We had an excellent time there.
We stayed in the Hilton Waikiki right on the water which was lovely. It was also easily within walking distance of lots of shops and restaurants. Definitely touristy, but not bad. It reminded me of Miami-meets-Vegas. We did have a rental which was good to have - though I guess a scooter will get you where you need to go, it might just take a bit. Bonus, parking will be much easier for you; I paid more to park our rental at the hotel than I paid for the rental itself. Free street parking is available, but VERY hard to find.
We went to the Kapi'olani Regional Park, which is the dormant volcano on the southern tip of the island. It was an old army base and you can hike up to the ridge and walk through parts of the command tower and stuff. Obviously fantastic views. We also did a short hike up to Manoa Falls which was pretty. The falls themselves weren't anything dramatic, but it was just a pleasant excursion. Passed on Pearl Harbor because a good chunk of it is closed right now (including the memorial itself).
We took one day to go up to the North Shore, where we went to CLIMB Works Keana Farms Zipline tour. HIGHLY recommended because it gets you a brief history lesson of Hawaii in addition to some incredible views of that end of the island. Eight ziplines over all one of which is a half-mile long! There are a bunch of permanent food trucks right there by CLIMB Works, but they all close around 4pm. However if you follow 83 up around the northern tip of the island, there were a bunch of other options still open later in the day. That made a great place to watch the sun set over the Pacific.
As for food, we ate at MAC 24/7 which was a diner-type place in a hotel (good, if not overly exciting). Shorefyre in the International Marketplace was also good. Other meals were at various food trucks or some of the smaller shops around our hotel.
I would've liked to do more hiking, but my wife isn't as big a fan. That being said, she was obviously quite happy with the beach time, so it was a great trip over all.
the hotel ill be at has free parking, but its first come first serve. and like i said, i just love riding a scooter! and i dont mind it taking longer to get places on one. im not gonna be in ANY rush getting anywhere. my life is already governed by a clock due to work, so itll be nice not having to worry about having to be somewhere at a certain time (except for my ride home of course!)
i read about the volcano/army base. it sounds interesting
id like to go to the pearl harbor memorial, if only to take pics for my dad since he was in the navy. i did see it was closed, but hopefully itll be open when im there
ill have to try the zipline. probly the closest ill come to feeling like batman lol im confused though. does the zipline place close at 4, or just the food trucks?
If you need glasses to see, get some tethers for them so you don't have to worry about a wave knocking them off in the ocean, hat, sun glasses and beach towel. Some kind of opaque drink container to take alcohol to the beach in. Depending on what and how you pack, you may be better of buying some or all of this stuff there, as paying for an extra checked bag is expensive.
Try a Loco moco. It's a delicious food pile. We went to a lu ow or however its spelled. It was pretty great, open bar, dancing, food, music.
We did lots of hiking, it's beautiful, fun and costs little to nothing depending on where you go.
i do wear glasses, and thats one of the reasons for the waterproof pouch. i dont plan to actually wear them while im in the water, but i dont want someone to make off with them. god thatd suck! i CAN see without them a bit, but if i lost them id miss all the sites. maybe i should look into getting another pair just in case...
ive got clip on sunglasses, so im good there. a lot of stuff i plan to buy when i get there so theyll say "hawaii" or whatever on them lol
Throw stuff into lava at every possible opportunity.
i mean, i do plan to visit a volcano. dont know about getting close enough to toss stuff in though lol
Bring empty room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
was already planning on it. im thinking of putting up a jar at work for people to put money in for souvenirs, then take all that and buy them all whatever i can lol
thanks for all the good advice if anyone comes up with more things go ahead and do so. ill be keeping an eye on and updating this thread every now and again. when i actually get there, be on the look out for the "holy crap im actually IN hawaii" thread lol