Out of the Ordinary Oahu?

gregf71

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Returning to Aulani this upcoming July for 7 nights. We are planning to rent a car for two days to explore the island. In 2018, we visited Byodo-In, Dole Plantation, La Mariana, Haleiwa, Morimoto's, and Turtle Beach.

We want to hit Waikiki for a bit this time and will be returning to the Dole Plantation, as we didn't do the tour last time. We have no interest in the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Any recommendations for things to see or do that are not the usual tourist locales? Special or unique places? We will most probably be driving around on a Friday and Saturday.

Mahalo!
 

newdeal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Hiking to manoa falls, hiking diamond head, the blow hole, swimming at the base of the waterfall at the waimea valley botanical gardens (bring water shoes its rocky), pearl harbour...I know these places aren't unique but they weren't on your list and are great places to go
 
  • alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    Last time we were on Oahu, we did a "tour" of Manoa Chocolate Factory and it was interesting and off the beaten path.

    It is basically in one room but they tell you about the how they grow the cacao right in Hawaii, the harvesting and processing of it to make their chocolate and a tasting session

    It was fairly quick and informative and then we headed over to Kailua beach after wards. No one under 12 and there are always Groupons for it too



    On my bucket list for our next trip is the Kaka'ako / POW WOW commissioned street art murals. They are done every year in February. I am going to try and find a great place to eat and make a day of being in Honolulu and walking to see the murals.

     

    gregf71

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2012
    Last time we were on Oahu, we did a "tour" of Manoa Chocolate Factory and it was interesting and off the beaten path.

    It is basically in one room but they tell you about the how they grow the cacao right in Hawaii, the harvesting and processing of it to make their chocolate and a tasting session

    It was fairly quick and informative and then we headed over to Kailua beach after wards. No one under 12 and there are always Groupons for it too


    How is their chocolate? Any good?
     

    alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    I liked it but my hubby and daughter loved it. They are the chocolate fans in our house and they still talk about how much they liked it.
     
  • alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    Fyi-I would only do the Manoa chocolate tour if you are on that side of the island anyway. It was no way near worth driving over from Aulani just for it alone.
     

    gregf71

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2012
    I liked it but my hubby and daughter loved it. They are the chocolate fans in our house and they still talk about how much they liked it.
    We may actually be starting our day over there, hitting a couple places, and then driving the coastal route south, back to Waikiki, stopping at some outlooks along the way. It is on the list! Thanks!
     

    Disneykate605

    Disney Life
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2018
    When we went to Oahu we snorkeled in Hanauma Bay and it was a highlight of the trip for me! It is a bay formed in the crater of a dormant volcano! So neat! While you are swimming in the bay you see the walls of the volcano surrounding you! Great snorkeling and very calm waters.
     

    longboard55

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    It's touristy but our favorite activity is the Waikiki Beach catamaran sails. Afternoon sails are delightful and have great prices with a groupon.

    www.leahi.com

    Another favorite is the one hour hula lesson at the royal hawaiian shopping center. Just an amazing hawaiian vibe to it

     
  • jamdonnut

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2014
    Whilst in Waikiki the waikiki trolley is fantastic, as it the hula show at the royal hawaiian center and the friday night fireworks on the beach in front of the hilton
     

    lmhall2000

    May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2002
    We just got back yesterday! I loved Waimea Valley tour, we didn't do the waterfall- but many were! Took us about 20 minutes to reach the waterfall, but if you like botanicals- do all the paths off to your left and right- some great shots! I loved going out to your left to the end of the path each morning...it's a crop of rocks and you can see tugboats pulling ships in...I got a great shot of a rainbow that morning sunrise. We also loved hiking Diamond Head...we got there around 11:30am and had no issue getting parking the top. We also did the Catamaran turtle swim with Kolokai (I think that's their name, right next to Royal Hawaiian and Outrigger Reef)..our crew was awesome! We swam with at least a dozen turtles and saw hundreds of fish...they provided all the equipment..but bring cash for drinks...they had free snacks. We also took our car around the North Shore and ate at Giovanni's food truck (shrimp and rice..delish!) and then came down past Kualoa Ranch and stopping at many inlets along the way...beautiful sunset shots! Traffic is awful near Honolulu- so plan your trips so you're not having to cut through before 9 or after 3pm.
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    If you’re in Waikiki on a Friday or Saturday evening, there is a free hula show beachside right near the Duke statue, under the banyan tree. First they light the tiki torches on the beach (my kids enjoyed talking to the old gentleman lighting them :) ). They tell you the history of the hula and do several songs and dances. Fun, laid back, and free; great to go have a drink and watch the sun set afterward.
     

    gregf71

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2012
    Much thanks to everyone who has responded thus far! There are some excellent ideas for "out of the ordinary". Let me share one that popped onto my radar recently...

    The Honolulu Fish Auction Tour

    Tours are conducted, by RESERVATION ONLY, on select Saturday mornings from 6:00am – 7:30am. Tour cost is $25 for adults and $20 for children 8 – 12 years old.

    Unfortunately, I cannot seem to convince my wife and daughter to check this out. I think that it is very cool and very unique, but I just cannot get them to see the fun in getting up that early to drive in from Aulani during our vacation. Oh well!

    If you can think of anything else, please keep the ideas coming!

    Mahalo!
     

    MinnesotaChill

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2003
    We did the Hole in the Wall Food Tour in Honolulu/Waikiki area and loved it. A large van drove us around to all the locals favorite restaurants and China town and we got to try a bunch of really fun things.
     

    pow510

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2009
    Returning to Aulani this upcoming July for 7 nights. We are planning to rent a car for two days to explore the island. In 2018, we visited Byodo-In, Dole Plantation, La Mariana, Haleiwa, Morimoto's, and Turtle Beach.

    We want to hit Waikiki for a bit this time and will be returning to the Dole Plantation, as we didn't do the tour last time. We have no interest in the Polynesian Cultural Center.

    Any recommendations for things to see or do that are not the usual tourist locales? Special or unique places? We will most probably be driving around on a Friday and Saturday.

    Mahalo!
    When it comes to Hawaii I generally try and stay away from to tourists hangouts, but the one thing we just did in August was Kualoa Ranch UTV tour ( I was against this and almost sat out) I absolutely loved it and wished we had done the two hour instead of one hour! Diamond head is crowded but you will not see a more amazing view of Waikiki unless in a helicopter. Take advantage of seeing Pearl Harbor it’s technically still closed but should be open by your trip. The east side of the island is beautiful completely different landscape than the north and west. If you only have a rental for two days you won’t be able to do all this, but seeing the east side( stopping at look outs) and driving to Kualoa for UTV tour can be done in same day. Pearl can be done same day as Waikiki as well. Hawaii is my true love, than Disney lol
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    When it comes to Hawaii I generally try and stay away from to tourists hangouts, but the one thing we just did in August was Kualoa Ranch UTV tour ( I was against this and almost sat out) I absolutely loved it and wished we had done the two hour instead of one hour! Diamond head is crowded but you will not see a more amazing view of Waikiki unless in a helicopter. Take advantage of seeing Pearl Harbor it’s technically still closed but should be open by your trip. The east side of the island is beautiful completely different landscape than the north and west. If you only have a rental for two days you won’t be able to do all this, but seeing the east side( stopping at look outs) and driving to Kualoa for UTV tour can be done in same day. Pearl can be done same day as Waikiki as well. Hawaii is my true love, than Disney lol
    Pearl Harbor opened about a month ago - they had a special ceremony on the Memorial
     

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