Hawaii

Oahu question!

So, next summer (post the insanity of my cousin's wedding) we're doing a week on Kauai and a week on Oahu. Now, my family wasn't a big fan of Waikiki, so we're looking at renting a 3 bedroom place either at Turtle Bay (one of the villas, North Shore), Ko Olina (on the West) or a house in Kailua (East). But, we're pretty stumped as to which direction to go. Obviously each has its advantages and disadvantages. Anyone want to throw their two cents in? If you were going in one direction, which way would you head?

Re: Oahu question!

  • edited December 2011
    My mom's family lives in Kailua!!  Such a great city, and probably one of the most pristine beaches in the world.  What months are you going?  This is always something to keep in mind, since during the winter months the waves are too big to get into the water on the North Shore.  Where we had our wedding is another great place to stay.  The rentals are aweosme, and very close to a Foodland and on on a huge beautiful beach.  My uncle has always steered us away from the west side of the island for safety reasons... he is a little cautious since he is the fire chief battallion for the island.  I know lots of other people love it!!   Sorry if I'm rambling.  Feel free to message me at leahmcfarland (at) gmail (dot) com for more info if you want.  My mom grew up on Oahu, and with family still there we feel like its a second home  :o)
  • edited December 2011
    About half of our friends and family stayed in Kailua for our wedding and really liked it.  We live in Kailua so we are a little biased.  The major pro to staying over here is that the beach is GREAT and so much better than Waikiki.  It is also convenient to a lot of water activities and hiking.  The down side is that it is a pretty quiet town, so if you are looking for night life, there's not much to do.  A lot of the rentals over here offer boogie boards, kayaks, bikes, etc with the rental, which is also a major plus!

    Turtle Bay would also be good because you would be close to all of the North Shore activities and beaches (but you would still have to drive a little bit to get over to most of that stuff).

    Koolina is also really nice, and maybe a little more isolated.  A lot of people I know from Oahu will go to Koolina when they want to get away or for special occassions.

    Good call on getting out of Waikiki.  You can't go wrong with any of those options, really.
  • edited December 2011
    oh, and yes, there can be safety issues on the west side.  i'm sure you'd be fine in a resort setting, but i would be cautious about any vacation rental houses in that area, unless you are very familiar with the location. 
  • edited December 2011
    Ooh, I didn't know about the safety concerns in the west... care to elaborate?

    We're going August 1st-15 next summer. How's Kailua then?
  • edited December 2011
    Well, Koolina is in the Kapolei area, which is not really bad.  It is basically a suburban area, and there are a lot of military people living out there.  It is a more affordable suburb for a lot of people. But I think the Koolina resorts are all sort of their own space, a little apart from the residential areas.

    North of there along the coast, you get to Nanakuli and Waianae, which are higher crime areas.  There are also parts of that coast that have big homeless populations.  It is just generally a place that people recommend tourists stay away from, and outside of the resort areas, I'm not sure you'll find a lot of other places you'd want to visit (except for some surfing beaches).

    Kailua in August is great.  It is summer time, so it gets pretty warm, but there is usually plenty of wind.  It is a great time to hit the beach!


  • edited December 2011
    also, this is the place my bridesmaids stayed in, and it was right on the beach park and totally amazing.  and it has a pool!  not sure what your price range is but this place is highly recommended.

    http://www.kailuabeach.com/dolphin_manor.php


  • McBeagsMcBeags member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Either way check out some of the vacation rentals on VRBO. We just changed the location of our wedding to there. (Lanikuhonua) They have some great deals. We are staying in Ko'Olina because it is closer to family who lives there. The condos have better deals than the hotels are offering. 



  • edited December 2011
    Of course I'm biased as well - I grew up in Kailua and think its definitely the best place to stay. 

    Close second would be Turtle Bay - we stayed there a couple nights after the wedding and were pretty impressed at how the resort has been updated - when I lived at home my grandparents would stay at Turtle Bay when they visited, and it was getting a little run down - but now it looks great, even by the standards of some of our most discerning guests :)

    I try and stay away from the west side as well.  True, Kapolei etc are fine, and the resorts are nice, but in August it will be extremely hot on that side of the island.  And as mdjs said, once you get out and drive a bit farther north, there are some less savory areas.  This can also be true in some areas on the north shore, but certainly not the areas immediately around Turtle Bay and Haleiwa generally.

    Kailua is on the quiet side, but the beach is wonderful and the town has everything you would need, except for hip night spots.  That said, there are several restaurants with cool bar areas that tend to be pretty fun/busy on the weekends.  VRBO and HomeAway have some great rental options - I checked them out when we were thinking about getting married in Kailua.  Also check out Lanikai - its a gorgeous little beachfront neighborhood in Kailua and has some of the best beaches on the island, in my opinion.  It's a pretty ritzy area, but I know there are some reasonably priced rentals once you get a block or so in from the beach.
  • edited December 2011
    I feel like the north shore is more aimed towards tourists than kailua and ko olina. Ko olina area has the luaus and west-side snorkeling trips that are awesome. But disney is building a resort in ko olina that is supposed to open next year sometime so there might be a bunch of construction or you might have to fight with people for space.

    I really don't think crime will be a problem in ko olina or the north shore if you're not wandering aimlessly at night.  In my head, kailua area doesn't strike me as touristy. I mean I love the beach but I'm the type of person that wants more. Of course, I'm also the type of person that leaves hawaii to move to nashville.  You said you've already done some of the waikiki things. What kind of things are you interested in doing? 
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  • edited December 2011
    As one of the previous posters has pointed out a lot of the west side is housing and military. The resorts are gorgeous but there isnt much else to do on the west side outside the resorts. I think the crime that other ladies are referring to speaks mostly or Wainae .. Just turn on Dog the Bounty Hunter and you will see that town LOL  ... The beaches past the resorts have the most homeless people on them as well .... Hope that clears some things up .
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  • edited December 2011
    I really enjoy Kailua - but I enjoy the north shore just as much!!  We found lots of great beach rentals for our guests along Ke Iki Beach and Suset Beach.  Kailua beach is great for a lot of water activities... kite surfing, canoeing, snorkiling, etc.  I really don't think you can go wrong with either Kailua or North Shore.
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