4 Great things to do in Oahu, HI

You’ve read Frommer’s, Fodor’s, and the Unofficial Guide. You’ve perused countless websites and filled your arms with glossy brochures from the hotel lobby. Still, how do you sort through the hundreds of activites? How do you know which sales pitch will deliver what it promises? How do you know what you’re missing?

I do not claim to know everything about this island. I am, however, lucky enough to be born and raised in Honolulu and I, like most locals, am bursting with suggestions.  Discover great discounts for your next family vacation. Book your hotels at RESERVATIONS.COM and you should also check our reviews on the best hotels, resorts in Oahu. Here are 4 further things I think every visitor should consider:

1) Rent a car. You cannot truly experience Oahu trapped in the loins of Waikiki. While Waikiki is enchanting and undeniably entertaining, it is hardly a representation of what this island holds and a set of wheels opens up a whole new world. You do have the option of catching buses, but this will eat up a lot of your valuable vacation time. Also keep in mind that one ride in a taxi will probably exceed the cost of a days car rental. Don’t forget to purchase a local map book as the often haphazard roads and peculiar Hawaiian names can conquer even the best.

2) Check out CHINATOWN. Here you will find historical tours, cheap gifts, exotic snacks, and delicious food. Stop for lunch at LEGEND SEAFOOD RESTAURANT in the CULTURAL PLAZA and experience some of the best dim sum (small food items) on the island. Purchase a traditional Chinese dress (Chung Sum) for $20 to wear on Halloween or a set of ringing medicine balls for your uncle. There’s always something to see.

3) Shop at a CRAFT FAIR. Check the local newspaper or icb-web.net for listings. You will find local vendors selling quality handcrafted items from jewelry to pottery for prices significantly below retail. Bring cash as many vendors do not accept credit cards. For more conventional shopping, hit ALA MOANA shopping center, WARD WAREHOUSE, or head out to the outlets at WAIKELE for deals. Stay away from Tourist areas unless you want a trinket made in China or enjoy overpaying.

4) Spend a day at the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER. The creative outlet for BYU Hawaii, here you will be entertained and educated as you wander through various cultural exhibits and demonstrations. Their luau spread is superior to any other, the dinner show is fantastic, and you will certainly get your money’s worth. Trust me, this is the luau to go to. Keep in mind they do not serve alcohol and the women will not be scantily clad. If this bothers you, go to PARADISE COVE.