To those born in the “Aloha State”, you have no idea the thrill that a statement like this invokes first time visitors. “Hawaii 5-0”, “Magnum, PI”. Even more ingrained, almost at the DNA level, is a image from a postcard out of the ’20’s or ’30’s showing Waikiki as it was.


Then they arrive in Honolulu and find that it is just another typical overcrowded southern California city with a really overrated beach.



Let’s face it. O’ahu borders on 1,000,000 residents. The Hawai’i that our visitors seek doesn’t exist there anymore, except in fond memories of oldtimers, like me, who first visited here prior to the building boom of the late ’60’s. When the “State Bird of Hawai’i” was the construction crane.

Many tourists are finding that the “Hawaii” that they yearn for can now only be found on the neighbor islands.

Maybe that’s why Conde Nast has consistently named Mau’i as “the best island in the world” for the past dozen years or more.

Beautiful uncrowded beaches,


Where one can commune with nature without standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of humanity,


Enjoying the breathe taking joy of of soul quenching serenity


MAU’I, NO KA OI (Mau’i, the very best)

3 Comments so far

  1. Antonio (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 7:08 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been to Maui and Kauai and when I go to Honolulu I experience the truest definition of the word “crestfallen”. Waikiki is just one tourist soup with overpriced shops, restaurants with bland fare and big city gridlock. It feels like Chicago’s Michigan Avenue during the hectic Christmas shopping season without the merriment of the holidays. But I know that coming into Oahu is like coming into a major American city now and if you want a true Hawai’ian experience go to Maui (off season) or Kauai. Honolulu should be experienced for one day for an urban experience and NOT a beachside palmtree waving aloha one.

  2. M1EK (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    I’ll speak for the opposition: I love Waikiki. It’s a beautiful beach; the weather is perfect; you can take extremely small children; and nothing says vacation more to me than “you don’t need to start the car today”.

    Suburban sprawl is not a step up from a big city; it’s a step down. Maui was a ton of strip malls plunked down right in the middle of what apparently used to be a beautiful island. I’m sure expanding all those two-lane roads to freeways will improve things dramatically, though. Good luck with that strategy.

    Yes, there’s some tawdry stuff in Waikiki – but it beats out having to spend a couple of hours a day driving as we did each day on Maui and Kauai.

  3. TikiPundit (unregistered) on August 21st, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Wil, you sure have it right on the expectation of Waikiki and the reality.

    Your friendly local Hawai’ian god approaches Waikiki from the point of view of living in an urban area instead of living in paradise. If you think about it like that, Waikiki (and Honolulu in the main) is fantastic compared to most (if not all) other American urban spots. I’d even include San Francisco in that because it’s so hard-nosed and blue collar in the main, even when juxtaposed against the great water scenery. Big overrated city.

    Talk about islands and lifestyle? For me, it’s Molokai all the time.

    After that, for town environment, like Hilo. I dislike the attitude towards Maui just because so many tourists are certain they have found a secret paradise and so they get to be snotty about their luck and poor, poor O’ahu. But I think that’s an unfair rap, again based on the way I view the towers Hono and Waikiki.

    /Can’t stand the towers along the waterfront in Waikiki or the marketing behind them.
    //Know tiny Waikiki Beach has been overrated for a century.
    ///Thank goodness for the US Army. They preserved the last green space in Waikiki at Fort DeRussy.

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