O'ahu Escapes Part 2

Traveling with Family to The Heart of Hawai‘i

Clients can create memories to last a lifetime with family retreats on O'ahu.

Family Getaway
Tell clients to grab the kids and head to O‘ahu for an extraordinary family vacation that combines outdoor sports and active fun along with Hawaiian history and culture.

Clients and their families can discover the rich history of the Hawaiian Islands at the recently reopened Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum (www.bishopmuseum.org), a world class institution renowned for its significant collections of Hawaii and Pacific island artifacts and natural history. Built in the 19th century, the magnificently restored Hawaiian Hall now provides visitors insights into Hawaiian culture, access to museum treasures, along with Hawaiian interpretation and perspectives. As visitors move through Hawaiian Hall, the story of the islands and the people unfold across three floors examining pre contact times, the importance of land and nature, Hawaiian royalty, and Hawaiian history.

Clients can also experience the culture of Native Hawaiians and their relationship to the land with a visit to picturesque Waimea Valley (www.waimeavalley.net) on the North Shore. Waimea Valley is one of O‘ahu’s last partially intact ahupua‘a, a traditional Hawaiian mountain to sea land division on which ancient Hawaiians lived and worked. The lifestyle and customs of the Hawaiian people come to life with music, storytelling, crafts, le making, and games. Family hikes every Saturday reveal the singular beauty of the valley.

History buffs will get to take a step back in time as the story of Hawai‘i’s role in World War II history unfolds with a visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (www.pacificaviationmuseum.org). The museum occupies World War II era hangars that still bear scars of the nation’s aviation battlefield. The museum features authentic World War II aircraft, educational interpretations of the Pearl Harbor attack and other key Pacific battles, interactive experiences that put visitors in the pilot’s seat, and a live aircraft restoration shop.

For one of a kind outdoor water fun, clients can spend a day KanDoo Island (www.gokandoo.com), an ocean activities center anchored off Waikīkī. Shuttle boats depart from Kewalo Basin bound for Kandoo Island where more than 20 activities include jet skiing, parasailing, ultimate Banana Boat, under water motorcycling, ocean swimming, snorkeling, and marine education classes. For more water adventures, clients can also enjoy close encounters with dolphins at Dolphin Quest O‘ahu at The Kahala Hotel & Resort (www.kahalaresort.com) where they can swim, dance, and play with bottlenose dolphins in a lush, natural lagoon right on the grounds of the hotel.

Fun, family meals are always on the menu at Sam Choy’s Breakfast Lunch, Crab & Big Aloha Brewery (www.samchoy.com), a casual eatery in Honolulu serving huge portions of local breakfast and lunch local favorites along with dinners that feature fish, seafood, steaks, ribs, and chicken. Clients can eat like the locals do at shrimp trucks that line the road in Kahuku on the North Shore, an area known for shrimp aquaculture. Recommend they stop in at Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp’s red shack where they serve shrimp in butter garlic, steamed, sautéed, or deep fried. The kids will love fishing for prawns and then grilling them right on the spot.

Family Reunions and Celebrations
Whether clients are planning a family reunion or vow renewals, O‘ahu is perfect for memorable multi-generational family gatherings.

Plan their unforgettable family surfing experience with Ty Gurney Surf School (www.tygurneysurfschool.com). A former surf champion, Ty welcomes families and offers a variety of experiences for those who want to learn to surf or simply ride the waves together. He meets clients on the beach in front of the Halekulani Hotel in Waikīkī where you’ll find some of the best breaks for both beginners and experts. Ty also offers all day North Shore surf tours or half day Surf Safaris to the best beaches on the island.

Plan another day of outdoor fun and activities at magnificent Kualoa Ranch (www.kualoa.com) in northeast O‘ahu. This working cattle ranch stretches across 4,000 acres of steep mountain cliffs, dense rainforest, open valleys, and gorgeous beaches. They can enjoy the scenery while horseback, hiking, or via an all terrain vehicle. They may even see the many locations that have been featured on major TV shows and in films.

With so many wonderful shops and restaurants, everyone will be happy with an excursion to Waikīkī Beach Walk, one of the city’s newest dining and shopping complexes. Head to Mana Hawai‘i for Hawai'i-made arts and crafts as well as Hawaiian cultural classes: hula on Wednesday and Friday, Hawaiian language on Tuesday, and ‘ukulele on Thursday.

After a day of activity, nothing is more sublime than a few hours at Mandara Spa at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa (www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com). The comprehensive menu features massages, wraps, and heavenly treatments that incorporate Hawaiian, Asian, Western, European, and Polynesian beauty and relaxation concepts. Plan their escape here before a big night out with the family.

Make their family gathering extra special with an evening at Paradise Cove Luau and Hawaiian Revue (www.paradisecovehawaii.com) at Ko Olina on O‘ahu’s leeward coast. As the sun sets, they can enjoy Hawaiian arts, crafts, and games, and take part in hukilau, the tradition of pulling giant fishing nets from the sea to the rhythms of conch shell and island chants. A fantastic feast and Paradise Cove Hawaiian Revue under the stars follow with comedy, audience participation, a Polynesian fire knife dancer, songs, and dance.

Hā: Breath of Life, a brand new spectacle of The Polynesian Cultural Center (www.polynesia.com), makes for another great family outing. The interactive show relates the story of Mana, a young man, as he evolves through the universal life themes of boyhood, young love, respect, and responsibility. All themes are central to the different Polynesian cultures and relay the message of family, hope, pride, and heritage.

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