Things to Do Archives - Marina Hawaii Vacations

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 


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 


Hikes for All!

If you have a limited amount of time on Oahu, you might be interested in hikes that will give you great views without taking up all your time (or all of your energy, for that matter). The following hikes are full of waterfalls, swimming holes, breathtaking vistas, and perhaps best of all—they each take less than two hours (sometimes less than one hour)! Check out these hikes for a time-efficient workout, and a great way to enjoy the beauty of the island:

Diamond Head:

Named by British sailors for the alleged diamonds in the crest of this volcanic crater, Diamond Head is a gem of a hike, attracting many tourists year after year, and many locals week after week. There is a reason everyone hikes Diamond Head—it’s a must see. After climbing up a paved path, a dirt path, some steep stairs, and a tunnel, you are rewarded with a spectacular view of Waikiki from way up high. Locals go early to avoid the hot sun (the trail is mostly exposed to the sun), and to hit up the Kapiolani City College Farmer’s Market afterward for fresh, local produce. This 1.5 mile round-trip hike is a great way to start the day, or your vacation!

As of May 12th, 2022 all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument. The reservation system will activate on April 28th, 2022 allowing for reservations to be made 14 days in advance. Click here to reserve.

Koko Crater:

If you’re in the mood for a more challenging crater hike, head to Koko Crater for a hike that will leave you feeling like a body-builder as you take in the panoramic 360-degree view from the summit. This trail isn’t so much long as it is steep- 1050 stairs steep, to be exact. It’s a simple trail straight up and down made of railroad tie steps, also almost completely exposed to the sun (this is why sunrise is the best time to go). There is a bridge about two-thirds of the way up which has exposed gaps. If this feels too risky, you can always detour to the right in order to keep your feet on solid ground the whole time. Most hikers advise avoiding the hike in broad sunlight, and taking your time. Once you reach the summit, you will never want to leave the breathtaking views of Hanauma Bay and Hawaii Kai. It’s an intense workout with a Heavenly reward at the end!

Manoa Falls:

If you prefer to stay on ground level, Manoa Falls is a quick 0.8 mile hike with intermittent shade and lush greenery that will make you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park (in fact, scenes from “Jurassic World,” “Lost,” and “The Hunger Games” were filmed here). Go after a good rain to see the falls at their best, but be prepared for some mud! If you want to keep trekking after you reach the falls, look for the trail head to the left called Aihualama. This will lead to a steeper and longer trail that leads you to sweeping, lush valley views and a far-away cross-valley view of falls (the day I went it was absolutely pouring and I trudged through rivers of mud—fun but dangerous so bring a buddy)!

Waimea Falls:

If you’re looking for a stroll in paradise, head to Waimea Valley to check out the walk to the falls. While this can be called a hike, it is really more of a leisurely stroll along a paved path through botanical gardens to the waterfall and natural pool. The pool is equipped with lifeguards and complimentary life vests that all swimmers must wear. While there is an admission fee, this 1.5 mile round-trip walk is a relaxing and beautiful way to enjoy the Northern nature on Oahu.

Lanikai Pill Boxes:

This treasure is tucked into the lovely Lanikai area. It’s worth the trip to Kailua to hike the pill boxes (former military posts found on many of Oahu’s hikes). This hike has a gradual incline, treating you to refreshing views of the windward coast and the Mokes (Mokulua islands) just offshore. The trip can last as long as you want it to, depending on whether you stop at the first or second pill box, or push on and enjoy the view for a while from the top. Most hikers find it takes an hour or less, leaving the rest of the day open for brunch at Boots & Kimo’s or the original Cinnamon’s and a day on the beach in Kailua.

For more information on Oahu’s trails, visit the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife website.

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
Reservations Agent 
After the craziness of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years’ settles I am always excited for February to roll around for one reason: It is the time of year for POW!WOW! 


POW!It’s the impact that art has on a person. WOW!It’s reaction that the viewer has to art.


As POW!WOW! heads into their 6th year in Hawaii, we can only expect bigger and better work from the artists, musicians, photographers and media community that comes together to put on this event.  Some of my favorite artists participating in the event this year include : Cryptik, Paula Funga, Tristan Easton, Jeff Staple and Fafi, to name a few.  You can check out all the participants here:


POW!WOW! will be held from February 4th – 13th, 2016.  The event kicks off with a block party in Kaka’ako in conjunction with Honolulu Night Market, which will be a fun night filled with great food, art, and retail vendors.  Although I can’t make all the events for POW!WOW! I make sure that I make time to check out the artists in action while they start drawing and painting their masterpieces.   The greatest part of the murals is that even if you miss them in action, they will be up for a while so you can spend a day walking around the Kaka’ako area checking out the various pieces of artwork.  To help you map your trek, please check out the mural map :

POW!WOW! will conclude their event with “Stranded in Paradise” a concert starring The Green and Dilated Peoples at Makers and Tasters (Old Fisherman’s Wharf).  The event will also be featuring street art battles, b-boy competitions, the best food trucks, retail vendors, and much more.  For more information about tickets for the event, please click the following link:


If you aren’t able to make it out to Hawaii during the week of POW!WOW! you might be able to catch them at their other events in Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, Washington DC, and much more.


See you out in Kaka’ako!  If you happen to take a photo during POW!WOW! send it to us at and we would love to share it on our Facebook!

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

Kelli Kuwamura
Assistant Manager