It was our second night on Oahu and we were trying to find a place to eat, but without reservations nabbing a walk-in two-top required an hour wait. And with a hungry baby and a pregnant wife, the wait just wasn’t doable. And for Waikiki’s subpar food, it was inconceivable. In fact, I lost some grasp on reality when a line, fifty people long, extended from the hostess stand of the Cheesecake Factory and traveled down the block. In what world did people line up for the Cheesecake Factory?
Luaus are touristy, but if you think about them as Hawaii’s version of a Broadway performance (that the locals will never attend), you’ll probably enjoy a luau or two. I attended three, and while there wasn’t a direct diminishing return on the luau experience–the first one was good, the second great, the last awful–I was satisfied after one, but could have gone every night just to watch my toddler break out her hula. So the following review will be biased in the following ways: I gave extra credit to luaus with space so that Harper could dance (there was only one), I gave props to performers who made me laugh (there was only one), and I despised those who served food on cafeteria trays, making much of their meal taste no better than the poi, (which is a trite joke that I’m making here, but will reproach later on. Oh, and there was only one luau to do such a thing). Read more
There are a few truths about the populations on Oahu: Waikiki is too crowded and the North Shore is too crowded, as well. And while Waikiki is a place worth escaping, as it’s a metastasizing pocket of tourism, much like a swollen appendix, the North Shore is a lovely, must-see destination. Read more
I slid my daughter, Harper, into the carrier on my chest. Marissa steadied a hand on her belly; the baby inside her cartwheeled without much consequence. Beneath us lava bubbled. We walked along the rim of the caldera, which, absent its trees, looked as though we were traveling Mars or the moon. In the distance, the active crater of Kilauea glowed unseen, and along the south coast, also unseen, the road was closed as lava poured down the mountain into the sea. Read more
Kona, on the west coast of the Big Island, should be enjoyed like the coffee growing in its volcanic earth: slowly. But should you only have time for the espresso version of Kona, here are the best things to do in Kona in one day. Read more