Fireworks Times

Fireworks every Friday night down the beach in Waikiki. It is actually part of a special Hawaiian Show they have at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. At the end of the show they light off the fireworks. They last for about 5-6 minutes and look beautiful. We watch them every Friday night when we are there. Depending on the time of year you are there the sun will set about 7:30. The fireworks will start about 20 minutes after that. It is on Hawaiian time so dont hold me to the exact time. EVERY Friday night Fireworks times are seasonal; September to May at 7:45pm June to August at 8:00pm

Doris Duke at Shangri La, Honolulu

Doris Duke's Shangri La House Tours. 
Looking for something different to do while vacationing in Hawaii. Check out a bit of history and tour the home of Doris Duke, now turned into a museum. At age 12 she inherited 80 million dollars. Click the link below to see the article from Hawaii Magazine (copies in the condo). The picture below is of the outdoor pool and play house with Diamond Head in the background. She had travelled all over the world collecting art. She has an impressive collection of Islamic Art, plus collections from Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Spain, India, Iran. Not what you would expect to see in Hawaii. You can drive there and go down the road BUT you cannot get in without being on a tour bus. You need to go to the Hawaii Art Museum on Britannia and buy a choice of two tickets; a tour of the art museum combo tour of Doris Duke's place OR buy individual tickets for either the art gallery or Doris Duke's place. She was worth $1.3 Billion when she died in 1993 at 80 years old. Start every Wed, Thur, Fri and Sat. At Honolulu Museum of Art then tour bus takes you to her estate. $25. Reserve tickets in advance at or 1-808-532-8700 Honolulu Museum of Art,  900 S Beretania St. Honolulu. HI   Allow 1-2 hours to cover all the rooms in the art gallery. Allow 2-3 hours to do the bus tour out to Black Point, tour the house and bus takes you back to the art gallery. VERY unique, worth doing once. 


Koko Head Crater Railway Trail

Aloha future guests:
OK this hike is for the younger of heart 8 to 50. It is absolutely beautiful clear 360 degree views of the lower Island. For your GPS to find the parking lot use this address 7604 Koko Head Park Road. It is open 7 days a week closes at 11:00 pm. It is open air all the way up so pick a cloudy day or go early or go later in the afternoon. Take hat, water and sunscreen, maybe a small first aid kit with band aids or mole skin in case those new hiking boots cause blisters ☹ Use the back packs behind the couch. It takes about 45 minutes to go up and 25 to come back down. There are 1,048 stairs = old railway ties to get to the top.
Click this link for all the information about this hike;
Check out this YouTube video

Luau's on Oahu

Hawaii is known for its original culture and one of the things some of our guests like to do is go to an original Hawaiian Luau. 
~ Te Moana Nui Polynesian Luau Dinner Show at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel 5 minutes away walking $110 to $160    120 Kaiulani Ave and Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu   808-922-5811 4 blocks away from condo, 5 minute walk.
~ Hilton Waikiki Starlight Luau:  10 minutes away.  $99 to $122. GPS  2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu. About 10 minute drive or 25 minute walk, is the only “rooftop” luau in Hawaii.
~ Chief’s Luau: At Sea Life Park east side of Island.  25 minutes away. $90 to $125 to $175   GPS: 41 – 202 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo
This is Oahu’s most intimate and authentic luau experience! Chief Sielu’s luau is the most highly rated luau on Oahu.
~ Big Kahuna Luau Honolulu:   30 minutes away $90 to $140 to $180 Guests must be picked up from Waikiki hotel as limited parking on mountain.
Nestled at the top of Mount Tantalus and just minutes from Waikiki, the Nutridge Estate is home to an evening of luau activities, delicious cuisine, and Polynesian performance at Honolulu's premier luau destination. 
~ Polynesian Cultural Center:  45 minutes away.  GPS: 55 – 370 Kamehameha Hwy. Laie, Hawaii, 96762
$110 to $150 ALOHA! Welcome to our award winning Ali’i Luau. In ancient Hawaii, it was customary to celebrate special occasions with ohana (family) and friends.
~ Paradise Cove Luaua near Ko Olina  1 hour away. $90 to $125 to $170 round trip shuttle $18  GPS Paradise Cove, 92-1089 Aliinui Drive, Kapolei. About 1 hour drive west out H1
Set on 12 lovely acres along the ocean on the sunny leeward coast of Oahu 

Shopping, Shopping and more Shopping

Waikiki and the surrounding area has some great shopping from the very High end designer stores to the inexpensive markets. There are probably 6 areas of choice; Take the backpack and the day pack from behind the sofabed to haul all your loot back to the condo.
~ The “International Market Place” has changed …. All new high end stores with a number of good restaurants. It is a pleasant walk through the mall area, nice seating to watch the tourists go by, live music in the evenings. But not the traditional International Market Place. All the small cart vendors have gone out to the Flea Market. Still good bargains there.
 ~ Luxury Row; If you walk west along Kalakaua about 4 blocks past the Apple Store, and further is Gucci, Coach, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Hugo Boss, Tiffany, Tods and Yves Saint Laurent. Those should blow your budget in a couple hours.
 ~ Ala Moana Shopping Center, take the bus for 10 minute ride. They have 290 stores. Great food court. You can spend about 4 hours there and not see all the stores. We don’t find any real deals here but nice to see all the quality items.
 ~ 15 Ross Stores; There is a new one going in on Seaside Ave about 4 blocks from condo, might not be finished by the time you get there, The other one is easy to reach, take the bus to Ala Moana Shopping Center, when you get off, walk through the parking, through the food court, through to the back entrance of the Mall, keep going straight for 1 block you will see Wal-Mart on the left side of the street and directly across is the Ross Store. Very good bargains for designer name brand cloths. You will save approx 40% to 70%.
 ~ The Waikele Premium Outlet Mall; 50 stores, designer clothes, Banana Republic, Coach, Polo, Saks, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Bass etc. You walk 1 block towards the water and on the street behind the Hyatt (Koa Ave.) is a shuttle bus, for $5 each they take you for the 40 minute ride, let you off at the Mall, you can pick which time you want to come back and they reserve a place on that bus for you. Very good system. Again save 40% to 70%. Allow 1 1/2 hr travel time and 2-3 hours there.
 ~ The Flea Market at Aloha Stadium; Sat & Sunday 8:00am to 3:00pm, 400 booths, take the bus #20, about a 40 minute bus ride each way, takes about 1 ½ hours to walk around  the stadium and shop. Grab a mixed fruit salad box for $4 half way through your excursion. Lots of bargains. This is 2 bus stops just past the Pearl Harbor “Arizona Memorial” It would be a long day but you could bus out to the Memorial, see that for about 1 hour, then taxi cab over to the stadium, shop there and take the bus back home. If you leave early about 8:00 or 8:30 you would be home by 5:00

Hanauma Bay Snorkeling

A 30 minute drive from the condo. Hanauma Bay is the most famous of all Hawaii’s snorkeling beaches because of its high fish population, calm shallow water, and white sand.  This beach definitely has the tamest fish in Hawaii. There’s a $5 per person entrance fee. Open 6:00am to 7:00pm. Located on the east side of Oahu, this old volcanic crater is protected from all but the biggest of ocean swells making it a wonderful place to snorkel. The parking lot is located on the ridge above the actual bay.  Parking is limited so go early in the morning to make sure you’re able to get in.  Once it fills up, you’ll be turned away.  Parking costs $1 for the whole day.  Closed on Tuesdays. Here’s some of the types of fish you will see: Butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, moorish idol, tang, wrasse, cardinal fish, squirrel fish, big eyes, perch, chub, trigger fish, the former Hawaii State Fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, goat fish, snapper, porcupine fish, hawk fish, jacks, mullet, trumpet fish, cornet fish, needle fish, eels, crustaceans, and invertebrates.
There are 200 beaches around the Island, many very good snorkeling. A word of caution, be aware of currents, snorkel in pairs and close to shore. Best Oahu Snorkeling Beaches:

Haleiwa and North Shore and Dole Plantation

   Haleiwa is an hours drive north of Waikiki, is packed with lots of fun things to do for visitors and locals alike. It’s got epic waves for surfing, protected coastlines for snorkeling, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding, picturesque beaches, a vibrant downtown. You can rent paddle boards or kayaks or surf boards; a number of places offer lessons. Try the famous Aoki’s Shave Ice at Matsumoto’s. Two famous Wyland's art galleries. Restaurants, local artist-owned boutiques, surf shops, souvenir shops.
10 minute drive east is Laniakea Beach  for an up-close look at HUGE honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) feeding on algae-covered rocks or bathing in the sun (just don’t get too close!).

   Dole Plantation is along highway H2, half way to Haleiwa. It opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989. Today, It is one of Oahu’s most popular visitor attractions and welcomes more than one million visitors a year. Dole Plantation provides enjoyable activities for the entire family, including the Pineapple Express Train Tour, the Plantation Garden Tour, and the Pineapple Garden Maze. Also popular are informational displays and presentations, as well as our plantation country store offering a wide variety of Dole Plantation gifts, local favorites, foods and refreshments including the world-famous Dole Whip®. And, before you leave you can purchase fresh pineapple to take home. Allow about 45 minutes to enjoy, and cost is about $12 for the Train Tour = worth doing. GPS setting: 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa.


Diamond Head Hike to the Top

I would drive to the center of Diamond Head crater (it’s close by) and hike up the trail to the top. Take your time, take one of the flashlights from the condo, put in the backpack with the water bottles and your camera. I would go during the week in the morning 7:30-9:00. When it is cooler and less people than the weekend. Park hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no facilities at the summit, but there are washrooms and concession stand at the base parking lot. Having hiked Diamond Head several times, I’ve never heard anyone say that it wasn’t worth the effort. The usual response, in fact, is just the opposite: “Wow! I’m glad we did this!” There’s just something empowering about walking up the side of an extinct volcano. More than 3,500 feet in diameter with a 760-foot summit, Diamond Head in Waikiki is perhaps the world’s most recognized volcanic crater. It is a lasting remnant of a volcanic explosion that occurred about 500,000 years ago. Ancient Hawaiians called it Laeahi, which translates to “brow of the tuna.” The name “Diamond Head” can be traced to the 1800s, when British sailors mistakenly thought there were diamonds lodged in the crater’s soil. The “diamonds” turned out to be calcite crystals embedded in the lava rock. Tip: Go in the early morning or late afternoon if you want to avoid potential crowds.
It’ll take about an hour to reach the summit, and half that time for the return. The trail climbs the inside slope of Diamond Head for about 0.6 miles. It’s a switchback trail with the mountain on one side and a railing on the other. After a lookout point that doubles as a rest stop, the trail takes a steep upward ascent through a series of stairs and tunnels. The last set of stairs is a 99-step climb—just take it slow and steady—that eventually leads to a World War II bunker. From there, the stairs reach an end and you step up to some of the finest panoramic views on Oahu. Take a short walk around and savor the moment. On a clear day, you see forever. Standing atop the lookout, viewing Oahu’s entire leeward side, feeling the trade winds and hearing waves crashing far below, one can’t help but feel humbled to be on this glorious island.

Polynesian Cultural Center

 The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located on Highway 83, north windward side of the Island, about a 2-hour drive from the condo. It occupies 42 acres (17 hectares) of land belonging to nearby Brigham Young University–Hawaii. The PCC encompasses eight simulated tropical villages, in which performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. Each of the major Polynesian cultures has its own section, centered on a traditional village. Hourly performances and cultural learning experiences take place in these villages. Villages include; Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, the Marquesas Islands. A luau is available for the dinner hour at an extra cost.

Aloha Stadium Flea Market

The state's biggest open-air flea market with 400-plus stands. Admission charge $1.00 per person. GPS setting: 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd, H   Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 3:00pm. Allow about 90 minutes t5o do the full circle without rushing. Stop half way at the refreshment stand and bathrooms, OR pick up some cut pineapple from one of the many fruite stands and enjoy a snack break. Just 15 minutes away from Waikiki, discover unique treasures here where the locals’ shop for the best deals in town. Much less than in Waikiki or Honolulu. Open three days a week, they offer endless rows of over 400 local merchants offering the best value on imported merchandise, handmade items, eclectic art pieces, popular local snacks, hand bags, luggage, hats, shorts, tee shirts, jewelry, Island view posters and other made in Hawaii products. This is sure to be your one stop destination to find that special gift or souvenir for everyone on your list. It is about 15 minutes from condo on the H1 freeway or take The Bus and is 40 minute ride.

Zoo and Aquarium

 The Waikiki Aquarium   Check out the link below (copy & paste to your web browser) This Aquarium is close to the condo and worth a visit. It is part of the University of Hawaii research programs and is well laid out. When you enter you get a handheld voice player. As you look at each exhibit you enter the exhibit number into the player, and it explains what is happening in each fish tank. Very informative worth seeing.
The Honolulu ZOO   Check out the link below (copy & paste to your web browser). This Zoo is incredible. I sits on 42 acres and is laid out, so it feels like you are walking through a park. We get the annual family pass as it is about the same price as 2 adult single visit tickets. It’s open 9:00am to 4:30pm. It is close to the condo so you can grab a Subway sandwich and bottle of water and go inside the Zoo complex, wander into a couple sections, have a picnic and stroll back to the beach. We go many times during each visit to Waikiki. They have 220 species of animals: elephants, tiger, many types of monkeys, giraffes, hippos, huge turtles, alligators, flamingos, aardvarks, zebras, chimpanzees, baboons, orangutans, reptiles, warthogs, rhinoceros, kids petting section. You could spend 2 hours there if you wanted.

Moana Falls and Hiking Trails

One of our favorite hikes on Oahu is Moana Falls. It is about a 15-minute drive straight behind our building if you look out the back and see the mountain range. Check out this website below for how to get there. Parking is only $5 per car and admission is free. It is a 45-minute hike each way. It is beautiful.
Did you know there are 10+ hiking trails on the Island of Oahu? They take you through tropical jungle / forests to see beautiful waterfalls, one is 150’ at Manoa Falls. Click on the links below to read more about each trail with directions on how to get to them. In the condo we have placed a GPS that you can use to locate the nearest entry points. We have also place a couple back packs behind the couch for your use also some binoculars to take along. Remember sunscreen from the “guest share drawer”, a hat, camera and bottled water. Enjoy, listen to the birds along the way, it is a BEAUTIFUL place to be and many are only a 5-10 minutes’ drive from the condo.
10 Best Hiking Trails on Oahu;
Manoa Falls Trail Hike;
KOKO Head Trail;
Oahu’s State Park Hiking Trails;
Diamond Head Trail Brochure;
Health and Safety Tips while outdoor in Hawaii;

 Oahu Market.

Surf Beaches and 43 Competitions

We have placed a link below that will take you to an overview map of Oahu. Around the perimeter you will see 200 beach access / beach parks. We throw the two canvas directors chairs into the trunk and stop at different beaches all day long. Many have become “favorite” places to relax and read. We always like Kawaikui Beach Park, it is in the GPS so you can find it easily. Enjoy, hope this helps you plans some activities on Oahu while you are staying at our condo at Waikiki.
I know you will want to see some of the surfing action on Oahu. They surf all over the Island. There are 43 competitions all year around, 15 of them right out front on Waikiki Beach, Kuhio Beach and Queens Beach. Every day right out front on Waikiki Beach the surfers start at 6:00am, from our balcony you will see about 20-40 surfers get out there before heading into work, then there are surfers all day. Many of the “natives” surf off the beach below the light house at Diamond Head, everyday all day. Walk 100 yards past the light house, for the best view. Sometimes you see whales in the distance. Take the binoculars from the condo. Wintertime the waves are biggest on the North Shore, while summer time they are biggest on the Waikiki shoreline. Check out this web site.

 perfect barrels.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, that was the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. Click on the ‘YouTube’ video link below for some history of Pearl Harbor. It is worth the visit 

Waikiki Beach

   Waikiki is famous for its beaches. With Diamond Head as your backdrop, the calm waters of Waikiki are perfect for a surfing lesson. In fact, legendary Hawaiian waterman Duke Kahanamoku grew up surfing the waves of Waikiki. “Duke” was instrumental in sharing the values and sport of surfing to the world but there’s more to Waikiki. Attractions like the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium offer fun for the whole family. Among the various things to do, high-end boutiques, shops, and 200 restaurants can be found all along Kalakaua and Kuhio International Market Place. After the Waikiki sunset, the fun continues with amazing nightlife and live music. Best of all, Waikiki is within a half hour of a variety of Oahu attractions, including Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, the Pali Lookout and Hanauma Bay. Other notable points of interest nearby include Ala Moana Center (a massive outdoor shopping center),  
   Free to the public on Kuhio Beach which is to the left of Dukes statue under the HUGE banyan tree. Across from McDonalds, grab a coffee and enjoy. They usually have about 20 dancers from age 5 to 70. You can see how they try to keep traditions going with enticing the young ones to join the different hula clubs. Get there a bit early to get good seating or just stand amongst the crowd. This is what we like about Hawaii, how they are trying to maintain some Opens with torch lighting and the traditional blowing of conch shell.  The shows are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, weather-permitting from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Check out this link;