More and more people are flocking to Hawai’i, not only for vacation but also to work! With COVID around, there are various job opportunities to “work from home”. Even with this massive influx of people, there are still many Hawaiian secret spots that aren’t flooded with tourists. Obviously you could spend your time on Oahu seeing Turtle Bay and Waikiki, but there are other things like crawling into a tiny sea cave or committing to a romantic moderate-leveled hike to a stunning waterfall.
This Thanksgiving my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to do something off-beat. We found a hike that we didn’t know anything about (aside from the fact it had a waterfall), and packed up a feast along with wine and water and spent the entire day outside. Starting the hike without knowing much, we actually went the wrong way and it delayed us by a couple hours. This is an issue easily avoidable by asking around or paying attention to the pretty bold signs. Although it delayed us, we enjoyed every second of it. Most hikes in Hawai’i are very vertical, and the wrong pathway we took was just that. It went straight up, up, and up onto a beautiful mountain ridge with an incredible view that made us feel like we were out of the country. Once we made it back down to our starting point, the correct path was the best hike we’ve ever done on the island. Easily maneuverable with eldery couples and even toddlers passing us by. It turns out that this is a local favorite that we chose on a whim and quickly discovered why people love it so much.
Ka’au (Ka-Ow) Crater Trail is its name, and it actually includes 3 waterfalls and a walk around the crater rim at the top. For beginner level hikers, the hike to the first waterfall is all you’ll need. Other secrets on Oahu include Mermaid Caves, Blowhole, the Byodo-In Temple, and Waimanalo Beach.
Mermaid Caves is on the west side of the island and has the tiny sea cave I mentioned earlier. During low-tide you can actually climb down into the cave and enjoy a private underground beach. The location is on google maps, but when you arrive please feel free to ask others where the cave is and they’ll be sure to show you. It also includes a cliff-jumping point that’s about 5-6 feet high. If you arrive during high tide, you can drive less than five minutes down the road to the famous Electric Beach (amazing for snorkeling) and wait for low-tide to come around.
Blowhole is on the opposite side of the island, the southeast side. Besides its most used purpose – being a viewing point for whales during the winter – it also has a skinny beach below it. This beach is also incredible for snorkeling, diving, spearfishing, and more. It has a tunnel opposite the water that you can walk all the way through that’s great for pictures.
Let’s say you’re here for the beauty, but you’re not so much of an outdoorsy person. There is plenty for you to do too! The Byodo-In Temple is not only a magnificent display of culture, but overflows with gardens and ponds. On the drive there, you pass through a botanical garden as well that tells you all about the native, non-native, and invasive species on the island. Seriously a Must-do on Oahu!
Last but not least, Waimanalo Beach on the east side. When you think of Hawai’i, what do you think of most? The beaches! Unfortunately, for a swimmer like me, it’s hard to find a beach that isn’t immediately a reef or rock with sea urchin all over it. However, then there’s Waimanalo which is always clear and usually very sunny, and the absolute best place to go for a swim. Body surfing is fun here, too! Another local favorite – and hopefully you’re now motivated to book your trip!
If you want help booking a trip, check in with our resident travel agent Paige Tulley who was one of our first bloggers.. see her first blog HERE
Tune in with me next week for some secret spots on the Big Island of Hawai’i!