Get Away for the Winter: Hawaii, Oahu
A couple of weeks ago, I looked for deals for the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas to see what kind of bargains existed out there. Well, along those lines, I couldn’t help but look at the TV screen and notice that there is so much snow that domes are collapsing. I bet that thoughts are already turning to spring for most everyone. A nice break to Hawaii might be just what the doctor ordered.
Because, you see, the average high and low temperature in, well, let’s take Chicago in January is 32 and 18 respectively, meaning that it is on average, freezing or below. On the other hand, Honolulu has averages of 80 and 66 during January. Even though it would be a temporary trip for you and your girl, it would make the rest of the wait until spring a little more palatable.
Less palatable are the prices. For all of January after the 10th, flights from LAX to Honolulu start at only $354 per ticket on Expedia.com, so that is good, but if you live in Los Angeles, you don’t really need to escape the cold so the demand isn’t as high. From O’Hare after the 10th, on the other hand, the prices for flights with one stop are around $500 per ticket. (For non-stop it gets to be more like $800. If you leave from JFK, there aren’t any non-stop options and for one stop it is at least $600 per ticket.)
But, believe me, it is worth it. Stepping off a plane into the sunshine and warmth as though June has suddenly emerged from nowhere after sloshing around in the slush for weeks is a feeling of pure renewal.
Of course, you could probably just drive seven miles from the airport, check into your room at the Ilikai Hotel and Suites and use the time in Honolulu to go back and forth between Waikiki Beach and your room, just enjoying the beach.
Then again, reading, swimming in the ocean and soaking in the warm sun could get old after, well, a few days, so only three miles up the road is ‘Iolani Palace, a beautiful building that is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy and a National Historic Landmark. Taking a tour will give you insight into the history of this state as well as a glimpse of some of the royal treasures.
For a long road trip, you could head to the North Shore, drive by the Dole Pineapple Plantation and after 34 miles, you’re in Haleiwa. To the northeast there’s Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline, one of the most famous surf spots in the world. To the west, you can hike the Kealia Trail to get a view from on high of the North Shore.
On the way back from the North Shore, as you pass by Schofield Barracks and Wheeler AFB, you’ll probably think of visiting the USS Arizona Memorial and the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Looking out from the memorial that stands over the USS Arizona, with all the names of the fallen and the oil that still leaks to the surface from the wreckage below will be one of the most moving museum visits you’ll ever make.
By this time, maybe your vacation will be drawing to an end and you haven’t even gone snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, looked for whales from the hike up to Makapuu Point Lighthouse, or even thought of visiting the other islands. Which is why that I’m sure you’ll return to Hawaii and then I’ll have the skinny for the interesting sites on the other islands.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."