The trail to the summit of Le ahi or Diamond
Head is fragile and of course you are asked to follow the stricked rules on this Trail.
The Trail was built in 1908 as part of a U S Army defense system. Mules used to haul materials on this trail for construction of Fire Control Station Diamond Head. The Kahala tunnel was built in the 1940's and it is the public entrance to the Crater.
Favorite thing: There are lots of magazines and brochures for tourists. These are available at the hotel and on the street. Look through them becuase they have lots of coupons for things. If you plan well, you can save lots of money by using them.
Favorite thing: This is a free show sponsored by Kodak. It's of course very touristy, but if you've never seen Hula dance before, this is actually pretty good. You learn about the body language and what the music and dance mean. It increases your appreciation for the native culture. Remember to bring tons of sunscreen as it's really hot there.
Fondest memory: The Weather, the Beaches, the activities, & the people!
Fondest memory: We had heard of the Mai Tai Bar...great location and awesome drinks. What we didn't expect was to be serenaded by one of the local bands and to witness a gorgeous hula dance...definitely worth the money.
Place that I like is this
This unit is in a condo that's facing the ocean, right next to Hilton Hawaiian Village. Plenty of positive review.
If you are nervous of taking chance with individual property owner but want ocean view, you can try Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki ( http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60982-d87011-Reviews-Hawaii_Prince_Hotel-Honolulu_Oahu_Hawaii.html ). Some people complain about old/worn decor and small old CRT TV sets, but all the rooms there have full ocean view. NO such thing as garden/mountain/city view.
Ala Moana Hotel is less than $150/night. It's close to beach, but not on beach.
Ala Moana condo (individual rooms sold as condo to individual buyers) is also an option. Recently renovated. I understand that some rooms of the Ala Moana Hotel building were sold off as condos during the housing boom. The condos (actually rooms) are rented by individual owners, not the Hotel management. This actually turned out to be an issue as only 3 out of 4 property owner/manager never replied to my email inquiries re reservation. One did reply very promptly to my emails. You also need to watch out for room/cleaning service. It's separate from the charge for the room, and you need to order it in advance.
All of the above 3 options (actually 2 buildings) are close to Ala Moana Mall. You can get cheap meals in the food court. List of stores at Ala Moana Mall ( http://www.alamoanacenter.com/Stores/Alphabetical-Listing.aspx ). Longs Drugs (aka CVS) is there.
Also both locations are within walking distance to Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is actually a decent destination in itself. THey have nice gardens, penguins, restaurants that you can check. Driving there will cost you a few bucks due to parking fee.
Look into The Bus for transportation around the island and also the Waikiki Trolley (http://www.waikikitrolley.com/ ) that goes up and down the waikiki area. If you are there for 10 days, you probably can have a rental car for only half of the time? You could rent it when you arrive and than return it half way through. Maybe you (or one of you) can drive to airport to return the car and than take one of the hotel shuttles back to waikiki. Or return to a local place in Waikiki.
Lastly, check out McDonalds while there for breakfast. It's 'different'. :)
Fondest memory: weather. blue ocean
Favorite thing: Waikiki is very commercial but has lots of good shopping (expensive) and restaurants. I love going to the Korean and the traditional Hawaiian places. Walking along the Waikiki Beach in the morning when the sun is just rising is actually quite peaceful and pleasant. Hiking up Diamond Head, you get a breathtaking view from all directions. Just remember to bring a lot of water because it's pretty strenuous.