I admit I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the island as much as I did. Someone even told me before I left for LOST 2014 that there was nowhere in the world quite like Hawaii. It’s just a few islands in the Pacific, how incredible could it be? I knew the LOST factor would add a bit of sentimental feelings to the trip – but I wasn’t expecting what I got with Oahu. Everything I was told had been right – there’s something incredible about this place. As John Locke so famously said, “I’ve looked into the eye of this island. And what I saw was beautiful.” We’ll skip the part that it was part of a smoke monster haze and move on.
In addition to the LOST locations you’ll visit while you’re in town for LOST 2017 – there are a few other things to do on the island that I thought I’d share.
#1 – Diamond Head
Whether you hike it or just go stand at the bottom and look up, the view of (or from) this inactive volcanic crater is not to be missed. It’s pretty close to our host hotel – 1.4 miles.
Be sure to plan ahead! From the Park website: If you plan to hike at Diamond Head State Monument, make sure you arrive early enough. While the the gates to the park close at 6:00 PM, no one is permitted to hike after 4:30 PM, as the hike takes about a 1.5-2 hours (round trip). Parking is limited and the park can get busy, so it’s recommended that you arrive well before the 4:30 PM cutoff.
Here’s a link to their website if you’d like more information.
#2 – Pearl Harbor / USS Arizona Memorial
I didn’t make it to the site in 2014 and it’s on my list for this year. While admission to the Memorial itself is free, you do have to reserve free boat tickets which are issued by the National Park Service in advance. These are on a first come first serve basis. So if you already know the day/time you want to go – I’d be sure to book now. The tickets go quickly.
Here’s a link to their website with information on reserving your boat ticket.
#3 – Shave Ice
This stuff is legend … Hawaii Shave Ice (and don’t say Shaved, like we do stateside!). There are many spots on the island to get some, but the one I’ve always heard the most about is Matsumoto’s Shave Ice on the North Shore. They’ve been around since 1951 … definitely a reason why! President Obama liked Island Snow in Kailua.
#4 – The Beaches
You’ll see beaches as part of the LOST filming location tours or LOST treks that you do on your own. But there are other spots that you may miss out on. Here’s a great list from Hawaii.com of Oahu’s top five beaches.
#5 – The Shopping
I took a trolley from the hotel over to Ala Moana – a massive, open air shopping center. Not only do they have standard stores but they have upscale shops like Bulgari, Roberto Cavalli, Versace and Valentino. They also feature live Hawaiian music every night at 5pm.
Also, once you land in Hawaii you’ll find these stores called ABC Stores. They are literally EVERYWHERE. My rep at the Hilton told me ABC stood for All Busy Corners and that makes sense, because that’s literally where you see them. Every. Single. Corner. But not that I mind – because I LOVE THEM. It’s like a convenience store and Hawaii gift store wrapped into one. I was always in one – whether picking up water or chips … or grabbing gifts for friends and family at home. I even still shop with them since I’ve come home and get their catalogs in the mail. Instant missing Hawaii! As you might imagine – there’s one right across the street from the Hilton. And EVERYWHERE else.
Here’s a photo from their Facebook page during the Pokemon craze – but it gives you an idea of the store’s gift shop area.
#6 – Koko Head Hike
Only for the brave! If you love to hike and love a little adventure, give the Koko Head Stairs a try. It’s over 1,000 steps on old, basically falling apart railroad ties. I’ve seen photos on Instagram of people doing this and it looks scary! So be careful.
Check out this page which details the hike.
There’s so much to see and do on this incredible island! I’m only listing but a few. Make google your friend before this trip. Be sure to look for and spend time on sites that detail Oahu attractions, things to do, etc.
Enjoy and have a great time on the island!