There is nothing quite like a trip to Hawaii for any occasion but it’s especially great when it’s a wedding anniversary. One thing the hubby and I always wanted to do from past trips was getting out and explore the Island but be able to do it at our own pace with someone who was knowledgeable about the Island. Of course, we turned to Google and started searching for ideas.
We immediately landed on one of our favorite sites, TripAdvisor and started looking experience at options. Typically, when we travel we start looking for specific companies and looking at their sites for tour-type experiences. What was great is we were able to see many different experiences in one spot with helpful user reviews. It’s kind of like shopping for hotels but for attractions, tours, etc. We were immediately interested in a romantic tour called “Oahu for Lovers – Private Jeep Tour” by Hawaiian Jeep Tours and decided to book it.
Our tour included:
- 6-hour private tour of Oahu
- Travel in an open-top jeep with a private driver/guide
- Stops at Halona Blowhole, Makapuu Lookout Point, and drive down the Ka Iwi coastline
- Private picnic on the beach
- Free time on a secluded beach with beach chairs, umbrellas, and a cooler stocked with refreshments
Our day started off with a bit of a funny mishap. While we were waiting outside our hotel, The Royal Hawaiian, to be picked up for the tour a Jeep pulled up and we thought it was our guide. We promptly got in the back and the valet kept asking who was going to drive! As it turns out it was someone’s Jeep that had been valet parked. We quickly got out and had a good laugh and were slightly embarrassed. We were shortly thereafter met by our tour guide Sean and our official Jeep for the day.
Our trip started out traveling from Waikiki out to the east side of Oahu for a drive down the rugged Ka Iwi coastline. Our guide explained the history of the area we were driving through and pointed out all the famous mansions and bungalows owned by the rich and famous over the years. He even pulled over into a residential area where we got out and walked down to an amazing cliff view of a protected fish sanctuary that was a small bay area. Just amazing.
We then went to the amazing Makapuu Point Lookout where we could see Makapuu Beach, Rabbit Island, and the surrounding sea cliffs. We also saw the Halona Blowhole but with the direction of the waves we didn’t get to see it really shoot out huge geyser but it was still amazing.
Next, we went to a private-public beach and had a delicious lunch on a couple of beach chairs with exactly one person in sight. The views were amazing and we were able to walk the beach, get our feet wet in the water and just relax. It was truly a secluded paradise. That was definitely our favorite part of the trip. It was the exact opposite of the active beach scene at Waikiki.
Since we could go at our own pace, we even had time to stop at one of President Obama’s favorite haunts – Island Snow for a delicious snow cone and some shopping. We started to wind our way back to Honolulu and our hotel. We stopped to see some amazing mountain views looking out into the green mountain valleys and see the ocean off in the distance. The views were truly stunning (and the wind was very strong). We also stopped at an amazing placed called Ulupo Heiau with is a State Historic Site that has a rich religious historical significance for the original Hawaiian people.
The trip was just right to be enjoyable, see some great sites but also leave plenty of time to relax back at the hotel. We definitely didn’t have that post-tour feel where you have been shuffled along on a tight schedule to see everything you possibly can in a few hours and have to wait on the rest of the group (or interact with them!). I would definitely recommend maximizing your trip experience by planning with TripAdvisor.