Starting here on Oahu!
United Military Travel sends people/families to Hawaii everyday so do not hesitate to book through them! I highly suggest renting a car upon arrival and UMT can book that for you too 🙂 Utilizing a car rental will allow you to explore all sides of the islands – no matter what you want to see.
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When I visited Oahu I was 14 years old and stayed with my best friend and her family. It certainly was one of the best vacations yet; free local tour guides, your best friend to pal around with, a place to stay etc. But only being 14 at the time I now want to go back and experience the “adult” side of Hawaii!
Whether you want to learn to ride the waves in Waikiki, where surfing was born, head to the North Shore for the bigger swell, or hang by the city scape in the crystal blue waters of Kailua Beach, explore Pearl Harbor…there is something for everyone.
The most famous city on the island is Honolulu and it is a bustling metropolis! There is no shortage of “farm to table” restaurants or shopping to choose from…spend your day how you like it!
But you cannot forget about Waikiki, located on the south shore of Honolulu. This world famous neighborhood is known as “spouting waters” in Hawaiian and was first introduced into the world when the Moana Surfrider Hotel was built in 1901. Today the hotel is a Westin Resort and Spa – a place I would love to stay! Also, the Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo would be a fantastic change from the beach that the whole family can enjoy!
|Moana Surfrider Resort and Spa – Westin|
When you head to the North Shore life slows down a bit and you get into more of the countryside/local side of Oahu. Not only would I have to go to the North Shore for my husband to surf, I would love to spend my days lazily strolling through towns like Hanalei or exploring Waimea Bay.
|Waimea Bay, Halaweia|
After you are done with the North Shore I would head over to the Windward Coast to a lesser known attraction: Valley of the Temples, a japanese Buddhist temple. The main attraction is the Japanese temple called Byodo-In – translated means “Temple of Equality.” The temple itself is a scale replica to the one in Japan and is made entirely without nails. The grounds are scattered with hundreds of freshly placed tropical flowers to remember loved ones.
Personally, it would be nice to visit such a temple to honor my loved ones without traveling half way across the world…but I am into that kinda thing 🙂