The Best Hawaii Guidebooks in My Opinion; Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Big Island

Plan Your Best Vacation to Oahu Ever - Where to Stay and What to Do On Oahu

Plan Your Best Vacation to Oahu Ever - Where to Stay and What to Do On Oahu - one of my guide books

I have an absolute favorite Hawaii GuideBook series and it is the Hawaii Revealed Series (link is to the Hawaii Revealed books at Amazon). I like these guidebooks because the author’s pull no punches. There is no vague, travel magazine-speak about nothing. The books are filled with their honest opinions based on their actual experiences. I love that. That’s what I try to do with my websites.

One of the best things about the books is the aerial pictures of the hotels, which you can see at their website. Another awesome things about their books is that the authors have actually eaten at every restaurant, done every activity, and stayed at every hotel they review. It’s 100% evident in the way they talk in the book. Not too many guidebooks can say that.

I have each of these books for each island. If I am going traveling around Hawaii, I take these books – and I’ve lived in Hawaii for 14 years. I’ve written a review for each of the individual Hawaii Revealed Guidebooks here, if you are interested.

I also like to recommend my books of course. Mine are free, only digital, and are more like mini guides or ebooklets. They are all available here: http://www.hawaii-lisa.com/answers/hawaii-guide-book/. There is one for The Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and then four general books, one about saving money, one about getting married in Hawaii, one for first timers, and one about Island Hopping.

I do have a second favorite paper book, and that is the Hawaii Trailblazer Books . I have personally spoken with the authors. They are nice people and they write solid books with good information. If you are an active person who likes to hike, swim, snorkel, and surf (or take lessons), these books are a good choice for you.

I’d love to know your favorites or which books you have bought and like the best. Leave me a comment. thanks!

Complete Oahu Vacation Planning Made Easy – Oahu Revealed Review

July 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Hawaii Revealed Guides, Oahu, Vacation Planning 

The book Oahu Revealed The Ulimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki, and Beyond is, in my opinion, one of the best guides online or off to the island of Oahu. I like all the Hawaii Revealed books a lot. This was the last one to come out and I eagerly anticipated it – it was worth the wait. Here’s a quote from the book to give you an idea of where the authors are coming from:

Oahu: land of myths. We’re not talking about ancient Hawaiian myths. We’re talking about the myths that exist about the island, both from visitors and those that live on neighbor islands (including us before we moved here to do this book). The biggest myth is that Oahu is Waikiki and Waikiki is Oahu. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Oahu has all the wonder, adventure, and discovery that a person could ever ask for – and far more.

We’ve had to deviate from our usual way of doing things for this Oahu book. Put simply, this island is so vast, so dense and so full of choices that its impossible to be fully comprehensive. If we were you’d never be able to lift this book. So instead, we’ve chosen to show you those things that we think make Oahu special. …

The most incredible thing about the book, as with all the books, is the hotel review section where they include aerial pictures of every hotel they review – so you can see exactly where your hotel or building is in relation to the ocean or the mountain or something you might not want to be so close to!

The book is filled with pretty and interesting pictures that really point you in the direction of what YOU might find the most interesting. There is so much to do on Oahu that you aren’t going to get to do it all, so a bit of planning can go a long way.

Of course the book covers Waikiki and Honolulu sights, then it moves on to East Oahu and talks about the coastal route to Kailua, Kailua, and Kaneohe, then it goes on to North Shore sights and talks about what’s best to see and o in Kualoa, Hakan Bay, Laie, Kahuku, turtle bay, Waimea Bay, Haleiwa, and the off road areas of the north shore. Then on to Waianae and Central Oahu – as in Wahiawa, Mt Kaala, Pearl Harbor, Ewa Beach, Kalaeloa and Barbers Point, Waianae and Makaha.

Under attractions, it covers the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaiian Waters, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo, Iolani Palace, Punchbowl, Hawaii Maritime Center, Chinatown, Hawaii’s Plantation Village, Bishop Museum, Sea Life Park, Military History, Garden Tours, and Doris Duke’s Shangri La.

It covers beaches too – talking about how to get to them, what they are like, what activities can be done there, how clean and crowded they are. Beaches covered are: Yokohama Bay-Keawa’ula, Makua Beach-Kaena Point State Park, Ohiki-lolo Beach, Keaau Beach, Makaha Beach, Papaoneone Beach, Mauna Lahilahi Beach, Pokai Beach, Maili Beach, Ulehawa Beach, Nanakulu Beach, Electric Beach, Ko Olina Lagoons, Nimitz Beach, Oneula beach, Ewa beach, Keehi Beach Park, Sand Island, Kakaako, Ala Moana, Magic Island, Waikiki, Kaluahole – Makalei, Diamond Head Beach and Kuilei Cliffs, Kaalawai Beach, kahala Beach, Waialae Beach, Wailupe Beach,Kawaikui Beach, Maunalua Bay, Hanauma Bay, Halona Cove, Sandy Beach, Makapuu Beach, Kaupo Beach, Kaiona Beach, Waimanalo Beach and Bay, Bellows Beach, Lanikau, Kailua, Kualoa Beach Park, Kualoa Sugar Mill Beach, Kaaawa Beach, Swanzy Beach, Makaua, Kahana, Punaluu, Makao, Hauula, Kokololio, Laie Beach – Pounders, Laniloa, Hikilau, Goat Island, Malaekahana, Kahuku, Kuilima, Turtle Bay, Kawela Bay, Waialee Beach, Sunset Beach, Ehukai Beach, Pupukea Beach park – Sharks Cove – Three Tables – Waimea Bay, Chun’s reef, Turtle Beach, Haleiwa Beach, Mokuleaiea Beach, and Hidden Beach.

Whew, that’s a lot of beaches on one island.

After that, the book goes on to review or talk about just about every activity available and how to do it. This book is really complete. Buy it – you won’t be sorry.

Maui Vacation Planning Can Be Easy – Maui Revealed Review

July 16, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Hawaii Revealed Guides, Maui, Vacation Planning 

The Maui Revealed Book is truly the ultimate guide to Maui. I have the Revealed Guidebook for every island, and I’ve lived here for well over a decade. The two authors must do nothing but circle the islands over and over again, staying at every hotel, doing every activity, and visiting every beach, waterfall, and hiking trail. They even have aerial pictures of hotels and condos so you can see exactly how close they are to the ocean (or how far they are).

The book explains and has maps and directions to practically every single thing on the island that you might want to do or see. It actually was quite controversial a few years back becuase it told the truth about when land was state land or otherwise open to the public and some locals took exception to some things being shared with visitors.

The book opens with sights: West Maui Sights: stuff to see in Maalaea, Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua. Central Maui Sights: things to do and see in Wailuku, Kahului, the valley of sugar, and Pa’ia, plus shopping and ‘best bets’. Then Hana Highway Sights: answering questions like ‘can a rental car go all the way?’, where are the waterfalls? where is the red sand beach, and where to eat in Hana.

Then there are the southeast Maui Sights: like Kipahulu, Oheo Gulch (7 sacred pools), pipiwai trail, and past the park. Then is Haleakala and upcountry, then South Maui: Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Molokini, and La Perouse Bay.

Then the book talks about Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Molokai.

The next sections are Beaches, Activities, Adventures, Island dining, and Where to Stay. This is one book that truly has everything.

Here’s a particularly telling quote from the book introduction:

We hike the trails, ride the boats, eat in the restaurants, explore the reefs, and do the things we write about.It takes us one to two YEARS, full time, to do a first edition book, and we visit places anonymously.

We recognize the effort people go through to visit Maui, and our goal is to expose you to as many options as possible so you can decide what you want to see and do. We took great pains to structure this book in such a way that it will be fun, easy reading and loaded with useful information.

So, that’s the kind of attitude I want in MY guidebook writers! Buy the book here: Maui Revealed – The Ultimate Maui Guidebook if you agree 🙂

Kauai Vacation Planning Made Easy – Kauai Revealed Review

The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook – Kauai Revealed is truly a work of art when it comes to appreciating and revealing the beauty and joy awaiting you on your vacation to Kauai. There is an ultimate guidebook for each of the major islands, written by the same authors, and they are all fabulous. I have lived here for over a decade and I have each one. I don’t even go to the other side of my island without bringing my book.

Here’s some quotes from the book that will give you some idea of what kind of a guide and planner this is:

In a sense, this is not a guidebook, it’s more of a love story. We first came to Kauai as tourists and were immeidately smitten. We had no idea that a place like this could exist anywhere in the world. Now as residents, we marvel at its beauty every day.

Our objective in writing this book is to assist you in finding the bliss that can accompany a Kauai visit. We recognize the effort people go through to visit here, and our goal is to expose you to every option imaginable so you can decide what you want to see and do.

So, the book begins, after an introduction and ‘the basics’, with sights – North Shore sights: in Anahola, Kilauea, Kalihiwai, Princeville, Hanalei, and Ha’ena. Then, East Shore Sights – Wailua-Kapa’a, and Lihue. South Shore sights: Koloa, Poipu, and Kalaheo. West Shore Sights: Hanapepe, Waimea, Kekaha, Polihale, and Waimea Canyon.

The next section is Beaches, then Activities, Adventures, Island dining, and Where to Stay. This book truly encompasses virtually everything you would want to know about Kauai.

Here’s an example of the stellar – and completely unique – advice available on every single attraction they talk about:

The dunes of Polihale are famous throughout the islands. The beach averages 300 feet wide, and the dunes can get up to 100 feet hight. Walking down a dune like that can be fun; walking up is a monster. Better to walk around unless you are training for the Ironman Triathlon. Locals drive their 4WD vehicles right on to the beach. If you try it, be aware that there is no AAA on the island, and you are a LONG way from Lihue. …

So get the book: The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook – Kauai Revealed – It may be the best thing you do for your vacation!

SuperCharge your Big Island of Hawaii Vacation Planning; Hawaii Big Island Revealed Review

If you are planning a trip to the Big Island I highly recommend you get the book Hawaii the Big Island Revealed

I have lived in Hawaii for well over a decade, I’ve done just about every activity and hike I care to do, and I still refer to this book when someone asks me something I’m not sure about or just don’t know. I have each one they wrote. I don’t know who the authors are personally, but I have talked with many businesses and hear how they have been ‘shopped’ by the authors.

The authors don’t put their pictures on the book and they don’t talk about who they are. When they go to research an activity or hotel they don’t try to get a free room or good service, they try to be treated like anybody else so they can give honest, accurate reports on just about everything there is to do on every island. They are even funny. And they are, really, brutally honest. If something is a dump they call it a dump. If something really rung their bells, you can tell.

The book is broken down well in categories like Activities and Adventures and Beaches and also by location. The index is very thorough. There are lots of spectacular pictures and area maps and complete driving directions. AND, maybe best of all, they provide aerial pictures of the hotels showing how close (or not) the hotel is to the ocean and which building is which (so you can request what building you want to have a room in).

Get the book, you will not regret it. Hawaii the Big Island Revealed