Aloha y’all! There’s not much to do here in Oahu, as you might imagine. I’m not really sure why Barack Obama spends all his free time here. But thankfully, a helpful tipster -who also happens to be a White House pooler -sent us this super useful groundsheet. Said pooler has spent the past four years travelling with POTUS, and has become quite the expert on what to do in and around Honolulu and Waikiki. So in case you ever end up waiting around the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki for POTUS to make some news, you will definitely find this guide worth a read. Enjoy:
Hawaii Tip Sheet
Updated: 12/18/13 – This is a work in progress
So POTUS is going on holiday vacay. No reason why you cant have a good time also. After 4 years of Hawaii trips, this is what I have learned…
- Rent a car – you need one! Cars are much cheaper when you rent from the airport. Don’t ever leave anything valuable in your rental car.
- The Moana Surfrider offers an optional $15 a day resort fee, which includes Internet and free self-parking across the street at the Sheraton. Insist on this if you are parking a car. Self-park is easy.
- YOGA! The hotel offers free yoga every morning at 7:30 AM. Its all geared for beginners and its really cool doing yoga out by the ocean. I promise you will find this a great way to start your day.
- Hotel Spa – keep an eye out for “same day” specials. This is the best way to get spa treatments. Go early and enjoy the spa amenities…
- EVERYBODY is invited to the annual New Years Eve Party in the 2nd floor Network Suites in the Tower Building. Bring your friends, but don’t come empty handed. (As in beverages…) This is the BEST NYE party anywhere!!!
Drives, Day trips & Hikes:
- Drive West! Take the H1 and just go west. Drive the big loop around the western side of Oahu. You end up in Kailua. Stop at the overlooks and the beaches. 1-2 hours
- Drive to the North Shore – Go watch the big waves and stop at a shrimp truck for lunch. 3-4 hours.
- Koko Head Trail Hike – this is a hump but much fun! Imagine climbing straight up a mountain on the old tracks to a cable car. Your little legs will burn after this one. Amazing views! Just go west on the H1. 3 hours http://www.everytrail.com/guide/koko-head-crater-trail
- Maunawili Falls Trail – this is a great hike which dead ends at a cool waterfall. You can jump in and swim. If you have the balls to jump… 2 hours easy. You will get very very muddy and wet. http://www.everytrail.com/guide/maunawili-falls-trail
- Makapu Point Trail. The trail is very tame, but you can go off trail and make the steep hike down to the blowholes. It’s amazing. Again, go west on the H1. It’s a few miles past Koko Head. http://www.everytrail.com/guide/makapu-rsquo-u-point-lighthouse-trail
- Big Turtles at Turtle Bay – North Shore. Go to Turtle Bay and rent a paddleboat. Go paddle around Turtle Bay with the biggest turtles you have ever seen.
- Best beach is KAILUA BEACH! Make the drive! Waikiki sucks, but if you like morbidly obese people have at it. Lanakai Beach is right next to Kailua, but parking is a pain. And leaving is even worse. Go get burgers, beers, and provisions at Kalapawai Market. http://www.kalapawaimarket.com
- SUNSET – Grab a chilled bottle of wine & glasses (concealed in a bag). Walk out of hotel, hook a RIGHT. Walk down Kalakaua until it turns into Diamond Head Road. Walk up Diamond Head past the houses. There are a bunch of grassy areas to watch sunset over the ocean.
- RUNS: My favorite is right out of the hotel. Up Kalakua to Diamond Head. Run all the way around Diamond Head.
- Surfing Lessons – UNCLE BRYAN (North Shore). I love this guy! http://surfnorthshore.com
Restaurants – My 4 Favs!
- TOWN http://www.townkaimuki.com
- 12th AVENUE GRILL http://12thavegrill.com
- Alan Wong’s (pricey $$$) http://www.alanwongs.com/honolulu/home-awh
- BUZZ’s in Kailua (great steaks/very local) http://buzzsoriginalsteakhouse.com
Restaurants – My 4 Go-to places (cheap/quick)
- Sushi – TOKKURI TEI – Best sushi! http://www.yelp.com/biz/tokkuri-tei-honolulu
- Noodle Soup – across from hotel, just around the corner from the Subway. It’s Japanese, its authentic, its great noodle soup and dumplings…
- DUKES Beach Bar – Good fish tacos and burgers. Good tourist watching.
- Cheesecake Factory – at the bar (they have 3 of them). Good salads w/protein.
Things to watch out for:
- Crime – it’s a problem. Always have good situational awareness. Going out with a “battle buddy” is best.
- KUHIO Avenue – BAD THINGS HAPPEN ON KUHIO AVENUE! It is the underbelly of Waikiki, and just a block from the hotel. Don’t stay on Kuhio for long.
- If you doubt me about crime, let me refresh your memory with the Greg Pitts’s episode. He was brutally beaten one night in Waikiki. On KUHIO AVENUE. http://www.kitv.com/White-House-Staffer-Robbed-Beaten-In-Waikiki/-/8906042/5433702/-/hkcfr0z/-/index.html
- If you really doubt me, then let me call your attention to STATE DEPARTMENT DS Agent Christopher Deedy. Christopher walked into a McDonald’s on KUHIO Avenue where he got into an altercation and shot a guy who was assaulting him. Read this link: http://www.deedysupport.com