Whether you are new to the island or not, there
are activities you should find time for. You don’t want
to leave O‘ahu without memories of great hikes, snorkeling,
ocean picnicking, and enjoying a night at the movies on the
O‘ahu has a lot to offer hikers with its many different
trails. The Makiki Valley loop trail is a good place to start
your day. To get there you can drive to Makiki Street,then turn
on mauka, toward the mountain. After a little less than a mile,
the road makes a sharp bend. Just proceed straight ahead through
the green gate, and you will reach the Makiki recreational area.
Continue until you reach the baseyard, where there is a parking
lot on your right. You can also take the No. 15 bus, and get
off near the intersection of Mott-Smith Drive, and Makiki Height
Road. From there on you walk about a mile down Makiki Heights
to the trailhead.
The Makiki Valley loop trail has something to offer no matter
what shape you are in. You can go for a short hike, or combine
the Maunalaha, Kanealoe, and Makiki Valley Trail, making it a
2.5 mile loop.
The trail itself is beautiful—with native and introduced
birds singing as you walk through the lush rainforest. There
are clusters of flowers, apple trees, and edible strawberry guavas
along the trail. Bamboo trees clink melodies in the wind, accompanying
the bird song. Take your time and enjoy the feel of the rainforest.
When you’re tired of walking and starting to feel more
like relaxing in the ocean, go to Hanauma Bay located on the
south shore. The easiest way to get there is to take the No.
22 bus from Waikiki. Hanauma Bay is famous for its coral reefs
and snorkeling sites.
If you’re lucky you might get a glimpse of a sea turtle,
stumble onto some rainbow parrotfish, or see a darting butterfly
If snorkeling is too passive, go to Waikiki Beach. Here you
will find people exercising the classic Hawaiian activity,
It never goes out of style, and you really can’t leave
the island without having tried it.
In Waikiki there are beaches with beginner’s waves, which
makes it a great place to practice. There are also many beginners’ courses
that you can give a try in the gentle rollers under safe conditions.
Some of the instructors even bring a camera, and offer you a
chance after the lesson to buy pictures of your surfing experience.
After a long day filled with activities, it’s time for
dinner. So how about a barbecue picnic in the Pacific Ocean?
Here on O‘ahu that is a possibility, and one you shouldn’t
Just off the H3 freeway in Kane‘ohe, is the Heeia keia
Boat Harbour. It provides access to an enormous area of Kane‘ohe
Bay where the water is only two to three feet deep, even at high
tide. The scenery is beautiful and kind of surreal. You are away
from the shore, with sand under your feet, water almost reaching
your waist, looking back at Kane‘ohe’s green hills.
On a sunny day, lots of people come here with chairs and tables,
and sit down in the water. They spend their whole day barbecuing,
swimming, and getting to know other water picnic enthusiasts.
The evening is best spent close to home, and for most students
that means Honolulu and more specifically the Waikiki area. Even
here, the islands special twist on things becomes apparent three
times a week.
Every Wednesday, Saturday, and, Sunday is movie night at Waikiki
Beach. Just around the corner from the International Market Place
there is a big movie screen set up in the sand. “Sunset
on the Beach” is free, and everyone may participate. The
City and County of Honolulu shows new as well as old movies,
and TV premieres. Several local restaurants setup food stands,
and for a reasonable price you can get your favorite snack, or
even dinner. All you have to do is lay down in the sand with
good friends, or that special someone, and enjoy the show, island