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Thread: Planning a trip to Hawaii

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
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    541

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    If you’re driving to the North shore on your way to ukes and shaved ice, there’s a landmark sign. Park and walk back (left side of the road) and see the ancient royal birthing stones. Bit muddy walk but worth it in my opinion. There’s a Hawaiian name for it but can’t remember what it was.

  2. #22

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    First off, especially if you're going to Oahu, getting places early is often important. When we visit, we try to keep from getting fully adjusted to the time difference as long as we can, so we have an easier time getting where we're going before the crowds and Honolulu traffic. My experience is limited to Oahu, so this might not be quite as important on the other islands. If you end up there, several great options have already been mentioned, but here are some of my favorites.

    Pearl Harbor - It's a must in my book. (Get there early)

    Hanauma Bay - Whether you snorkel or not, it's stunningly beautiful (again, get there early). Finish up at Hanauma Bay around noon, and you can spend the rest of the day exploring the southeast corner and windward side of the island. Every inch of it is amazing, and even if you do nothing more than take in the views, it's worth it. The hike to Makapu'u Lighthouse is worth it, in my opinion.

    North Shore - You can easily spend a whole day here. Visit Haleiwa and HMS for sure. Head northeast from there along the North Shore and stop off at Laniakea Beach to hopefully catch a glimpse of a Honu (Hawaiian Sea Turtle) or two (around lunch time is best). From there, keep heading northeast and be sure to stop and take in the pipeline. Regardless of the time of year, the waves are awe inspiring, at least to landlocked folks like me. I can sit and watch/listen to them crashing for hours, but don't even think about getting in the water. If you have little ones, don't even let the water touch them. Even water up to their knees can suck them out in the blink of an eye. That is no exaggeration. Grab lunch farther along the North Shore at Seven Brothers in either Kahuku or Laie (I've only been to the one is Laie). They have, without a doubt, the most amazing hamburgers I've ever tasted. Another option is to head west from Haleiwa, past Dillingham Air Field, and watch some amazing kitesurfing at Mokule'ia Beach. There are plenty of other spots on the North Shore as well, like Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley and Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site that I'd recommend as well, but it may require two days to hit them all. (If you can't tell, I really like the North Shore.)

    Iolani Palace - It's a great place to start learning some of the history of the Hawaiian people and what they've gone through.

    Pick a trail to a waterfall (a legal one) and take it. There are a ton of options.

    Find the perfect point to watch a sunrise from, somewhere relatively secluded if possible, get there an hour or so beforehand, and experience peace like you've only dreamed of. Do the same for a sunset. There are apps you can download to find the exact time and direction of sunrise and sunset from any spot on earth. Finding the perfect spot is half the fun.

    Last but not least, take a trip to the Waianae Community Center to pay homage to the memory and legacy of Bruddah IZ. There's a bronze bust of him there.

    I'm just an occasional visitor to the islands, so my knowledge is limited. However, the memories I've made at these spots will stick with me forever.

    Aloha,

    Matt

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    672

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    All of the above is sound advice, and as I say I live here. When you see the turtles please do your best to keep the visitors twenty feet away from them. That’s the law. These poor guys are trying to find rest after a 2000 mile swim. They’re beautiful animals and deserve a rest. I wouldn’t try to sit on you if you had just come in from a long swim. I wouldn’t tell my kids to sit on you.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimosabe View Post
    All of the above is sound advice, and as I say I live here. When you see the turtles please do your best to keep the visitors twenty feet away from them. That’s the law. These poor guys are trying to find rest after a 2000 mile swim. They’re beautiful animals and deserve a rest. I wouldn’t try to sit on you if you had just come in from a long swim. I wouldn’t tell my kids to sit on you.
    Well said, and good advice. Also, if you see them while snorkeling, keep your distance as well. You may be surprised how quickly a ten foot gap can be closed to 10 inches with a single wave or change in the current.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aurora, IL US
    Posts
    1,782

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moore Bettah Ukuleles View Post
    Old news. They shut down for a week to take care of some matters. Uncle Roberts is hugely popular here with people coming from miles around to hear some of the best and most authentic Hawaiian music youíll ever experience.
    Thanks for that info Chuck.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boulder, CO!
    Posts
    391

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    I just got back from two weeks on Oahu! As many have said, it's a great island if you want to shop and see the factories. I had something close to a religious experience when I went to the Kamaka and KoAloha factories -- first getting to meet and chat with Fred Kamaka Sr. at the Kamaka factory, seeing where my tenor was crafted last year and meeting some of the folks who put their time and sweat into my instrument, but the three hours I spent at KoAloha will stick with me forever.

    We walked into a tour already in progress, and Pops happened to be giving the group a quick history lesson. When we walked in he made a point of introducing himself, when I told him that I've been a fan of his work for over a decade and the Pineapple Sunday is one of my all-time favorite ukulele designs. His eyes got big and he told us to check in with him after the tour is finished since he'll have a surprise for us -- so we went and did the tour and at the end we come back out and he has a full array of prototype and custom ukuleles he's working on. Some are Sundays that he has custom-painted, another is his custom pyrography Pineapple Sunday (which I think ended up at HMS for about $9k), and some are ukuleles which are still very much in the pine-and-spruce prototype phase. We talked for well over two hours about his design philosophy and about why he likes to step outside the box and doesn't really build anything but his own wild designs anymore, and I was constantly struck by his dedication to his craft and his willingness to push the boundaries when it comes to instrument design.

    I didn't walk away with anything that day, but a few days later we were up on the north shore and we ventured to HMS where, lo and behold, there is a single, used, 6 string Pineapple Sunday from early on in the run hanging on the wall. The one struggle I was having with investing in a Sunday was the fact I already have my ideal tenor in my Kamaka, but the 6 string sound is something entirely different and really drives that Pineapple body in an amazing way. I walked out of the store with the 6 stringer and feel like I have a complete ukulele family with an amazing story to tell, and I wouldn't have ever had the chance had I not been lucky enough to be on the island for a couple of weeks.

    I hope you two have as incredible a time as we managed to have! Hawaii is truly magical in a lot of ways.
    -Ben

    KoAloha Pineapple Sunday 6 String
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin
    Ohana TK-39
    c. 1970's Hikare Baritone
    Gretsch G9100
    Outdoor Ukulele Soprano #43


    Videos

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    356

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    I just returned this morning from visiting my in laws. We're both retired and can spend 4-5 weeks. A good place to hear music, especially ukulele is Nico's in Honolulu and there is a Nico's in Kailua. Herb Ohta Jr. and John Yamasato play there. Bryan Tolentino and Halehaku Seabury play there as well. We saw Herb and John last Sunday and Bryan and Hale a few weeks back.
    Any of the tours for the three K Brands are worth the trip. I picked up a Koaloha Tenor while I was there.
    As for the beach I tend to go to Ala Moana Beach Park. It's not real crowded during the week and plenty of parking. I'm not a real strong swimmer and the water is suited for my old man stroke.
    The food is great pretty much anywhere. I like Kin Wah Chop Suey in Kaneohe. Nothing to look at and the parking can be tough but the food is great. Try the taro duck. Hands down the best dessert I've ever had is the sweet potato haupia pie from Ani's in Aiea. I used to manage a bakery in Fanuel Halll and I know my desserts. It's my downfall, I came back with almost 7 extra pounds. I went to the gym almost every day and still gained weight!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    nc
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    96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimosabe View Post
    Iím in my seventh year living on Oahu. If you go to the Dole Plantation on the way to Haleiwa, the North Shoreís big town, beware. Itís in my opinion a ripoff but seeing how to properly cut a pineapple is worth the demonstration and also how to grow a pineapple. Iíve grown three. Outside there is a garden with various varieties of pineapples. The pineapple ice cream is nice but you stand in a long line. Otherwise, a collection of high priced pineapple knickknacks, a very stupid and expensive maze and a ridiculous train ride around the plantation.

    For a better selection of Hawaiian products and potential gifts go to the old sugar factory in Wailua which is just a few miles from Haleiwa. There you will find a much more authentic Hawaiian feel. Wailua is a very small town. Haleiwa is a collection of shops catering to tourists and surfers. If you really want to experience whatís left of old Oahu driving to the other side of the island. As you leave Kaneohe heading north you see the real island.

    There is a great botanical garden is Wahiawa which is midway between Honolulu and the North Shore. Wahiawa is probably the ugliest town on the island but the garden is great. Heading north, turn right on California street and drive a few miles until you find the garden on the left. Magical.
    100% agree with all of this. Dole is cool IF you want to check out a pineapple-based tourist trap, but Wailua is literally just up the road and the sugar factory (besides being home to some of the best surfboard shapers in the world) is wonderfully authentic. My wife and daughter could spend a day in the soap factory too.

    We are WAY more about country than town, and while the Kamaka tour was spectacular, I also love chilling at HMS, and would spend all my time in/around Haleiwa. Visit the heiau above Waimea (respectfully!), eat at the shrimp trucks (we love Fumi's up by Kahuku), and dodge turtles at Laniakea. Snorkling at Shark's Cove is way more chill and just as fun as Hanauma. And since you're talking Feb, you'll still have a chance to see some of the insane North Shore surfing - maybe even the Eddie!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aurora, IL US
    Posts
    1,782

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    On Bog Island, my wife has expressed fear about going to the green sand beach. She read that the walk there is treacherous and the shuttle drivers are dangerous. Is it a safe place to go?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    5,202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    On Bog Island, my wife has expressed fear about going to the green sand beach. She read that the walk there is treacherous and the shuttle drivers are dangerous. Is it a safe place to go?
    Treacherous? Dangerous? Maybe on Bog Island but certainly not on Big Island. ��. The walk may be long and uncomfortable if it’s windy (which is common in South Point) but that’s why eager locals gather in the parking lot to shuttle you in their 4WD trucks. It’ll cost you 10 or 20 bucks round trip ( depending upon how nice or rude you are) but it’s well worth it especially for the opportunity to talk story about the area with someone local. The only danger you might encounter is taking your chances in the water because the surf can be gnarly (and not in a good way) at times. Other than that it’s a beautiful beach (and yes, the sand really is green) and well worth your time.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

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