I just returned from a wonderful experience on O’ahu attending the O’ahu Destination Specialist Program. The program was hosted by the O’ahu Visitors Bureau and All About Hawaii Tours. We have arranged vacations to Hawaii for many of our clients. We love to give them “insider” tips that we learn from the locals to enhance their vacation experence.
Here are just a few “insider” tips I received while visiting O’ahu. “Aloha” When greeting someone with aloha you are offering them the breath of life in the “ha”. It is a very special offering and should not be expressed in a shout or by drawing it out as Alooooohaaaaa. Simply say “aloha”.
There are many historical sites in Honolulu that should not be overlooked. Iolani Palace is a must. It is the only Royal Palace on U.S. soil. Reservations are required. You should arrive early, before 11:00am, to be admitted into the basement of the palace to view the artifacts of King Kamehameha and Queen Iolani. It is easy to get there from Waikiki. Just take the purple city bus.
At King Kamehameha’s statue, just across from Iolani’s Palace, every Friday afternoon from 12:00pm to 1:00pm you will be entertained by Hawaiian music preformed by the oldest civic band in the United States. The band was organized by King Kamehameha to revere the Hawaiian music. The king loved music and parties. It was King Kamehameha that unified the Hawaiian Islands under one rule.
After the concert take a nice walk to China town and enjoy a lunch at one of the many fine dinning restaurants. We enjoyed very delicious pupus (appetizers) at Indigo restaurant located on the edge of China Town.
The highlight of my O’ahu experience was the one hour Island Seaplane tour. It is the only air tour in all of Hawaii recommended by both Frommers’s Travel Guide and the National Geographic Traveler. It was thrilling to fly over the island catching a bird’s eye view of the beautiful island of O’ahu. Some of the best photos I returned home with were taken from the seaplane. Interesting side note. The seaplane is the actual plane that was used in the TV series Fantasy Island. Remember the “de plane, de plane”? For an unforgettable experience you must take the Seaplane Tour of O’ahu.