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  • Spectacular view of the surrounding
  • Hiking to the top
  • Learning about the history of Diamond Head
Type:
Geological Feature, Hike, Mountain, Park, Scenic Lookout, Volcano, Landmark
Overall:
  • Beautiful coral reef and abundance of marine life
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming & sunbathing
Hanauma Bay Beach Park on the southern shores of Oahu was named the best beach in the United State in 2004. The beach is a protected cove with a stretch of white sand and tall palm ... moretrees. Because of the shape of the bay, the water is mostly kept calm providing ideal conditions for swimming and snorkeling and also making it very accommodating for kids of all ages. No surfing or body boarding is allowed on the beach.

The curved bay had been declared a protected marine wildlife conservation area and underwater park in 1967. A rich coral reef extends throughout the cove and into deeper water. The marine life is diverse and abundant, making snorkeling and scuba diving, particularly fun and exciting. As a protected site, visitors watch a short video of the bay's history and wildlife before entering the beach. The bay floor is the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded as the exterior walls collapsed letting the ocean water rush in.

The bay is often full and finding parking can sometimes be difficult. Most amenities can be found at the beach. Gift shops also provide the opportunity for obtaining souvenir. Non-Hawaiian residents have to pay an entrance charge of $7.50 dollar, which is waived for Hawaiian residents, children under 12 and active military persons. Opening hours of the beach is at 6:00 am daily with the exception of Tuesdays when the beach is closed.

As a protected marine conservation area, no fishing is permitted neither is it allowed alcohol on the beach or intervening with the marine life. The sun is quite blistering at the beach therefore it is recommended having sun glasses, sun cream and other such items.
Type:
Beach, Geological Feature
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water, Equipment rentals, Food for purchase, Lifeguards, Lockers / storage, Parking, Picnic tables, Showers, Wheelchair access
Overall:
  • Strong trade wind that can sweep you of your feet
  • Very beautiful panoramic scenery
  • Fantastic picnic area
Located about a 5 mile drive from downtown Honolulu, Nu'uanu Pali lookout offers one of the best scenic views of O'ahu. At a height of a 985 foot cliff of the Koolau Mountain Range, ... moreKing Kamehameha defeated the O'ahu army in 1795 on that location. It includes breathtaking views of Kanoehe Bay, Chinaman's Hat, and Hawaii Pacific. The location has also made history in the Hawaiian Kingdom struggle, and offers visitors a thrilling experience with strong trade winds that can sweep you off your feet and great panoramic scenery.

Since ancient times to present day, Nu'uanu Pali has been vital as the traversal section that connects the leeward side, and Honolulu to the windward side. Settlers made villages and populated the Nu'uanu valley for thousands of years. Of importance is also the Nu'uanu reservoir. It consists of small bodies of water that have various species of catfish. The river bed offers great opportunity for picnicking.

Stories told include superstitious tales that two black stones near the Nu'uanu Valey represent a pair of goddesses who are guardians of the passage down Pali. Visitors often left flowers to ensure a safe passage, and parents buried their new born umbilical cord for protection against evil.

The landscape is made up of big trees and dense forest. The terrace thousands of feet above the Oahu coastline, at occasions covered with clouds, overlooks areas of Kanoehe and Kailua. The University of Hawaii marine biology research center and Coconut Island are also visible. Continuing through the Pali tunnel, you can reach Windward Oahu and either to the beach town of Kailua or toward Kaneohe.
Type:
Scenic Lookout, Scenic Road
Features:
Parking
Overall:
  • Bodyboarding and bodysurfing
  • Picnic at the beach
  • Snorkeling
Sandy Beach Park on the east side of Oahu is well known for two good reasons, the beautiful beach sand and powerful shore breaks. Getting to this beach will have you drive along the ... morelava cliff side of Koko Head crater. The beach is just beyond the popular Halona blow-hole. During the summer period when the beach is often calm, the offshore reef that protects it also provide very good conditions for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The soft sand, the gentle water and the ease of entry into the water attracts families with small children seeking to spend some fantastic moments on the seaside.

Sandy Beach is not almost always gentle. In fact, the locals in Hawaii call it "the beach of broken necks". It is listed as one of the most dangerous beaches in Hawaii. You must always be on the look out for red warning flags and signs posted on the beach warning of the dangers of strong currents, high surf, sharp coral, and dangerous shore breaks. Sandy beach is popular among experience body surfers and body boarders.

In the winter months, there are powerful shore breaks and rip tide currents during high surf. You should avoid swimming in front of Keawaakio Cove even when the water seems calm because of rip tide currents.

Sand Beach Park does not provide scenic views like many other beaches in the surrounding, but it does provide a lot of thrill. One of the things you will notice is that the sand on the beach seems to get everywhere. On your hair, nose, ears, swimwear, even after having taken a shower, you will still be brushing off sand.

The beach has all the facilities of a modern beach including lifeguards. there is not much shade on the beach but a grassy area with some picnic tables can be found which is perfect for relaxing, taking photos or watching the waves.
Type:
Beach, Park
Features:
Bathroom, Lifeguards, Parking, Picnic tables, Showers
Overall:
  • Scenic view of the surrounding
  • Spotting humpback whales and the Hawaiian green turtles
  • Great for diving when the water is calm
The Halona Blow-hole located on the island of Oahu off of Hanauma Bay is a rock formation and a blow-hole formed by underwater lava which took the form of a tube and has an opening ... moreon both sides of it. As the ocean water enters the tube, the pressure increases as the tube narrows such that the water shoots upward into the air sometimes to a high of 30 feet or more. The Halona Blow-hole is a popular attraction. The location is very scenic, there are steep cliffs and fantastic views.

The blow-hole is most active during high tide. It is also the best location to go and look out for humpback whales or Honu (the Hawaiian green turtle). When there is no surf and a light northerly wind blowing, diving is possible along the coast. If the waves are breaking, it is recommended to dive elsewhere. The tidal change produces very strong currents known as 'Molokai Express" that can drag a person out to sea. Some persons have lost their life trying to sit on the blow-hole or trying to hold parts of their body into the stream of water. The area is quite dangerous, so it is best to be careful and stay at the lookout point and enjoy the view from a safe distance.

The Hawaiian name Halona means "peering place". On a very nice day, the view can be very fantastic. From far off on the horizon, the islands of Molokai, Maui and Lanai can be seen. To the right of the blow-hole is located Halona Cove, a small sandy beach that is perfect for swimming when the surf is calm. The site is also known for the famous love scene of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the film "From here to eternity".
Type:
Attraction, Geological Feature
Features:
Parking
Overall:
  • 2 mile Scenic Hike
  • 500 foot Climb in Elevation
  • Ocean looks Turquoise from Here
Located within the 38-acre Makapuʻu Point State Wayside Park, is the Makapu'u Lookout. The trail leads from the former Coast Guard residential area to the summit on a relatively easy ... moresandy path.
From the summit, visitors can watch for whales from November to April using the provided telescope or their own binoculars. If it is a clear day, it is sometimes possible to see the blowholes on Makapu’u Head’s rocky shore from the summit. On almost any clear day, visitors can see magnificent sea cliffs, Visitors can also often see Makapu’u Beach Park, Rabbit Island, and Kaohikaipu Island.
Visitors to the park can also take another short hike to see the Makapu’u Lighthouse. This path starting near the same trailhead also offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Type:
Hike, Scenic Lookout, Landmark
Features:
Bathroom
  • Very nice for strolls
  • Great for picnic
  • Great for camping
Waimanalo Beach Park covers five miles on the windward side of Oahu. The beach has beautiful white sand, the ocean water is crystal clear, it attracts visitors and locals alike as ... moreit is considered as one of one of the best beaches in the area. All along the beach makes for the perfect setting for taking a stroll. Ironwood trees line up all along the beach providing plenty of shade. The beach is at the foot of the Koolau Mountain range that offers the perfect backdrop for pictures.

Waimanalo Beach Park is most popular for sunbathing, swimming, picnics, camping, and beach walks. The reef provides a natural shield from the surf, but beyond the reef is great body boarding and surfing spot. Caution must be taken when entering the water because often the shore break can be quite powerful. During the winter period, if you are camping, bring along a light jacket because when the wind is blowing, it can be quite chilly.

The beach is often empty during weekdays, but can get crowded on weekends. Underwater the view can be quite magnificent, Beautiful coral reef and marine life makes for the perfect snorkeling opportunity. Snorkels would often trick the fish to come out of their hiding place by standing still for a few minutes. The fish are very friendly and often would swim very close.

Waimanalo Beach was the location where Magnum P.I. was filmed. Famous author James Michener wrote the novel Waimanalo taking inspiration from the beach. The beach is also a favorite place for couples recently married. The scenic surrounding makes for very nice wedding pictures.
Type:
Beach, Park
Features:
Bathroom, Camping, Lifeguards, Parking, Picnic tables, Showers
  • Great surfbreak
  • Scenic lookout
  • Surfing
One of Oahu's gems, Makapu'u Beach Park is located on the southeastern tip of the island. It can be reached by going on Kalanianaole Highway passing Sandy beach. Just before reaching ... morethe park you will also pass the trail leading to the Makapu'u light house. An ancient Hawaiian legend tells of Makapu'u being a god that came from Tahiti to live in a cave at Makapu'u. She had eight bright eyes so the Hawaiian gave her the name " bulging eye"

Makapu'u Beach Park is very popular among body boarders and body surfers. During the winter month there are powerful
Shore breaks that gives surfers seeking for some adventure a thrill ride. In the summer, the ocean is a bit calmer but there is waves almost every day. Enjoying the water in Makapu'u either during the summer or the winter requires experience. It is not suitable for leisure swimming. The size of the beach varies throughout the year. In the winter large boulders are exposed in the shore break by high surf eroding the beach.

When there is low tide, you can explore tide pools that are exposed and admire the marine life. You will notice various fish, crabs, opihi and other marine life trapped in the lava. Particularly interesting is to spot the mudfish which is a jumping fish that crawl around and jump from tide pool to tidepool. Just off of Makapu'u are two islands. Manana that looks like a rabbits head, hence its nickname "Rabbit Island". It is comprised of 64 acres and is a protected bird sanctuary. You need to obtain permission from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to go and explore the island. The other island, Black Rock, is a lot smaller. It is also known as Kaohikaipu Island.

The lighthouse is just around the corner. To get to the lighthouse, there is a paved trail that can be accessed from the parking along Kalanianaole Highway. Makapu'u lookout is also just south of the beach park. It provides a nice scenic view of the surroundings and of the two islands. Makapu'u Beach Park attracts lots of visitors all year round and is one of the beaches in Oahu that offers lots of recreation.
Type:
Beach, Park, Surf Break
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water, Food for purchase, Lifeguards, Parking, Showers