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Driving and Discovering Hawaii, companion website to the award winning Hawaii guidebook series. VJ Day photos of 1945 celebrations in color.

Download our famous free Oahu Movie Locations Drive Map, where island filming sites are revealed for LOST, Pearl Harbor and Elvis movies.

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<h1 style="color: #848484; font-family: arial; font-size: 12px;">Driving and Discovering Hawaii, your virtual Hawaii guidebook to Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Oahu, the Big Island, and driving in Hawaii. Locate secret Hawaiian beaches, visit an active volcano, hidden waterfalls, and deserted islands. Revisit VJ Day 1945. Tips on Hawaiian weddings, hotels, bargain restaurants, cruises, ultimate condo rentals, and vacation packages. Famous film and TV locations for LOST and Elvis movies revealed here!</h1>

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BEST HAWAII GUIDEBOOK

 

WHERE GOING GREEN IS A LONG TRADITION

At South Point on Hawaii’s Big Island, the world-famous Green Sand Beach awaits. Olivine sands provide a unique photo opportunity, but tricky currents and rough seas make the area unsafe for swimming. The road is not paved and rental cars are prohibited. You’ll have a 30 minute walk from the end of the road to reach Green Sand Beach. Leave nothing a value in your vehicle, bring water and sunblock, and your camera.

UPCOUNTRY MAUI WINERY

In wonderful, cool, spectacularly green Ulupalakua, you’ll find sweeping panoramic views of West Maui, a lovely climate, a beautiful winery, and a great general store with lots of cool Maui Paniolo (cowboy) duds and great made-to-order sandwiches to enjoy on the front porch, as the upcountry breezes rustle the fragrant eucalyptus. Some of the most enormous Norfolk Pines we’ve ever seen shade the winery grounds. Cool off: go upcountry!

DIAMOND HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

One of our favorite places to watch the sun set is from the wall on Diamond Head Rd. adjacent to the lighthouse. We pick up something to eat and drink, kick back, have some sips and good conversation as the sunset back-lights this venerable Oahu landmark,

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DO WE REALLY HAVE TO RENT A CAR?

Spending thousands to travel to the middle of the Pacific to just lie by a pool doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially in a locale as stunning and awesome as Hawaii. Oahu has more beaches than any other island, as well as a million things to do outside of Waikiki. We get sad when we see people on a bus, allowing someone else to determine what they will see and experience. People who intended to just lie by the pool for a week always come down with the “3rd-day-itch” to start exploring, once they decompress, and a rental is the only way to scratch that bugger.


Don’t end up regretting your untaken chance to fully experience Hawaii’s back roads and off-the-beaten-path wonders. Rent a vehicle!

FREE WiFi

Why pay for WiFi at hotels when you can surf for free?

See individual island pages for locations.

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NENE: THE ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN GOOSE

These birds were near extinction in 1918 when Herbert C. Shipman began an effort to save them. Shipman started a captive breeding program at his Keaau home on Hawaii’s Big Island.  The story is told in the National Geographic, November 1965, article titled "Saving the Nene, World's Rarest Goose".

DON’T GET OLDER

—GET YOUNGER

Reclaim Your Youth: Growing Younger After 40 174 pp. Now Available in Paperback for only $12.00. Click the book cover above to purchase, or visit our Fitness page in the menu at the top of this page to read all about it.

MAUI’S BLUE ANGEL FALLS IN HANA

is the epitome of Paradise and is easy to reach. It’s clear cold spring waters form a pool just yards from the crashing surf. Turn mauka on Ulaino Road, drive to the end, cross the stream on foot, and boulder-hop about 100 yards. You’re there!

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HAWAII VIDEOS

VIEW THE NEWEST LAVA FLOW ON THE BIG ISLAND

Drive to the end of Hwy.130 south of Hilo for an up-close encounter with brand-new real estate in the making. You will have to hike 30-60 minutes from the designated parking area over rugged lava deposits, so wear well-fitting sneakers and socks, or better yet, hiking boots. The best views are at dusk, which means you’ll be hiking back to your car in the dark, so a flashlight or lamp is essential. Bring water to drink, a windbreaker, your camera and a friend. Since the lava course is ever-changing, call for the latest updates the day you plan to hike: (808) 985-6000. Visit this website for map of location: http://lavainfo.us/

Distances & Drive Times

We have added a handy feature to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s island destination pages: a map of the island showing distances and drive times to make planning your exploration easier and more accurate.

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MOKULEIA

on the western end of Oahu’s famous North Shore, boasts and unbroken string of amazing beaches that runs for miles. During the week you’ll more often than not find that nobody is around but you, and the coastal views are unforgettable. Slipper lobsters can be snatched off the reef just yards from shore, and with summer comes placid conditions ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

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Photos, Top-to-Bottom:

—Celebrants zoom past Lippy’s Service Station on Kalakaua Ave..

—Cheering Navy men fly past the House of Coral store on Kalakaua.

—Navy men pose: the man in blue is wearing a non-regulation uniform due to the uniform shortage.

—Officers smile on Waikiki Beach in front of the Halekulani Hotel.

Zeke puts his huge foot down and says “Enough is enough. I ain’t goin’ down there. Buy me some ice cream.” The Big Island hike at Halemaumau Crater isn’t for everyone. But for those who love ethereal primeval landscapes, it’s a paradise. Visit Zeke’s Page

VJ Day Honolulu August 14, 1945 THE BRAVEST GENERATION

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1923

MURPHY BEACH PARK

People long for the Hawaii Of Yesteryear, yet incongruously they want it to be located just a stone’s throw from their luxury resort. That just can’t be. You’ll need to travel to the decidedly untouristed isle of Molokai to experience Olde Hawaii, and all the lack of convenience that characterized that bygone era, but man, is it ever worth it.


Spectacular Murphy Beach (pictured above)  looks and acts every bit like paradise, with its swaying coconut tees, pristine sands, kid-safe reef-protected aqua waters, wonderful snorkeling, and world-class wind and kiteboard surfing. Despite all these wonders, usually nobody else is there except you, gazing dreamily at beautiful Maui across the channel. Located at the 20 mile marker, we find more to love about Murphy than any other Hawaii beach. And we’ve seen them all. Many times over.

The Kapoho Pools

The Big Island

Alexander’s Bath

Kauai

Located on Puna’s sunny shore, forty minutes outside Hilo, scores of crystal clear pools at KAPOHO, warmed by the sun and removed from the force of the surf, are a favorite leisure spot in Hawaii. Privacy abounds on weekdays, but weekends can get a little crowded.

Located in the Princeville Resort, Prince Alexander’s Bath is just a minute’s hike past the much larger, more famous, and more visited Queen’s Bath. Alexander’s measures 30 feet by ten feet at its widest, and is a beautiful aquamarine jewel. Posted signs warn against swimming here.

Alexander’s Pool

Maui

Located on West Maui’s North Shore, a short distance from famous surfer’s paradise Honolua Bay,  Lipoa Point’s, Prince Alexander’s Pool is seen here at the center of the photo. The climb down is rough. Cactus lines the way, so  hikers are warned to watch their okole! In any case, summer or winter, low tide or high, the ocean is unpredictable, so whenever walking along Hawaii shores, it is advised that one keep one’s back to the shore and eyes on incoming waves.

Union Street, Honolulu 1870

The tallest landmark in Honolulu was the bell tower of the Honolulu Central Fire Station. All night long a watchman manned the tower, prepared to ring the alarm bell if he spotted a blaze.

Diamond Head

Lighthouse

Green Sand

Beach

Kuhio Beach Park waikiki



The most popular beach park located right in the heart of Waikiki is Kuhio Beach Park, with it’s vivid green coconut palm shaded lawns, streetside water features, fun equipment rentals, offshore surfers, protected kiddie pool, and snack bar. Located directly across from the twin-towered Hyatt Regency Hotel (its courtyard waterfall pictured here), it is steps away from great eating and shopping, and the convenience of the ABC Stores in case you need cheap bottled water, a beach mat, sunscreen or a copy of our Driving & Discovering Oahu (ask for it!).

We’re surprised that at noon lunch hour, when these photos were taken, there is often ample shady breezy seating at the beachside outdoor “bistro” / snack bar.

The beach itself and the water are crowded, but walking five minutes in the direction of Diamond Head brings you to the beautiful beaches of Kapiolani Park, which are far less populated.

Speaking of the park, it had become a homeless campground in recent years, something that never should have been tolerated, and the park was badly trashed. Picnic tables and benches are damaged and destroyed, so for now, it’s not the ideal place for a barbeque, but the park itself is recovering and the city will soon begin rehabbing the abused fixtures, or so it is promised.

A hundred steps west of the park stands Waikiki’s oldest and beautifully-restored Moana Surfrider Hotel (above right.)

LAUPAHOEHOE: Six Months Before Disaster Struck

Because no tsunami within living  memory had ever struck there, the ominous signs were ignored. Laupahoehoe’s schoolchildren -as well as its teachers- were fascinated by the phenomenon of the ocean receding dramatically, leaving hundreds of good-eating fish flopping around, waiting to be scooped up. As the unwary converged on what seemed manna from heaven, all hell broke loose as the tsunami thundered in and killed everyone within reach.

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SOUTH MAUI’S KAUPO STORE is as much artifact museum as a dispensary of refreshments for the thirsty traveler. Shelves display everyday articles from days gone by, including underwear packaging from the 1920s, kitchen supplies, and tools. It’s the only place you’ll be able to grab something to eat for many many desolate miles, so be sure to stop in after visiting Hui Aloha Church.

CHINATOWN

The only way you can really enjoy HONOLULU’S authentic thriving Chinatown is on foot. The area is compact and filled with surprises and oddities. Street parking is limited, restricting you from doing a whole lot due to the limited time that meters allow, so drive around and scope out public parking. Small self-service lots are dotted around Chinatown and most take credit cards as well as cash. Eat at Indigo for glamour and cool, and at Maunakea Marketplace for bargain Asian fare and the freshest produce for your condo-meal prep and picnic outings.

MOLOKAI eats

Kualapu`u Cookhouse 808-567-9655, on your way to the Kalaupapa Lookout, boasts former TOP CHEF contestant Mia Gaines-Alt at the grill. The Cookhouse is Molokai’s most-reviewed and most favorably reviewed restaurant. The baby back ribs, ono, roasted pork and BLT sandwich are all favorites. Slow service, so don’t arrived half-starved.

In Kaunakakai Town, Molokai Burger 808-553-3533 gets great reviews on TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon. Nearby. Sundown Deli , 145 Puali St., (808) 553-3713 offers delicious salads, sandwiches and soups.


Click here to visit our MOLOKAI page.


KiteboardingMaui

Hilo Honoli`i Surfing Beach THE BIG ISLAND

NATURALPOOLS:

Fire Wipes Out Chinatown, Honolulu 1886

The flames burned for three days. The local community, including King Kalakaua, fought the conflagration. The fire destroyed eight blocks, including 7,000 Chinese and 350 Hawaiian homes.

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Kuhio Beach Park

Click images  to see the latest Hawaii T Shirt designs for ALL SIZES from toddlers on up.

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Parker Ranch on Hawaii’s Big Island

Parker Ranch Cattle Roundup & Branding in 1949

Parker Ranch Boss Hartwell Carter 1949

At 130,000 acres, Parker Ranch is still Hawaii’s biggest cattle ranch and 5th largest in the US. The video to the right will give a good idea of modern methods which are not all that different to the way things were done in 1949, as the photos below from our private collection show. Located in the cool green upcountry of Waimea, the Ranch makes for a fascinating visit. Go to Parker Ranch’s Website for details.

The End Of The Rainbow

Find Your Way Around, Beautifully, And Bigly :

Every Photo is Indicated On An Adjoining Map So There’s No Mystery About What You’ll Encounter Up Ahead.

LET’S BE REALISTIC

No guidebook author can stay in every hotel and eat in every restaurant every year. And anyway, reviews are just ONE man’s opinion. Reviews -- isn’t that what we have the INTERNET is for? This is why Driving & Discovering Oahu doesn’t review.

WHAT WE DO do is GUIDE you to all of Hawaii’s SPECTACULAR BEAUTY via GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHY and BIG, EASY-TO-READ DRIVING MAPS --- beauty you traveled all the way to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to see and experience. When planning an unforgettable adventure, LARGE, AWARD-WINNING, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS and MAPS beat out the MINI variety every time.

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Spectacular Volcano Videography

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Budget Rent A Car Hawaii, The Honolulu Mayor’s Office, The Oahu Film Office, Magazine House Japan, and Marriott Hotels Hawaii have all ordered custom versions of Driving & Discovering Hawaii Books to provide to their clients and customers.  In addition to American Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau, we couldn’t ask for higher validation than that.

Radar Discovers Onomea On The Big Island

Radar, the Best Dog On The Planet, cools off at a roadside cascade on the beautiful 4-mile long Onomea Drive just outside Hilo. He patently accompanies his human on a photo safari, the company moderately tolerable due only to the delicious mango smoothie that awaits at road’s end at What’s Shakin” in Pepeekeo