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The Unofficial Guide to Hawaii [Paperback]

Rick Carroll , Marcie Carroll
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Paperback, April 26 2010 --  
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Book Description

April 26 2010 Unofficial Guides (Book 236)
  • Introductions to Hawaii's six main islands, highlighting the special character and appeal of each
  • Details and explanation of Hawaii's history, local customs and island styles
  • Candid opinions on the best and worst of Hawaii, including accommodations, beaches, restaurants, attractions, shows, clubs and shops. 
  • Practical information on getting around the islands and best places to golf, hike, dive, snorkel and surf

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Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

Five Great Features and Benefits offered ONLY by The Unofficial Guide:
  1. Major hotels and resorts rated and ranked for value and quality of rooms—plus, proven strategies for getting the best rates

  2. More than 80 restaurants reviewed in detail and rated, with tips on Hawaii Regional Cuisine

  3. The inside story on the top attractions: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Polynesian Cultural Center, the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, Haleakala National Park, and more

  4. A complete guide to exploring the islands, including the best beaches, scenic drives, and rain forest walks

  5. The best places to golf, hike, dive, snorkel, and surf

About the Author

Rick Carroll, AUTHOR OF MANY HAWAII BOOKS, is the creator of the best-selling Hawaii’s Best Spooky Tales series and Madame Pele: True Encounters with Hawaii’s Fire Goddess. A former daily journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, Rick wrote award-winning travel and feature stories about Hawaii and the Pacific for The Honolulu Advertiser and United Press International. His new book, IZ: Voice of the People (the Biography of Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole), is now in national release.

Marcie Rasmussen Carroll, freelance travel writer and former communications director for the Hawaii Convention and Visitors Bureau, wrote political, environmental, and other news for the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury-News, and United Press International in Atlanta. She was a journalism fellow in Asian studies at University of Hawaii and in energy studies at Stanford University.
Together, the Carrolls, who moved to Windward Oahu in 1983, collected and edited the anthology Travelers’ Tales Hawaii: True Stories of the Island Spirit, which one reviewer praised as “the best collection of contemporary Hawaii travel stories.”

Candy Aluli has lived in the Islands since 1983, residing first on Kauai, then on Oahu, and now on Maui. A marketing consultant and freelance travel writer, Candy has collaborated on other Hawaii guidebooks and travels extensively between the Islands for both business and pleasure. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, No. Sept. 17 2001
Format:Paperback
Although the book touts itself as giving readers "the inside story" on Hawaii--everything from shopping to volcanoes, from our experience there's no truly remarkable reporting. The descriptions are fairly accurate, albeit not over-critical, but I have to agree completely with the reviewer from LA who states that this is very much standard fare. Okay, so "Dr. Beach" says that such-and-such is one of the best 10 beaches in America, how is that "unofficial", and how does that reflect what the author thinks? Tominaga relies far too much on the offical line--publicity available in every hotel lobby about the attractions--and not enough on his own experience. Perhaps his comments on islands other than Oahu are more meaningful, but if you can get to Hawaii, a good concierge will do as much or more for you. There is so much more that Hawaii has to offer that isn't included here--probably a book isn't the best way to get this information anyway. On the positive side, the "Unofficial Guide" formula for rating things according to age group is very helpful.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! July 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Perhaps I was expecting too much from the title of this book. There is nothing "unofficial" about the information it contains. The hotel descriptions are very standard guidebook material - lots of facts, but not enough of a description to give you a feel of the properties. I have stayed at several of the properties listed in this book and they could have easily included some information that IMHO would have been crucial to your enjoyment. Also, very little information is provided on things to do on each island outside of the usual tourist attractions. Maybe I am being too harsh. After all, Frommers and Fodors aren't any better, but since this book is touting itself as the "unofficial guide", I feel that it's a bit of false advertising.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Great organization to a potentially complex topic. Most comprehensive evaluations of hotels, restaurants, nightlife, beaches, and attractions of any of the usual guidebooks. Attraction evaluations and descriptions provide accurate age appeal breakouts to aid in evaluating attraction's overall family appeal. I love this series and rely on its accuracy. It rightfully leaves the other general Hawaii guidebooks in the dust. If you are going to buy one guidebook make it this one!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! July 14 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Perhaps I was expecting too much from the title of this book. There is nothing "unofficial" about the information it contains. The hotel descriptions are very standard guidebook material - lots of facts, but not enough of a description to give you a feel of the properties. I have stayed at several of the properties listed in this book and they could have easily included some information that IMHO would have been crucial to your enjoyment. Also, very little information is provided on things to do on each island outside of the usual tourist attractions. Maybe I am being too harsh. After all, Frommers and Fodors aren't any better, but since this book is touting itself as the "unofficial guide", I feel that it's a bit of false advertising.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, No. Sept. 17 2001
By Dr. Christopher Coleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although the book touts itself as giving readers "the inside story" on Hawaii--everything from shopping to volcanoes, from our experience there's no truly remarkable reporting. The descriptions are fairly accurate, albeit not over-critical, but I have to agree completely with the reviewer from LA who states that this is very much standard fare. Okay, so "Dr. Beach" says that such-and-such is one of the best 10 beaches in America, how is that "unofficial", and how does that reflect what the author thinks? Tominaga relies far too much on the offical line--publicity available in every hotel lobby about the attractions--and not enough on his own experience. Perhaps his comments on islands other than Oahu are more meaningful, but if you can get to Hawaii, a good concierge will do as much or more for you. There is so much more that Hawaii has to offer that isn't included here--probably a book isn't the best way to get this information anyway. On the positive side, the "Unofficial Guide" formula for rating things according to age group is very helpful.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Bad March 29 2009
By Jamie M. Massaro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Last year I went to Disney and bought the Unoffical Guide to Disney and it was the best thing I could have ever done. After reading it I said hands down this will be the guidebook I will always buy. The Hawaii book was just terrible. I feel I was still as stumped as I was before I started the book. I would one million percent recommend the Disney book but I would stay away from this book. Buy a book that is dedicated to one island, even if you have to buy 2 or 3 it will be worth it because if you buy this book you will have to buy more books afterward anyway.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making the most of a short trip Aug. 9 2011
By kathyL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book before taking my first trip to Hawaii. It helped me to make the most of what little time I was going to have there. We took a seven day cruise and where able to plan what we wanted to see and do at each stop. We spent 3 days in Hawaii after the cruise before flying back home. This book was a great asset in helping us not waste our valuable time and money. A large part of the fun was having the book about 3 month ahead of time and getting a lot of enjoyment out of planning the trip.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Feb. 15 2011
By Brinda S. Swanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read Unofficial Guides series before (e.g. Disney) and loved them...so I was disappointed when I got this one and it was not good at all. It is poorly organized for one thing. Instead of separating the sections by island, it has everything together. For example, if you want to find a good restaurant in Kauai, you have to look at the entire restaurant section and try to find ones that are in Kauai. The other books I'v read have a Kauai section and then you just turn to the restaurant portion of that section. Unless you are going to visit all the islands of Hawaii on your trip, then you are going to waste a lot of time reading stuff that doesn't apply to your trip. I was also disappointed in the level of detail provided.
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