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Travel Packages

Travel Packages

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Fan Travel Packages now Available!

Call Pleasant Holidays at 1-800-877-5223 

Book Now Here

On the island of Oahu, learn to ride the waves in Waikiki where surfing was born or catch a big-wave surf meet on Oahu’s famed North Shore. Between sunrise and sunset, you’ll have hours to explore the hottest farm to table restaurants, browse the latest designer and local fashions, check out the urban art scene in Chinatown or stroll into Hawaii’s history at Iolani Palace. When the sun goes down, the “Heartbeat of Hawaii” awakens to a new beat, and it’s time to put on your dancing shoes.

Land Package Inclusions:

  • Round-trip shared airport transfers
  • Five nights’ hotel accommodations
  • Round trip game day transfers from hotel to Stan Sheriff Center
  • Game tickets for all sessions (12/22, 12/23 & 12/25)
  • All applicable taxes

Land Package Cost (per person rate):

Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
Category Duration Double Occupancy
City View Rooms 5 nights $1,000
Partial Ocean View 5 nights $1,150
Ocean View 5 nights $1,300
Outrigger Reef on the Beach
Category Duration Double Occupancy
City View Rooms 5 nights $1,035
Partial Ocean View 5 nights $1,185
Ocean View 5 nights $1,340
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Travel Tips

Tips for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Traveler

So you want to watch some college basketball in an island paradise this Christmas. What more could you ask for than to find out that your favorite hoops team will spend the holidays at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu? When Santa needs a respite from all that global travel, O’ahu is the first place he heads for, while Mickey Mouse has been known to spend some island time here, too.

The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, a 12-game tournament Dec. 22, 23 & 25 at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center, lights up the holiday season with threes to go with those twinkling palm trees swaying in the trade winds. With average temperatures here from the mid-70s to barely the mid-80s, the family spending time in Honolulu at this time of year is the best remedy for the winter blues. Bring good hiking shoes – rain forests, waterfalls, and craters are just a few of the reasons you should – and sunscreen. Don’t forget swimsuits and sandals. Snorkel gear? If you can, certainly bring it. Just tuck it under your team-spirit basketball jersey.

Humbling tribute, hallowed ground:

No trip to Honolulu can be had without a visit to the USS Arizona/World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. O’ahu is dotted with many an historic military memorial – including the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where more than 25,000 lost in three American wars now rest – but none hold such a powerful testament to the lives sacrificed for our nation as the site of the Pearl Harbor bombing.

Visitors to the center, which honors the 1,177 lives lost Dec. 7, 1941, regularly describe the experience as emotionally powerful, and many leave behind their tears in memoriam. The sunken USS Arizona is the center of the memorial, and, waving in honor of the ship and her crew, the United States flag flies from the fallen vessel’s own flagpole. Some of those who survived the Japanese bomber attacks on nearly 200 ships and other outlets still visit the monument. Some volunteer there. But, as they all move toward the centennial mark in age, their numbers continue to diminish. Nonetheless, the monument is the single-most recommended site to visit in Honolulu.

Living, breathing landmark

After a few games at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the University of Hawaii offers a diverse selection of more adventures around and near campus, including the Lyon Arboretum. With more than 5,000 plant species within a rainforest zone and one of the world’s most impressive collections of palms, this is a thriving world-class research facility and educational center.

It boasts seven miles of hiking trails and a dozen gardens, including the Children’s Garden, the Herb and Spice Garden and an ethnobotanical garden, all of which visitors can enjoy. One of the more unique events to take place in the arboretum is the Albizia tree removal that will continue through the winter. Because the Albizia often suffers catastrophic limb loss during high winds and severe weather, a dozen or more of the rapid-growth, weak-wood trees must be removed from the arboretum. Damage to these invasive, non-native trees would also risk surrounding vegetation, much of which is either rare or endangered. One-hour guided tours, especially delightful during the holidays, help visitors learn about how this benchmark habitat contributes to worldwide conservation biology, medical research, maintenance of rare plant species, and the impact of environment on animal species such as birds and insects.

Basketball and volcanoes, oh my

If you’re wondering about the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic’s namesake, it’s that 350-acre crater-sized, well, crater, on the southern tip of Honolulu. Those prone to phobias, beware: The hike to the top of the Diamond Head Crater, which runners and joggers regularly traverse with ease, includes a squeeze through a (lighted) tunnel that is said to be barely wide enough for two average-sized humans.

However, the resulting stand at the summit offers perhaps the best possible photo op in all of Honolulu. Not far down the road lies the Koko Crater Trail, which offers a slightly more challenging hike and a higher summit: 1,200 feet to Diamond Head’s 761. Because both craters are immensely popular tourist attractions, it is recommended that families enjoy this hike as early in the day as possible – which also helps in avoiding the full heat of the island sun later in the day.

Go ahead, go chasing waterfalls

Just a jog away from the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at Stan Sheriff Center is Manoa Falls, a beautiful waterfall with an easily accessible hiking trail. The walk up the mountain to view the 150-foot waterfall takes about 45 minutes for the novice hiker.

It’s an excellent spot for a Kodak moment. Because the waterfall is within the rain forest zone, some rain is likely, and it is recommended that hikers wear appropriate shoes and bring insect repellant. And, for the curious: No, the water in Manoa Falls’ pool isn’t safe for swimming in or drinking. On the northwest side of O’ahu, in the Waimea Valley, guided tours are available for hiking to Waimea Falls. For the truly adventurous, one-hour helicopter tours will take visitors across O’ahu to discover hidden waterfalls and lush rain forest landscapes, sugar plantations and volcanoes and craters from overhead – the best possible view of mighty Diamond Head.

Fish at your feet

If you can manage packing a snorkel and fins in your luggage, don’t hesitate. Nothing beats walking out the front door of your hotel and straight into the calm coastal shore waters of Honolulu for an impromptu – and free – swim with the fishes.

With the beach not far from any Honolulu hotel where Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic fans might stay, grabbing the goggles and hitting the water for a 30-minute snorkel every morning is easy to work into the schedule. Kaimana Beach is a quick walk from the Outrigger Waikiki, and is known to be more of a local spot, quieter than the bustling Waikiki Beach. On Christmas Eve, with the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic teams taking a break to enjoy the island holiday atmosphere, a quick drive or bus ride due east to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve might be in order – visitors rave about the snorkeling there. The restoration and preservation of this amazing nature preserve has been painstaking through the past 20-plus years, and the education center at Hanauma encourages visitors to become advocates of keeping the bay and its resources pristine. Kids and families can snorkel amid the live coral with a waterproof identification chart, so they can readily recognize honu (green sea turtles, considered good luck), triggerfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, hawkfish, squid, octopus, and even sea cucumber. Fees are $7.50 per person for non-Hawaii residents, though the fee is waived for children 12 and younger. The park is closed on Tuesdays. Get there early – once the relatively moderate-sized parking lot fills, the park permits no more cars, thus helping maintain and protect Hawaii’s first Marine Life Conservation District.

It’s OK to be a tourist

If you bring the whole family to the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, you won’t run out of things to keep the Keiki (kids) happy. Especially during the holiday season. Not far from the Stan Sheriff Center, the Children’s Discovery Center offers plenty of sensory overload for the little ones and is free of charge.

Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium serve up hours of animal fun for a relatively small fee. Family photo opportunities are a sure thing at the world-famous statue of King Kamehameha, as well as the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of international surfing. Kahanamoku’s statue is also the location for the start of the nightly Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting ceremony, which kicks off with a traditional conch-blowing and includes a hula show. Fun for the whole family.

It’s all in the hips

If you’re in Honolulu, you’re going to want to experience a luau. Let’s face it, it’s a must. Like steel drums in a Caribbean nation, the luau and the hula dance introduce visitors to the Polynesian heritage that makes Hawaii’s history and traditions so remarkably diverse.

The traditional luau begins with Polynesian music and a cocktail hour during which guests often can watch and learn how leis are made. As sunset nears, the whole hog (now you know where the phrase comes from) prepared for the luau feast is unearthed from the traditional underground oven, an imu, in an elaborate ceremony as guests look on. The typical luau feast includes a bounty of meats and amazingly fresh seafood in addition to the hog, along with plenty of pineapple, papaya and other fresh fruit, and, yes, poi – that curious concoction of taro root puree about which you’ve heard so much. If you like hummus, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll be just fine with poi. Finally, as twilight settles in, the musicians and hula dancers take their guests on a mesmerizing journey through dance and tribal music that illustrate the cultures of all the Polynesian islands that helped form Hawaiian culture. Many luaus also include a traditional fire knife ceremony, easily a favorite with the kids, along with basic hula steps that guests are invited, or recruited, to try. It’s hard – truly difficult – to go wrong with a luau. At the nightly Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting ceremony at sunset, the hula show is free.

A whale of a good time

Just when you think more fun can’t be had in Honolulu – you’ve been watching top-notch college basketball all week at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, during the holidays, under starlit skies and with trade-wind breezes – an opportunity comes along that is too good to pass up.

Whale watching and marine life exploration are primo in O’ahu. Whale-watching cruises can be booked for mornings, and some cruises include dinner and a hula show. Whale-watching season regularly runs from December to March. Some eco-tourism companies offer underwater viewing via glass-bottom boats, followed by snorkeling, or whale watching from the surface and below it (via the glass-bottom boat). With an indelible bond to the sea and its strength, Hawaiian culture and mythology is intertwined with marine animals – the Hawaiian honu, or green sea turtle, is a symbol of wisdom and good luck, considered a guardian spirit. Seeing these majestic animals, whether it be honu, kohola (whale), nai’a (dolphin) or I’a (fish), during your time in Honolulu is somehow transcendent, a more soulful experience than any you might find on the “mainland.”

Don’t poke at your poke:

If you see the word “poke” on a menu here and you think about childhood fights and jabbing your finger into your little brother’s shoulder, you’re doing it wrong. In Hawaii, “poke,” the food, is pronounced “POH-kay,” and it’s a delicacy not to be missed.

As it has across the country, the foodie scene has erupted here, too, and poke is one of the local favorites you’ll be urged to try. It’s a cousin of ceviche. Think of it as a sushi salad of sorts. Nowadays, poke consists of chopped raw fish, such as ahi tuna, octopus or salmon, marinated in salt, sesame oil, soy sauce and sometimes wasabi, then mixed with salad fixings such as Maui onion, seaweed and/or chile peppers. With world-renowned fresh seafood on hand at every corner of O’ahu, this inspiring dish is worth a taste. And, while exploring Honolulu’s food scene, be sure to check out the farmer’s markets, bursting with endless varieties of every international food you can imagine, as well as the city’s own Chinatown. On the North Shore, a garlic shrimp plate at a food truck is a must. Finding a good recommendation for a traditional Hawaiian lunch plate is also seriously suggested.