The Makiki area is a great place to live. The University of Hawaii is five minutes away. I can walk to work at Queen’s Medical Center. Ala Moana Beach Park is a hop and a skip from my apartment. And as if that’s not good enough, the Honolulu Mauka Trail System is located right in my backyard. About two minutes from my apartment is the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve. Just above the reserve is the Hawaii Nature Center. A few feet beyond the nature center is the start of the Makiki-Tantalus Trail, a grand 8-mile loop trail.
We’ve featured the easternmost point of the island of Oahu on this site before (see Makapu’u Point), but what about the westernmost point of the island? That distinction belongs to Kaena Point. Located just beyond Waianae and Yokohama Beach, Kaena Point is actually a nature reserve and bird sanctuary that is managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Chinaman’s hat is a common sight on the windward side of Oahu from both various summits on the Koolau summits (for example: the Manana summit) to simply driving along the Northern section of the island. Shaped like a Chinese peasant’s chapeau from rural China, you may be surprised to learn one can easily access the island for a small adventure. While seemingly small from afar, this off island destination becomes increasingly intimidating as your approach her shores.
The single most limiting factor (in my opinion) when it comes to hiking in Hawaii is the weather. More specifically, rain. And if you know me then you know that I am not a fan of rain. Despite recent lofty plans to complete some epic hikes, Team Exploration: Hawaii had to modify their schedule in order to cooperate with the cloudy skies and occasional showers that Oahu has been experiencing over the last couple of days. With that said, our planned hikes that involved multiple summits on the Ko’olau range as well as an attempt at completing the treacherous Kalena had to be scrapped.
The Makapu’u Lighthouse trail offers some of the most breathtaking views that the island of Oahu has to offer. Located on the southern most part of the island, Makapu’u is home to the Makapu’u Lighthouse which was established in 1909. The paved trail is perfect for those looking for a quick not-to-strenuous hike and is especially well-suited for those with children. Having hiked Makapu’u multiple times in the past, I was looked to experience it in a different way. And what better way to enjoy Makapu’u than at sunrise?
The Legend of the Shapeshifting Shark-Man of Makua Cave is the first post of a series that we call Exploration: Hawaii Chicken Skin Legends, Locations, and Stories. These posts will explore some of the chicken skin (hair-raising goosbumbs for you mainlanders) inducing locations and stories that Hawaii has to offer. Since it’s October and Halloween is right around the corner, you can expect to see a couple of these posts throughout the month. And remember, you should always respect Hawaiian legends, spirits, and stories as spiritual Hawaiiana is something that should be respected and taken seriously.
Watching the sunset on a beach in Hawaii is great. Watching the sunset in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with Israel Kamakawiwaole playing in the background and a drink in hand is even better. The Welakahao Outrigger Catamaran [Update 12/1/2011: the catamaran was recently renamed the Waikiki Rigger]. offers just that and I got to experience this sunset cruise this past Sunday with Michelle.
Located on the aptly named King Street, ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States that served as the residence of a ruling monarch. The Palace was the home of both King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani. On December 29, 1962, ‘Iolani Palace was officially recognized as a National Historic Landmark.