Things to Do Archives - Marina Hawaii Vacations
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If you are looking for
something unique and adventurous to do this year on your trip to Hawaii, think
about taking the plunge and getting below the surface of the water! Dive Oahu
offers local and visiting certified divers a memorable diving experience,
whether visiting shallow reefs or diving deeper to explore shipwrecks. Dive
Oahu features two charters daily: the morning charter includes both a deep and
a shallow dive, and the afternoon charter includes two shallow reef dives.
There is also a Friday night dive for the truly adventurous.


During reef dives, guests
will have chances to see sea turtles, eels, reef sharks, octopi, rays, puffer
fish, and many other tropical fish. Wreck dives feature a guided tour of the
Sea Tiger, a 189’ ship; or the Nashua, a Navy tug boat turned into an
artificial reef. For advanced divers, there is a tour of the Corsair, a WWII
fighter plane which is upright under 115′ of water. It was sunken while on a
routine mission from Pearl Harbor in 1948.


A PADI Divemaster or
instructor guides the tours, and round-trip transportation to your hotel and
gear rentals are included in the price of the tours.
For more information on dive tours and pricing,


For any
questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii
Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at
808-946-0716 or


Susie Bowman

far the tastiest way to beat the summer heat is with Hawaiian shave ice. Shave
ice is a Japanese tradition, first brought to Hawaii many years ago by Japanese
immigrants. It only takes one shave ice indulgence to understand why it is in a
dessert league of its own, separate from snow cones, Italian ice, and other
frozen treats. Between the texture of the ice (interestingly enough, this makes
a huge difference in the experience) and the tantalizing tropical flavors such
as lilikoi, pina colada, and guava, there is no better summertime snack.
While you can depend on almost any Hawaiian shave ice stand, these are our very
favorite shave ice spots on Oahu:

Shave Ice

not let the somewhat shabby exterior fool you: Waiola makes top-notch shave
ice. Like many authentic Hawaiian food establishments, its appearance is
low-key, and all of the staff energy goes into the food itself. Part of what
makes this place so special is all of their creative additions to the shave
ice, such as li-hing sauce and mochi balls. Don’t miss Waoila if you’re staying
in Honolulu or Waikiki!



a trip to the North Shore? Make sure to stop through Haleiwa, and pick up
world-famous Matsumoto’s shave ice. This is one place that really lives up to
the hype. Matsumoto’s is a humble family business that refuses to franchise and
continues to make arguably the most melt-in-your-mouth shave ice on Oahu. You
simply cannot go wrong here, and their shave ice is a perfect midday snack
during your day on the North Shore.



cash-only establishment is another charming mom and pop spot in Honolulu. Known
for their wild flavors and large portions, Shimazu is a great choice if you
really want to dig into a hearty helping of sweet shave ice. Parking can be
tough, but it’s worth the hassle!

forget to add ice cream and azuki beans to your shave ice to make it even more
authentic and delicious, and just remember: a shave ice a day keeps the heat


any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii
Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at
808-946-0716 or

Susie Bowman 


Oahu boasts a plethora of beautiful hikes and vistas, from Diamond Head to Koko Head, and from the pillboxes to the Koolau Mountains. What many tourists don’t know is that Oahu is full of hidden, lesser-known hikes. One such hike takes you to one of the most historically significant sites on the island: the summer palace of King Kamehameha III, also known as the Kaniakapupu Ruins. The summer palace last hosted a luau of over 10,000 people in the 1800s.


The catch is, you’ll have to be able to find the start of the hike in order to find the ruins, and this is no easy feat. If you head down Old Pali Road, the trailhead comes up on your right after a few miles, across the street and up a short distance from the Board of Water Supply grounds. However, you will have to park your car about a half of a mile back on the road, as there is no parking near the trailhead.


From the street, you will see a small opening in the bamboo, and a trail ahead of you. As you round the first bend to the left, you are suddenly immersed in a thick and almost eerily quiet bamboo forest. In less than a quarter mile, the trail branches off to the left and right. The trail to the right will take you through more jungle area and along a stream to a waterfall. The trail up and to the left will quickly take you to the Kaniakapupu Ruins. You will know you have arrived when you see a garden area, usually decorated with leis, and the stone ruins.


The hike is less than a mile long and relatively flat. General etiquette at this site dictates that visitors remain quiet and respectful of the land and the ruins. Many Hawaiians consider the ground sacred, and it is certainly a privilege to be able to still enjoy these ruins after so many decades. Between the beautiful scenery and the historical ruins, this short trek isn’t short on beauty and excitement. Happy Hiking!


For any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at 808-946-0716 or



Susie Bowman

In honor of National Tequila Day, we’re bringing you a list of the best bars within walking distance of our Waikiki properties. While there are plenty of fun night-time hangout spots to choose from throughout Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, these ones are right in our neighborhood, where you can enjoy the Hawaiian breeze and a short walk back to your comfortable condo. 

Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai
While Cinnamon’s is famous for its breakfast (especially pancakes), the restaurant also has a full bar outside, overlooking the beautiful yacht harbor. After a day in the sun and sand, this is the most convenient and relaxing place to stop for a tropical treat. Their pina colada is a delicious way to to wrap up the day and start the evening. 

Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai
Many of us love to dress up and go out to a nice dinner or cocktail hour at least once while we are on vacation. If you are staying with Marina Hawaii Vacations, Sarento’s is the spot. Aside from their gourmet cuisine, they have a full bar to make your happy hour even happier as you gaze out over the Pacific Ocean from the very top floor of the Ilikai. 
Harbor Pub
Just below the Ilikai Marina, this nautically themed pub is a cozy spot to enjoy dinner and a brew, or to take a break from the warm sun. The pub is family-owned, and casual with plenty of American eats; it’s the perfect place to rest after a day on the harbor!

Just downstairs from Discovery Bay, and across the street from the Ilikai and Ilikai Marina, this restaurant and bar is the perfect spot to catch a sports game. It is known as a Green Bay Packers bar, so if you’re a Bears fan it may not be the place for you. Regardless, Snapper’s has a great atmosphere with typical American grub and drinks galore!

Mai Tai’s at Ala Moana Center 
While you’ll have to walk further than just down the stairs, this fun bar is still under a mile from the Ilikai, Ilikai Marina, and Discovery Bay, and it is well worth the walk. This outdoor bar is a great place to meet locals and tourists alike, and there is awesome, local live music on the weekends. Look no further for an authentic and festive Hawaiian hangout.
There are other bars and bar/restaurants within walking distance that are worth an honorable mention: The Study Bar,  Addiction Night Club, Tropics Bar & Grill, Chart House Waikiki, Morimoto Waikiki, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Happy National Tequila Day!
For any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at 808-946-0716 or
Susie Bowman 


There are several famous golf courses on Oahu, including the pristine greens of Ko Olina and Turtle Bay, as well as the historic Moanalua Golf Course, the challenging Koolau Golf Course, and the elite home to the Sony Open, Waialae Country Club. President Obama even has his favorite courses on the island, usually visiting them during his annual Christmas vacation.

Many of these courses are pricy for a reason—they are beautiful, well-kept, and world-renowned. If golfing at one of the more elite courses on Oahu is your dream, we recommend splurging on the golf and skipping the resort fees of lodging on property (one of the many benefits of staying at our beachfront vacation rental condos—you get all the views and none of the resort fees).


For those who prefer not to spend big sums on their day of golf, we have put together a list of lesser-known municipal courses. These are our top picks where you might find regulars and locals at the intersection of affordability, quality, and appearance. Whether you’re golfing at Turtle Bay or a municipal course, just remember: you will be golfing in paradise either way!


1. The Pali Golf Course

The Pali Golf Course is a public course located on the Windward side of Oahu in Kaneohe at the foot of the Koolau Mountains. Keep in mind that the Windward side of the island is aptly named; you could be in for a windy challenge on the fairways, but this is true of many of the courses on the island due to frequent trade winds and ocean breezes. If you’re a fan of the lush windward atmosphere, and want to fit in a very affordable

day of golf, look no further. Visit for more information.


2. Ala Wai Golf Course

This public course designed by Donald MacKay is your go-to for an affordable, straightforward day of golf conveniently located on the edge of Waikiki. This accessible, flat course keeps your day simple and stress-free. With views of Waikiki, the Ala Wai Canal, Diamond Head and the Koolau mountains, you will retain the feeling of golfing in paradise while also enjoying lower fees. Visit for rates and information.


3. Ewa Villages Golf Course

This course located on the Leeward side of the island in Ewa Beach is a good choice if you’re looking for long and challenging fairways, and if you are ready to try something a little different. This course is convenient for those looking to walk-on, and if you happen to be staying on the leeward side of the island.

Visit for more information.


4. The Ted Makalena Golf Course

The Ted Makalena Golf Course located near Pearl Harbor is one of the most liked public courses on Oahu. Relatively flat and removed from the hubbub of Waikiki, it is accessible for all skill levels, and preferred by many locals. As a bonus, you can see some of the historic Pearl Harbor ghost fleet of ships on your way into the course. Visit for more information.


5. Kahuku Golf Course

If you want to golf on the famed North Shore without paying the Turtle Bay fees, this is the course for you. Located in charming Kahuku, it boasts world-class views of the Pacific with a very reasonable price tag. If you can brave port-a-potties and manage walking the 9-hole course with a pull-kart, this ocean-side course is definitely worth your while. You’ll get your exercise while enjoying views of one of the most beautiful shorelines in the world. Visit for more information


For any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at 808-946-0716 or


Susie Bowman

Fun at Kualoa Ranch

What do Godzilla
all have in common, aside from frightening monsters and riveting story lines?
They were all filmed right here on Oahu! Scenes from Hollywood hits such as
“You, Me, and Dupree,” “50 First Dates,” and of course “Hawaii Five-0” were
filmed at the famous Kualoa Ranch. This privately owned 4,000 acre reserve sits
on the windward side of the island, and features hidden gems such as a secret
island and an ancient Hawaiian fish pond. Kualoa itself was considered
sacred land by ancient Hawaiians, and once you visit you will understand why.
, Jurassic Park, and the TV show Lost

The Ranch includes Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa Valleys, with a multitude of peaks and ridges. The good people of Kualoa offer tours on ATVs, ziplines, cataramans, and buses, but our favorite is the horseback riding tour. Guests are afforded gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and Chinaman’s Hat, as well as Ka’a’awa Valley. Additionally, the tour passes through several areas used in various films (such as the “Jurassic Park” sign and the famous fallen tree from the movie). The lush greenery and the quiet of the vast space feels other-worldly. On this tour it’s hard to tell whether the goosebumps are coming from the refreshing sea breeze, the stunning view, or the thrill of crossing over Godzilla’s footprints.


The vibrant land at Kualoa has had many functions over years, including serving as an army airstrip during World War II. The ranch’s history is fascinating, and dates all the way back to King Kamehameha III. We don’t want to give away all of the fun and secrets (though rumor has it they’re filming a new movie on the ranch featuring a certain gargantuan gorilla), so for more information on tours for the whole family, visit:


For any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at 808-946-0716 or

Susie Bowman