||Hawaii Vacation Tips
Joined: May 03, 2005
From: Sacramento CA
|Posted: 2005-06-16 09:09 am  Permalink|
When I lived in Hilo the place to eat was Jet Burger, a small island burger chain. They served Saimai, fresh papya, egg salad sandwiches and a dozen other non burger things. I ate there every day.
If there is no Jet Burger, plate lunch is always the best deal on food in Hawaii. You can get it at all kinds of places,plate lunch speciality stands, Korean BBQ places,stalls at the malls, you name it. The thing with plate lunch is that no matter what entre you order ( roast pork, teriyaki chicken, beef stew and meatloaf are my faves) you get two scoop white rice and one scoop of the best maraconi salad in the world for about 5 bucks. I understood the rice, because of the huge Asian population in Hawaii. There are a lot of East Asian things that have become part of the fabric of modern Hawaian culture, but when I asked a lot of locals how macaroni salad became a staple of the Hawiian diet, most had no clue, but some said it was the midwestern wives of navy officers stationed at Pearl Harbor that introduced it to Hawaii and as with all things good in Hawaii the locals picked it up, and made it thier own. Hawaiian macaroni salad is just like what my mom made in New Jersey; macaroni, onion, celery, celery seed and cole slaw dressing (mayo, sugar and sweet pickle juice)and maybe a little sweet pickle relish if you are fancy. The recipe has not changed in Hawaii. No pinnaple or teriyaki sauce added, thank god. Just the sweet creamy goodness of American summer food.(potato and macaroni salad, deviled eggs, cole slaw and every kind of poulty, sea food and meat you can drown in mayo)
Joined: Jun 24, 2004
|Posted: 2005-06-16 3:59 pm  Permalink|
A few tips for anyone going to Waikiki:
Look for free booklets called "Hawaiian Gold" or "Oahu Today". They're full of coupons for cruises, restaurants, museums, stores, airport shuttles, etc. You can find these booklets in news racks all over town.
Don't book a Dinner Cruise - you pay a lot for food that isn't very good. Just take a sunset cruise and then eat dinner at a restaurant on shore.
Avoid the people offering free or 1/2 price cruises or luaus. It's just a pitch for timeshare vacations.
There is a flea market at the Aloha stadium on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Don't expect to find vintage stuff there. You should only go there if you want to buy large quantities of t-shirts and cheap souvenirs to bring home.
Don't leave anything valuable in your car.
If you go to Tikis for dinner, try the Caeser salad with seared Ahi. Mmmmmm.
If you're really hungry get the sampler platter.
If you go to Dukes for dinner, save room for Hula Pie! (oreo cookie crust, macadamia ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a cherry)
There are lots of internet cafe's around Waikiki, so you have plenty of opportunities to log onto Tiki Central and let us know how much fun you're having...
Joined: Jun 20, 2005
From: The Abyss.
|Posted: 2005-06-20 9:12 pm  Permalink|
I just got back from Oahu myself. Here are my recommendations...
Divers: If you're staying on O'ahu for your whole trip, you might check out Reef Trekkers, www.reeftrekkers.com. They do a couple dives a day, have great prices, and fairly small groups. I only did a 1 day 2-tank package, but it turned out great.
Anyone wanting to see some culture: I recommend a tour with The Real Hawaii...www.therealhawaii.com. They have a "Real Sacred" tour that is just incredible. Worth EVERY penny.
We did a hike through the ko'olaus up to a waterfall with Oahu Nature Tours that was an outstanding value as well.
If you want any specifics drop me a line! jeepfifty at yahoo dot com.
Joined: Sep 30, 2004
From: Santa Rosa, CA (Sonoma - wine country)
|Posted: 2005-06-21 09:05 am  Permalink|
Our favorite island so far is Maui. We haven't been to Kauai yet, and I am sure it will rank high as well.
I have been very fortunate in visiting the islands 15 or more times over the last 12 years, mainly for business, and mainly to Oahu. Honolulu provides lots of entertainment, but if you want a true (affordable) Hawaiian adventure, I would suggest either the Big Island or Maui.
This (early November) will be our 3rd annual trip back to Maui. I discovered a wonderful, small condo complex on the northwest side of the island, away from the hustle of Ka'anapali. This condo complex is called the Honokeana Cove Resort, and is situated on a small cove full of fish, coral, and sea turtles. The HCR is actually in Napali, just north of Ka'anapali and south of Kapalua (where the Ritz Carlton is located).
The complex has about 50 units, 2 stories tall, and was built at least 25 - 30 years ago. It is not plush, nor are the prices. This year, we booked our regular condo at $160 per night. It has 2 full bedrooms (king bed downstairs and queen bed upstairs in a loft) and 2 full bathrooms (one up and one down) along with all full sized appliances (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher,etc), complete set of dishes / glasses / cooking utensils, television / CD player / VCR, and complete living room setup. Pricing the hotels in the area, the medium price was between $215 and $325. They have a large grassy area and a freshwater pool (for non-snorkelers and sun bathers), 3 gas grills for everyone to use, and very nicely kept grounds. The entire complex has an old Hawaiian look complete with lava rock buildings, palm trees, and lots of vegetation. The condo we book has an unabstructed view of Molokai, and literally sits above the rocky shoreline of the cove.
The HCR is around a small jetty of land from the Napali Beach, but doesn't have beach around the cove. It is such a treat to suit up, grab the snorkeling gear, and walk 2 minutes down to the water without having to drive / park / fight other folks / snorkel / pack back up / drive home. The fish are abundant, and you are almost guaranteed to see at least one turtle. (During a normal 1-1.5 hours worth of snorkeling, we spot 3-5 turtles.) Snorkeling guide books rate this cove with either an A- or B+ (the water can get a bit murky at times if the ocean is rough).
Lahaina is only 15 minutes away from HRC, so if shopping and nightlife are necessary, its very convenient. There are markets and restaurants near the condos. But, we like it best for its quiet atmosphere and closeness to snorkel all day long. During our last visit, we met other renters and owners from all over California (5 from our area) and other parts of the country. On Wednesday night, the manager of the complex hosts a PuPu gathering, asking all attendees to bring a PuPu to share. You get to meet other residents and make friends.
If anyone is interested in more information, please contact me, or check out their web site. After you have been there, you know which units have the best views or nicest lanai's, etc. But I found asking the right questions when booking a condo, and being flexible in my travel dates, got us a GREAT choice.
The Honokeana Cove Resort won't rate high on having tiki's on the property, but the Ohana factor is the highest I can rate it. Darn, I want to be there now!!
See some pictures of the place here:
(let me know if this link doesn't work!)
May the Tiki be with you, and float the Aloha to all parts of the world!
[ This Message was edited by: tikiwinebear on 2005-06-21 18:46 ]
Joined: Jun 20, 2005
From: The Abyss.
|Posted: 2005-07-04 10:30 pm  Permalink|
Just got back from a trip to O'ahu...going to the Big Island in September. I've only got 3 full days, 1 goes to diving, 1 goes to da Volcano. 1 goes to driving around the island trying to find great things (plan set to visit as many heiau as possible). One big question. Where's a good place to look for a nice hand carved Kanaloa. Maybe a club too. If I was going to O'ahu I'd head for the PCC...but the big island...I haven't been there yet. Any hints on where to find real hand carved wood at a not-so-budget-busting price?
Joined: Apr 09, 2003
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
|Posted: 2005-08-03 6:05 pm  Permalink|
Big Island forest fire - thick smoke from a runaway brushfire in South Kohala that is expected to burn 25,000 acres before it's extinguished.
Joined: Mar 26, 2002
From: Grape Town, California
|Posted: 2005-11-05 2:30 pm  Permalink|
Just wanted all of you Hawaii-bound folks to know about a new policy at Aloha Airlines. All of their flights are now booked as one-way segments, not round-trips. If you make any changes to your itinerary, they will charge you $100 per segment plus any fare changes to accomodate you. I just found this out the hard way. I had to change an upcoming trip and will be charged almost $600 to do so! If I cancel it, I'll have a year to use the ticket, but will still have to pay the change fees when I re-book. I feel as if I've been punched in the gut. If any of you travel savvy folks out there know any recourse let me and all the TC'ers know. Thanks and be careful of this company. They'll hold your money hostage!
Joined: May 07, 2003
|Posted: 2005-11-06 11:48 am  Permalink|
I am pleased to announce that the Seamus clan is heading for the islands Dec. 1st! Jauna and I spent our honeymoon on the Big Island more than ten yrs ago, and we've wanted to return ever since. This is also our first non-working vacation in as many years, and Fiona's(7) first ride in an airplane. This is a big deal for us, and we are very excited to get to spend 2 weeks in paradise. We found some amazing deals on airfare from Portland ($320), and even better deals on inner island hops ($39 o/w). It ended up being cheaper to fly to Oahu, and hop over to Hawaii and back, than to just go to Hawaii for the entire trip, so we're feeling like real jetsetters!
We're spending the bulk of the trip on the Big Island, and the last few days on Oahu. Haven't actually made reservations for Lodgings yet, but will be doing so in the next couple of days. We appreciate all the excellent tips found in this thread, and are smack dab in the middle of researching, pricing, and getting our list of must do's in order.
Thanks to all who took the time to post their suggestions, and advice. I'll try to do the same after we return.
Joined: Jun 15, 2003
From: The Enchanted Isle of Dayton, Ohio
|Posted: 2005-11-20 10:36 pm  Permalink|
The wahine and I are going to Maui December 7-14. We're staying with her cousin that lives in Wailuku on Maui, but I'd like to see some sights on other islands. What's the best deal for island hops? I've been reading as many old posts about Maui travel that I can find, I'm really excited to go. We hope to do some snorkeling, take in a nice luau, eat some great local food, find some rum made there, go beachcombing, maybe try surfing, most of all ... take it easy.
Any new info to share? I'd love to hear it.
Joined: Feb 19, 2005
From: York, Pa.
|Posted: 2005-11-21 04:19 am  Permalink|
Seamus: If you havn't made your reservations yet give Dug a try. His website is www.tikiislandhawaii.com we stayed at his place a few months ago and it was fantastic. His place is amazing. At least stop by the Tiki Museum while you are on the big island. Scott
Joined: Apr 11, 2002
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
|Posted: 2006-10-30 11:30 pm  Permalink|
On 2002-08-01 11:53, laney wrote:
The best sandwich in the world is at a little bar/restaurant just across the King Kam Hotel on Alii Dr. in Kona, Hawaii! It is a hot crab salad sandwich and they call it the Kona Gold. I believe the place is "Lucilles almost by the Sea" ask anyone in Kona where this place is-they'll know.
Tiki Dug and I spent some time looking for this place (about a month ago).
It is gone.
I was really looking forward to that sandwich too, after Laney hyped it up so much!
Joined: Feb 01, 2005
|Posted: 2006-11-09 1:56 pm  Permalink|
Well, here's another travelogue:
The Missus and I just got back from Hawaii a couple of days ago, and now that we're recuperated from the jet lag, here's the details:
Day 1 Oct 26th
We flew Hawaiian airlines for all of our travel and I have to say that everything was pretty nice. Our flight from the mainland was on a huge plane with plenty of room. Beverage service included Trader Vic's Mai Tais --pre-mixed cocktails in a bottle, like TV Mai Tai mix, but with the rum included. The airline provides pineapple and orange juice for mixing, but if you want a real Mai Tai, just drink it straight out of the bottle. The airline music channels included a channel of old Hawaiian favorites such as Elvis' Blue Hawaii and some of the old Hawaii Calls recordings. There was also a channel of Exotica hosted by Fluid Floyd of Don Tiki. Loops were about an hour, with a little variety in the middle of the playlist. The Exotica channel began with Les Baxter's Quiet Village, and ended with Martin Denny's version. Very cool. After landing, we had lunch at a little place that's inland from the University campus on University avenue. I wouldn't say it was much better than L and L, but plate lunches are pretty hard to mess up.
We stopped at the Walmart near Waikiki and picked up a few nice leis and also some Aloha wear. I've been suprised with the quality of Walmart aloha wear, with most of it not only being made in Hawaii, but also being pretty decent quality.
We went to the Waikiki aquarium which has very well maintained exhibits and contains excellent fish and coral specimens. Why not just go snorkeling, you ask? Well, at any given beach, you may not see all that there is to see. The aquarium is a good chance to see what may otherwise escape you while snorkeling or diving. The octopus display is especially good.
That night we hit the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian, where the Mai Tai contains fruit juice and really isn't that good. The occasional glass does have their logo screened on it. Cool. Drinks were a little overpriced, but the view was spectacular. Service was just okay.
Dinner was at Da Big Kahuna near the Waikiki Wave Hotel. I had a Kalua Pork sandwich, which was very tasty, and a Mai Tai, which also had fruit juice. It was served in a souvenir tiki mug for like $6 more, available only at the restaurant, manufactured by Tiki Farm. I think Holden posted a pic of it at some point. Decor has lots of tikis, but is set up more like a sports bar type place. All things considered, it's a fun place, and worth a visit. If you're looking for a more serious atmosphere, probably not the place for you.
Day 2 Oct 27th
We tried some shore diving in the morning at Hanauma Bay. The swell coming in from the south messed up the conditions pretty badly, so the visibility was probably 15 to 20 feet in a place where it should have been 50 to 60 feet or more. The swell also made it dangerous to go to the outer reef, so we didn't stay long. That afternoon we went to La Mariana and had Mai Tais. Very nice, although I think mine had fruit juice. The decor is fantastic. There are few places in the world with as good a feel as La Mariana. We were there during Happy Hour, so drinks were extra cheap. If you go to Oahu, you have to stop here.
Additional drinks at the Sheraton's Sand Bar are not worth mentioning. Probably the worst Mai Tai I've had, ever. I'm not even sure what was in it. Actually, I don't want to know. It was bad, and overpriced.
Dinner at Tiki's Bar and Grill. I had the Kalua Pork, very tasty. Mai Tai served in a souvenir hurricane glass, but they actually have screened tiki mugs. They've got 'em hidden somewhere, so you have to ask, but they will sell them to you. Not bad at $6. The decor here is also very cool. Torches everywhere, along with many tikis and tons of Shag paintings. Near the entry of the restaurant are Mark Ryden's Pele and Exotica paintings. Fun atmosphere, but crowded. Suprising, service was good for the number of people. Parking can be a pain, and expensive.
Day 3 Oct 28th
We went to the Aloha Stadium Swapmeet in the morning. I found a Hawaiian quilt, made in the Philippines (go figure) for about $80, the cheapest I saw anywhere by easily $80. Not the best quality, but I didn't want to pay $1500 for a genuine hand made beauty. I'm using it to cover the tool cabinet that currently resides in my tiki bar, so I was just buying something cheap. The design is a brown Honu pattern, very cool. Similar patterns all over Waikiki for at least double the price. Probably even from the same manufacturer. Other tourist items available, usually cheaper than other souvenir outlets. Admission is 50 cents, increasing to $1 in the next month or two, I think, but no parking charge. Not bad to walk around. The Missus found a couple pairs of boardshorts, too.
After the swapmeet we hit the Aloha Tower marketplace. Lunch at the Don Ho Island Grill. Mai Tais are good, but contain fruit juice. The Kalua pork sandwich is very tasty.
Did a little driving tour later on, up the Pali Highway. Very nice views, and very fun. Dinner was just an open fast food joint in Haleiwa. It was late, and all the good places were closed.
Day 4 Oct 29th
Went diving in the AM with Breeze Hawaii. Very friendly people, even with tourists. Dive boat was suprisingly uncrowded, which was nice. Dives were excellent, with turtles, leaf scorpionfish, whitetip reef shark, schools of moorish idols.
That evening we went and saw Don Ho. He's pretty old, and not looking so hot. Still, he's got tons of aloha spirit. We had him sign our Tiki Farm Don Ho tiki mug. During the show, he sang about 5 songs, and other acts filled in the rest of the time. Drinks were not very good. One of the worst mai tais anywhere. The Hinano tahitian beer is better.
Day 5 Oct 30th
Went snorkeling at Hanuama Bay. Conditions were mildly better than the day before, but it still beat being at work.
Later that day we went to the Dole plantation for a Dole Whip. We'd done the tour on a previous trip, so we skipped that, but when on Oahu, you should at least stop by and pick up a Dole whip. They used to have them in the Honolulu airport, but not anymore. A friend going to the University said that some movie theaters serve Dole whips, too. A Dole whip, for those that don't know, is sort of like a pineapple sorbet dispensed from a frozen yogurt machine. It is not frozen yogurt, and it is not ice cream. At least, I don't think it is. Hawaii and Disneyland are the only places in the world I know of that you can get these things, and they're awesome.
We also stopped by Matsumoto's shaved ice on the north shore. Make sure you get the ice cream in the bottom. Also, purchase one of the plastic orange cups for 25 cents. They work a little better than the paper cone.
That evening we went to House without a Key for drinks. This was probably the best Mai Tai on the island. Made with the traditional recipe, using rum, curacao, orgeat and lime juice. The only one I found. I also tried the tropical itch (served with all the garnish and an 18inch backscratcher!). Awesome! There was also live music and hula dancing. Very nice. A little on the classy side, but we didn't feel underdressed in sandals and jean shorts. No worries. The Halekulani hotel, where the bar is located gets a little fancier at night, and requests resort wear.
Dinner that night was at the Cheeseburger Waikiki. Food was okay, if you want a burger, it's a good place to go. The mai tai is good, but made with fruit juice. Served in a souvenir mug of a tiki holding a cheeseburger. Made by Tiki Farm.
Day 6 Oct 31st
Went to the airport to fly to the Kona Coast of the Big Island. In the airport we stopped for breakfast at Stinger Ray's. The mai tai here was also made using a traditional recipe, almost as good as the mai tai at House without a Key.
After arriving on the Big Island, we stopped by our hotel, the Royal Kona Resort (home of Don the Beachcomber's). Our room wasn't ready yet, so we decided to head down to the Puuhonua O Honaunau (place of refuge). It's about 45 minutes or so south of Kailua town on the kona coast. The site itself is awesome, the temple reconstructions are fantastic, and carved tikis are everywhere. Since the site itself is sacred, no sunbathing is permitted on the beach. We went snorkeling from a little beach just to the north, where the dive site "Two Step" is located. Snorkeling was excellent here. We saw tons of turtles in the shallow water, and schools of fish everywhere. Conditions were very nice compared to Oahu. The island was blocking the swell, so conditions all along the Kona coast were excellent.
That night was dinner at Don the Beachcomber's, but the original Mai Tai contains pineapple juice. The Huli Huli chicken is good, and the Kalua pork quesadilla in the bar is a good appetizer.
Day 7 Nov 1st
We went to Island Lava Java in the morning and had a huge cinnamon roll for breakfast. It's also an internet cafe with two computers, an hour's access it about $4 or so.
We drove down to the volcano park, and made a brief stop at the Punaluu Black Sands beach, very pretty. Not much going on, but there were some people swimming and snorkeling.
At the Volcano park, we stopped and had lunch at a cafe in Volcano town.
Once in the park, I would recommend a stop at the visitor center just to see what's going on that day and chat with a ranger. We drove around the Kilauea caldera and stopped to check out Halemaumau (the reputed home of Pele, the fire goddess). The walk through of the lava tube is also fun. Make sure to bring a flashlight so you can explore the tube after the trail ends.
After doing the drive, we went down the 20 mile chain of craters road to the active lava flows. The weather in the park was cloudy and cold, but was hot and humid down by the coast where the lava pours into the ocean. At the point where the lava blocks the road, you can park and walk across the lava to see the steam plume where the lava hits the water. After parking, the walk to the point closest to the steam plume is about 3.5 to 4 miles. The trail is L-shaped, going about three miles towards the lava flow and then a mile towards the water (give or take). You'll wind up about a mile or so away from the steam plume at this closest point. They don't allow visitors any closer since the steam is poisonous, and contains hydrochloric acid and sulfur and nasty stuff like that. If you choose to go this way, there are reflectors over the first 1/2 mile or so of the the trail to help you find your way over the rough lava. Stay to the left of the trail, as there will be a split about 1/4 mile in. The left fork is the trail that goes closer to the steam plume. At the end of the first 1/2 mile or so of the trail, the reflectors disappear, and there's a big giant orange light that flashes when the sun goes down. At intervals of about 3/4 mile or so (I don't know exactly), there are additional lights on top of poles to help guide you along the way to the point where you can view the steam plume from close up. There are a total of 6 beacons/markers, including the first at the 1/2 mile mark. The Missus and I got to the fourth beacon, but I would say the best view of the steam plume is between the third and fourth beacon. The closer you get, the more the lava blocks your view. This walk is very difficult, over rough terrain. We tried to time it so that our journey out occurred before sunset. We stopped and watched a bit of the lava flow after it got dark and then headed back to the car the way we came. I would guess that we walked out about 2 miles to the 4th beacon. This took us about 2 hours, one way, but we were going slowly and being careful. You should definitely wear tennis shoes. Pants make the trip very hot, but if you fall on lava, getting scraped up wouldn't be much fun either. I would not recommend doing any of this walking in flip flops. Make sure that you plan ahead and leave yourself enough time.
I suppose conditions change a bit, so this information may change over time.
For those that don't feel like hiking 4 miles one way over rough lava terrain, there's a gentler walk that hugs the coastline and gives a pretty good view of the steam plume. This easy walk takes about 20 minutes or so, one way. While walking the part of the trail with reflectors, at the fork about 1/4 mile in, take the right fork. This trail heads down to a point near the water and gives a very good view of the steam plume.
If you're going to be down near the lava flow after dark, you should plan out your dinner strategy. Packing a cooler with water and sandwiches is probably the easiest. The drive back to Kona can take 2.5 hours or more, so you may not get back that way until after closing time for most dining options. If you don't pack dinner, you can always try to eat at the Volcano House, located within the park itself, or you could try going to Hilo and getting food there. The drive out of the park will take you at least 30 minutes though, and Hilo is another 30 miles away, so you're still looking at an hour drive just to get food.
The Missus and I tried packing a cooler, but the sandwiches we purchased had mayonnaise on them, and it looked a little funky after being in the cooler all day. We decided not to take our chances, and went to Hilo for dinner. We left the park around 8pm, and didn't get back to our hotel in Kailua until around 11 or 11:30.
Day 8 Nov 2nd
In the morning we walked around Kailua town, and saw the Ahuena heiau near the Kailua pier. A very cool structure with tikis. The mortuary platform where King Kamehameha's body was prepared for burial is also located nearby. In the afternoon, we went to Honokohau Harbor and caught our dive boat for the Manta Ray night dive. Awesome! We only had one manta show up that night, but it was quite possibly the coolest thing underwater. If you're not a certified diver, you can always snorkel at the surface. The mantas frequently come up very close to the surface, so snorkeling is still very cool.
After the dive, we stopped and got a pizza from a local Dominos. Not great, and not tiki, but the Don the Beachcomber's in our hotel had already shut down for the night.
Day 9 Nov 3rd
In the morning we took a tour of Greenwell Farms, one of the coffee farms on the Kona Coast. We also went snorkeling at Kahaluu beach park, a very nice place with tons more turtles, and a very friendly spotted pufferfish.
That evening was dinner at the Kona Brewing Co. Very good beer, if you like microbrews.
Day 10 Nov 4th
We went kayaking at Kealakekua bay. The kayak was a double, cost about $65 for the day. Since the earthquake, all foot-trail access to the Capt. Cook monument at the north part of the bay has been closed off. The only way to get there is to kayak, and it's well worth it. In addition to the monument, the snorkeling here is some of the best I've seen. The reef is in pristine condition, and has a very nice gentle slope down to about 100 feet. The visibility was in the 80 foot range the day we were there.
That night we went over the Kanaka Kava bar in the Coconut Grove marketplace. Kava is some funky stuff. Has a very earthy (read:dirt) flavor, and gives an alcohol-type buzz but without the alcohol. Dinner at Lulu's in the same place, some tikis around the restaurant. The place turns into a live music club later in the evening. They serve Kona Brewing Co. beers. Didn't try the mixed drinks.
Day 11 Nov 5th
We did the day-time circle drive around the island. We went north to the Mauna Lani resort area to the Puako Petroglyph preserve. Tons of petroglyphs in a very small concentrated area. The walk is pretty easy, but there are some tree roots and that kind of thing sticking out of the ground. The reddish dirt will stain flip flops so shoes are a good idea. Almost all the petroglyphs (they claim to have a couple thousand) are people shaped. There's another petroglyph preserve in Waikoloa near the Kings shops complex, but we didn't go to that one.
We then went north into Waimea, and stopped for a late breakfast and an early plate lunch. There's an L and L on highway 19 in a shopping center with a grocery store (or it might have been a Long's Drugs, can't remember).
North of Waimea, we took a detour to Honoka'a, a little west towards the Waipio valley. The Honoka'a trading company has some excellent antiques, vintage aloha wear, etc. One of the other posts mentioned this place too. Definitely worth a stop. The lady who runs the shop is very nice and says she was a hula dancer at the international marketplace. She's usually closed on Sunday, but she happened to be there when we drove by and was willing to open up for us.
Continuing clockwise around the island we drove through Hilo, but most of the places we were interested in were closed on Sunday. The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory just south of town has a self guided tour through the factory, but operations weren't going when we were there Sunday afternoon.
After Mauna Loa, it was back to the Volcano Park for a nice dinner at the Volcano House. Drinks are reasonably good, but the mai tai has fruit juice. Dinner is good, and the restaurant is nice. The restaurant is fronted with windows for views of the volcano, but it was very voggy the night we were there. There's a sitting lounge between the lobby and the dining room with a nice sized tiki next to one of the sitting chairs.
Day 12 Nov 6th
On our way to the airport we stopped at the Kona Coffee and Tea Company, in a shopping center with a Chevron Gas Station just north of Kailua town. The reason for the stop was the infamous Mac Pie. If you've never had one, you've gotta try one. Small 6" pies are about $10 and they'll ship anywhere in the world. My brother brought some back from his trip last year, and they're definitely worth getting a few and bringing back for friends and family.
If you're interested in any of the places I've mentioned, send me a PM and I'll provide you with as much info as I can dig up (i.e. phone number, address, web site).
Joined: Oct 04, 2004
From: Da Big Island
|Posted: 2006-11-10 06:53 am  Permalink|
TikiJosh, thanks for the travelogue. Brought back many memories of many places I've been, and many that I need to hit!
Joined: Mar 28, 2002
From: behind a cluttered desk
|Posted: 2006-11-10 5:19 pm  Permalink|
I haven't read the whole post, so if I'm doubling up on something (likely the case), my apologies...
Waikiki: Hawaiiana Hotel; great Tikis on the grounds. Thor Stor on Kalakaua just next to the entrance to the Hawaiian Marketplace. Da Big Kahuna for food & a Big Kahuna Tiki mug
Kauai: Puka dog at the Poipu Shopping Center (stop by the visitors desk first to get a discount coupon). There's an AWESOME restaurant in Kapa'a with nightly entertainment. It's in town, behind a vintage/repro store... any help here Kauai locals or oft travellers?
Big Island: Don the Beachcombers at the Royal Kona. Honaunau down by Captain Cooks.
Maui: DTB at the Royal Lahaina
There are more that I noted in the first coupla posts (all I read).
Joined: Apr 09, 2003
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
|Posted: 2006-11-10 10:11 pm  Permalink|
I'd add the following:
Maui: Tiki Terrace @ Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Waikiki: Tiki's @ ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel
NorthShore Oahu: Polynesian Cultural Center
Kauai: Tidepools @ Kauai Hyatt at Poipu Beach (the Library also affords excellent views of tiki torches over the Pacific)
Big Island: Place of Refuge & Don the Beachcomber