a VirtualTourist member
We are flying into Honolulu for the day to go to Pearl Harbor - will have all afternnon on Oahu before flying back to Kona that night .... what should we do/not do?
Depending on time of day you arrive, it will take a couple - 3 hours at least.
Lines can be long depending on season.
Also, you need (should) take the boat trip to the Arizona memorial as well as visit the museum.
Also please keep in mind that tickets go fast! If you are planning on arriving/doing the memorial on same day and your arrival is afternoon, there is a good chance that no tickets are available.
Tickets were free last i checked and are a hot ticket item!
Meant to add, you can go on line and prebook your tickets in advance if you know time you are going:
Must thing would be walk around Waikiki Beach . Waikiki is kind of commercial spot in Oahu area enjoyed by all the tourists and diverse cosmopolitan crowd from all over the world . You can definitely spend time walking 2-3 hrs in that area and chill out during evenings at the Beach before you take oof for Kona
Pearl Harbour should be take not more than 4-5 hrs if you start early in the morning around 8 am so that you are back to your Hotel in Waikiki area around 2-3 pm. So you have all the free time post lunch to enjoy the beach and rush to the airport in the evening .
Seeing that you are flying in with no hotel on Oahu to go back to, I would do as others have said and that is to make sure you get there early to avoid getting a late time to see the movie and the shuttleboat ride over to the USS Arizona to see the memorial. See my review of this final resting place for 1,102 souls. This was the beginning of war with Japan for the USA. See: [original VT link] After the tour is over, across the bay is the Battleship USS Missouri. Ironically, on the deck of "Mighty Mo" is where the official end to this tragic war for both countries took place. See: [original VT link]
With the time left to the day you could visit a vibrant Chinatown with excellent restaurants, local color and see the "Aunties" make the beautiful Leis that are worn by everyone. A great website to see all to do, including where the lei stands are located: http://www.chinatownhi.com/?q=node/23 Afterward, if returning to Kona on the Big Island at night, you could still have time to stand on the beach at Waikiki and see the sunset shine on Diamond Head and watch the city lights twinkle. If you get there before sunset, I enjoy the Moana Surfrider Beach Bar for the view. [original VT link]
Just a few suggestions to see something different than what is found on the other Islands of Hawaii. Aloha! :-)
I'm assuming you are flying in from another island and you don't mention how much time you have. You must get to the memorial early, lines que up early. Depending on how much time you have left in your day (and your level of energy), and assuming you've already seen a number of beaches on the other island(s), I would recommend a historical tour to include a number (or all) of the following suggestions. With a good guide book, you can get a historical perspective of the islands. I recommend the book "Oahu Revealed". The sights are in the same area and are either near downtown or on your way from Pearl Harbor, and if you have a car, you can do several( or all if you map out your destinations to avoid getting lost):
Another option is take the nice road trip to the North Shore and stop at the Dole Pineapple plantation tour and then stop for lunch in Haleiwa town (don't miss Patty's Shaved Ice!). Drive to Waimea Bay or Pipeline Beach. If winter surf is high, please be very cautious. The water is calm in the summer.
Take a drive to the North Shore or drive to the East side and check out the fish at Hanauma Bay
There isn't much else around Pearl Harbor. The lagoons in Kapolei are nice, especially if you have children. I've heard great things about the Bishop museum. And personally I know that the National cemetery is awesome with great views and would be a nice way to end a day after Pearl Harbor.