The alarm woke us at 6:00a.m, it was so hard to roll over in bed to turn it off. Now why would we want to wake up so early on what would normally be a relaxing vacation? What was the plan? To discover more of the hidden Oahu! Today we needed to get an early to have enough time to see everything we had planned. This time we will explore the Southwest coast of the island, south of Waikiki to the Waimanalo Mountain Range.
But first a quick breakfast at our new and now favorite restaurant before heading out for the day. It’s roughly 5 minutes from our Ko ‘Olina condo to the town of Kapolei where we went to eat. The Cafe is easy to find and has a constant line out the door. We know this is going to go well without a doubt. Sitting down at our table we took a look at the menu and now for the hard part, choosing just one dish for breakfast. It would have been easier to train a child to behave in a candy store then to order just the one. So, what did we end up doing? Well, all 4 of us picked something different then shared! That way we get to taste different dishes.
Diamond Head Lighthouse
After a top 10 breakfast we were off to find more hidden Oahu. We mapped out our day and decided to take the southern route past Waikiki, through Waimanalo, then Kaneohe. Hopping into the Mustang we were off to hike down the cliffs of Diamond Head Volcano. Why would we hike down rather than up the volcano? Well, first of all it’s a favorite surfing beach for the locals and it was a good day for surfing. Second of all is this:
What makes this beach so special is that there is never a crowd here. Well except if the waves are breaking the ocean could be packed but the beach itself, nope. The walk down the hill can get a little steep if you are not in shape. People love to look out at the view here so allow a little time to find a parking spot.
Kahala Lava Rock Pool
Now for one of my favorite places to take a dip in the water. It’s out in Kahala (the ritzy part of Oahu) where once there was a squared lava rock pool in the ocean. As small waves would gently climb over the wall into the pool it would smoothly lift you up off the rock seat then softly bring you back down. It was like a spa treatment that would relax you all day.
Just a short stop here then we were on a mission to find the “Spitting Caves” in Hawaii Kai. It was a little hard to find but if you have GPS type it in and it will get you there. You will park in a residential neighborhood but don’t let that worry you, the state has a trail that leads down to the cave. Why did we decide to go here? Because no one really knows about it! Besides that its sounds very cool to have a blow-hole that spits the water out sideways also known as a “reverse blowhole”.
This was a popular location to shoot the popular TV show Lost. Now its a place people come to hang out along with a few (not so bright) cliff jumpers. Yes, there have been plenty of people hurt here. Once you jump in the water can either pull you under, drag you out to sea or even pulled into the cave. It does not have to be high surf to trap you inside. It’s an exciting place to watch nature but as a warning DO NOT GO SWIMMING HERE!
Here is a video so you can see the force of nature at work:
Oahu’s own Sandy Beach
Although this was a great stop and I could have stayed here drinking Mai Tai’s watching the show for hours it was time to move up the coast. Although this next stop is not Hidden Oahu it was one we had to see this day. Sandy Beach is world renown for body surfing and we just happened to pass by on a larger than life day! Take a look at this!
And look at these waves:
Kaiwi Shoreline Trail
Now for the a pleasant surprise just a few miles from Sandy Beach is the Kaiwi Shoreline Trail. Also known as the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, it’s a fairly easy hike. Recently built-in 2015 this trail is quickly becoming a favorite walk by both locals and tourists. Why do you want to take this trail? Well, for one thing its good exercise but for us the view of the Waimanolo Mountains made the trek totally worth it. Plus during the winter months its a top vantage point to spot playful Humpback whales. To be honest, the lighthouse was not that impressive and the small trail down to it was fenced off due to falling rock.
If you don’t mind a little hike there are tidal pools about halfway up the hill. There was only a handful of people down there but for the adventurous it would be the highlight of the trip. They say sea turtles like to swim there too.
It was starting to get late and we were ready for a good dinner. Plus it was my son’s birthday so we wanted to make it special. We had heard of Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill (pronounced hall-ay-eva) in Kaneohe (pronounced Khan-eay-oh-ee) was the place for special occasions. Not having a reservation it was a gamble to get in. The hostess was helpful and guaranteed we could get a seat within 45 minutes. So what did we do in that time? Mai Tai’s were calling our names from the bar!
We can see why its such a popular restaurant, its unique, has good food and can’t complain about the service.
Just look at the food here. We are not very good with food photo’s but hopefully you will get the jest of how good it was.
Dinner isn’t complete without a little entertainment. This little green gecko kept up entertained the whole time we were there. He was on the wall next to our table. Maybe some wouldn’t care too much for this but we loved our little Hokulani (Divine Star).
That was our day of finding a little more of hidden Oahu. There is still more to come!