. If you get it and it tastes like a snow cone, you got a bad one. Shave ice should taste smooth almost like ice cream, don't forget the Macadamia Nut or Haupia (Coconut Pudding) Ice Cream on the bottom as well as Ululani’s Snow Cap!!! Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice - http://www.ululanishawaiianshaveice.com/locations/

Make sure to go to this place for breakfast, the food is awesome and the view is amazing “The Gazebo” http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/37/410726/r ... bo-Lahaina - there is always a line up, so go early. get the Mac nut pancakes with coconut syrup, also get the fried rice (yes I know this is weird for breakfast, but try it!)

If you want some fun things to do, for sure do this… zipline.com‎ the place is near that hotel, they drive you up the mountain and then you do about 8-10 ziplines that get higher and longer, it’s really fun. They provide lunch and everything, it’s a great time.

Road to Hana - This is a full day drive, like 7am to 7pm, so leave early if you are going to do it.. the road to hana http://www.mauiinformationguide.com/road-to-hana.php ‎ Make sure to do lots of research about this so that you get to see some hidden waterfalls ect. You will find the places by stopping at the different mile markers on the road. There are so many hidden things along this drive, waterfalls ect. Bring food, water, hiking shoes with you because there are limited places to buy things or stop at along the way.

Another must do thing is a snorkeling trip to the Molokini Crater. You drive to the docks, get a boat to the crater, the lunch and drinks are included, they take you to the crater and you go snorkeling https://www.prideofmaui.com/trips/morni ... aQodJooAiA – I do this every time I go and it’s so amazing every time, make sure to get a underwater camera. DO NOT MISS THIS. Try to go on as early a trip as possible as the earlier you go, the less tours/people that are at the crater, so it is more peaceful.

Another good trip to do is http://www.gohawaii.com/lanai
http://www.hawaiioceanproject.com/lanai_snorkeling.php
it’s an island that can only be accessed by boat. It has really nice beaches and is a good day trip. A meal is included, usually a BBQ and sitting on the boat coming back during sunset is amazing.

For sure it is possible to go to other islands for a few days, this way you can go to the big island and see the active volcanos. I usually go from island to island by way of island air or Hawaiian airlines, check both as they have different prices but both offer interisland flights, http://www.islandair.com/ http://www.hawaiianairlines.com/cargo/p ... sland.aspx the flights are super short and take around 30 mins end to end.

http://www.bigislandvolcanotours.com/ check out places like this, some of them include flights from maui to the big island, but it might be better just to do the flight yourself and book a tour.

For Oahu here are some places to check out,

http://www.leonardshawaii.com/home/ - great fresh Hawaiian/Portuguese donuts, simply amazing when they are still warm!

http://www.tedsbakery.com/ this place has amazing pies, you can buy it by the slice or the whole pie… I usually bring back a pie on the plane. The one to try is Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie. While you are here, take the pie across the street to the north shore and see some amazing surfing.

http://snorkelbob.com/ - go here to rent snorkels and prescription goggles if you need them, you rent it and then drop them in a drop box when you are done. This way you can take them to the beach with you.

https://www.doleplantation.com/ - you have to go here to see the pineapples growing and get some of the famous Dole Whip Ice cream

I attached a detailed map of Lanikai and the Pillboxes. http://www.best-of-oahu.com/lanikai-pillbox-hike.html DO THIS FOR SURE if you go to Oahu

Another thing to do near Lanikai for great photos - https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html

More great lookouts/photo ops - https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html

certain times of the year you can see turtles at Laniakea Beach.
Another cool thing to see is Spitting Cave of Portlock, but be VERY careful climbing down to see it.

For a nice little trip go to KCC Farmers Market, its on Saturday mornings only, but great fresh food and things to try out!

Pearl Harbor is a must do. Now how to get you into pearl harbor and a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial for FREE! - go early and get the free tickets for a designated time slot. Tours start at 8am, but they start giving out tickets I think at 7am. They have about 1300 free tickets each day, but after that you need to pay, so go early, get into the main building then wait for your ferry timeslot. ALSO pack very light because no bags/purses ect will be allowed in. Also make sure to bring sunscreen, its mostly outdoors and around 12pm you will roast.

Diamond Head Crater hike - wear comfy shoes, bring water, make sure you pee first lol. This hike is not a joke. take your time and get to the top and make sure to bring your camera.

Hanauma Bay - take your snorkels from snokelbobs and get to it, lots to see and do.

AMAZING surfing especially during Dec/Jan - Banzai Pipeline - https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html

As for restaurants on this island, there are some nice places.
Dukes is a really nice restaurant with good food and it’s on the beach, call a day before and make a reservation, ask for a patio seat. They have a nice salad bar and some good seafood dishes. http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/menus/dining-room

really great food at The Pig & The Lady - https://www.yelp.ca/biz/the-pig-and-the-lady-honolulu-4

A little bit more pricey but its great - https://www.yelp.ca/biz/hau-tree-lanai-honolulu

For Fresh shrimp trucks go to giovannis or macky’s shrimp trucks, those places are good and you can get other things except shrimp, but the garlic shrimp is really good and they get the shrimp fresh right out of the farm.

The Shorebird is a unique place where they have big bbqs where you cook your own meat. There is a big salad bar and you order whatever you want, chicken, steak, fish ect. Pro Tip - I would suggest throwing some of the pineapple slices from the buffet on the grill, nothing better than fresh grilled Hawaii pineapple http://shorebirdwaikiki.com/
http://shorebirdwaikiki.com/events/special-offers/ - Check this link before you go for a buy one entrée get one for 50% off coupon

This place is a must for lunch, Nico's Pier 38 - https://www.yelp.ca/biz/nicos-pier-38-honolulu-2 - its right at the pier and the fresh fish is amazing. Also the baked goods are so good.

So, I would suggest getting a rental car, it is totally worth it to have the freedom to drive around the entire island and hit all of these places.

As far as hotels in Waikiki, check this place out, Aston at the Waikiki Banyan. They are condos with full kitchen, pull out couch and is one block walking to the beach and main strip. They have daily parking in there too, last time I was there the parking was the cheapest. I have stayed here 3 times but I never booked through the hotel. Lots of people own these units and rent them out through airbnb or VRBO, so look there for cheaper rates.

Also, for souvenirs and Macadamia Nuts ect, buy those at Walmart/costco, they sell the exact same items at a lower cost, they have a big section just for souvenirs. If you buy these kind of things at the ABC stores or other gift shops you will pay more.

I have lots more tips, but these are just off the top of my head.
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Jun 11, 2005
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Great information very nice of you. tks

What is the average cost of a dinner in your experience?
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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antigua1999 wrote:
Oct 30th, 2017 3:39 pm
Great information very nice of you. tks

What is the average cost of a dinner in your experience?

It really depends on what dinner is to you. You can have a plate meal, which is rice, meat, macaroni salad for about $10. you can have mid range food for about $30 or you can go all out and have a really nice seafood meal for $60-$80. What I do before the trip is to plan out restaurant meals. I plan them by night and what we expect to order so that as soon as we are in the hotel, I call off of them and make reservations.
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Jan 12, 2005
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There's actually an ok shave ice place 2min from Leonard's as well. As for Lenoard's, I'm not sure if it was worth the walk from Waikiki and the long wait in line. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the diverse food we have in Toronto.
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Jan 12, 2005
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If you like Japanese food, I highly recommend going to Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley.
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Jul 12, 2003
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A lot of places in Waikiki has Happy hour special. For example Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, after lunch hour til 5pm , then after 10pm (IIRC) and dl the app for free points.
Sansei Seafood restaurant after 10pm, the sushi and other dishes are all half price with live band on Fridays.

Marukamel Udon always have line up, doesn't matter day or night. I tried and believe it is over rated.
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MP3_SKY wrote:
Oct 30th, 2017 5:06 pm
Marukamel Udon always have line up, doesn't matter day or night. I tried and believe it is over rated.
Agreed. We lined up when we were there a few years ago and couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. We thought it was just “ok”.
Sr. Member
Nov 10, 2012
529 posts
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Calgary
Also thanks OP for the guide. Heading to Oahu and Maui this winter so will try to check out some of your suggestions (agreed on the shaved ice - tried that place on Maui twice a few years back and it was amazing!).
[OP]
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May 23, 2017
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GateGuardian wrote:
Oct 30th, 2017 4:54 pm
There's actually an ok shave ice place 2min from Leonard's as well. As for Lenoard's, I'm not sure if it was worth the walk from Waikiki and the long wait in line. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the diverse food we have in Toronto.
I always drive, its too far to walk for a donut lol
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Dukes in Kannapali beach is awesome for a meal. the hula pie is amazing.
[OP]
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MyNameWasTaken wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 4:27 pm
I would skip the Dole Plantation to be honest
for first time Hawaii travelers, it is a must. Takes like 10 minutes to go in and get some dole whip, see the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees that you cant see anywhere else and go see the small pineapples growing near the entrance. It is right on a main road and not out of the way. I would 100% go there to check it out.
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rocking23nf wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 4:53 pm
Dukes in Kannapali beach is awesome for a meal. the hula pie is amazing.
last time I was there my friend ordered a steak medium rare, we got the meal and the waitress came back to check on us and looked at his steak and said "that doesn't look medium rare" he was like, "its a little overdone but its really tender, I'm really happy with it", shes like "no that's not right I will get a manager". manager came over and told him he was getting his meal for free and they gave all 4 of us hula pie for free hahaha. I have never experienced customer service like that.
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