Perfect Oahu Family Vacation In Hawaii -- July 2009
Sunset at Waimea Bay--Oahu, Hawaii
Well, we are all settled now, so I thought I'd take a minute to let you know that we had an absolutely fabulous vacation!
Check in at the Banyan was a breeze; they were ready for us, had our keys and kids' beach pails waiting at the counter, and we were in our room within just a few minutes. We reserved a city view room but were pleasantly surprised to find that we had a breathtaking ocean view. Customer service at this hotel was excellent, and the staff is overwhelmingly friendly and helpful.
All of your travel tips were spot on. You told us to arrive at Pearl Harbor first thing in the morning to beat the tour buses...great advice that I'm glad we followed. You told us all about Diamond Head, what to expect, what the kids could expect...again spot on. You told us the Atlantis Submarine tour was not worth the money and that you wouldn't recommend it...I wish we had followed your advice because again, spot on. (It was a huge waste of money and time.)
Turtle Bay was, by far, our favorite part of the trip. We enjoyed having the seclusion of the North Shore with the freedom to travel up and down the highway to neighboring towns in our rental car. Our oceanfront cottage was well worth the money. The room was perfect...hard wood floors, 20 ft. ceilings, huge marble bath and separate shower, private lanai, spectacular ocean view, a hammock, easy access to the beach, easy access to the pool, great view of the sunset, turn down service every night with fresh fruit delivered by a personal concierge every morning...absolutely perfect.
About 5 miles north of Turtle Bay was Kahuku, and the swimming/surfing beach at the public park here is magnificent. We actually enjoyed this beach more than Waikiki because of the larger waves in shallow water. It was better than the swimming beach at Turtle Bay because the sand was smoother and there were no large rocks or coral reefs to hurt our feet! Our kids spent hours riding waves on a Boogy Board and a giant inner tube at this beach. My husband and I spent hours relaxing and reveling in the beauty of the scenery.
Matsumoto's Shaved Ice in Haleiwa was incredible. In my opinion the azuki beans and ice cream are awesome and make the 30 minutes in line worth the wait!
I could go on for hours about all of the amazing sights and try to put into words the beauty of Oahu, the views from Diamond Head and Pali...the point is, our trip was spectacular, and honestly the best vacation we have ever had.
In case you're curious, attached is a family photo we took at Waimea Bay at sunset. Also included is a shot of the boys saying goodbye to Waikiki, a pic of the two of them about to ascend the 99 step stair case on Diamond Head, and one of the many shots we took once we reached the top of Diamond Head.
Thanks again for helping us plan this trip. It was truly amazing.