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Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond Paperback – February 15, 2007
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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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is worth its weight in gold. This book helped us in planing our 26th Wedding Anniversary trip to Hawaii in June of 2016. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Kmac5
THis gave us tons of inside tips and helped us enjoy Oahu even more. A great little bookPublished 20 days ago by S. Treggiari
Indispensable. Our bible while in Oahu. Gives you an insider's view bc author has lived there and knows what's what. Great guide if you want to go beyond touristy stuff. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Michelle
This book has all the best places to visit in it, just don't leave it on the dashboard of your rental while you are out exploring or everyone passing by will know your a tourist!Published 22 days ago by love2surf
Purchased this as a gift because I have one already and feel it's one of the best Oahu guides out there.Published 1 month ago by AM
Good read nicely illustrated hope it will be a valuable resource on our trip to Oahu.Published 1 month ago by Jess Newcomb