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2 or 3 nights in Honolulu--what to do?

tartanwood

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In March we plan to spend 3 weeks with our son and his family who live in Japan.

We are considering an Hawaiian Airlines flight with one stop-over in Honolulu. The flight schedule from Portland to Osaka requires an overnight stay in Honolulu, but we are considering extending the stop-over to 2 or 3 nights before going on to Japan.

Questions:

a) Where to stay?
Time is too short for a normal timeshare exchange, but are we limited to hotels? Where can we find an interesting location at a reasonable price for 2 or 3 nights?

b) What to do in a short time?
Flights arrive and leave mid-afternoon, so we can enjoy late afternoon and evening on arrival day and morning activities on departure day. We would have 1 or 2 non-travel days between arrival and departure.

We welcome suggestions for lodging, dining and activities.
 

Luanne

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Questions:

a) Where to stay?
Time is too short for a normal timeshare exchange, but are we limited to hotels? Where can we find an interesting location at a reasonable price for 2 or 3 nights?
You could check vrbo for short term rentals.

b) What to do in a short time?
Flights arrive and leave mid-afternoon, so we can enjoy late afternoon and evening on arrival day and morning activities on departure day. We would have 1 or 2 non-travel days between arrival and departure.

We welcome suggestions for lodging, dining and activities.
If you haven't been to Pearl Harbor I highly recommend that.
 

jlp879

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There's lots to do in Oahu for a short time, you won't have a problem keeping yourself busy.

Try a visit to Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace or the Bishop Museum for Hawaiian history.

For a short visit, I'd recommend Honolulu for lodging. If you don't want a hotel, try a short term rental from VRBO or Airbnb. I've had success renting a one bedroom condo on Kuhio Ave. for a short stay before heading to the Ko Olina resort area.
 

jlp879

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It took me a while to find it, but here is the condo I rented in Waikiki:

http://www.vrbo.com/41868

The owner, Gary, was an absolute pleasure to deal with and he met us at the Waikiki Park Heights apartment building to personally check us in. He has other units around Honolulu as well.

http://waikikivr.com/
 

Chrispee

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I'm normally a big VRBO fan, but it wouldn't be my choice for a 2-3 night stay in Honolulu. I'd just priceline bid on a hotel in the waikiki beach zone and enjoy the area for the whole stay. Good inexpensive food can be had in Waikiki, and it sounds like a perfect amount of time to just check out the beach and wander around downtown.
 

dsmrp

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Go to the Beach!

Ditto on the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace etc. I think you'll need to make a reservation for the Pearl Harbor tour.

But when I go back to Honolulu to visit family, we always try to go to the beach! Ala Moana or if you want to drive, Kailua-Lanikai beach on windward side. Hanauma bay for the view.
 

tompalm

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I'm normally a big VRBO fan, but it wouldn't be my choice for a 2-3 night stay in Honolulu. I'd just priceline bid on a hotel in the waikiki beach zone and enjoy the area for the whole stay. Good inexpensive food can be had in Waikiki, and it sounds like a perfect amount of time to just check out the beach and wander around downtown.

Yep, Waikiki is the best for a short stay. The Hilton Hawaiian Village has the best beach and location. You can stay cheaper in the middle of Waikiki, but it in a zoo with lots of noise and people. You will not need a car. Just take a cab to the hotel. I do recommend you rent a car on the second day on island and drive around Diamond Head, around the East Side of the island, stop at Hanauma Bay, over H3 to Pearl Harbor, hit Nicos Fish Market for a late lunch and back to the hotel. You can rent a car at the Hilton.
 

tompalm

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I hope you are not traveling during Spring Break, the price of everything goes up. It is the most busy time of the year.
 

tartanwood

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So many good suggestions. Thanks!

We will stop over for a few days in Honolulu at the very end of February or first couple of days in March. Hopefully spring break crowds will not be there yet. We will return from Osaka to Portland during spring break, but we won't leave the airport on that leg of the trip.

Any suggestions for dining--one or two nice dinners and other more casual meals?
 

dsmrp

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So many good suggestions. Thanks!

We will stop over for a few days in Honolulu at the very end of February or first couple of days in March. Hopefully spring break crowds will not be there yet. We will return from Osaka to Portland during spring break, but we won't leave the airport on that leg of the trip.

Any suggestions for dining--one or two nice dinners and other more casual meals?

Oh, you're not flying back direct? I guess there is no direct . That's a long haul. I did similar in August, Seattle to Hon to Tokyo and back. Tokyo to Hon flights were essentially all nite flights, so arrived somewhat sleep deprived. We had my mom's house to crash at and take a nap. Nap much needed for my nite flt back to Seattle. Even tho' we could have made early afternoon flt to Sea, we would have been DOA. We don't sleep well on planes :annoyed:
I suggest if you can change, to spend your days in Hon on the way back from Osaka. And just spend a nite on the way out. Or spend a nite on the way home.

Remember you also have to go thru customs in Honolulu. It was fairly quick tho.
 
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tompalm

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I agree that you can save a lot of time if you find a direct flight home from Japan to Seattle.

Regarding places to eat in Waikiki:
1. Shore Bird where you cook steaks or fish on the grill. Right on the beach, tshirt, slippers and bathing suit are fine.
2. Nico's Fish Market - half way to the airport
3. 100 s of places at the Ala Moana Mall or in Waikiki. Just depends what you are looking for.
 

Chrispee

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+1 on the Shorebird, it's true waterfront dining. Show up early and enjoy a few $4 mai tais. Marukame Udon is one of my favourite casual places, and it's very inexpensive. We try to go at off-peak times because there's a perpetual lineup during prime time.
 

BocaBoy

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To me, it is a no-brainer to stay at a Waikiki hotel for a short stay like yours. There are many outstanding ones to choose from.
 

dsmrp

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The Hale Koa hotel is a nice place for military families at reasonable rates. It's nearby the Hilton and next to Fort DeRussy beach park. Retired armed forces, reserves and national guard can stay there too. There's a list of the qualifying types on their website.

My brother, reserves, has stayed there a few times.
 

tartanwood

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Unfortunately we have to skip the trip to Honolulu this time.:(

Comments about the long return flight prompted me to check the actual mileage and airtime between Portland, Honolulu and Osaka. Breaking up the trip with a stop-over in Hawaii would be nice, but the actual trip is several hundred miles longer than going on United from Portland to Osaka via San Francisco. We've gone through Seattle previously, but current Delta fares seem much higher than in the past.

We decided to focus on our visit with grandchildren in Japan this time; and we will make a separate, longer trip to Honolulu another year.

We will keep your list of good lodging, dining and activities for that later trip.

Again, thank you all for sharing, and I'm sure others will read and take advantage of your advice.
 
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