garlic shrimp

Oahu Day 6 | Kaneohe Sandbar, Crouching Lion Hike, Sandy Beach


Day 6 — Kaneohe + North Shore + Waikiki

There are almost no words to describe the Kaneohe Sandbar. It’s a huge bar of sand in the ocean where the tide goes up and down, on days where the tide is low, the sand just sits like an island above the water.

We rented a kayak from Holokai Kayak and Snorkel. After some research, most prices were competitive and around the same amount, but they gave us a good deal! Threw in the seat backings and an anchor. We kayaked out about a mile from the shore to the sandbar.

We unfortunately went on a cloudier, actually rainy day, so there weren’t many people around. While the sun did come out here and there, it was pretty cloudy. Still it was an amazing experience and hope to go back again.

We continued up the east side of the island on Kamehameha Highway towards the Crouching Lion hike. Put the directions into the map and park alongside the road north from the trailhead, there will likely be other cars there. Usually I hear this area is pretty hard to get parking, but we went on a cloudy/rainy day so had no problem getting parking. Walk south down the highway towards the ‘Area Closed’ sign and start here.

Stay left as you hike up, this is the more direct route. You will have to climb over a fallen tree. Unlucky for us, it was a rainy day, and while the uphill climb was cardio it was also pretty slippery from the wet mud. It wasn’t raining when we went up so were able to climb the 1 mile up pretty quickly probably in about 20–30 minutes. The views at the top were quite rewarding, we didn’t actually hike to the very point that is a singular rock since it started raining. We reached the overlook before it continues to the rock, they consider this the Crouching Lion “mini” hike.

We started to hike back down and this proved to be one of the hardest hikes I have ever done, not because it was tiring but because it was so vertical going down with no traction. Not to mention, it was pouring, and the mud continued to get more and more slippery. It probably took us about an hour to slowly make our way down, and we came back super muddy. I wouldn’t recommend this hike on a rainy day but would recommend it on a sunny, dry day.

One thing I did want to do was find a swing along the road on the beach. And when people say if you just drive along the road and you will find one, they were right, I probably spotted 3 or 4. {They were all along the east side.)

After our drive along the east side of the island we continued driving towards the North Shore. We stopped for garlic shrimp at Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp which is the truck still on the east side right before you drive to the top of the island. This one had almost no line versus the other Giovanni’s in the heart of North Shore that almost always has a long line, highly recommend this location.

To finish the day we watched the sunset at Sandy Beach with our Hawaiian Sun Guava and Lilikoi (lychee) drinks. While it was crowded and touristy, it was a really great spot, this is also where the famous curved palm tree is.

This day ended with lots of dessert, we had to get our Matcha and Chantilly coco puffs from Liliha Bakery. Cannot recommend enough, we even bought and froze a dozen to bring home.

Followed by our search for the Modo mochi donuts! Tip: this location is IN the Mitsuwa Marketplace IN the Waikiki International Market Place. It was a tiny booth like storefront. My favorite donuts from them were the cookies and cream, and black sesame!