Day 1 — Leeward (East)
As soon as we got off the plane, picked up our rental we went straight to Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Which was hands down our favorite food spot on the island. Directly followed by a trip to Foodland for a few pounds of poke. After we dropped our stuff off at our family’s place we were on our way driving up the East side of the island towards Makua Cave.
We stopped at Electric Beach on the way there which is known for its snorkeling. The waters there are warmed by the power plant next to the beach. Unfortunately we didn’t spend much time there or see anything. My guess is we were a little farther down on the beach away from the power plant and also didn’t commit to swimming a little farther out. Mind you we were so excited, this was our first beach of the trip, and were also trying to make it to Makua Cave for sunset.
We drove farther up HI-83 and parked at the Ka’ena Point State Park sign, that someone unfortunately knocked down. This spot had a really cool view of the coast. From there walk farther down the road to the 25mph sign, not the No Tresspassing sign. There is a path, made by others who have walked up.
Day 2 — Hawaii Kai (South)
We started the day early by hiking Koko Head, we knew it would be busy since it was a Saturday but also wanted to beat the sun before it got too high in the sky. I think we arrived around 7:30AM and it was already busy, not overwhelmingly crowded but busy.
I will say that this hike isn’t easy, it is 1,050+ steps. it’s completely doable but it isn’t easy. Jordan and I are both semi-fit, not top athletes who could run up this mountain, but moved at a moderate pace, taking maybe two or three breaks. But people of all athletic levels were doing it, just take it at your own pace.
I will say, while we were sweating bullets, huffing and puffing all the way up in the heat and humidity, the top was definitely worth it. Not only for the views but the cooling winds that greeted us in the best way. You basically get a 360 view of this corner of the island.
Post hike we drove just 6 minutes away to Halona Cove. We hung out and enjoyed the natural wave cove for an hour or so before checking out the surrounding lookout areas.
We ended our day early to return home to celebrate Jordan’s Grandma’s 90th birthday! But before doing that we picked up an Acai Bowl at Lanikai Juice, tbh I would give it a 2.5/5. It was good, but felt really corporate, less homemade. It was also pretty pricy. I wouldn’t recommend coming here, there are plenty of other spots on the island that definitely felt more authentic.