O’ahu / Honolulu
This was my first trip to the islands and it was so much fun! We did everything, even one morning just lounging in the condo with the windows open listening to the waves crash on the rocks below.
- Snorkeling – http://adventureinhawaii.com/oahu/oahu-snorkeling/ Ko Olina Resort & Marina 92-100 Waipahe Place, Slip I-23 Ko Olina, Hawaii This place is an hour north of Honolulu and it was a very nice and affordable trip on a catamaran. They feed you lunch too. Trip last about 3 hours. Downside: The coral is all gray because of the volcano debris from years gone by and the fact that the heat is hurting the coral. I prefer to go to Key West or Mexico where the coral and fish are prettier.
- Paradise Cove Luau – in the same area Ko Olina Resort & Marina. This place was very nice and had some very cute guys! The luau lasted about 3 hours, had tons of activities on a private beach. Downside: Very crowded and food was just ok. Next time go to a smaller event.
- Diamond Head State Monument – south of Honolulu and it is a fun hike up a 300,000 year old crater from a volcano explosion. Opens at 6:00 am and the earlier you get there the better. Parking lot can get full by 7:30 as it is small. Downside: Gets busy at the end of the day. Parking lot is small but it does have a shuttle.
- Pearl Harbor – short car ride north of Honolulu. The dock to get to the museum was closed but I was told everything is underwater and visibility is limited. We spent about an hour on the Pearl Harbor Historic Visitor Center and I am happy I went but don’t plan on spending too much time here.
- Waikane / Kaneohe Bay – if you want to snorkel on a budget you can go to Koneohe Bay (other side of island from Honolulu but only 45 drive) and bring your own equipment. He’eia State Park is there and allows you to snorkel near land and stay out of the current.
Kauai / Poipu
- Kauai Backcountry Adventures – they have a tubing ride that goes down the irrigation system of a sugar plantation of old days. It is very isolated and private land owned by the founder of AOL. It is used in tons of movies. The trip through the irrigation tubes was very fun. Trip last about 3 hours.
- Koke’s State Park – this park is a short 1 hour drive from Poipu where we were staying. The views are wonderful. You can take a short 15 minute hike and see the valleys below. Stop on the side of the road and see a waterfall from your car window. Or hike 2 miles to get even better views. I could have spent a whole day in the park .
- Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort – This place was wonderful and had great pools, hiking along a cliff to watch dolphins and a great beach. To get a towel or use the facilities you have to have a hotel key but the hiking and parking is free. Rooms are not cheap but I used my points.
- Princeville – I hear it is beautiful but recently floods destroyed many roads and tourist are not allowed right now.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton