5 hr layover in HNL - Enough time to do something? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by RV03, Jun 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. RV03

    RV03 Gold Member

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    Will have a 5 hour layover in HNL before a flight in LIH in late August - is that enough time to get out and do something? If so, suggestions would be appreciated!!
     
  2. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    That should be enough time to spend a couple hours sightseeing. HNL is not far from either Honolulu (including Waikiki) or Pearl Harbor. You just have to watch out for traffic, depending on time of day. I believe there is a shuttle to Waikiki, not sure about Pearl. Might have to take a cab for that.
     
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  3. RV03

    RV03 Gold Member

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    Thanks for the response! I haven't checked my flights exactly, but think we'll be there from 2:30 in the afternoon until about 7:30. Sounds likes its definitely possible to get out and do something
     
  4. travelingmore
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    travelingmore Gold Member

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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I had an 8 hour layover in HNL coming home from oz in 2009. Bad move on the routing due to the equipment used, but an afternoon on the beach at Waikiki, no matter how touristy it may be, beats the AA FL at lax!

    With a 5 hour connection, I'd go to pearl harbor. Transit time to Waikiki is not trivial (and can vary widely due to traffic). Plus, unless your goal is simply to see diamond head (which you can usually see during take off from HNL), having 1 hour in Waikiki really isn't that compelling. Can really do much at the beach in this time. You'll have 1.5 hrs at pearl harbor (it is closer to airport), and see something truly historic at least.
     
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  6. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Pearl Harbor is very close to the airport. You could go to Waikiki but traffic can be risky. When the H1 turns into a parking lot (which it does a lot) it can take an hour in each direction on city streets to get to/from the airport.
     
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  7. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I hate to be the one to rain on the parade, but I think you should consider the following information gleaned from the park service and related websites:

    "The best time of day to visit the Memorial remains early in the morning before the tour buses arrive.
    "The USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Interpretive programs, including a 23-minute documentary film about the attack and the boat trip to the USS Arizona Memorial, begin at 8:00 a.m. (7:45 a.m. in the summer). The last program each day begins at 3:00 pm. Tickets are issued on a first come, first served basis.
    "Visitors can expect up to a 3-hour delay for their program to begin during the summer months but less during the fall, winter, and spring. It is important to arrive early to be assured of a program ticket. There are 30 scheduled programs daily with seating for 150 in each program averaging 4,500 tickets per day and 1.5 million visitors annually."

    Of course, there are other attractions at Pearl Harbor, including the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, but I'm not sure these are what you had in mind when you talk about visiting Pearl Harbor.

    As an alternative way to spend your time, you might consider taking a cab to Chinatown, walking around the shops, and having a leisurely dinner at Legends Seafood Restaurant or Little Village Noodle House. This is not #1 on the list of things to see or do on Oahu, but it should be do-able given the time of day and traffic concerns.
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I would definitely NOT do Waikiki at that time of day with that amount of time. The traffic getting back to the airport is too risky and really not all that worth it. Not a particularly pretty place IMO. With the Arizona memorial out of the question it seems that Pearl is less awesome an option, too.

    At a minimum I'd get out of the airport and get some real food. If you don't want to deal with a taxi or rental car there is a strip mall full of restaurants that is a 10-15 minute walk out of the terminal. I make that trip on anything 90 minutes or greater (but too short to really leave) at HNL now and have the best meal on the plane or in the terminal every time. Quite a step up from the Burger King in the terminal.
     
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  9. big4milejunkie

    big4milejunkie Active Member

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    Figured I'd tack on to this thread rather than start a new one. I'm on a mileage run with about 6 hours in between turns. Any tips or recommendations for my time on the island?
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't think there is too much difference between 5 and 6 hours at HNL in terms of stuff to do. If you can hit the timing just perfectly and pre-reserve a visit time to the Arizona you can probably get over there and back in time but it will be tight. Otherwise there are some food options just off property which are far better than those in the airport. I would still not try to visit Waikiki.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I'll have 11 hours betweent flights on an upcoming trip. Have been to Waikiki quite a few (too many) times, so I am not planning to go there. I've been to the Arizona Memorial twice, so won't do that either. My current plan is to rent a car for $30 all in and drive to a quiet beach for some R&R, with a plate lunch and dinner completing the day. I have driven around the island before on previous trips

    Any beach or lunch/dinner (casual) suggestions?

    (I haven't toured the Missouri yet, but plan to do that in December when I have a bit more time (36 hrs) on the island. Also hope to squeeze in Iolani Palace then)
     
  12. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    Jump on the H-3 and head to Kailua. Grab some food at one of the awesome little places here, and go hang out at Lanikai beach. Absolutely gorgeous, and if it's a weekday it's usually not very crowded.

    As far as food in the area:
    Kalapawai Cafe - lunch/snacks/coffee
    Agnes Bakery - delicious doughy malasadas
    Food Truck at Kailua Beach Park- Anything
    yogurt mama - dole whip if you like pineapple is AMAZING
    If you come in on a thursday there are a bunch of ono spots at the Kailua farmer's market from 5-7p. I'd be more than happy to show you around if you're up for it!
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Here's what I did last weekend:

    Picked up a rental car and drove straight to Diamond Head. Climbed up to the top, back down, in about one hour.

    Then took the Pali Highway to Kailua. Looked for food to take to the beach and ended up with delicious coconut shrimp and some other stuff from a little Indian hole-in-the-wall place. Spent the next few hours at the beach relaxing (and getting rained on a few times, but hey, it's warm).

    Drove along the coast back to Waikiki. Parked a few blocks from the zoo on Kapahulu Blvd for free and walked to Kalakaua Blvd to watch sunset with a million of my closest friends. Stopped at the Apple store to check out the iPhone 5, overheard a blueshirt lie through his teeth to a couple about Android, had a coffee at the Honolulu Coffee Company and then walked back to the car. Discovered that Rainbow Drive-In near my car is apparently pretty popular with the locals and decided to have Mahi Mahi plate lunch for dinner.

    Drove back to the airport to get gas for rental car and check out some near-by restaurants and the Best Western for future possible use. Then dropped off car, spent 45 mins in the United Club ranting about their lack of Mai Tais, and departed the island on the red eye.

    All in all a nice day trip.

    In December I have another quick trip booked, but with an overnight. Thinking about spending 10k UA miles to fly to Lanai and stay there.
     
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  14. afakhori

    afakhori Silver Member

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    awesome! let me know when you get back into town and i can show you some more great places. another amazing hike is the Lanikai Pillboxes. short hike with *Spectacular* views!

    My absolute favorite place near the airport is Big Kahuna's Pizza and stuffs... cash only but the food is fantastic! It's a delicious deep dish pizza with crispy buttery crust - and dont forget to pick up an order of cheesy garlic balls, yum! The wife makes me stop by anytime we're close
     
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