Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

Oahu Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before YOU Go

– Ten things to know before
you go to Oahu in Hawaii. I'm Chris, this is Yellow Productions. I at Waikiki beach on Oahu, as
part of my series on Hawaii. You can find links in the description, or at the end of this video. There are 30 more videos on Hawaii, but in this video I'm gonna be telling you everything you need to know before you visit this fabulous island. So, here we go! The first thing to know is
just some general information about Oahu. It's 44 miles long, 30 miles wide, and it's 112 miles if you were to drive around the whole island. Oahu is the third largest
of the Hawaiian islands, but it's the most populated,
with one million residence. The capital of Oahu is
Honolulu, and sometimes known as the Manhattan of the Pacific. Yes, Oahu has some great beaches. The most famous being Waikiki
where I'm standing right now. And there's a little boat
that's coming back in, taking people on a sunset cruise.

But while Oahu is lined
with sandy beaches, and impressive mountains,
Diamond Head in the back, one of the most famous. Make no mistake, this
is a buzzing metropolis. A tropical city. You can drive around the island in a day, but there's easily a weeks
worth of stuff here to do. Maybe even more. The second thing you
need to know about Oahu is about some of the major areas. We'll first start with Waikiki.

Waikiki, right here, it is to Hawaii what the Las Vegas strip is
to Las Vegas and to Nevada. It is busy. It is loud. It is touristy. The hotels are very large,
as you can see behind me. These are very big hotels. There are restaurants
that front pretty much the whole beach. If you are looking for
someplace that is low key Waikiki is not the place to stay.

Waikiki is the place to stay
to be in the center of it all. Waikiki attracts 72
thousand tourists a day, and 44 percent of all the
tourists in Hawaii are in Waikiki. The second major area is the North Shore, know as the surfing capital of the world. An easy hour long drive
from Waikiki will bring you to the lovely Haleiwa town
where the North Shore begins. It has a seven mile stretch
of world class surf breaks and Hawaiian country vibes.

The other major areas of
Oahu are the East coast, known as the Windward coast, the West coast, known
as the Leeward coast, and Central Oahu where you'll
be coming into the airport, and also home to Pearl Harbor. The third thing to know
about Oahu is the weather. And look, I found another
sunset catamaran so let's take a look at that in the background there. But, the weather in Oahu,
the high temperatures range from the low 80s to the
high 80s all year round, and it's very humid. The humidity, on average, is 64 percent. The coolest months are
January and February where the average high
temperature is a cool 81 degrees. And the hottest months,
June, July, and August, where the average high temperature is around 89 degrees Fahrenheit. At night time it doesn't
really cool down that much, it's usually about 10
degrees cooler in the night than it is during the day. Oahu really only has two seasons, and no not summer and winter. It has the wet and the dry season.

The dry season kinda
coincides with summer, April to October. The wet season is November to March. That brings the rain. It can rain anytime of the year but the winter months
are considerably rainier. The fourth thing to know
before you go to Oahu is about when to go. And I moved a little bit off the beach. I've now got the main
street of Waikiki behind me. And so, the best times to
go are in shoulder season which is spring, mid-April to mid-June. Or fall, September to mid-December. Those are when crowds
are gonna be the lowest and hotel prices are
gonna be the cheapest, and airfare the cheapest too. The times that are busiest
is Oahu are the times when the weather is basically
crappy everywhere else, or when the kids are off school. The summer, June, July,
August, that's high season. Also, December around the holidays. December, January, March. Really busy. The last two weeks of
December, cause its Christmas. That's extra busy. There's also a week in April
that's Golden Week in Japan and its full of Japanese tourists.

So, you know, if you wanna
go when everybody else goes and it's expensive make
sure you book your hotels ahead of time, your flights ahead of time. Expect to pay premium
prices and wait in lines when you get here. More word to the wise,
come in shoulder season when not everybody else is here. If you're coming to Oahu to surf, particularly the North Shore, some of the best time
for intermediate surfers are October to November. The waves are kinda gonna
be medium size then. If you're super advanced, and
what I would consider crazy, but if you're out here for the huge waves or you just wanna look
at them that's generally between December to
February on the North Shore. Then the waves are huge. Me, if I surf in Hawaii– well actually, I just boogie
board, but I like the waves at classic Waikiki beach, again. Which is why I'm filming most of this because see those waves
they don't look very big. They look very calm, and friendly. Though I will point out what's
different in Hawaii versus a lot of places.

On the bottom it's not
just sand, its coral. So make sure you don't fall on that coral. It's sharp, and it can hurt. The fifth thing to know
before you come to Oahu is about the beaches. Lots of people come to
Oahu for the beaches because the water is warm. It ranges from about 72
Fahrenheit to 81 Fahrenheit. That's 22 to 27 Celsius. My favorite beaches are
Hanauma Bay for snorkeling and Ko Olina for swimming. Ko Olina, that's where the
Disney Aulani hotel is. Waikiki, the most famous
that I've been walking along, and what's right here behind me.

It is hard in the daytime
to really get any sand because it's that busy. Though a lot of it's really
popular for surfing there's this little area back behind
where I'm standing right now that has a protected seawall. I do like this area for swimming. It's right out in front of
the Hyatt and the Marriott if you're coming to Waikiki to swim.

If you're looking for other
beaches a good options are beaches that have the
name beach park in them. Like Ala Moana Beach Park. That typically indicates
it'll have a parking lot and bathrooms. As I mentioned before
in the surfing section, do be careful of coral and of sharp rocks. Generally the places you'll
wanna go out and swim and wade are the places
you see other people. If nobody's there, well
maybe that's because it's really sharp and jagged underneath. Also, if you see sea turtles
please stay sex feet away from sea turtles. They
are protected in Hawaii. The sixth thing to know
before you go to Oahu is about shopping, and if you've
come to Hawaii to shop Oahu is definitely your place. Oahu is the mecca for shopping, and the mecca of the mecca is in Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian Center
right here in the center of Waikiki, big shopping center. There's shopping all along
Waikiki's main street. This is basically a
never ending set of shops and restaurants. There's also the
international market place if you wanna get outside of Waikiki.

Just near Waikiki is the
Ala Moana shopping center. That is Hawaii's largest shopping center. It's pretty impressive. They've got pretty good
food in there as well. If you're looking for discount
things Oahu is home to a few locations of Costco. And if you wanted to see
what I'd consider to be an awesome Japanese store
check out Don Quijote.

It is like a Japanese
Walmart. It's amazing. I think there's three of them on Oahu. And if you're just looking
for kinda cheapish souvenirs or cheapish Hawaiian food
to bring back check out Longs Drugs or Food Land. They're a couple of
local– a pharmacy chain and a supermarket chain. But you can pick up things
like the macadamia nuts and that sort of stuff a
lot cheaper at those places. And one more store you
should definitely know about is the ABC Store. It seems like they're every
couple blocks on Oahu, but the ABC Store has
everything you'll ever need as a tourist. Food, clothes, souvenirs, beach supplies. Make sure to check out the
ABC Stores while you're here.

The seventh thing to know
before you to go Oahu is about transportation, and first off Oahu, big city, so the traffic can be pretty epic. The worst time is in the
afternoons from three to six p.m. I think the traffic is the
worst here in Hawaii than it is anywhere in the U.S. Yes, Oahu traffic makes
Las Angeles traffic, I think, look like nothing. And when there isn't traffic the speed limits can be
quite slow. 35 mile per hour, 25 mile per hour speed
limits are pretty common on the Hawaiian islands.

But, it's in Hawaii so slow
down, have a little bit of aloha. There are a lot of merges on the freeway, so if you are renting a car
and you're driving generally the etiquette is to let
one car go from each lane in the merges. If you are renting a car,
don't rent one at your hotel in Waikiki. That will cost you a fortune. Rent on at the airport.
That'll be cheapest. There are decent public
transportation options in Oahu; not so in the rest of Hawaii, but the bus here is fairly decent. And if you're staying
in Waikiki there's a lot of private tour groups that
you can join up to take tours of the island. Particularly Japanese tour
operators like LeaLea and OliOli. The Waikiki bus is another
option to go around Waikiki, but I think one of the best
options is just to walk. Use your own two feet and walk around. I mean you can't walk
around the whole island but spend some time in
Hawaii walking because it is very walkable in Oahu.

And yes, Uber operates in Oahu so that's a pretty good option
to get around as well. You'll find taxis to be pretty plentiful in the tourist areas around Waikiki. The eighth thing to know
before you go to Oahu is about hotels. Most hotels are in Waikiki. I'm right here in front
of the Sheridan Waikiki. There's a whole bunch that have
ocean views if you wanna get a little cheaper just go
one or two streets back away from the ocean. But the cheapest hotels in
Waikiki are gonna run you about 200 dollars a night and up. If you want an ocean view
room expect to pay 400 or maybe even more per night. Hotels are not cheap.

Also, factor in parking. Parking at many of these hotels can be 40 to 50 dollars a night. If you don't want to stay in Waikiki, you wanna stay in some
places that are a little bit more relaxed, check out Ko Olina. I mentioned that earlier. That's where the Disney Aulani hotel is. Or, check out the North Shore. There's a bit more relaxed
hotel on the North Shore. But whatever you do, if you're
coming on a busy time, again, book your hotels ahead of time to lock in some inexpensive rates.

The ninth thing to know
before you go to Oahu is about the food. Hawaiian
food, and the food in Oahu, is quite delicious. And it's been influenced by
a wide range of cultures. From the Portuguese donuts, the malasadas, to the kahlua pig, to the Japanese influenced spamacubie you'll find lots of
unique things to eat here. And so while there are a lot
of standard american chains like Cheesecake Factory or
Hardrock Cafe and Subway, man you can eat those other places. Eat some of the unique things here. There's a lot of great high
end restaurants in Oahu and there's a lot of great
low end restaurants as well. Actually, some of the best
things in Oahu you can find at food trucks. There'll be a lot of these
food truck set ups around Oahu. This is one that's in Waikiki. There's something that sells
Hawaiian style friend chicken. Over here there's a
truck that sells ramen. And of course super popular,
and something I really love, is garlic shrimp.

There's the Five Star
Shrimp truck right here. Now garlic shrimp really
originated up on the North Shore of Oahu. There's Giovanni's. I got
a whole video on that. Actually, I've got a whole
video on cheap eats in Waikiki. So, if you wanna know more
about food check that one out. That'll give you a great
microcosm of the macrocosm of the food that there
is to sample in Oahu. A local chain I recommend
everybody check out when they're in Hawaii is called Zippy's. One of the best locations is
on Kamehameha Highway in Oahu. But Zippy's, it's like a
Hawaiian version of Denny's. Kinda a classic Hawaiian
eat-in and take-out place. They've also got baked goods. They do Hawaiian style plate lunches.

They're particularly
famous for their chili. Check it out at least
once on your stay in Oahu. And finally, this one's
in my cheap eats video so I won't spend a lot of
time talking about it here but the Ala Moana Foodcourt is amazing. It is one of the largest food
courts in the United States, with one thousand five hundred seats. The tenth and final thing to
know before you go to Oahu is that we've got more videos. That's right, I've
mentioned a whole bunch. Definitely check out that
cheap eats in Waikiki video. We've got probably 30
more videos across Hawaii, including Maui and Kawaii. You'll find links to more of
those in the description below. I won't say bye bye because
I'll see you in the next video..

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