6 weeks in paradise
October 26, 2012 4:23 PM   Subscribe

We have 6 weeks left in Oahu. What should we do?

My niece (22) and I (30, f) are living on Oahu for the next 6 weeks. We're broke, but have a car and a somewhat flexible schedule. What are the absolute musts for awesome adventures and great memories?

About us:
1. We're both foodies

2. We're not heavy drinkers

3. We don't smoke

4. We're not really night owls, but don't mind staying out late

5. We're both physically in good health, but are not super athletic

6. I like yoga/yoga tourism on a budget; my niece loves the arts

7. We both like live music, but have so far been disappointed at the overly Christian content of the performers we've seen

8. We would prefer to avoid large groups of children or teenagers

9. We have a fondness for kitsch

Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by spunweb to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Six weeks left? How long have you been there already?

Cheap eats (relatively speaking)
1) Honolulu Farmer's Market has a lot of cooked foods for eating there, fresh veggies and fruit, things you can take come with you (like lilikoi butter) and a couple of years ago there was some particularly awesome shave ice, with homemade syrups like lemon grass ginger.
2) Malasadas (of course).
3) I've had some very good ramen in Honolulu. (It has ruined me for SF Bay Area ramen.)
4) Hot dogs.

If you really need to save money, and you have a place to cook, Costco is your friend. I am not sure what we'd've done without it last time.

There have been some other good threads on AskMe about Oahu that should give you some other ideas. I go there to hang out on the beach and eat, so I don't know too much else.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:38 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I miss Oahu!

Basically you're to do list should be doing everything that you enjoy most, here is a list of things I would do and maybe they will spark some ideas.

Hiking-especially to see the waterfalls (you do not always have to be in great shape for some of the hikes, but do you research to determine the difficulty level before setting out)

Driving around the island- I usually drive around the south east side on Kalanianaole and drive up the shore line past the blow hole. There are great scenic views around there. I would drive up towards the north shore and stop and get shrimp at one of the shrimp food trucks. Taking in the waves on one of the beaches. I then would stop in Haleiwa to get shave ice. I then would swing around and start heading back down Kamehameha HWY towards Honolulu. That can be a whole day trip if you are stopping at locations on the way.

Pali lookout has good views and is a big tourist location.

I really enjoy and miss some of the japanese and Hawaiian food. I can't think of any restaurants off the top of my head.

Maybe a luau?

Getting a frommers guide from the local book store might also be a good way to see what cool things only Hawaii has to offer.

While you may be limited on money, I went sky diving in Hawaii and it was the most amazing view.
posted by Jaelma24 at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2012

You must, must, must go to La Mariana Sailing Club. Yes, it's a tiki bar and restaurant, but you don't need to drink a lot to have a good time--the best part when my husband and I went on our last trip was the karaoke that turned into a huge singalong. Such a friendly, cool, place with a cool midcentury vibe. It just could not exist anywhere but Oahu.

Also definitely go to the Bishop Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Lastly, I don't know how many plate lunches you guys have had during your trip, but I really recommend doing one of those. And I agree with Jaelma24--driving out to the shrimp trucks is a must for fresh, memorable shrimp.

I'm so jealous! Have fun!
posted by anonnymoose at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2012

Art After Dark Halloween, tonight at the Academy of the Arts? One of the better events of the year IMHO. Live music, open museums and cool costumes. Mellow non-tourist crowd of all ages.

posted by phatboy at 5:36 PM on October 26, 2012

P.S. Don't forget a stop at Don Quijote (formerly Daiei)--it's a supermarket chock full of amazing Hawaiian and Asian foods, random household goods, and other fabulous things. It's fun to look and a great place to find inexpensive, neat things to bring home with you in your suitcase.
posted by anonnymoose at 5:38 PM on October 26, 2012

I was there this past summer and I'd say most definitely just take a drive up along the eastern coast highway to the North Shore and defnitely make a stop at Pali Overlook (as suggested by Jaelma24).

For food, we loved the Mexican/Caribbean - so good and cheap - at Cha Cha Cha's.
And Nico's at Pier 38 was the only place where we went back a second time. (The fish and chips, I ordered both times). Thing about Nico's is that their lunch menu is a bit cheaper but you get about the same amount of food, from what I could tell. They just don't do it up for lunch (you order at the counter vs. evening they have waitstaff).

Hiking Diamond Head is nice and is a really stunning view. It can be a little bit of a trek, but get there early, pace yourself and take a bottle of water and a hat for sun protection! There are some spots where the sun really beats down.

I personally would NOT recommend the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is for kids and families and we left after 45 minutes. But I know of a lot of people who have enjoyed it, it just wasn't for us (and we didn't stay for the luau, which is kind of pricey - can't remember how much). Anyway, memail if you would like further details and recommendations.

Have fun!
posted by foxhat10 at 6:49 PM on October 26, 2012

We had a ball at the Movie Museum. $5 and bring your own snacks to watch a movie in a barcalounger.

And we loved the food at V-Lounge. Especially (of all things) the roasted cauliflower with anchovies. (Yes, anchovies. Remember, you are there for the adventure.) Although its probably a little pricier. And the bartender wins competitions. Drink mixing competitions, so that's a good thing.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2012

And the Manoa Falls Trail is awesome and an easy hike. (An easy hike for young reasonably fit people. It was pretty tough for me, but worth it.) It is just down the road from the Harold L Lyon Arboreteum. Both are free. The arboreteum is acres and acres of amazing plantings and views and trails. A wonderful way to spend a day.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:06 PM on October 26, 2012

Oh, and I second Don Quixote. What a cheap shoppers paradise!
And I add in the Highway Inn, for some traditional Hawaiian dishes. (Featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins)

There, I think I'm done now. (We had a great vacation last May!)
posted by SLC Mom at 7:14 PM on October 26, 2012

Well you have to drive up Tantalus/Round Top for the view and the cool and the quiet.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:05 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Night snorkeling at Hanauma Bay!
posted by honeybee413 at 10:23 PM on October 26, 2012

Russell Peters tomorrow night.
Tiffany next weekend...
Pulse's out/about
posted by panmunjom at 2:42 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think Waimanolo Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the state.
posted by BibiRose at 4:12 AM on October 27, 2012

panmunjom's post reminds me, read the paper every morning.

And saimin and poke and Helena's Hawaiian food.
posted by BibiRose at 4:16 AM on October 27, 2012

This blog should give you plenty of ideas for places to explore!
posted by blaneyphoto at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2012

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