My friends and I had a birthday celebration in Oahu, Hawaii- a perfect combination of beach and nightlife. Here are some suggestions for visitors that would like to experience a range of activities from snorkeling to bar hopping.
Where to Stay:
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach
We stayed in a two bedroom, two bath suite at the resort, which included a king bed in one room and two queens in the other. These accommodations were convenient for the six of us to spread out without feeling cramped. According to sales manager, Susan Koehler, what makes the property stand out from other resorts is their “extra space, value, and location”. Each morning we had complimentary hot breakfast followed by complimentary alcoholic beverages at the manager’s reception in the evenings. This was a great prelude to our nights on the town. The sundeck, Jacuzzi, and pool-side bar are perfect amenities for a chill out session. Some insider tips include checking out their free yoga classes Tuesday and Friday mornings and catching the fireworks that take off from the Hilton Hawaiian Village each Friday.
DoubleTree by Hilton
We decided to spend our last night at another Hilton property, the DoubleTree hotel in Waikiki. The DoubleTree contains 317 guest rooms, each featuring a private balcony. Other amentities included complimentary WiFi in the lobby, 24-hour fitness center, and heated pool for swimming laps. The location of the DoubleTree allowed us to see the other end of Waikiki, which was close to the Ilikai Marina as well as the Ala Moana Beach. Our last day was spent touring these two areas.
Where to Party:
First Fridays in Chinatown is the place to view the local artists and showcases; the downtown area is lively with bars and lounges open for the streams of visitors. Addiction nightclub is located at The Modern hotel and caters to the 21 through 30 year-old crowd. They play a range of music from Hip Hop to Pop, and many locals gravitate to the club Thursday nights. The Sheraton has an outdoor bar/lounge called Rum Fire that attracts a grown and sexy crowd from 21 through 40; lighted torches surrounding the bar and a glowing pool gives off an aura of a sultry Hawaiian night. Moose McGillycuddy’s is the go-to dive bar for inexpensive drinks and a packed crowd.
Activities to Try:
A 2-3 minute walk from the Embassy Suites puts you right on the strip of the Waikiki Beach, where you can rent a umbrella to lay out, as well as kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or rent a paddleboat. We enjoyed taking pictures out on the wooden pier. A 20 minute ride from Waikiki puts you in Hanauma Bay, an ancient volcanic crater-turned bay, which is packed with marine life; excellent for snorkeling. We camped out on the beach after we went snorkeling (tip: map out the areas of the ocean beforehand where reef is not widespread for better snorkeling). Enjoy hiking? Check out Manoa Falls, a waterfall surrounded by a verdant rainforest that can be reached via a hiking trail (the destination is site of many films, including Jurassic Park and Hunger Games). We hiked the 2 mile trail, and ended up at the base of the waterfall. Of course we had to go for a dip for photo ops. For an authentic luau, try Germaine’s Luau, with offers a Hawaiian cultural ceremony at sunset, an all-you-can-eat buffet, and 3 free drinks.