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Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond Paperback – July 30, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 680 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Wizard continues to produce information, maps and photographs that are all first-rate, and--even better! Honolulu Star Advertiser

Book Description

Most travel titles are put together in a few weeks by visiting travel writers. Wizard guidebooks take over a year to compile and the writers are residents who personally and anonymously review every facet of the island. Their maps are the best you'll find. From restaurants to helicopter companies to scuba to beaches to trails. They see it all and show you the best the island has to offer. They also reveal who's the worst and who to stay away from. All told in a frank, humorous way that keeps the reading fun.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wizard Publications Inc.; 4th edition edition (July 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983888701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983888703
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (680 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Doughty has been exploring and writing about the Hawaiian Islands for many years and is the best-selling guidebook writer in the United States, with millions of books in print. Andrew reviews every business anonymously and has hiked and GPSed every trail, secluded beach and special place described in his books. When he's not on the ground, you'll find him in the air in his airplane designed specifically for aerial photography.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Travel books are probably a blast to research and write, but after they go to press, the authors probably start preparing for a different kind of "blast," as in the "what planet did you come from that you rated my favorite restaurant as a dive!" kind.

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!
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There are many guidebooks available for Hawaii in general and Oahu specifically, but this one is by far the best. Not only is the book extremely current (it posts a 2005 copyright date), but the layout is easy to use, and it provides information that is actually useful in both planning a trip and once on the island.

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!
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I don't think this book has any real competition from other books. My Oahu Trailblazer had some supplementary and detailed info on places like Hanauma Bay, but it came nowhere close to this book in useful coverage of big and little sights to see and why you would want to see them.

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.
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My husband and I just returned from our first trip to Hawaii, and we stayed on the island of Oahu the entire time (7 days). This book was an indispensable guide that we would both highly recommend. The maps are excellent, the pictures are beautiful, the directions are specific and helpful, and it is loaded with information for all types of visitors. In addition to the basic tourist information, it also includes information about little known gems that will give visitors the option of going beyond the touristy stops. Use this book in addition to TripAdvisor for a fabulous vacation.
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Wow! What can I say? This is by far the best guide book I have ever used. It was my BIBLE for my recent Hawaii trip (12/2006). Everything in here is up-to-date, from kayaking trips in Kailua to snorkeling to eating shaved ice in the North Shore at Aoki's and Matsumotos, this book has it all! It really should be the official travel book for Oahu but I'm afraid the "hidden secrets" it reveals will become too popular! For around $11, it's such a bargain! It is apparent to me that the author has really LIVED the book as they detailed everything you will ever want to explore on the island. With this book, I avoided paying hundreds of dollars to tour companies for simple hiking trips to Manoa Falls, Diamond Head, North Shore and Pearl Harbor. Instead, with it and a rental car for the week, I explored all the spots at my own leisure, and I don't even feel like I missed out on the description and history of the places I missed by not going with a tour guide because this book has it ALL! I just can't say enough good things about it. Absolutely amazing! I tend not to be a homer when it comes to reviews, but this time I really do feel compelled to spill my true feelings, it is kind of strange to be so passionate about a guidebook, but trust me, it is THAT good.

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...
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