Touring / Exploration, Oahu
I'm a little bit of a history buff and wanted to visit the Royal Palace in Honolulu. While I was researching it, I found that there are quite a few historic sites in the blocks that adjoin the Palace grounds. Our historic walking tour (and it wasn't really much walking) consisted of:
We parked near the Palace and started walking from there. The library is next to the palace grounds. Across the street is the New England Mission, which is next to the Judiciary with the famous statue of King Kamehameha.
The Northern part of Oahu offers many amazing hiking trails; Kahana Valley has several trails that are suitable for every kind on an hiker, from a beginner to a very experienced one.
Nakoa trail was a great combination of amazing views, lots of water in its endless streams, many interesting plants, trees (the smell of wild Guava will follow you everywhere), birds, and even animals (if a tiny scared mongoose counts). If you choose this trail you can pick some maps at the orientation center, they are very helpful. The trail is marked by red ribbons that are placed on trees or rocks along the streams.
At times the paths are very narrow, muddy, and slippery and you should watch for cannon ball trees. Huge, coconut sized fruit may fall on your head without a warning!
Kahana Valley is a hunting area and there are warning signs that remind you to be careful and remain on the marked trails.
There are two options for a hiking trail. First is rather short 1,5-2 miles path in the forest area. Once you reach the old bunkers you’ll have two choices, to either go left and finish your hike or to go right and walk another 1,5 miles to the pool area crossing many streams. This part of the hike is more difficult because of mosquito attacks and totally wet shoes. Water can be above your knee level and some streams are pretty strong. When you reach the pool you’ll have to cross it holding a long rope walking on a very slippery rock.
We took the long trail, which was 6 miles long and took us about 4,5 hours. It was a great, full of memories hike. Bear in mind that after such a hike you’ll be covered with mud! It took me almost an hour to clean my sneakers.
This is the next stop if you’re driving from Waikiki visiting Hanauma Bay followed by the Blow Hole.
The parking lot is very tiny and it is easy to miss, but anyway nobody drives fast on this scenic road, so you’ll have the time to pull off.
It’s a very easy hike, considering the paved trail that takes you all the way up a hill with breathtaking views on the Ka’iwi shoreline, Rabbit Island, and Turtle Island. If weather permits you’ll see Molokai island in the horizon.
The way up is augmented with smell of mesquite trees. It’s a very strong and pleasant smell of burned wood that fills the air. If you hike in the winter, November thru March, there’s a great lookout point for migrating whales. If you’re lucky you can actually see them. If you look down from that point you’ll see a very idyllic picture of a red-headed lighthouse by the ocean. And when you reach the top of the hill you can see a very big part of the “brown side” of the island.
It’s a nice and refreshing hike along the ocean where cool breeze never ends and views are spectacular.
Atlantis Submarine tours dive off Waikiki Beach leaving from the Hilton Hawaiian pier. The total time including transit on boat to submarine, tour and dive then back to pier is approximately 2 hours. The dive in submarine is about 50 minutes reaching depths of 120 feet. A great way to see the beautiful fish that feed and live off the reefs in Hawaii. Each seat on submarine has its own window to the sea. Tours are given in English or Japanese. The opportunity is certainly unique and very worthwile. Our dive saw turtles, sharks and thousands of brilliantly colored reef fish. Don't miss this.
Haunama Bay is real gem on the Island of Oahu. Facing the Leeward side of the Island its gorgeous crescent shape bay is a perfect spot for beginners to advanced snorkelers to enjoy its semi protected reef. The park opens at daily at 6:00 am. The bay is so popular with locals and visitors that it often fills to capacity by 9:00. The park rents snokel equipment for $5.00 $11.00. Beginners will find the :dry snorkel" easier than the wet. Be sure to bring reef shoes as much of the bay is quite rocky. The fish are brilliant colors and very friendly. You may even get lucky enough to see a turtle or two. Do not touch or step on the coral as doing so will kill the animal. Fish can been seen in even the shallowest water. Many locals are regular visitors to the bay. This is one place which should not be missed when visiting Oahu.
Take time to walk the Manoa cliff Trail, it is beautiful. It climbs up gently through a bamboo forest and you can hear them knocking in the breeze. Look out for wild ginger as you walk, the trail follows the mountain side with great views and when you get as high as it goes make sure you stand on the bench over looking the valley and imagine taking off....
There are so many sculptures around the island- from The Duke in Waikiki beach, the King of Surf; to the King Kamehameha sculpture downtown. There are also the Hawaiian girl, the dolphins, the gecko, among others. Local artists are commissioned to do sculptures to depict the local tradition and culture of the islands.
The Atlantis submarine in Honolulu disappointed me and my mother. We picked up the pamphlet and we could see the colorful fishes on it. We expected to see them in the tour, but we saw mostly, lifeless bottom of the ocean, sunk boats and airplanes that crashed in the ocean. When you're 100 feets under the sea, the colors are washed out. If the submarine was free, I wouldn't complain, but it costs more than 84$ per person. Juste a waste of money. If all you want is to get the experience of being in a submarine, then I advice you to take the submarine. If you want to see the marine life, you better do snorkeling in Hanauma Bay , for a fraction of the price (5$ per person)!
The tour cost $60 for adults but was well worth it!!
We started the tour at Pearl Harbour, where we entered the museum as well as the boat trip to the monument over the Arizona SSS.
From here, we visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation, numerous beaches on the North Coast and went to a look out point which showed us a distant view of Waikiki...
When I find the map I will fill this in further!! But the majority of what I saw was via this tour!
They have a GREAT public transportation system. utilize it and you will save yourself lots of moolah! its not too hard to learn. Plus, if we ever had a question, we just asked someone for help. it will get you all around the island even if your budget is really tight.. the bus goes on all the great roads along the coast and by pretty scenery...the dole plantation, North Shore, etc. totally worth it.
This is a hike i take everyone on when they come with me to Hawaii. Its about a 2 mile hike all together which takes you all the way up to a look out that over looks the famous Makapuu Light House. Also on the hike, you can over look Hawaii Kai, look down on Makapuu Beach, and do some great whale spotting looking towards the island of Molokai.
You will want to take some water on this hike, since it can be very hot on the road up. Take your time becuase if you are lazy like me, you will get tired. There is some cool off trail hiking where you can find old military bunkers. Be very careful since it is off trail and the footing can be bad. I recommend you bring binoculars, just incase u spot some whales passing through the Molokai channel. There is a good chance you will during the winter months.
Wear covered shoes because there is sharpe lave rocks on some part of the trails.
All in all, I highly recommend this hike if u are looking for some beautiful views of the island.
In 1795, King Kamehameha defeated the armies of Oahu when he pushed them over the cliffs at Nuuanu Pali. In 1897 when old pali road was being built (the first road to connect the windward side of Oahu with the leward side, via the koolau mountains) construction workers found over 800 human remains at the base of the cliff.
Today there is a new road built that goes through the mountain instead of over. the old pali road is now a state park with a lookout that overlooks the windward side of Oahu.
The old road still remains, and u may walk down the old road for some great shots looking down on the town of Kaneohe. Check out my old pali road link...OLD PALI ROAD
9am til 4m daily
Be very careful at the lookout because of strong winds. hold down hats or any loose items. Do not climb ont he walls, or your bones may be discovered one day...
Around mile marker 11, the jagged lava coast itself spouts sea foam at the Halona Blowhole. Look out to sea from Halona over Sandy Beach and across the 26-mile gulf to neighboring Molokai and the faint triangular shadow of Lanai on the far horizon.
This marine preserve is a great place to stop for a swim; you'll find the friendliest fish on the island here. A reminder: The beach park is closed on Tuesdays.
The scenery is beautiful. Just take any of the highways leaving Honolulu across the mountains toward Kanaohe. Like entering another world.