Unique Places in Oahu

  • Endangered monk seal rests on the beach
    Endangered monk seal rests on the beach
    by AKtravelers
  • Beaches / Coastlines
    by AKtravelers
  • Waikiki
    by cjg1

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Oahu

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    Go West -- to Kaena Point

    by AKtravelers Updated Jan 19, 2014

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    Kaena point is the far western tip of Oahu, and it is one of the few truly wild places left on the island. At the very tip lies a wildlife refuge where monk seals relax and albatrosses nest from November through January. You can still see indigenous plants atop the ecosystem and watch the waves erode old lava formations. As you look back towards whence you came, you can view both the Wainaie Coast and the North Shore in the same glance. And you'll be mostly alone. This is even more true for me than normal -- as dogs are not allowed in the protected albatross breeding grounds.
    To get there, you have to park your vehicle (make sure you leave NOTHING valuable in it) and walk two miles. This is true whether you start your hike at the end of the Farrington Highway on the Wainaie Coast or the end of the Farrington Highway coming from Haliewa. You can make it to the point from either spot and we've done it both ways.
    The Wainaie route is more rugged, with more dramatic peaks and a sharper shore, to include sea arches. THe North Shore route is more beautiful, with a more interesting shore line and an easier walk. Neither side is pristine -- both come littered with garbage until you get to the wildlife refuge an hour into your hike -- and neither side has shade. From either point do the hike early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid becoming a charcoal briquet.

    Looking down two coasts at once: Waianae on right Kaena Point, Oahu's far western end Endangered monk seal rests on the beach Albatrosses socialize during mating season
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Oahu Anchialine pools

    by JulieJueletha Updated Dec 17, 2013

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    I first heard of interesting pools of water by overhearing a group of students as they gathered in our hotel lobby getting ready to go on an outing. They were excited and talking about what they thought they might see in these pools. I had never heard of them and asked at the front desk, where I was directed to a brochure on them. I looked over the brochure and, urged along hearing the students enthusiasm, I decided to check them out too.

    Anchialine pools are land-locked bodies of salt water that are adjacent to the ocean. These pools have underground connections to the sea, and show tidal fluctuations in their water level. The term "anchialine" is derived from the greek: [anchi] = near, and [halos] = the sea, referring to the proximity of anchialine pools to the ocean.

    Five islands have these pools; Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kaho'olawe. On the island of Hawaii you will find most of the state's anchialine pools (a total of more than 460 pools in about 80 sites have been identified on the ground, and an additional 54 sites (about 170 pools) have been viewed or photographed from the air).This agrees with another published conservative estimate of 600-650 pools for this island. On the other islands, an additional 15 sites have been reported.

    I admit I jumped in my rental car and followed the group of students from the hotel and within a half hour was scurrying over smooth rocks with them. They took pictures and water samples, one bent down and lifted out a small, spindly orange starfish, looked at it and carefully put it back. The water in the hole raised every few seconds and then retreated, caused by the ocean waves to which it was connected.

    I wasn't a student studying sealife but these pools were unusual and very interesting and I enjoyed them. I also enjoyed the enthusiasm of the teenage students and cheered (silently) with them for each new thing they discovered here.

    anchialine pool
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography
    • Family Travel

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    Hawaiian Phrases Along Kalakaua Avenue

    by cjg1 Updated Jul 30, 2013

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    My wife notices everything; she'd be great at the CIA. As we were walking along Kalakaua Avenue she noticed that on several of the stones on the pavement were Hawaiian words and phrases carved into the stone along with their meanings. Funny, I had never noticed this before and honestly I have no idea when they were installed. It was fun though walking along and reading the words and we wandered down the avenue.

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    Sharks Cove is the best for kids

    by scaleguy Written Mar 13, 2013

    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.

    Sharks Cove A sea cucumber Flounder The deep water Kids checking it out
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Electric Beach - Kahe State Park

    by scaleguy Written Mar 12, 2013

    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.

    Sea Turtle Rare Seal sighting Memorial Dive Boat Caves
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • National/State Park

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  • Kahuku Beach Beyond Turtle Bay

    by Johnfrede Written Dec 28, 2012

    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.

    Endless Sandy Beaches and Solitude
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    The Contemporary Museum: Art & a View

    by AKtravelers Written Mar 18, 2012

    If you like Modern Art and you want a beautiful view of Honolulu from the hills behind the city, you can do no worse than the Contemporary Museum. Show up around 1:30 and you can get a docent to guide you through the collection, which usually features Hawaii artists working in a variety of media. Since it's modern art, having the docent helps!! Not only that, but the cafe is a nice place to get a soup & salad or sandwich.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • People's Open Market

    by histrionia62 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Check out the farmer's markets around Honolulu for great fresh produce. I went to the Makiki District Park market on Monday at 8:30-9:30 AM at 1527 Keeaumoku ST. It is a delightful little park with a community garden, the farmers market is held in the parking lot, there were only a few venders but I got some great bananas, mangoes, tomatoes, and basil. We were staying in an apartment with a kitchen, so was able to bake some fish with delicious macadamia nut oil on it and served with a relish made from the tomatoes and basil. See the website address below for a full schedule of all the open markets around Honolulu, there are quite a few, and get away from Waikiki because if you stay there too long you will go nutty!

    People's Open Market Honolulu

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  • some of the biggest waves you’ll ever see

    by RblWthACoz Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational

    There are very few waves that are bigger. There is no set date for the Eddie Aikau Invitational. It is not an annual event. No one ever knows when it will be. It generally occurs every 3 or so years. Professional surfers wait for the call and the right conditions, as does the rest of the island. And when the conditions are right, then that is when it happens. No less than 25 foot waves are required to hold the event. And that means MONSTER waves of up to 50 feet high... more!! Have you ever seen a 50 foot wave? Have you ever seen someone surf a 50 foot wave??

    If it happens, get there as early as you can. It is always held at Waimea Bay. Even better - just drive there once you hear the word and spend the night on the street. That way you will have as good a spot as you can get. The best view is from the beach or on the right side of the Bay. If you don't get there early, you will wait in traffic for ages and get a poor vantage point to view from. Bring your best camera will your best zoom lense and get ready to witness nature in all it's most awesome and furious splendor. 25 to 50 foot waves. And that is NO joke.

    Do keep in mind that the "waiting period" is December 1st to Feburary 28th. So the event has a chance of being held at any time during that period. Check out the website for updates.

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    Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Monument

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This state monument is Hawaii's largest traditional temple. A word of warning there are no signs off the main highway and its hard to find but well worth it.

    From the city of Pupukea head through town to the only road that heads up to the surrounding hills, there is a sign from this road that leads to the site.

    Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Monument
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Competing Gas Stations

    by pamstravels Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This really cracked me up. In Kaneohe two gas stations cady corner from each other with very Hawaiian names.

    Aloha & Mahalo

    To learn the actual definitions of Aloha and Mahalo go to the following web site.

    There is also a law in Hawaii called The Aloha Sprit Law. I talk more about it in my Oahu Local Customs page.

    Aloha

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    Competing Gas Stations II

    by pamstravels Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Here is the other gas station. I just cracked me up to see this while the locals probably don't find it as humorous as I do!

    To learn the actual definitions of Aloha and Mahalo go to the following web site.

    There is also a law in Hawaii called The Aloha Sprit Law. I talk more about it in my Oahu Local Customs page.

    Mahalo (Thank you)

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  • Get away from Waikiki

    by turquois20 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    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.

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    Oils of Hawai`i

    by Melodee50 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Macadamia nut farm and store in a magnificent location in Waialua, Hawai`i. It is located off a breathtaking rain foresty road. The stores are surrounded by no less that 27 huge macadamia nut trees and many other trees. It was a cool, peaceful interlude in our drive. I bought yummy macadamia nut cooking oil that I use judiciously but regularly.

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    I still dream about this Hawaiin Mac salad!

    by Rachiez726570 Written May 12, 2010

    Its 10 pm where should we eat? Miki's DUH. This little hut opens at 10pm nightly, serving something different every night, after standing in line smelling the limited amount of the special prepared each night, you may be tempted to order a little of everything, and with prices like these why not! You absolutely cannot leave without Mac salad... this isn't your average southern USA Macoroni salad (YUCK!) this is its own little food group of awesome.
    WORD TO THE WISE : this is a LOCAL Hawaiian joint, if you are white (like me) keep in mind that you are a minority and some locals wont like you because of your color (its rare but it happens). Know what you want when you get to the window, don't pester anyone and your good to go!
    OH and dont forget to grab some of those yummy marinated onions to mix with your super magical mac salad.

    NOW whose taken me with them? haha

    1001 Lehua Ave
    Pearl City, HI 96782

    MAC SALAAAAAD oh.. and Teriaki Meatballs :)
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Oahu Hotels

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Oahu Off The Beaten Path

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