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Hawaii dentist: How to pair family vacation with annual meeting

August 03, 2018

By David Burger

Photo of family surfing in ocean
Honolulu — ADA 2018 – America's Dental Meeting here will offer world-class continuing education, an exhibit hall and plenty of opportunities to network with fellow dentists.

But that's not all.

The annual meeting also offers dental professionals the chance to soak up the sun on Oahu with their families. Many dentists are planning trips with their significant others and children to Hawaii both before and after the meeting to enjoy one of the world's most desirable vacation spots.

Rock band Def Leppard will perform at the Waikiki Shell Oct. 20-21, but if you don't want to hear their classic album "Hysteria" in its entirety with your kids, there are plenty of other things to do once in Oahu.
Photo of Dr. Holliday
Dr. Holliday

Dr. Sean Holliday, Hawaii dentist and trustee of the Hawaii Dental Association, has three daughters ranging from 8 to 13. He talked to the ADA News about some of his family's favorite activities and attractions on Oahu that go beyond experiencing shave — not shaved — ice.

  • On the top of Dr. Holliday's list is the Polynesian Cultural Center, 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie. This attraction, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, features villages and exhibits representing the island cultures of Hawaii and includes lavish luaus. "This is a must-visit," Dr. Holliday said. "There's a good mix of everything." He added that all visitors should stay for "Breath of Life," an evening show featuring more than 100 Polynesian natives.
  • Another top attraction that offers interactive activities for children is the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, Dr. Holliday said. Billed as Hawaii's largest museum dedicated to studying and preserving the history of the state and the Pacific, the museum features, among other things, the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium.
  • The Dole Plantation, 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, is "great fun for young kids," Dr. Holliday said. Originally operated as a fruit stand in 1950, the Dole Plantation opened to the public in the 1980s as Hawaii's "Pineapple Experience," featuring the Pineapple Express Train Tour, the Plantation Garden Tour, the Pineapple Garden Maze, and the world-famous DoleWhip, a pineapple-flavored soft-serve frozen dessert.
  • The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is appropriate for families, Dr. Holliday said. "It's an amazing place to visit," he said. "It's a very humbling experience." Built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, this is the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on Dec. 7, 1941, when their ship was bombed by the Japanese Naval Forces. There are free tours to the memorial every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., which includes a 23-minute documentary on the history of the politics, people and attack on Oahu. The movie and boat tour to the USS Arizona take about 75 minutes.
  • Dr. Holliday recommended the Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe, one of the world's most famous private nature preserves, with 4,000 acres of tropical beauty as well as ziplines and ATV and boat tours. "It's a lot of fun," the dentist said. The ranch also provides a chance to experience Secret Island Beach, Dr. Holliday said, a beautiful private beach with kayaking, paddleboats, beach volleyball and more.
  • ADA 2018 Annual MeetingCoral Crater Adventure Park, 91-1780 Midway St., Kapolei, is hidden but worthwhile, Dr. Holliday said, with fun-for-the-whole-family activities including a 25-mph zipline, off-road ATVing and a king swing.
  • Not to be forgotten is Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, said Dr. Holliday. "It's a lot of fun for younger kids," especially the ever-popular Character Brunch, on the beaches of Ko Olina on the leeward coast of Oahu.
  • Hiking is one of the Holliday family's favorite activities, including trekking Diamond Head, the Koko Crater and the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. All trailheads are available by Googling the name of the trail.
  • Beaches are on any guest's itinerary, and Dr. Holliday recommended going to "incredible" beaches on the windward coast and North Shore of Oahu. Some of his favorite beaches include Sandy Beach (on the South Shore), Lanikai Beach (on the windward coast) and Sunset Beach (North Shore).
  • Dr. Holliday recommended three favorite places to eat while in Honolulu: Highway Inn Kakaako, 680 Ala Moana Blvd.; Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar & Grill, 559 Kapahulu Ave; and Yama's Fish Market, 2332 Young St. are among "the best places for Hawaiian and local food," Dr. Holliday said.

In addition to Dr. Holliday's recommendations, the ADA and Hawaii Convention Center will offer an annual meeting booth sponsored by the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, where dentists and their families can purchase native trees to Hawaii and go on a tour to a nature preserve on the North Shore to plant it. For more information, visit houses a special site that features ideas on how to experience Hawaii on vacation. In addition, the ADA has contracted reduced rates with multiple hotels on Oahu exclusively for annual meeting attendees. The ADA 2018 registration site allows attendees to make hotel reservations.

Registration for ADA 2018 is open, and children under 18 are free to register. To register or learn more, visit