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3. The Best Special-Interest Tours: Honolulu & Oahu with Kids, History & Culture, Wartime Honolulu, Historic Waikiki, Romantic Honolulu and Oahu, Honolulu & Oahu for Art Lovers.

Jeanette Foster FrommerMedia ePub
Families flock to Oahu not only for the island’s breathtaking beauty but also for the abundance of activities. Waikiki is famous for every type of ocean activity you can think of, plus there’s the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and fun-filled Kapiolani Park. Dotted around the rest of the island are great family outings like Sea Life Park, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and even a water adventure park. This tour gives families a fun-filled week with something for everyone. START: Waikiki. Trip Length: 7 days and 196 miles (315km). Travel Tip See chapter 4 for kid-friendly hotel, dining, and shopping recommendations. Day 1 Honolulu Zoo. If the kids aren’t too tired, head for this 43-acre (17-ha) municipal zoo. My favorite section is the 10-acre (4-ha) African Savannah, with more than 40 African critters roaming around in the open. Best time to go is when the gates open; the animals are more active in the morning. 2–3 hr. 151 Kapahulu Ave. (between Paki & Kalakaua aves.), at entrance to Kapiolani Park. 808/971-7171. www.honoluluzoo.org. $14 adults, $6 kids 3–12, free for children 2 & under. Daily 9am–4:30pm. See All Chapters
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2. The Best Full-Day, Three-Day, One Week & Ten-Day Tours

Jeanette Foster FrommerMedia ePub
You could spend weeks on Oahu without running out of things to do, but it’s possible to see the highlights of this romantic isle in just 3 days. Following this tour will let you see the best of Oahu, from Waikiki to the North Shore. You’ll definitely need to rent a car, so remember to plan for that cost. Each day begins and ends in Waikiki, which, like most urban cities, has traffic congestion, so allow plenty of travel time, especially during rush hour. START: Waikiki. Trip Length: 109-mile (175km) loop. Day 1 Waikiki Beach. You’ll never forget your first steps onto the powdery sands of this world-famous beach. If you’re just off the plane, plan to spread your towel on the beach, take in the smell of the salt air, feel the warm breeze on your skin, and relax; you’re in Hawaii. Go to page. Walk down Waikiki Beach toward Diamond Head. Bus: 20. See All Chapters
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Jeanette Foster FrommerMedia ePub


Suggested Hawaii Itineraries

What should I do in Hawaii? This is the most common question that readers ask me. The purpose of this chapter is to give you my expert advice on the best things to see and do on each island and how to do them so you can spend more time “doing” and less time “getting there.”

First, here’s the best advice I can give you: Do not plan to see more than one island per week. With the exception of the ferry between Maui and Lanai, getting from one island to another is an all-day affair once you figure in packing, checking out of and into hotels, driving to and from airports, and dealing with rental cars, not to mention time actually spent at the airport and on the flight. Don’t waste a day of your vacation seeing our interisland air terminals.

Second, don’t max out your days. This is Hawaii—allow some time to do nothing but relax. You most likely will arrive jet-lagged, so it’s a good idea to ease into your vacation. In fact, exposure to sunlight can help reset your internal clock, so I include time at the beach on the first day of most of these itineraries.

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5. The Best Beaches

Jeanette Foster FrommerMedia ePub


Beaches Best Bets


Best Black Sand

Waianapanapa State Park, MM 32, Hana Highway (Hwy. 360), Hana (Go to page)

Best for Body Surfing

H. P. Baldwin Park, MM 6, Hana Highway (Hwy. 360), between Spreckelsville and Paia (Go to page); and Hamoa Beach, Haneoo Road, Hana (Go to page)

Best for Solitude

D. T. Fleming Beach Park, past MM 30, Honoapiilani Highway (Hwy. 30), Kapalua (Go to page)

Best for Families

Kamaole III Beach Park, S. Kihei Road, Kihei (Go to page)

Best for Hawaiian History & Culture

Waianapanapa State Park, MM 32, Hana Highway (Hwy. 360), Hana (Go to page)

Longest White-Sand Beach

Oneloa Beach (Big Beach), South Makena Road, Makena (Go to page)

Best for Kayaking

Maluaka Beach (Makena Beach), Makena Road, Makena (Go to page); and Kapalua Beach, past MM 30, Honoapiilani Road, Kapalua (Go to page)

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Jeanette Foster FrommerMedia ePub


Planning Your Trip to Hawaii

Hawaii has so many places to explore, things to do, sights to see—it can be bewildering to plan your trip with so much vying for your attention. Where to start? That’s where I come in. In the pages of this chapter, I’ve compiled everything you need to know to plan your ideal trip to Hawaii.

The most important thing to do: Decide where you want to go. Read through each chapter (especially each chapter introduction) to see which islands fit the profile and offer the activities you’re looking for. I strongly recommend that you limit your island hopping to one island per week. If you decide to go to more than one in a week, be warned: You could spend much of your precious vacation time in airports and checking in and out of hotels. Not much fun!

So let’s get on with the process of planning your trip. Searching out the best deals and planning your dream vacation to Hawaii should be half the fun.

Getting There

By Plane

Most major U.S. and many international carriers fly to Honolulu International Airport (HNL), on Oahu. Some also offer direct flights to Kona International Airport (KOA), near Kailua-Kona on the Big Island; Kahului Airport (OGG), on Maui; and Lihue Airport (LIH), on Kauai. If you can fly directly to the island of your choice, you’ll be spared a 2-hour layover in Honolulu and another plane ride. If you’re heading to Molokai or Lanai, you’ll have the easiest connections if you fly into Honolulu.

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