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Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond Paperback – February 15, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 751 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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.; 2nd edition (February 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097172797X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971727977
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (751 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on September 30, 2005
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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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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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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Without telling our Oahu dwelling friend what the recommendations were in this book, he ended up picking hikes and places to eat for us that were listed in this book as things to do. So, I'd regard this book as the real deal - these are the cool things you should do and see while you are on Oahu. We even taught our friend (who has lived there for 15 years) a thing or two based on what was written in the book. The only thing I didn't care for in this book was the writing style - it reminded me of one of those goofy tour guides who tries to inject comedy as much as possible. I'm all for a good laugh, but when I'm reading a guide book, I really just want to know the facts. I'd definitely buy this book for someone who was looking to vacation on Oahu if they don't already have a local contact.
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