I think it’s natural to forget about the beautiful world we live in. With all the amazing wonders of modern day technology, who cares how green the grass is, or how tall our trees stand or the colors of the birds that fly above or the wonders of the sea creatures that swim in the oceans. But one of the things about Oahu is not just the great many Oahu hotels that are in close proximity to the city center, but the amazing places you can visit, both natural and man-made, that will inspire even the cynics of this world. Take a trip to my three favorite Hawaiian look out points and I promise you, you’ll be inspired by the beauty and serenity of this world.
Waikiki’s Most Beautiful Gem: Diamond Head
As the single most recognizable attraction in all of Oahu, Diamond Head is the perfect place for you capture a post-card worthy photo. Defining the island skyline for over 200,000 years, this 762 foot tall extinct volcano beckons to hundreds of thousands of travelers every year. And the best view of the island is offered atop the summit of this unique beauty, lending you a panoramic picturesque view of the island not available anywhere else. But please beware, the hike to the top is not an easy one by any means, so make sure you’re prepared with plenty of water, comfortable walking shoes and sun protection.
Remember, Remember This Day in December: Pearl Harbor Memorial
Not necessarily a “look-out” point in the traditional sense of the word, but an eye opening experience nonetheless. As the only naval base in the US designated as a National Historical Landmark, a tour of Pearl Harbor gives visitors the opportunity to visit the USS Arizona Memorial to learn about the historic attack and pay respects to the brave soldiers who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. Nothing will prepare you for the somber mood aboard the boat shuttle that will take you to the final resting place for many of the ship’s crew but at the same time, nothing will be more inspiring than to see the shrine built to commemorate the lives of these brave soldiers.
Under the Sea is Where You’ll Want to Be: Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
If you think you’ve seen everything there is to see on land, you should consider taking your next adventure under the sea. Find yourself inspired when you witness first-hand the colorful corals that populate the ocean floor, watch the bright yellow tang swimming beside rainbow runners, and see and swim along with the state fish of Hawaii: the humuhumunukunukuapuaa.
Hanauma Bay is known for their clear waters with a rich marine life that is the perfect place for beginner snorkelers. If you want something a little more advanced, Oahu has plenty of other beaches that have calm and clear waters for you to explore as well. But I can guarantee that the vivid colors you’ll see here will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
A hike to Diamond Head, a day of remembrance at Pearl Harbor and an underwater adventure at Hanauma Bay are all beautiful ways you can explore the beautiful island of Oahu. I hope that with these three adventures, you’ll be inspired to seek out the other beauties of Hawaii, since there are just so many of them. Picking only three was a difficult task, but I hope that reading my short list will inspire a hundred other adventures. So go forth my friends and find other exciting Hawaiian adventures! Mahalo and aloha.
My thanks for this article to Aqua Resorts – for boutique and budget-friendly hotels and resorts in Waikiki, Oahu and Hononlulu
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey
My guest post from Jake Garrett at The Villas at Poipu Kai will give you great ideas for hiking and kayaking on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. After you’ve enjoyed the swimming, snorkeling and diving in the clear waters of Kauai, try something different with an outdoor adventure to experience the interior of the island. Here are three of the best hiking and kayaking adventures to try on Kauai;
Kayak the Wialua River
The Wailua River is on the east side of Kauai and is one of the largest rivers in Hawaii. It has a slow current and the rowing is very comfortable, which allows you to soak in the beautiful Wailua River valley. Lush greenery accompanies you on the entire trek up the river. Whether on an organized tour or flying solo, the Wailua River is a great way to take an intimate look at the island.
You can rent kayaks at a local shop in Kapaa or take an organized tour. Kayak Kauai is a reputable company that will take care of you start to finish, they charge $85 per person for a full 5 hour tour. On the organized tour, you will check in at Coco Nut Marketplace, just off of Kuhio Hwy on the north side of Kapaa. Then you will put in by the ocean on the south side of the river.
Hike to Secret Falls
The hike to the Secret Falls is a perfect activity to combine with the kayak trip up the Wailua. The trailhead is accessed directly from the river and requires a little bit of kayaking. You can put in up the river near the trailhead or kayak up the river a couple of miles. Either way, once you reach a fork in the Wailua, coming from the east, you will proceed to the right and shortly arrive at the trailhead. The trail is well traveled and not difficult to navigate but be sure to have some shoes or sandals to cover your heels in order to get through the sometimes-muddy areas. After a quick and easy river crossing you will have a mile hike to the falls. There are many picturesque locations along the hike, which are only bettered by the falls themselves.
The falls are safe to enter, but do so with caution. At most the depth of the pool around the falls is six feet and there is room for swimming. You will likely find a group of kayak tours (maybe you’re in one) at the falls but these come in waves so it is never too crowded.
Experience Waimea Canyon
Getting to the canyon is easy to do from Highway 50 in the town of Waimea. Beyond mile marker 13 you will find most of the hiking trails in the canyon. The hikes are of varying length and difficulty and all provide unique and stunning views.
At the end of the Waimea Canyon Drive is the Pu’u o Kila lookout. The panoramic experience gives a fantastic view of the Kalalau Valley, which descends into the ocean. Looking inland from the lookout you can see several canyons and ridges decked out in green. The layers of lava are revealed throughout the canyon from the constant wearing of the river.
Kayaking, hiking, and beautiful vistas are the essence of a true Kauaian experience. These three adventures are must-do’s next time you travel to Kauai.
My thanks for this article to Jake Garrett from The Villas at Poipu Kai. The poolside villas, on the sunny south shore of the island, are prime Poipu vacation rentals , built in plantation style and close to the beach, and providing a great base for a holiday that can be as relaxing or adventurous as you wish.
Photo Credits: Photos provided by Jake Garrett, Wailua River Map by KayakKauai.com