About Hawaii
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Hawaii is a very special place, and I'm sure you will enjoy your visit here.  This page provides a biased,  personal perspective on Oahu.   

General Links

There's lots of stuff on the net about Hawaii.  Here's some useful links to get you started. 

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
The Hawaii Ecotourism Travel Site
Hawaii Visitors Guides


Obviously, there are a zillion places to shop in Waikiki.  However, there is also a very large, very beautiful outdoor mall located close to Waikiki called Ala Moana.  There is a shuttle every 15 minutes from the hotel that costs $1.00 each way.  

Internet Services

The hotel provides a business center with an Internet connection (charge is $20/hour).  However, there is also an Internet Cafe called Fishbowl Internet just a few blocks from the hotel at 2463 Kuhio Ave. (charge is $6/hour).  


One of the great things about Hawaii is the food.  A friend told me once that Honolulu has the same number of restaurants per capita as San Francisco.  I don't know if that's true, but here are a few of the many good restaurants that are close to the ISERN'2000 hotel. 

Eastern Garden Chinese Seafood Restaurant
3008 Waialae Ave Tel:737-2828
Entrees $8-12
(requires a car or sense of adventure)
This restaurant serves excellent "Dim Sum" (a style where the waitrons zip around the restaurant with little carts containing little plates of food and you flag them down as they go by.)
Sam Choy's Diamond Head Restaurant
449 Kapahulu Ave. Suite 201, (808) 732-8645
Entrees $25-30
(walking distance, reservations suggested)
One of the finer restaurants in Honolulu, high-end food with a decidedly "local" flair.  You Will Not Leave Hungry.
Keo's in Waikiki
2040 Kuhio Ave. 951-9355
Entrees $10-20
(walking distance, may need reservations)
Honolulu has Really Good Thai Food. The two heavyweights in town are Keo's and Mekong (each with several locations).
Hee Hing
449 Kapahulu, 735-5544
Entrees $15-20
(walking distance, reservations suggested)
I haven't been here in a while, but it has a reputation for excellent Chinese food.
Sunset Grill
Restaurant Row, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 808-521-4409
Entrees $10-20
(Take TheBus to Restaurant Row)
Nice restaurant for fish, pasta.  Restaurant Row has other shops in it and is close to Aloha Tower Marketplace.
563 Kapahulu Ave., 737-1141.
Entrees $8-15
(walking distance)
My friend took me to this restaurant when I interviewed at the University of Hawaii 10 years ago, and it's still one of my favorite restaurants.  Excellent, down-home Japanese "family style" food.  The garlic ahi is sublime.
Auntie Pasto's
559 Kapahulu Ave., 739-2426.
Entrees $8-12
(walking distance)
Inexpensive, no-nonsense Italian food.  I haven't eaten at the one at this location but everyone says it's good.
The Pyramids
758 Kapahulu Ave., 737-2900
Entrees $10-20
(walking distance)
Pretty good middle eastern and Egyptian food.
Gordon Biersch
Aloha Tower MarketPlace, 599-4877
Entrees $10-20
(take TheBus to Aloha Tower MarketPlace)
This is a microbrewery right on the water with a great view of Honolulu Harbor.   Lots of other shops and so forth here.

Day trips and other things to do

If you have more time before or after ISERN, there's a LOT to do and see on Oahu.  Remember that Waikiki occupies about 1% of the total area of the island of Oahu. You are missing a lot if you don't check out some of the other parts of the island. 

To accomplish this, however, you'll need a car. You'll also probably want to invest $5.00 in "real" maps of the islands---the maps supplied with rental agencies are generally terrible. You can buy one at the ABC stores in Waikiki or at a bookstore. Once you have wheels and navigational aids, the following are some fun  things to do:

North Shore

This is a great day trip.  Do it as a circle: go out via H-2, and come back along the shore via Kaneohe. (or vice versa.) Stop at all of Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline, and Waimea Bay to check out the best surfing in the world. Stop at Three Tables and Shark's Cove to snorkel and just generally hang. Stop at Kua Aina Sandwiches in Haleiwa for excellent burgers. Stop at Matsumoto's shave ice in Haleiwa for shave ice and t-shirts that say "I ate shave ice at Matsumoto's in Haleiwa."

If possible, avoid going to the North Shore on Saturday or Sunday; the road is only 2 lanes and traffic jams happen frequently.

Windward side

Kailua Beach is supposedly the fourth nicest beach in world and rated number one in the USA in 1998 (and it's just six blocks from my house :-). I don't know about rankings, but it's darn fine. You can rent a windsurf at the beach during the week and play around with it. Bring snorkel gear and look for sea turtles.

Lanikai Beach is just around the corner and is utterly spectacular (rated number one beach in the USA in 1997). You can see the sun rise from between two islands just offshore.

Bellows Beach. Closed during the week. Open on weekends. A great spot for boogie boarding. 

Pali Scenic Outlook.  When taking the Pali highway over to Kailua, definitely stop off at the outlook.  There's an easy hiking trail that leads off down the "old Pali road".  

Mt. Olomana Hike. This is one of the most spectacular hikes on the island.  It takes about 90 minutes each way, and is not for those who are afraid of heights.  The Mt. Olomana web page provides detailed directions and some pictures. 

Eastern side

Makapuu Beach. This is a world class boogie boarding spot with a really vicious shore break, and lots of people break their necks here. When people aren't doing themselves permanent bodily injury, it's really fun to watch them. 

Makapuu Point Lighthouse. About .5 miles back along the road towards Hawaii Kai from Makapuu beach, there's a road leading off toward the Makapuu Point lighthouse. This is nice, easy, 1 hour hike round trip. Park your car by the side of the road by the other cars.  Coming from town, the road is about .5 miles past the Hawaii Kai golf course, halfway up the hill to the point.  

Sandy Beach. Good surfing and competition kite flying. I don't go here much, but it's not in my neighborhood :-).

Leeward Side

Electric Beach. Right across from the electric plant off H-1 going to Makaha. The beach is nothing to speak of, but about 50 yards out there's a hot water outlet from the electric plant and *amazing* snorkeling. It's like you're in a hot tub with about a bazillion brightly colored fish. 

Yokohama Beach. Far western side of island; absolutely stunning; I've seen whales 20 yards off the beach there. There's a 2 mile hike to Kaena Point that's gorgeous but dehydrating; bring lots of water. 

Miscellaneous notes

You can rent boogie boards and snorkeling equipment on Oahu and drop them off on Maui from Snorkel Bob's.

Some final advice, from an email I wrote to a friend several years ago: Lock your car, don't bring expensive jewelry or things, travel light, sleep a lot, take your time, wear sunscreen, listen to slack key music on 105.1 FM, look for rainbows, and be open to the startling range and expression of cultures.  Stay outside and get wet if it rains. You'll dry.