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Tell me why I should go to Oahu?

california-bighorn

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This is not criticism of Oahu itself. I'm going back next year, and I am looking forward to it. No doubt, we will try to spend some time in Waikiki while there because some of our group have never been to Waikiki. But, there is indeed a sense that Waikiki is like Las Vegas with a beach.

Yeah, but what a beach!!!!!
 

pharmgirl

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too many people think Honolulu IS Oahu and think Oahu is only a city

We love the scenery in Oahu - mountains, beaches, also historical places, Queen Emma's palace, the Palai
Kids went mountain biking on fantastic paths on mountain ridges, snorkeling
 

hotcoffee

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Yeah, but what a beach!!!!!

The first time I went to Waikiki was around 1986 or 87. It was a business trip. The contract hotel was in Waikiki. I remember the first time I went to the beach there. I took my towel and walked across the street and down to the beach. I started looking for a place to put my towel down. Yikes! It took a while to find an unoccupied spot!

Every once in a while, I will pull out my Blue Hawaii DVD, not because I like the movie all that much, but because I am astounded to look at what Waikiki looked like back in the early 1960s. Relatively few hotels, and a lot less people. Waikiki was at one time a very beautiful beach.

It can indeed be fun walking around Waikiki, but not because it is the real Hawaii - because it is not. It is fun because of the exciting and touristy atmosphere. It can feel similar to walking around the Las Vagas strip.
 

willowglener

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Like the other poster said, each island has its own personality. I love Maui and Kauai but I also love Marriott Ko Olina on the west side of Oahu. It's quiet and nice.
 

chester1122

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We like all the islands as well. As many have said each has its own special qualities. Ohau has many beaches right close to Waikiki where the beaches are deserted.

I would tend to stay close to where your activities are and then spend a restful time at the Marriott at the end of your vacation. That property is a long drive - likley 45 minutes with traffic to Waikiki. Or if you have time and the dollars, go to another island for a long weekend and fly home from there.

Do your research before you go and you will have a great time no matter which island you go to.
 

alwysonvac

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It's simply misleading to think WAIKIKI or HONOLULU represents all of OAHU

Granted most of the major hotels & timeshares are located in Waikiki but that's because it's the major city at this destination.

Just like Lahaina or Wailea doesn’t represent all of Maui
Waikoloa doesn’t represent all of the Big Island
New York City doesn’t represent all of New York State
Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco doesn’t represent all of California

For me, Oahu represents the best of both worlds. It offers me all of the things I want in a vacation destination along with all of the beauty of Hawaii. Just like any other destination, if you leave the major cities you have a whole other world to explore and discover.

JMHO... each major city has a different feel/vibe (for example NYC, Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, San Juan, Paris, London, Rome, etc). With Waikiki I get the convenience of a major city in a very relaxing (aloha spirit) type of environment. Yes, there are crowds and traffic but that hasn't stopped me from visiting any other major city ;)

Oahu offers a very enjoyable combination of a major city & tropical vacation destination which is the reason we visit Oahu so often :D

Examples of Major City Stuff
Various Dining options covering every type of cuisine (see http://akueats.com/Default.asp) including various fine dining options (Alan Wong, Roy’s, La Mer, Chef Mavro, Hoku's, Hy's Steak House, etc) and familiar major chains such as Cheesecake Factory, Morton’s, Ruth Chris, Macaroni Grill, P.F. Chang’s, Senor Frog, Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Todai, Outback, Red Lobster, Dave and Busters, Yard House, Benihana, IHOP, Denny’s, etc.
Various Shopping options - malls/shopping centers/shopping strips/specialty shops covering every spectrum from various well know brand names to inexpensive trinkets - http://www.oahu.us/oahu_shopping.htm
Museums, Aquarium & Zoo - http://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/guidebook/topics/museums-of-oahu & http://www.gohawaii.com/oahu/guidebook/topics/waikiki-attractions
Performing Arts - http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/activities/performing-arts.htm

Examples of things to see and do outside of the Major City
Hiking Trails - http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/attractions/trails.htm & http://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov/island.php?island=Oahu
Horseback Riding - http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/activities/horseback-riding.htm
Bird watching - http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/activities/bird-watching.htm
Scenic coastal drives - http://gohawaii.about.com/od/oahuactivities/tp/scenic_oahu.htm
Beaches - http://www.hawaiiweb.com/oahu/beaches/default.htm & http://www.traveltohawaiireviewed.com/oahu/beaches/
Botanical Gardens - http://www.honolulu.gov/parks/hbg/
Volcanic Craters - Diamond Head, the Punchbowl and Koko Carter - http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/attractions/diamond-head-crater.htm, http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/attractions/punchbowl-crater.htm, http://www.hawaiiforvisitors.com/oahu/attractions/koko-crater.htm &
Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum and Pacific Aviation Museum - www.nps.gov/usar/
Whale Watching - http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/involved/ocoahusites.html
AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.....
 
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ricoba

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I agree with what alwaysonvac just posted. If you only think that Oahu is Waikiki then you have a serious misconception of the island.

For example, we had the priviledge on our last visit (summer 2009) to spend a day up on the North Shore at the home of some locals. There home was off the beaten path and was remote and peaceful.

Also, if you miss Oahu, you won't get to eat at a shrimp truck or have shave ice in Haleiwa! :D
 

Kona Lovers

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If someone has to ask why they should go anywhere in Hawaii, then no one can answer that question for them.
 

ciscogizmo1

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We've been to Oahu twice and wouldn't hesitate to go back. One of our major reasons is that it is a much SHORTER plane ride for us from our hometown airport. No layovers at all. There is a lot to do and both times that we went we really didn't spend longer than an afternoon in Waikiki or Honolulu. Both times we stayed at Marriott Ko'Olina. You can check out my pictures here: http://travel.webshots.com/album/556022258QSTJYH The timeshares in Waikiki will feel like there are more in a city environment. Anyways, there is tons to do on Oahu. We personally like the urban feel of Ko'Olina the best (and I can honestly say I didn't always love Oahu). The beaches on Oahu are AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. Here are pictures of my favorite 2 and we went in November so, the waves are a bit rougher than normal but still manageable.

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Anyways, I think Oahu gets a bad rap because of Waikiki and Honolulu area. I don't love these areas except when I was in my 20s it was definitely the place to hang out. But now that I'm older and wiser I love the East and North sides of Oahu....

Good luck deciding...
 

alwysonvac

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Anyways, I think Oahu gets a bad rap because of Waikiki and Honolulu area. I don't love these areas except when I was in my 20s it was definitely the place to hang out. But now that I'm older and wiser I love the East and North sides of Oahu....

Hey what are you saying...... :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Those of us who are over 40 that love the Waikiki and Honolulu area are older but not wiser :hysterical:
Just teasing ;)
 

ciscogizmo1

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Hey what are you saying...... :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Those of us who are over 40 that love the Waikiki and Honolulu area are older but not wiser :hysterical:
Just teasing ;)
Ha..ha....

Well... this is going to totally age me but when I visited Oahu for the 1st time the legal drinking age was 18 and that is the only reason everyone went. LOL..... I should correct my typo as I been to Oahu 4 times but I don't remember much from the 1st two trips as I really didn't leave the Waikiki/Honolulu area at all...
 

Luanne

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Ha..ha....

Well... this is going to totally age me but when I visited Oahu for the 1st time the legal drinking age was 18 and that is the only reason everyone went. LOL..... I should correct my typo as I been to Oahu 4 times but I don't remember much from the 1st two trips as I really didn't leave the Waikiki/Honolulu area at all...

Are you sure it was 18? I remember going when the legal age was 19, and I was just a couple months shy of that. :D

I stand corrected. It was 18 for awhile. When I went it was 20, so I was 19, almost 20 at the time. It was lowered to 18 in 1972, raised to 21 in 1986.
 
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ciscogizmo1

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Are you sure it was 18? I remember going when the legal age was 19, and I was just a couple months shy of that. :D

I stand corrected. It was 18 for awhile. When I went it was 20, so I was 19, almost 20 at the time. It was lowered to 18 in 1972, raised to 21 in 1986.
I graduated from HS in 1986 and it was 18. At least it was in June of 1986. Everyone before me went for the same reason. I remember buying drinks and going on booze cruises, etc.... There was a lot of drinking I would not have done it unless it was legal. I'm a rule follower.
 

djdavid79

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We just left Oahu, we're on Kauai right now. It's a huge difference. We always use Oahu as the break-in and slow-down period after leaving the mainland. So far the highlight of my trip happened on Waikiki beach. Two separate days swimming a turtle popped its head up right next to me. It shocked me at first, but once I realized it was a turtle, I was amazed at its beauty.

This was the first time that we actually drove around Oahu, and I was pleasantly surprised. We bought the book Oahu Revealed by Andrew Doughty, and it's a great resource to the island.

We started the day at Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling. We tried to arrive early to avoid the crowds. We were there at 9AM, the crowds beat us there, and it was not a very enjoyable snorkeling experience. I'm sure it gets even busier throughout the day. But I think this would be an excellent beginner snorkeling adventure. Especially for kids.

I highly recommend Kailua and Lanikai Beaches, they're very close to one another, maybe a mile? And at Kailua Beach there is a great little restaurant called Buzz's Original Steakhouse, we had a nice lunch there.

The Byodo-In temple is a beautiful replica of a 950 year old Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan. It's very peaceful.

If you follow Hwy 83 this is where you will see the Polynesian Cultural Center, we did not stop as it did not really have anything of interest to us. But if you continue past that, just outside of the town of La'ie, is Malaekahana State Recreation area. It's a more secluded beach, and you can sometimes wade out to Moku'auia Island or Goat Island. There is a very nice crescent sand beach on the island with beautiful views.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how great Oahu is, and honestly I was not expecting it to be anything like what I found. It's not all Waikiki and Honolulu, there are some very nice, secluded areas, I think you just need to know where to go.
 

Carolyn

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Wow...I'm amazed at all of the wonderful responses and pictures....thank you! I think we need to check out Oahu for a week, then fly to Maui for a second week so we will get the best of both worlds!!
 

DeniseM

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I think there is a lot to do on Oahu - it's definitely not all Honolulu/Waikiki, BUT except for Ko'Olina, almost all the timeshares are IN Honolulu, so even if you do a lot of day trips, most people end up staying IN Honolulu. We just don't care to stay in an urban setting on our trips to Hawaii. YMMV
 

Luanne

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I think there is a lot to do on Oahu - it's definitely not all Honolulu/Waikiki, BUT except for Ko'Olina, almost all the timeshares are IN Honolulu, so even if you do a lot of day trips, most people end up staying IN Honolulu. We just don't care to stay in an urban setting on our trips to Hawaii. YMMV

I agree. The first, and only time so far, we've taken our dds to Oahu they were amazed. They couldn't believe we were still in Hawaii. ;)
 

gt899

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Hadn't been to Oahu since I was 12 traveling with a club soccer team. When I was old enough to travel on my own I found Kauai. Saw the other islands and finally came full circle with my family in tow and tried Oahu. Why go to Oahu? 1. Ko olina (#1 reason). 2. Giovanni's (extra spicy) 3. North side (turtles and shave ice) 4. Pearl Harbor (enough said) 5. Aloha Bowl Swap Meet (smok'n ukulele's) 6. Waikiki is nice to visit for a day (why not). 7. Airfare (substantial savings).
Kauai still #1 place for me but Oahu was fun in its way.
 
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