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Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond Paperback – July 30, 2012
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Oahu Revealed is blisteringly candid. You want a travel guide that sings praises everywhere and for everything? Find yourself another book. However, if you want to be prepared for the lines at Hanauma Bay, want to know what "ocean view" means in a hotel two blocks from the beach, want to know whether the Polynesian Cultural Village is a rip-off or entertaining, and how many speed bumps you have to drive over to visit the Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau near Pupukea, then this is the book. It is refreshingly honest, candid, funny, interesting, and educational. I found myself agreeing with the author's comments far more than I disagreed. And yes, there were times I disagreed. I like the folk at North Shore Diving (now Deep Ecology). And I'm queazy about encouraging beginners to rent a kayak and just start paddling offshore. But if this book mirrored my mind, then I would have written it!
Here's a warning, however. There are many folk on Oahu who are upset with this book, and it is not just from getting more visitors into personal favorite places. It also involves having more visitors actually affecting the nature of places, with added trash, human waste, trespassing, and trampling. Ask a local, and know before you go. Don't trash Oahu, please!
The book is well written, and is especially strong in the section on lodging. Without question the coverage of hotels in this book is superior to any other guide. The restaurant information is also informative, much better than other guides, but remember that no book can completely cover all the restaurants on the island. I have been to many of the places detailed in the book, and generally agree with the appraisals of the authors (the one exception being that I thought the Honolulu zoo was substantially better than the authors did). Even if you don't completely agree with every opinion offered in the book, every claim is well reasoned and nothing is completely out to lunch.
This is the gold standard for Hawaii guidebooks, and I recommend it highly to anyone visiting Oahu!
The restaurant section alone is worth the price of the book. We went to five restaurants with an ono rating on Maui and Oahu and everyone was outstanding.
The author tells you what you need to know to prepare for your Hawaii vacation and has strong opinions on what to see and do, including where to hike and snorkel and the best beaches. You're time in Oahu is extremely valuable, because even if you're staying two weeks, you can only do so much. I bought my book a month in advance of the trip and I'm glad I did, because it takes a while to read and absorb the information. Of course you'll have to plan earlier than that for flight, places to stay, etc. The book is easy to read and entertaining and has many color photos to backup their descriptions and put them in perspective.
I didn't agree with everything in the book. I thought the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), which the book (and almost everyone else) highly recommended was a totally fake and commercial experience. You might want to backup their opinions on some activities with the tripadvisor website, which has many visitors' opinions on popular attractions. They didn't give near enough info on snorkeling at Hanauma Bay either. If you don't snorkel in the right spots along the waterways just inside the coral on the left and middle of the bay you'll miss most of the fantastic snorkeling here. Snuba and a snorkel tour, which they seemed to recommend, would also be a waste. The fish are in shallow water close to shore.Read more ›
P.S. The picture of the book on Amazon really does it no justice at all. The paper is thick and glossy and the print quality is A+, plus there are so many great pictures in here that it could serve as a souvenier for your trip! Also, I bought the Big Island Revealed book from the same authors and it is every bit as good!
One thing though, Polynesian Culture Center and their Ali'i Luau are total rip-offs, I don't know why the author liked it so much. Avoid it at all costs! I've seen people having seizures that move better than those so called Luau dancers at Ali'i. Shame on them for advertising as the "most authentic" luau on Oahu. Shameful...
GET IT GET IT GET IT!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you need a Hawaii guide book for Oahu, I wouldn't choose another.Published 6 days ago by Anthony T. Frisbie
This book was so helpful. When we first planned on traveling to Oahu, we read it over, just to get a better idea of what there really was to do on the Island. Read morePublished 7 days ago by The Munro Gang
Best book ever! We have one for every island and won't travel to any of the Hawaiian Islands without one!Published 12 days ago by Jeanette D.
these guides are so well done.. get one for every island!Published 13 days ago by Ellen L. Schoonover
My husband gave this to me for Christmas and loves it so much that he's read it cover to cover. It's a great unbiased guide and has really interesting insights about Oahu.Published 15 days ago by Lucy
This guide, along with the map Amazon sells, has made my move to Oahu a joy. This guide is useful to a newcomer or visitor in figuring out what you want to see, what to expect and... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Pearltrader
Another must read book before visiting! I've got many copies from the other islands and know their value! Read morePublished 25 days ago by Jennifer Cox