Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Exploring Waikīkī & Southeast Oahu

As I mentioned in my resort post, we stayed in the residential area of Ko Olina when we traveled to Oahu.  On the first day of our trip, we visited Pearl Harbor, and day 2, we spent the morning at Waikīkī beach before golfing in the afternoon.

First thing in the morning, we left Ko Olina and drove east, through Honolulu, along the harbor and piers.  Waikīkī 100% feels like a city with narrow streets, cars honking, and tall buildings.  Luckily, there are a ton of parking garages, but just note that they can be pricey.  We were there for only a few hours and paid close to $40 just to park.  Locals, if you know any secrets, I'd love to hear them!  We found a garage near Kahanamoku Beach at the top of the touristy beach area and walked right out to the water to check out the views.  There are tons of right-of-ways to get out onto the beach.
We loved strolling along the beach, dodging waves, across the boardwalks and over to the official start of Waikīkī beach at the beautiful Royal Hawaiian Resort.  You've probably seen this historic pink hotel before on postcards.  It was just as magical as I pictured!  We kept walking over to the Duke Kahanamoku statue and across the street to grab some breakfast.  We found Kai Coffee inside this great outdoor mall.  They I got a Kai latte, which is their signature macadamia nut latte with macadamia nut whipped cream and a chocolate-covered macadamia nut on top.  This was the first macadamia nut-flavored food I'd ever tried in my life, and it was delicious.  I basically lived on a strict diet of macadamia nut and coconut lattes for the rest of the week.   Mike chose one of their single origin coffees.  Because they're each made-to-order, you can even choose the brewing method: pour-over, aeropress, French press, or slow drip.  They also have a variety of delicious scones and pastries.  It was the perfect pick-me-up for our busy walking morning.
After our coffee stop, we kept walking South along the beach.  There were tons of surfers, outrigger canoes, and sailboats in the harbor.  We ventured out onto one of the walls to check out all the fish.  So many colors!  
We turned back around the Waikīkī Aquarium and walked on the streets back to our Jeep.  We really loved Waikīkī as a day trip but were glad we chose a calmer and more secluded area to stay.  If you're looking for a place with a lot of night life and excitement, Waikīkī would definitely be the place for you.
Before we headed back to Ko Olina, we kept driving east along the Kalanianaole Highway, to check out a few different hikes for later in the week.  DiamondheadKoko Head Crater Stairs, Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail, and Lanikai Pillbox Hike are all in this area.  We stopped at a the scenic overlooks as we drove around Hanauma Bay and up to H3, through the amazingly scenic mountain tunnels.
This road was our favorite of the trip.  I wish I could have snapped a shot of the beautiful misty rainbow we saw right after this tunnel.  This morning was beautiful, and I'll be sharing more on Friday about our adventure back out this way to the windward coast.

20 comments:

kerri @ cheshire kat said...

ah hawaii! oahu has SO many hidden gems that people don't realize - even in waikiki. which even touristy - still has fun hidden pockets. i love the highway for seeing some awesome views too!

xoxo cheshire kat

BLovedBoston said...

This makes me want to plan a trip back to Hawaii so soon - we were there 4 years ago but somehow it feels like much longer LOL! We never made it to Waikiki so I guess we will have to go back LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Jen said...

I've never been to Oahu but it seems amazing!~ Maybe one day I will get the chance to visit.

Carly Blogs Here said...

So cool that you can visit somewhere so different from where you're staying with an easy drive plus lots of scenic places along the way! The coffee you got sounds amazing!

Missy said...

I have never been to Hawaii, it sounds amazing! Beautiful photographs! And I need that coffee in my life!

Kait said...

H3 is so quintessential "Jurassic Park" isn't it?! When we have visitors, I always make sure to drive them along that. When it rains, there are waterfalls that peak out that makes it look even more ominous (or so it seems to me!). Did you get a chance to do Kokohead?! It's my favorite hike!

coastalkelder.com said...

Last time I was there we stayed at the Modern Honolulu, and loved walking around Waikiki. Glad yall checked out Diamondhead! Loved the views from the top!

Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! said...

I loved Waikiki! And Hanuma Bay was one of my favorite stops!

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos! And that coffee sounds delicious! I've never been to Hawaii before, but this post definitely makes we want to go ASAP!

Kelsey Hill said...

Okay these photos are amazing! I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, and these pictures are making me want to go even more!

xo Kelsey | www.chasingcinderellablog.com

LHWinstead said...

I went to Oahu back in High School - beautiful area!!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

That coffee looks delish, and how gorgeous are these photos! But man alive $40 to park, that sounds like NYC! Let me know if you learn any secrets about getting around that <3

Green Fashionista

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

I don't think that I'd want to spend forever in Waikiki, but I still think that it'd be fun to visit! Plus I think that the food would be amazing! The coast looks so incredibly beautiful, and it kind of reminds me of Kauai!

Nicole said...

What a dream! This post makes me want to be in Hawaii right now...with a Kai latte! Can't wait to see more :)

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

You are giving me major wanderlust!!

Julie said...

Oh to go to Hawaii!

Liz Martin said...

This looks like a marvelous trip!

Erin Phillips said...

This is absolutely stunning, what a fun trip you guys had! And you know I'm loving that Lilly!!!

Erin, Attention to Darling
www.attentiontodarling.com

Emily said...

Oahu sounds lovely! I've been dying to visit Hawaii since I'm a kid. Just something about the culture and scenery...good to know Waikiki is more city-like.

Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate said...

Wow! So beautiful!! I'm sure these photos don't even begin to do it justice either! All that macadamia nut goodness sounded delicious too! My inlaws went to Hawaii years ago and brought us back Hershey kisses with macadamia nuts in them - so yummy! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying these trip posts! Thanks again for sharing!!

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