Over the course of our week on Oahu we did a bunch of fun things both at the resorts and elsewhere on the island. The highlights were watching at bit of the Pipe Masters 2013 surfing tournament on the North Shore, a Pearl Harbor anniversary tour, and visiting Lanikai beach in Kailua.
A visit to Oahu would not be complete without a trip to the North Shore to check out the infamous surfing. And it did not disappoint! We happened to visit just as they were putting the finishing touches on the spectator seating. There were many surfers honing their skills on the Banzai pipeline and it was mesmerizing to watch them. They are really talented! We spent quite some time just taking everything in. That included trying to convince our 2 year old that she was too young to surf…
After we got our fill of surfing, we headed back south, stopping at Turtle Beach along the way to show the kids some sea turtles. There weren’t an overwhelming number of them there, but there were a few that the kids could see. We were back in the car and headed to the Dole Plantation after only a few minutes. The kids were a bit on the tired side, but given that we were driving right by the plantation, we decided that we should stop.
The plantation definitely catered to tourists. It was interesting to see all things pineapple, but it didn’t stand out as a must do to me. We went on the short train tour which was an interesting novelty, but I’m not sure I’d wait the 45 minutes or so again. We proceeded to have a pineapple snack and then headed back to our hotel.
The next day we spent more time at the pool in the morning and then Ken headed to the anniversary tour of Pearl Harbor which they do only around the anniversary in early December each year. It was a boat tour guided by a park ranger and he really enjoyed it. It was pretty expensive, but definitely a must do as far as he was concerned.
On one of our last days at the Marriott Beach Club, we decided to check out the east side of the island for a few hours. We ended up at Lanikai beach which was really nice. We got there first thing in the morning and there were very few people there. The kids mostly played in the sand as they are still a bit too young to handle any waves at all. But they had fun. My only complaint is that we weren’t able to find any shade so our time at the beach was limited. After we returned to the hotel, Ken was doing a little research about the beach and found that it has seen it’s fair share of shark attacks. Great. Well, at least we didn’t venture too far into the water!
The next day we moved onto the Aulani resort. Given that the resort is very much a destination in and of itself, we decided that we’d just spend our days there. We filled our time with fun on the water structure, lazy river races, and a few trips down water slides. The kids had a blast on the water structure (basically a playground doused in water). They also had a lot of beach activities, but again, we don’t like to be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, so we didn’t spend much time on the beach…
One night we did go to the Starlit Hui which was a Disney version of a luau, minus any food. It was certainly geared towards kids as it was not a long show. The kids very much enjoyed it and it incorporated some legitimate talent which we all enjoyed. The end was a little hokey. It sort of dissolved into a Disney dance party as the crowd dispersed. But, we’re glad we went.
Overall, we very much enjoyed our time on Oahu. While we were happy to try another Hawaiian island, I think in the future, we will return to Kauai. We prefer the low key atmosphere versus the city although we are anxious to try the islands of Lanai and Kona!