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Family vacation in Lanikai (Oahu)

Family vacation in Lanikai (Oahu)

Old Mar 13, 17, 6:45 pm
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Family vacation in Lanikai (Oahu)

3 generations of my family (ages: 2, 7, 4x40s, and 2x70s who are mobile and in great shape) will be spending 8 days on Oahu. We rented a house on Lanikai beach for the first week in April.

I've been trolling previous threads for ideas on what to do (besides sitting on Lanikai beach) given the breadth of ages. Where I can use some advice...

- what other beaches to hit (suggestions welcome for beautiful beaches and snorkeling)
- a hike or two (without the 2 year old)... any suggestions?
- would love a couple of restaurant recommendation, including a place to celebrate a birthday. Nothing too fancy, just good food where we can eat and be happy as a family. Trying to avoid great distances.
- what else am I missing?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 13, 17, 7:19 pm
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I'm going to try and be a little Windward Oahu-centric in my responses as you are staying in Lanikai and I doubt you are interested in spending a lot of time driving around crisscrossing the island, especially with the bad morning and evening rush hour traffic. There's some general threads on restaurants and activities in this forum for additional information.

Lanikai and adjacent Kailua Beach are two of the best beaches on the island for swimming and sunbathing but not good for snorkeling as it is all sandy bottom, so there's not much to see. If you head towards Waimanalo, the reef is closer to shore and there's some nice spots by the Makai Pier by Sea Life Park (but there are no lifeguards, so be careful). Hanauma Bay is the best and safest place but can get crowded.

The hike up to Makapuu Lighthouse is on a paved trail and moderately steep and outdoors with little to no shade so wear comfortable shoes (no slippers) and take water and sunscreen. I'd suggest going in the morning before the parking lot fills up and it gets to hot. Sunrise at Makapuu is spectacular.

Buzz's in Lanikai is an institution and good for larger parties - I believe they are on Open Table. There's lots of good places in Kailua and also Kaneohe. I hear the prime rib Sunday brunch at Haleiwa Joe's in Haiku Gardens by Windward Mall is very popular. There's also good food to be had at the evening Kailua Farmers' Market.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Mar 13, 17 at 11:15 pm
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Old Mar 13, 17, 8:47 pm
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When I was in that area, I enjoyed hiking in Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden. I found Waimanalo Beach to be very beautiful and very uncrowded.
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Old Mar 13, 17, 10:14 pm
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Wow! Thanks for the quick replies.

My wife just added another question... best shaved ice nearby / on the island?
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Old Mar 13, 17, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by HSaxa View Post
Wow! Thanks for the quick replies.

My wife just added another question... best shaved ice nearby / on the island?
Waiola St Shave Ice is my favorite.

Don't go to Island Snow in Kailua, it sucks, despite the former president's visits. The ice is gritty and syrup blah.

edit: It's Shave Ice in Hawaii. They serve shaved ice on the mainland.
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Old Mar 13, 17, 11:07 pm
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I just tried a new place in Kailua Town called The Local. It's behind the Longs Drugs on Hekili Street. Unlike the more popular places like Island Snow and Matsumoto's, I prefer places that use natural fruit syrups. We really liked the lilikoi (passion fruit) and lychee flavors. Their guava was good, but not as good as Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha in Aina Haina.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by HSaxa View Post
3 generations of my family (ages: 2, 7, 4x40s, and 2x70s who are mobile and in great shape) will be spending 8 days on Oahu. We rented a house on Lanikai beach for the first week in April.

I've been trolling previous threads for ideas on what to do (besides sitting on Lanikai beach) given the breadth of ages. Where I can use some advice...

- what other beaches to hit (suggestions welcome for beautiful beaches and snorkeling)
- a hike or two (without the 2 year old)... any suggestions?
- would love a couple of restaurant recommendation, including a place to celebrate a birthday. Nothing too fancy, just good food where we can eat and be happy as a family. Trying to avoid great distances.
- what else am I missing?

Thanks in advance!
Places to eat:

Kailua: Cactus
Honolulu: Roy's, Alan Wong's, Little Village, Nico's, Mitch's Sushi

Hike:

From north shore side- Kaena Point Albatross sanctuary
Makapuu lighthouse trail
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Old Mar 26, 17, 10:34 pm
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Thanks all. Leaving in a week and appreciate all the suggestions and advice.
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Old Mar 26, 17, 10:41 pm
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One of my favorite restaurants on the island is Cactus in Kailua. We go there a couple of times a month for lunch or dinner. They have a great happy hour, too.

And no need to find other beaches. Nothing beats Lanikai. Nothing.
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