Updated: Oct 31, 2018
Damon Young, a computer Systems Administrator, got tired of dreaming of palm trees and ocean surf... So he actually moved his family to Ewa Beach, HI.
See it on the map? Just west of Honolulu? Say it with me - "what a lucky bugger!"
But was it really luck? Nope. He planned the travel, and travelled the plan, just in a more permanent sense than we typically discuss here. After two years of life in paradise, he's ready to share some insider tips with YOU!
Marion K Travels: Hey, Damon! Thanks so much for sharing your insider tips with us. Let's start by finding out... What is your town known for, and when is the best time of year to visit?
It’s HOT! As is all of West Oahu. It is hotter in summer and fall, and can be rainy (but still warm!) in January. If I had to choose one thing that's special about Ewa Beach, it would be Golf, there are 10+ golf courses in or bordering my town. And it's Hawaii, so anytime is a good time to visit!
Marion K Travels: What is your favorite affordable place to eat? And since you know my limitations... Can they accommodate gluten free eating?
Damon: Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering is amazing. I'm not sure if they have specifically Gluten-free dishes, but you can get raw fish and Poke. The most common carbs /starch served there is rice so overall I think it should be GF friendly. Oh, and this is not a restaurant, it is only food to go. So get your food, then drive to the beach and have a picnic! Yum!
Marion K Travels: What's your area's most unique event?
Damon: Roy Sakuma Ukulele Festival, which is in Honolulu the last weekend in July.
Marion K Travels: Where do you go when you want to splurge?
Marion K Travels: Ah, live music - a favorite of yours and mine too! In and around Ewa Beach, what's our best bet for fantastic live music besides Monkeypod Kitchen?
Damon: If you head over to Honolulu's Waikiki Beach, visit Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef Hotel for free live music every night.
Marion K Travels: My very favorite category - what's free and fantastic?
Damon: The beach, of course! I recommend Electric Beach / Kahe Point. It's not crowded, has easy parking, and good visibility for snorkeling/diving.
Marion K Travels: I know there's a lot to choose from where you live, but what's a lesser-known but wonderful outdoor feature?
Damon: Well there is beauty everywhere but one thing that few visitors will ever see is the Royal Birthing Stones at Kukaniloko. It is a clearing where the ancient rulers, or Ali`I, would go to give birth. There are several stones with petroglyphs and some are carved into rudimentary “seats” designed to support the mother and child at time of delivery. It is about a half hour drive up Kunia Road from Ewa Beach. It is a beautiful view and a powerful experience.
Marion K Travels: Say I come to visit you. Where would you take me to pick up a unique souvenir or gift that characterizes your area?
Damon: The Aloha Stadium Swap meet is the best place to go to load up on “Hawaiian” stuff to take home for friends. Ironically enough, so is Wal-Mart!
Marion K Travels: How about something fun and physical we could do? At a certain point in a trip, I just need to get my blood moving!
Damon: There is plenty of hiking on Oahu, for all levels, if you want to do something other than swim, snorkel or sunbathe. The Hawaii state website is a thorough resource.
Marion K Travels: Although I plan on crashing with you when I visit (nudge nudge), what's the place where you would want to stay if you were visiting?
Damon: If you want to stay cheap, Waikiki has the most hotels so finding a deal is easier. I recommend Outrigger and Aston chains for price vs. quality. On the west side where I live hotels are kind of pricey, but the JW Mariott Ihilani resort is WONDERFUL. The West side also has Aulani, the new Disney resort. Neat, but overpriced for what you get in my opinion, and the food is mediocre.
Marion K Travels: Thanks so much, Damon! I hope that some of our readers are able to take advantage of your tips sometime soon. I hope I can, too!
Hey folks, if you'd be interested in talking about YOUR town, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org