My trip to Hawaii in September 2008 (for my birthday) was a memorable experience. Another loner trip due to ‘last minute’ decision travel planning on my part. I hung out in Honolulu on Oahu for a week, in retrospect this trip would have been a lot more fun with friends, but I still had a great time. I learned a lot and wanted to share a few simple tips.

Where to Stay

I stayed on Waikiki Beach at the Sheraton Princess for 2 days (cashed in some Starwood points). It was OK, very comfy bed and a good location. Although I didn’t have an ocean view room, I could see water if I peered off my balcony to the right. Then I moved over to Park Shore Hotel for my final few nights. It was pretty basic but an even better location, right across the street from the beach and near the zoo. I recommend Park Shore Hotel or any of the Aqua Hotels if your on a budget. They have great deals and have remodeled most of them. I also had a great massage at Aqua Bamboo.

Shopping

Of course there were about five ABC stores nearby as well. I think there are ABC Stores (convenience / souvenir shop) connected to every hotel in Waikiki. You will have many shopping options nearby, especially if you stay on Waikiki Beach.

Eating

Ono Hawaiian Foods awesome place to get Hawaiian food in the islands. Get the combination plate for a sampling  kalua pig and lau lau (with some pipikaula, lomi salmon and poi on the side). Go early: since it’s the best Hawaiian food restaurant it is very popular and lines grow fast.

Dukes is popular and worth grabbing dinner with ono menu choices like Coconut Shrimp with a Spicy Lilikoi Sauce, or Huli Huli Chicken or Macadamia Nut Sauce with the fresh catch of the day. The Hula Pie for desert is a delicious classic.

Also: Check out these  Japanese and Korean food spots, lots of amazing places to choose from.

Activities

There is so much to do on Oahu. I took a Grand Island Circle Tour my second day, so I could get a lay of the land. Highly recommend doing this (I usually take a 1/2 day tour when I first visit, so I can find out what I really want to do there.

I ended up: Hiking Diamond Head Trail, day trip to Kailua Beach, Hanauma Bay, Pali Lookout and relaxing on Waikiki Beach day.

Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous and relaxing.  Next time I plan o visit some of the other Islands and stay a lot longer.

Photos

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