Beaches / Coastlines, Oahu
This is a great white sandy beach near the Sea Life Park on the southern tip of the Koolau Mountain Range, you will have to take a bus from Wakiki. While not exactly off the beaten path , it was nice and quiet
and the you can get away from the crowd at Wakiki.
If you really want to enjoy the natural beauty of Oahu's shoreline, head well further north from the city center. Take Route 83 all the way upto the North Shores where there are very few crowds. The beaches are not as shallow and tame like the ones near the city and so a bit of caution is absolutely required. As these places are far off and less traveled, if you are staying late, resist the temptation to swim after sunset since the currents are stronger and there will be hardly anyone to hear your pleas for help if one is required.
Just a closer look at China Man's Hat, and Kaneohe Bay, where i grew up. Make sure you have a lot of film, or memory card space when making the drive along the windward coast towards the North Shore. Beautiful shots await you around every corner.
Hanaumu Bay is a wide and sheltered bay is set in a rugged volcanic ring on the south eastern side of Oahu. The water is the most gorgeous sapphire and turquoise colour. A great area for snorkelling amongst the coral and marine life.
Ala Moana Beach Park.
It's across the street from the Ala Moana Mall and is a favorite beach of locals and a good summer surf spot. I did a lot of swimming here to train for triathlons.
Families has elaborate cookouts and parties here every weekend and it's hard to find parking sometimes. Not as popular as waikiki, but definitely a great place to chill out and catch some rays.
There are showers, bathrooms and picnic facilities here.
The water is great for all ages because it is calm and has a gradual drop off to deeper water.
There can be strong undercurrents, swift tidal changes. There may be sharp coral, jagged rocks and wave action near the reef area. Absolutely aviod swimming in the boat channels on either side of the beach park.
Bellows Beach Park
41-043 Kalanianaole Highway
It's adjacent to Bellows Airforce base on the windward side. Non military can go to the beach park
It's a great place to hang out at the beach and offers campgrounds as well. My wife and I spent a night camping on the beach. It's super romantic to enjoy a night or two together listening to the waves come in on a moonlight night. You can also.....use your imagination, work with me here :)
If you are military you can reserve on the Air Force Base at this website: http://www.bellowsafs.com/
I heard that there were a limited number of beach passes to the Turtle Bay Resort. I went early enough to receive one. I wasn't interested in the beach at the resort (nice but crowded) and proceeded to travel east along the beach parallel to the golf course. Eventually I passed the resort and found myself on an endless beach with almost no one there. As I walked along for nearly an hour and a half, I saw turtles, various birds, 4 fishermen, a family picnic, and endless sand dunes and beach. The water was pristine and warm as I waded in. I had my picnic and enjoyed a day of laying in the sun. It was hard to believe that I was on the busy island of Oahu.
For a quiet, isolated moment in time, Kahuku Beach was a treasure. July, 2011.
The Toilet Bowl, sometime referred to as "The Queens Toilet Bowl" is a naturally pool that fills up through a lava tube when the water rushes in through the tube connected to the ocean and flushes out quickly. It is quite a ride as you go up and down with the flushing motion. However this gem, little know to tourist is difficult to get out of it as it is deep and slippery. You have to time your exit to the water entering and rising to the top of the "bowl".
The locals know and love this fun water ride. There are other cracks and crevices in the surrounding lava that lead underwater and out to the ocean. These passages are barely big enough to fit a human body. Adventurous locals will slip into these cracks head first, disappear under the ground and pop up 30 seconds or so later in the channel to the ocean. This is very dangerous, but a thrill for some locals who know the way.
The best route to the toilet bowl is around the left side of the crater at Hanauma Bay. The walk out around the edge to get to the toilet bowel is breath taking, as you have a very scenic view of the ocean and waves crashing along the shore line. There is some minor climbing over rocks. Be aware of the tide! When hide tide comes in this path is covered with water that slowly recedes at low tide. On occasion Hanauma Bay Park closes this pathway, that is not marked to begin with. For the daring there are other ways to get there via climbing down or around the other side of the mountain.
I truly enjoy being in the Oahu Hawaii. Waikiki can give you a false image as it is city 24/7. I love being able to get away from the noise and crowds.
I visit family. My cousins live all over the island. Yet sitting on my cousin's generous lanai and looking out at the native greenery I could be in the Philippine Islands. The fragrances, the feel of Oahu is hypnotic and refreshing. Relaxation is what it is all about for me.
Making contact with the island satisfies me even while it stimulates the inner Islander that lies dormant when I am at home in Cottage Grove.
If you are at all the independent traveler type, rent a car one day and check out the rest of the island...you know, the parts where people actually live. Just don't gawk or embarrass us mainlanders in any other way :) Some really nice, uncrowded beaches away from Honolulu...
North West of Honolulu along HWY 93 across the highway from the power plant. There are limited accommodations and the beach is actually fairly small. We did see numerous skin divers, sea turtles and even a seal while we were there. There are dive boats that frequent the area for the underwater adventurer.
The ocean cut a cave into the side of the cliff and there are some amazing rock formations to see inside. Met a local who had the day off and was having a day to connect with the sea. Bring a picnic and plenty of bottled water if you are going to be there for a while. Be respectful too, there are memorials to locals along the cliffs edge. Pay your respects and try to appreciate the beauty of the place.
The handy man at our rental told us about this place. The name is definitely scarier than experience. This is a shallow pool that is filled by waves crashing over the rocks. Be careful on the rocks they are very sharp and you will be cut if you fall on them.
Make sure you have dive boots or aqua socks if you come here. If it is low tide the rocks are just inches under the water. Walking on the rocks is really the only solution if you need to about. There are many small fish, urchins and other aquatic life here. The kids will have a blast snorkeling here.
For more experienced snorkelers the deeper water can be a challenge. The currents are strong near the inlets. This is also where you will find some of the larger fish.
There are restrooms and showers available here but parking is limited. You may need to try a few times before you find a place. Make sure you lock your stuff up. I did see some locals checking out the cars for smash and grabs.
Laie Point also offers a great view of Windward Oahu, not often seen by visitors to the island. Here Margaret and Nadine try to compete with the view.
Just across from Kualoa Ranch are some great areas to pull over and get some great shots of China Man's Hat, and the Windward side of Oahu. It doesnt get much nicer then this...
Saw some turtles along the shore when we were coming in from surfing and ended up spending the morning with them.