Tuesday, April 9, 2013


 A Sunday drive around the entire coastline of Oahu (there is a highway that cuts through the middle of the island that will take considerable time off your trip) will take you approximately 4 hours of travel time.  Stop here and there to snap off a few photos, eat lunch, and just soak in the jaw-dropping scenery, and you're got a pretty picture perfect day in Hawaii...
Larger than life bronze Hawaiian dancers in the pond at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, that I passed on my walks through Honolulu, daily.  As my husband was working there long-term, we were put up at the Ilikai Hotel - Hawaii's first luxury high-rise hotel, and featured in the opening shots of the old and new Hawaii Five-O shows (that's it on the left hand side of the upper right photo).  The boat harbor sits behind the hotel, and the beach is just a few steps beyond that.
Lighthouses - Oahu has plenty - up close, and afar.  This sits at the Diamond Head Beach Park.
The HALONA BLOWHOLE - about 15 minutes from Waikiki Beach.  The blowhole is a natural occurrence formed by molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. Lava tubes run to the ocean and, when the surf is right, the blowhole in the rocks shoots water up to 30 feet in the air. The larger the waves, the higher the spray.
MOKOLII, also known among locals as CHINAMAN'S HAT, on Oahu’s windward coast. The small island is located at the north end of Kaneohe Bay.
Fairly close in proximity (but actually backtracking here just a bit from Mokolii), is the NUUANU PALI LOOKOUT , which offers panoramic views of the sheer Koolau cliffs and lush Windward Coast. Driving up the Pali Highway through tall trees and dense forests to get to the lookout, you’ll see the city disappear and the tranquil beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape emerge (OK, THAT's from a travel site, but EXACTLY spot on).  Over a thousand feet above the Oahu coastline amid mountain peaks shrouded by clouds, the stone terrace overlooks the areas of Kaneohe, Kailua, and Mokolii .
KAHANA BAY BEACH PARK - a lot of this surrounding area was used in the filming of the TV series, "LOST".
The shoreline and waves along this entire drive are breathtaking. Another lighthouse on the two upper right photos (squint hard); MANANA ISLAND on the lower left - also known as RABBIT ISLAND.  Look like a rabbit's head to you?  Coincidental - rabbits were raised on the island until 1994 - it's now a protected bird sanctuary.
The local boys my husband worked with sent us to GIOVANNI'S SHRIMP TRUCK, on the North Shore - said it was the best around...they weren't wrong.  Stop, have some shrimp, and leave your signature on their truck.  Down the road from that, they claimed, we absolutely HAD to stop at MATSUMOTO SHAVE ICE in Haleiwa - see that line out the door of the store?  It was twice as long as that at one point.  Obviously THE best spot in town (other shave ice stores right around it, but everyone was at this one) - and definitely worth the entire drive that day, even if it did give the husband person immediate brain freeze!  Sno-cones got nuthin' on these, kids!
WAIMEA VALLEY - lush, tropical, and everything you would expect of Hawaii!  An area of historic cultural significance, the valley, being an important place in Hawaiian religion, includes several historical structures including stone terraces and walls constructed during the time of the Hawaiian monarchy.  A great place to bask in nature, stretch the legs, and walk off garlic shrimp and tropical shave ice!
All this, and much more to be seen - we passed pineapple fields and the Dole Pineapple Plantation on the way back!  Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl Crater will round out the next two weeks - hopefully someone out there will be inspired to visit and snap a few photos of their own.
Wish I was, too!


Anonymous said...

I love lighthouses, we have
many here in the East coast.
I remember seeing the lighthouse
in Oahu years ago when
I was there.

Beautiful photos!

DearHelenHartman said...

Absolutely stunning! Helen tries not to go places she can't get to by car, though. One day they may invite the boatmobile and I'll go too!

Jackie said...

WOW!! So beautiful, OK, I am really going to go this time!! I will ask for my 25th wedding anniversary next year!! Love all of it! Fabulous info and pics!!

My Garden Diaries said...

I just have to say that your photos are breathtaking girl! AMAZING!!! I really think you need to frame some of these because they capture something really magical about the atmosphere of Hawaii. I have been once with the hubs for our honeymoon...we hung up at the North Shore while we were there and totally dug the vibe and the cool shops. We actually did not want to come home! Ha! Thanks for bringing back some awesome memories through your journey....although I wish you had been with us because you definitely saw and know more about the island than we did! Have a great week lady! Nicole

Hindustanka said...

wish I was there...you tempt me so much to go and relax on those shores,Tanya. Lovely place to be and I wonder how you remembered all those names?
LOST was one of my fav serials for some tie..because of the beaches and nature of course!

Everyday Things said...

are there any volcanoes on oahu? I am just about ready to book my trip over there in a few weeks, and wondering if there are any volcanos there? Would the Hilton be a good hotel to stay at? any others that are nice too?

Theresa said...

This looks amazing! Put a little umbrella in my coffee this morning and you have given me what I need to picture myself somewhere warmer! I am going to have to try the tortilla flats (using beans instead of the burger), they look delicious. I need to tell you that I would have bought that notebook too, it cracked me up! I would have to bring it home to show the kids and laugh at the little note left by someone with a sense of humor... much needed on a daily basis!
love, t.xoxoox

Vicki Boster said...

Gorgeous photos-- simply gorgeous!! What a magnificent trip you had-- a drive around the island sounds heavey to me!! I wish I was there!!