Hawaii - 1.5 days in Honolulu: sightseeing strategy
Mar 27, 11, 3:12 am
I arrive in HNL at 1:15PM on a Thursday and leave late AM on Saturday. There are three sightseeing things I want to do: explore Waikiki, visit the USS Arizona memorial and drive around Oahu. I have two options that I'm exploring:
1. Upon arrival, rent a car at the airport. Go immediately to the USS Arizona memorial and hope there are tickets available. Drive back to hotel and park ($20/day). Explore Waikiki. Next day, do the drive around Oahu. Park again at hotel. Day of departure, drive self to airport.
2. Upon arrival, take shuttle to hotel ($20 roundtrip). Explore Waikiki. Next day, rent a car early, visit USS Arizona, drive around Oahu and return car. Day of departure, take shuttle back to airport.
With option 1, a rental car for 2 days will be around $100, 2 days of parking will be $40. Will I even have a chance of getting tickets to the USS Arizona in the afternoon?
With option 2, a rental car for 1 day will be around $50. The shuttle will be around $20. Am I taking on too much for 1 day??
Mar 27, 11, 4:23 am
As long as you won't have a problem getting up early I would lean towards option 2. It also depends if you plan on visiting any of the other museums that are in the same area, such as the battleship Missouri, USS bowfin, or the aviation museum. If you do plan to visit the other museums I don’t think you could fit them all in an afternoon. Another downside to option 1 is that I assume you’d have some sort of bag or luggage locked in the rental car, even if it is just a carryon. The parking lot at the memorial is notorious for having cars broken into, and I would not leave anything even remotely valuable in the car.
My suggestion would be to arrive, rent the car and drive around the island to Waikiki the first day, then spend the 2nd day at the Arizona drop off or keep the rental, and then just explore Waikiki in the afternoon/evening.
Mar 27, 11, 11:54 am
I would go for your #2. Getting AZ tickets is iffy or a long wait in the PM. If money is an object and you just have carryon, TheBus would be an option for HNL/Waikiki and return. If Dollar car rental and maybe others, get there as soon as they open or there will be a long wait. Stop at a shrimp truck on the North shore. Don't forget the military museum in Waikiki.
1st Cav Vet
Mar 27, 11, 12:41 pm
Remember to check traffic rush hours on Highways near Waikiki...they can be awful.
Mar 28, 11, 4:18 am
I'd drop either the Arizona or the round the island drive. Otherwise, it's just going to be a hectic time trying to accomplish your goals. Save one as an excuse to go back!
If it was me, after arrival on the first day I'd go to the hotel and do the Waikiki wandering. Second day, I'd drive around the island.
Mar 28, 11, 9:31 am
Hi afterglow, if you are like me and I know I am, history being what it is, the AZ would be the one thing to do if no other. If you get there as near 7:00 am as possible you should be able to do it in appx. 1 1/2 hours, leaving enough time for a car ride around the island. If money is an object, use the bus for the AZ followed by a scenic ride to the Sea World location. If these are of interest, search this forum or give a whistle. Have fun, I know you will. Aloha Ken :) PS Let us know how it worked out!
Mar 28, 11, 11:21 am
Option 2 is doable if you can get the car early enough. Most car rental locations in Waikiki have limited hours, so you are restricted by how soon you can pick up the car (and perhaps even when you can return it). I would confirm the hours of operation before trying this option.
Personally, I'd do Option 1, but push the Arizona Memorial visit to Friday. If you get there at opening time (7 am), you'll be able to complete your visit by mid-morning and still have time for a leisurely drive around the island.
If your looking to save some $$ then Id take The Bus for $2.50 into Wakiki from the airport it takes apx 1 hr at the time you will get in (assuming you will only have carry-ons) , check-in and spend the rest of that day checking out Waikiki. This way no need to pay for parking and Waikiki is a few blocks long and no car is needed.
The next day rent a car from the local Enterprise for the day and either hit Pearl on you way out or back from the drive around the island if you do some stopping but nothing very long you only a couple of hrs to do the drive. So you can make sure to get the car back by 6 when they close = no parking charges or keep it for the night and you only have to deal with 1 night of parking
and yes I did do it this way and returned the car before they closed and took the Bus back to the airport as well. Its teh 19 or 20 bus just make sure it says Waikiki on it otherwise its heading to Hickman before it heads back toWaikiki
Mar 31, 11, 6:57 pm
I would take #1. If for whatever reason you don't get tix (unlikely IMO) you can return the next day.
Priceline your car - two days should be in $40-50 range and you can probably find cheaper parking too if it's an issue.
Flexibility of having a car all the time (and not worrying about being late to return it or waking up early and having to wait for rental office to open) is a big plus IMO.
Apr 4, 11, 6:45 am
Here is a map of parking lots in Waikiki
Depending on where your hotel is the Waikiki Parking Garage on Seaside is the best option for parking overnight. For $7 you can leave your car there for 10 hours.
Also try to have dinner at Alan Wong's on King Street it's a great place.
I would go with option one. It gives you more flexibility.
Apr 4, 11, 11:16 am
We had about the same amount of time in HNL. Did Waikiki area day of arrival, the north shore the next (and only full) day, and squeezed in the Arizona the morning of our flight (which was late afternoon). I've been before, the other two had not.
Though I would encourage anyone to go to see the Arizona for the history of it all, I was very disappointed with Pearl Harbor this time around. They made change, a new museum and, in my opinion, the changes were not for the better. I'm not typically a history buff (would like to be) but last time it seems I could have spent hours and hours there (and was looking forward to doing so on this trip) but not so this trip. Felt that the new building didn't have all the personal and heartfelt stories and memorabilia that the older one had. It seems way more sterile now and doesn't quite engage or hit the heart like before. Went with military-affiliated people (one's dad served on a battleship, one had previously been deployed to Afghanistan) and sadly, they too were unimpressed.
If you do have the car, I'd suggest doing some exploring as well, maybe hit up a shrimp truck at the North shore area. Above all, whatever you decide to do, enjoy!
The drive to the north shore is fine if you want to watch the surfers but make sure the waves are such that they will be there. You can call the surfer's hotline. If I had to recommed one thing, I'd go to Manoa Falls and the Lyon Arboretum. They are next to each other and only about 15 minutes from Waikiki. It's an amazingly beautiful area with waterfalls and flowers. If you like hiking take the trail that leaves from just before Manoa Falls to the bamboo forest and lookouts. The state of Hawaii web site has details.
Apr 14, 11, 1:14 am
Drive down H-1 East to the windward side. When you hit the southeastern coast, it's about the most breathtaking view you can possibly imagine.
Apr 21, 11, 4:09 am
Here's a quick update:
My UA flight got in a bit late. Got a Mustang vert for $47/day and drove straight to the USS Arizona memorial. Got tickets just before the movie started and went to the memorial proper.
The drive to the hotel was pretty horrendous due to rush hour. Stayed at Ohana East and the location was pretty good. Hotel's showing its age though. Had a quick bite at Puka Dog and walked around Waikiki. Had dinner at Orchids in the Halekulani Hotel. Good but not great.....
Left for the drive around Oahu at around 8. Stopped for breakfast at Kalapawai Cafe. Lunch at one of the shrimp trucks in Kahuku and dessert at Matsumoto's in Haleiwa. It was raining most of the drive though and the break was non-existent in the North Shore......
Got back to Waikiki around 4 and spent the rest of my time just walking around.....