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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hawaii Trip - Day 3 - Oahu - Around the Island

Today, once again started off with a beautiful sunrise coming over the Diamond Head crater and lighting up the Waikiki Beach and the ocean waves. We quickly grabbed our free continental breakfast (HHonors Gold) at the Tapa Bar & Beach Café and then headed to our Avis rental car to leave Hilton Hawaiian Village for the day.

Our first destination was Kualoa Ranch, an adventure and sight-seeing ranch on the windward side of the Oahu Island. In addition, many movie and television shows have been filmed at the Ranch including Karate Kid, Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, & Lost – just to name a few. We highly recommend a visit, you cannot miss this attraction here on Oahu – you can read more about our experience here.

After finishing up our lunch at Kualoa Ranch, we jumped in our car and headed north for a jaunt along the famous North Shore of Hawaii. As you reach the north-eastern tip of Oahu, you come into the famous Shrimp Stand area. Along the Highway 83 road, there are many shrimp farms and shrimp shacks – where you can stop and grab some great freshly fried shrimp. We elected not to stop and enjoy, still full from our buffet lunch at the Ranch.

Continuing along the north shore, we made stops at the Sunset Beach & the Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Sharks Cove. The normal crowds of tourists were crowding the beach for the winter waves. The sets were coming in at the 5-7 foot range. Nice waves, but nothing impressive for a native California who is used to the likes of Rincon and County line where these kinds of waves can be had often.

After some nice relaxing at the beaches of the North Shore we headed to Haleiwa. Haleiwa is a great little town where the 99 and 83 highways meet on the North Shore of Oahu. Most importantly, it has an old town area that houses the Matsumoto General store, home of the World’s greatest Hawaiian Shaved ice.

Then we returned to the Hilton Hawaiian Village through Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. That evening, we originally intended on visiting the Hula Grill in the Outrigger Hotel. However, a downpour started at 6:30pm, and we decided to cancel our reservations. We ended up eating at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s steakhouse, the Village Steak & Seafood restaurant – you can read more about that here.