on April 27, 2011
Before planning my trip to Oahu, I figured all I needed to do was just look up a bunch of stuff on the internet and I could determine what the best, fastest, cheapest most efficient way to spend my time. I was wrong. The number of opinions, the astro-turfing by companies themselves, the advertising everywhere you go, it quickly became overwhelming.
I got this book from my local library, along with 2 others (including the Frommer version) and it took about 2 minutes to figure this book was the best and returned the other 2. There are NO advertisements for companies in here, only at the very it has a single page of ads for the other Wizard pub Hawaii books. He gives a frank opinion of all the major sites, and less major sites the island has to offer. Thanks to this book you can safely skip the garbage tourist traps and find some cheap (even free) hidden gems like some fantastic hikes. There are even sites that are completely unadvertised on the island that are almost devoid of tourists. These include a drive to the best view of the island, a beach which almost always has sun bathing sea turtles, and an amazing coastal location with layered volcanic rock being pounded on by the Pacific.
He'll also cover all the possible activities you might want to do including the best and cheapest way to get it with reviews of the major companies that offer them. This includes surfing, Scuba, chopper rides, tons of hikes, horseback riding, etc.
There's also a lengthy section on the best places to eat and for the cheapest price with frank reviews of them all. There was only one restaurant we found subpar based on the review that we were sold. This, plus our ENTERTAINMENT coupon book, and we were able to eat well for cheap on the island.
My only complaint is that the more hidden locations that aren't advertised to tourists well are very difficult to find since there is no signage. I hope they offer more GPS coordinates so that tourists can find them easier.
All in all it receives a hearty recommendation. My library copy just gained a couple extra years of wear based on my week here. It was always with me (except for surfing I guess) and would have been well worth the retail price if it wasn't in the libary. GET THIS BOOK!
on February 1, 2012
I loved this book! By far, it is the most comprehensive book about Oahu on the market. This company publishes books for the other Hawaiian Islands and that's what I like most about it. The fact that it is specific to the area that I am visiting makes it easier to read and understand. In a book that encompasses all of Hawaii, the amount of space dedicated to each Island and activity for that Island is very limited. This book is all about Oahu - with a lot of detail on everything worth seeing. The author is a resident of Oahu and speaks from that perspective. He gives actual prices at restaurants, not ranges of prices. He writes in a manner that makes the reader feel that they are there experiencing it. He writes in a conversational way as opposed to a technical or tedious way. This method makes it easy for the average reader to relate to the author and gain more understanding and perspective of the places they will be visiting. He writes about a lot of the history of Oahu, which many people would find dull, but the WAY this author writes makes it a fascinating read! I learned a lot about Oahu and though I haven't been there yet, I feel I know it very well. I couldn't put it down!
Bottom line: If you are considering a trip to Oahu - GET THIS BOOK!! IT IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!
on January 5, 2014
I have one of these books for every island I've visited and haven't been disappointed. The writing is entertaining and informative, and not dry like all the other guide books from the big companies (frommers, fodors, etc). They're sold all over the place on the islands but I've found it helpful to order them before I go to plan the trip! The pictures are terrific and it's really great that they show pics of the hotels.