After going to the wonderful island of Oahu multiple times as a tourist and a local I learned many things.
On my first trip of course we stayed in Waikiki where all the hustle and bustle is. I was fortunate enough to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort someplace I could of never afforded if I went solo. It is also the hotel seen in the show Hawaii 5-0. Not the old one but the newest one with Grace Park as Kono Kalakaua. Seeing Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leave the show was very sad. Hawaii is one of the few places where Asian is the majority so to not have them on the show is well stupid.
So the resort is amazing with so many vendors, pools, restaurants, and one of the smallest DQ restaurants I have ever seen. I went exploring and ended up at the Waikiki Aquarium. After I walked the beachfront back to the resort.
Later that night at International Market Place there is a free singing and dance performance show. Walking back to resort at night down Kalakaua Ave was enjoyable to people watch. The food is amazing I cannot say that enough.
Save money visiting Oahu
I wish I had known these tips before I went. For example there are many ABC stores in the area. I didn’t realize many of the prices were different depending on how far away from the resort you were. You can also eat at the open air mall of Ala Moana which has 3 food courts. The Shirokiya Japanese Village Walk made it hard to choose where to eat. This was a great place for those who couldn’t agree on eating one thing.
A new experience for me was Gen Korean BBQ. I had never had to cook my food before let alone have a few hours to eat all I wanted to.
Other ways I saved was to shop at CVS (Long’s Drug Stores), they have a larger variety of foods than back home. Walmart, Costco, were also go to stops. Bottled Water here I noticed was very inexpensive.
Vacation But Live Like a Local
On my 2nd, 3rd, and forth trips back I stayed with friends or Air BnB and stayed longer term so I ended up doing regular shopping and eating with friends. After discovering I really like shaved ice with ice cream inside I craved it often, my first taste was at Baldwin’s Sweet Shop. Now in the tourist books they may say go to Matsumoto Save Ice in Haleiwa. While it maybe wonderful apparently their advertising is spot on because there is always a huge line. The group with me just walked a little farther to Aoki’s Shave Ice and no line! When we were done eating we still saw some of the same people still waiting in line.
I also took the opportunity to try Jack In the Box which is not healthy at all but very tasty. Staying in Hawaii Kai area this reminded me of the nice suburbs back home. They took me to Teddy’s Bigger Burgers and these were some of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time.
We also were able to go to Sherwood Beach which is pretty empty compared to Waikiki. I always thought the water was clear in Waikiki and my friends said it was not at all. I only had the great lakes to compare it to. After going to Sherwood I see the difference now because there’s no film of sunscreen on the surface of the water.
One of our Air BnB’s was in Whilhelmina Rise. We were curious and walked down Palolo Ave and that was such a steep hill at the bottom the tops of my feet hurt. I couldn’t image dropping a ball by accident in this area or even attempting to run after it. If it snowed here this would be the ultimate hill to sled down. The area is definitely one where you must pay attention driving due to the narrow winding streets with cars parked so only one vehicle can go through.