Hawai'i - one of our favorite destinations, but it is quite a hike from our home on the east coast.
We took K to the islands for the first time over spring break. She absolutely loved it.
K has traveled a good bit so she is no stranger to long flights, but the flight from Houston to Honolulu was her longest flight ever. She handled it like a champ. If she were a little younger we would have likely opted for a west coast connection. In fact, when others ask we usually advise a stop on the west coast to break up the flight for younger children.
Challenge #1 - we landed in Hawaii when it was her bedtime at home.
Challenge #2 - it had been a long time since our last actual meal.
We are not sure about your family, but those two together can be a doozy in ours. We ALL get hangry. We grabbed a quick meal then off to the beach we went. This kept all of us occupied enough to begin the adjustment of the six hour time difference.
DO - visit Pearl Harbor and let kids earn a Junior Ranger badge
The USS Arizona Memorial is currently closed for repairs, but one can take a boat around the harbor for a close look. Having been on the Memorial on previous trips we found this slightly disappointing especially in the context that most do not visit Hawaii multiple times. K did not seem disappointed in passing by on a boat. She also enjoyed their Junior Ranger program. The program was not very time consuming to complete. Also, we chose to get walk up tickets the day of our visit. We arrived shortly before opening so we had no issues getting tickets for the first boat of the day.
DO - take the hike up Diamond Head
Seriously, she made it up easy peasy. We did not do a tour to Diamond Head. We went on our own so we could head up as quickly or as slowly as we wanted. It took us less than thirty minutes to get to the top. We went up the huge staircase, but if one is not up to it simply go to the left instead of up the stairs. That part of the trail is basically a loop so one could go down the stairs on the way out instead of up the stairs on the way up. Also, make certain to get a shave ice or Dole Whip as a treat once the hike is done!
DO - use The Bus as transportation. We took The Bus from Waikiki to both Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor.
We purchased the day pass on two seperate days. We definitely feel like we got our money's worth.
DO - rent a car to get out of Waikiki if staying there.
Oahu is so much more than Waikiki Beach! We rented a car one day and did our own circle island tour. It was much cheaper than some of the circle island tours offered and we were on our own schedule!
DO - visit the Dole Plantation
Seriously, DOLE WHIP! Need any more reasons? K enjoyed looking at all of the different sizes of pineapple. We had to take photos of the tiny ones and the big ones and all of them in between!
DO - remember to sample the cookies
At Honolulu Cookie Company! The cookie samples were a favorite snack for K! She tried to visit every single store she passed.
DO - take a swim in the lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village!
Be prepared! The water was a little cool in April. There were plenty water toys to rent. There were also many little fish in the lagoon. K spent so much time trying to sneak up on those poor fish. HA!
Leave us a comment if you have found any fun things that we did not mention above!
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with maps, globes, and wanting to see the world. Now I'm trying to make all of those childhood dreams into a reality.