Experience a few of Hawaii’s hot spots that create great memories at little to no cost. Extraordinary Beaches, Yummy Treats and Spectacular Hiking!
Some only dream of visiting a beautiful tropical island with warm blue-green waters, red-orange sunsets and the soft tones of a ukulele. You might guess this describes a place like the islands of Hawaii. Hawaii is not only a place that offers the beauty of the oceans and challenging hiking trails, but it represents a way of life and culture. A culture that consists of living free and having an open mind. Appreciating the environment that surrounds you, from the moment you step off the airplane, the relaxation and feel good vibes begin.
Relaxation and feeling good is just the beginning of experiencing the Hawaiian islands. There are eight major islands that make up the Hawaiian islands and I am most familiar with Oahu. I have spent so much time visiting, that I lost track of how many times I have been here. And with each visit I experience something new, whether it’s hiking a new trail, discovering a new waterfall, or watching a successful and talented artist paint his works right before your eyes, I then fall in love with the place all over again.
As you might imagine, there are countless places on Oahu to fall in love with. To begin, the beautiful city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu. I do not spend much time lingering around the city per se, but there are few very cool places to check out on your Hawaii visit. Waikiki Beach is a must see at least one time if you visit Hawaii. Although this beach is a tourist destination, there are other beaches less populated with tourists.
TRAVEL Best Beaches Hawaii North Shore Waikiki Bellows
Waikiki beach is one of the hottest tourist spots in Hawaii today and is one of the most recognized places in the world. It’s history boasts of a place where Hawaiian high society and royalty came to spend time. Today, Waikiki Beach is home to numerous hotels, shops, malls, water fun, dining and so much more. There are several water sports equipment you can rent on the beach as well including jetskis, https://hawaiiwatersportscenter.com/package/jet-ski/, bumbertubes, banana boats and more! https://hawaiiwatersportscenter.com/
One of the historical landmarks on Waikiki is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It was one of the first hotels established on Waikiki and was a place for celebrities and dignitaries to lay their hats. While there are still a few antique items and things throughout the hotel, such as artwork and furniture, there have been some new and modern touches integrated to ensure a well-rounded experience for any visitor. It has upscale shops, boutiques, dining and outdoor patio area to enjoy their own special Luau.
As you continue your journey browsing throughout Waikiki and other areas of Oahu, Hawaii, you will come across a vast array of street art and art galleries. With so much surrounding inspiration, the art is not just confined to a gallery. Several colorful murals, walls, festivals, beach views, and sunsets offer you some of the world’s best eye candy. Every year artists from around the world gather in Kaka’ako and create murals for the POW! POW! Event in February.
North Shore Oahu, Hawaii. Sunset Beach
During the month of February (Winter) you might get lucky and get the opportunity to witness some of the world’s biggest and best waves. Surfers from around the globe flock to North Shore in hope of catching their dream wave of a lifetime. In 2017, there was a good chance to witness the Eddie, unfortunately I missed seeing it by one week. Waves were enormous that year and it created unbelievable traffic jams and gridlock as endless numbers of people were lured to the North Shore in hopes in witnessing this big wave event.
Bellows Beach, Bellows AFB
Bellows Beach is a less populated beach, camping and a picnic area for islanders to enjoy. However, this beach is located on an Air Force base and is only open to the public on weekends. This makes it great for those who have access to the base during the weekdays to basically have the beach to yourself. This beach made for a prime Television filming spot for TV shows such as ‘Lost’ and some others. It provides some wave action for the boogie board enthusiasts, of which I take full advantage. The blue green waters are also highlighted beautifully from the morning and afternoon sunshine!
Hiking: Waimano Pools Hiking Trail and Waterfall
TRAVEL Hiking and Nature Hawaii Waimano Pools Waterfall
This hiking trail was both challenging and rewarding. The muddy trail, tree roots and elevation made for a slightly dangerous walk and climb down towards the beautiful pools and waterfall and doing the hike on a rainy day didn’t make it any safer. But this is one hiking experience that is worth every step. You start off by parking in a neighborhood towards the end of the road turnaround area. It’s a little tight for parking sometimes, because it is parking in front of personal properties. The early part of the trail starts off smooth and slightly easy, then the further you go, you start to descend and head to lower elevation towards the waterfalls. Of course this is a challenge when its a rainy day with all the slippery mud.
Directions to Waimano Pools and Waterfall Hiking Trail:
Koko Head Stairs
Koko Crator Head Trail- ‘Koko Head Stairs’ The spectacular views will not be the only thing that gets your heart racing during this extraordinary hike up the Koko Head stairs. This climb of approximately 1,050 stairs (or railroad tithes) is a challenge for any exercise enthusiast and will definately offer a cardio workout like no other.
Koko Head is the eastern side of Maunalua Bay and the southeastern side of the Island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. On it’s western slope is the community of Portlock, a part of Hawaiʻi Kai. You will enjoy wonderful views of Haunama Bay and beyond. The climb can be grueling and scenic, so it’s a good idea to rest and take in the views.
There is a section where a larger drop to a ridge is located below, so you take your time and go slow if needed. You may be huffing and puffing half way up the climb, only to learn you have quite a way to go and are getting higher and higher.
This is a view from below looking upward, it may be approximately half way up, but it still looks like there are quite a few steps to go to reach the top.
When you reach the summit you will be blown away! It seems to always be windy up there, so be prepared to hang on to your hat or water bottle and be safe.
View from above Koko Head Stairs
Things to remember:
1.Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Bring camera
4. Hike may take between 1-3 hours
Directions to Koko Head Stairs:
To complement your beach day experience, you can add a little sweetness to top it off. Ask any local about ‘Leonards’, your taste buds will melt when you tease your pallet with this delectable pastry called Malasada. The malasada will melt in your mouth leaving no after taste and only the remnants a grain of sugar or two. You may not be able to have only just one. Leonard’s grand parents, Arsenio and Amilio DoRego were brought to Maui, Hawaii, from Portugal on a British sailing ship, Monarch, to work in the sugar cane fields. Many years later, in 1946 Leonard and his wife Margaret moved to Honolulu with their daughter Diane, as he began working in Snowflake Bakery. Thus, Leonard’s Bakery was born. About | Leonard’s Bakery
If you are out exploring around the island, you might see one of the Malasadamobile’s trucks out and about. If you can’t get to the bakery downtown, you can get your treat fresh and hot at the Malasadamobile. Currently, there is one parked around Wailkele Shopping Center in Waipahu. Some years ago, there was one parked at the Navy Exchange Commissary parking lot but they have since moved from there.
So make sure you get over to a Leonard’s Bakery and treat yourself to one of these fresh and hot delicious hand made pastries. https://www.leonardshawaii.com/malasadas/
Fun Places to Visit
Soap Factory, North Shore
Hawaiian Bath & Body
Polynesian Culture Center
Polynesian Cultural Center | Top Oahu Attraction | Polynesian Cultural Center
This place is great! We went on the mountain bike tour and it was spectacular! Meeting early in the morning at the ranch, they provide you with a bike, helmet, and a turkey lunch sandwich. You’ll visit several historial sites, as well as a few sites where popular TV shows and movies filmed some scenes.
Views from Aloha Tower
So, if you are someone who longs for an extraordinary experience while on vacation or travel, and not necessarily doing all the tourist activities but are more about adventure and exploring, you will certainly find that in Hawaii. Make sure you are not one of those people who only dream about experiencing a beautiful tropical island with warm blue-green waters, red-orange sunsets, and the soft tones of a ukulele. Go explore Hawaii today!
About guest blogger Fitlife360:
A health and fitness enthusiast with a passion to help others achieve living the healthiest happiest life possible. Fitlife360 is an online place where like minded followers and friends share ideas, tips and discussions about health, exercise, nutrition, travel, hiking experiences, art and much more. Our goal is to encourage a sense of mindfulness and achieve self awareness in this crazy stressful world we all live in. We love hearing from you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org