Take a Stay-cation!

Here’s a timely idea: Take a stay - at - home vacation, save money and enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer. MidWeek’s staff and contributors offer lots of ideas for a great stay-at-home vacation that’s

Don Chapman
Friday - June 27, 2008
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A guided tour of the USS Missouri is educational, fun and full of 'wow' moments
A guided tour of the USS Missouri is educational, fun and full of ‘wow’ moments

MidWeek’s staff and contributors offer lots of ideas for a great stay-at-home vacation that’s easy on the budget

With the rising cost of air travel this summer (not to mention the hassle of late and cancelled flights), plus the rising cost of filling a rental car with gasoline once you get to your destination, the idea of a stay-at-home vacation is increasingly attractive.

A “stay-cation,“some have called it.

And what better place than Hawaii, where the rest of the world comes to play, for local folks to relax and enjoy all that our state - and especially our island of Oahu - has to offer?

With kamaaina rates on hotels and many other activities, you can save even more money.


And by taking a stay-cation, your money remains in the Islands, boosting our economy when you shop, dine, play golf, go bowling or watch a movie. That said, beaches, parks, tennis courts and trails are free.

We asked MidWeek‘s staff and contributors for some of their favorite things to do when they’re “at home in the Islands” and on vacation. They’re quite a diverse group,and so fittingly are their ideas of a good time.

* Take a tour of the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Where else can you travel to far-off lands, explore different cultures and step back a few thousand years in time for just $10 (free if you’re a member!)? My personal must-sees are the Southeast Asia,India and Europe/America collections, and the Doris Duke Shangri La tour. There’s always a new exhibit, so even if you’ve been there within the last few months, you’ll still get a thrill and take away a little knowledge. On display through July are exhibits in Japanese calligraphy by poets, monks and scholars from 1568-1868 and Whistler’s Other Art. Oh, and can I add just a two words: air conditioning. -Sarah Pacheco

Saddle up and ride into the sunset at Kualoa Ranch
Saddle up and ride into the sunset at Kualoa Ranch

* Rock, croon, falsetto or rap: Karaoke places during the day are fairly empty, and you can usually get a 50 percent discount on the room rates. Brush up on your karaoke skills! - Cody Kawamoto

* Horses are my favorite animals, so one of my ultimate favorite things to do is horseback riding. My favorite place to do it: Kualoa Ranch. I’ve gone a few times before with friends, and I found it to be not only relaxing but a fun adventure. The narrated horseback tours at Kualoa offer the most amazing views of Kaaawa Valley, the backdrop of many movies such as Jurassic Park, Godzilla, George of the Jungle, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers,You, Me & Dupree and 50 First Dates. There’s also a breathtaking view of the ocean and Chinaman’s Hat. Kamaaina rate for a one-hour horseback tour at Kualoa is $49 (237-8515). - Yu Shing Ting

* Rent a kayak: Twogood Kayaks in Kailua and Go Bananas! on Kapahulu rent kayaks for as little as $30 a day. Then head out to the Mokuluas or to Waikiki. - Steve Murray

Experience pure bliss with a spa treatment
Experience pure bliss with a spa treatment

* Since LaCosta and Badenbaden are no longer options (like they ever were?) I do my exfoliating in Kalihi. The Loess spa is a Korean establishment owned by Crystal Kim: $20 gets you up to seven hours in its pools,saunas and steamrooms; $40 gets you a scrub with scouring pads; $60 gets you a Mega-massage with a cucumber mask, followed by a milk bath. It is pampering with a heavy hand.And cheap.I’ve been to expensive spas all over the world, and they always leave you feeling a little intimidated, not to mention ripped-off. I end my Korean spa day with the Kim Chee Soup at Soribol. - Pamela Young

* Other spa recommendations: Aveda, Ihilani, Turtle Bay, Hyatt Regency, Ampy’s.

* After taking a guided tour of the USS Missouri recently, that is at the top of my must-do list. A marvel of design and engineering, the Mighty Mo is full of “wows.” Case in point: The ship’s blueprints alone weigh 175 tons! And standing on the deck where the Japanese signed the WWII surrender is a wow with a buzz of chickenskin. The Mighty Mo is so huge, so detailed, and with so many stories to tell, just wandering around without a guide is almost a waste of time and money. Tours range from $20 for adults and $15 for children to $45/$20, including the admission price of $16/$8 (455-1600).


If you’ve never visited the USS Arizona Memorial - amazing how many people have not - that’s another must-experience.

Having been to the Arizona countless times, my stay-cation will include a first-time visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island.

Make a day of it and visit all three, as well as the USS Bowfin. - Don Chapman

* Many parents looking for something different for the kids overlook at the U.S.Army Museum at the Waikiki edge of Fort DeRussy. There are all those tanks and things outside to gawk at, great exhibits inside on two floors, and it’s free, free, free! You can combine that with part of the day at Fort DeRussy beach. - Bob Jones

* If you don’t mind the 35-mile round-trip from central Honolulu, there’s little better than an all-day outing to the No. 1 lagoon at Ko

 

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