haku lei

Oahu Day 5 | Makapu'u Tide Pools, Lanikai Beach, China Walls

 

Day 5 — Kailua (South East)

Started our day a little later this day, but we were out to Kailua the south east region of Oahu. We visited the Makapu’u Tidepools, which often gets missed. It is a hike off the main trail up to the more well known Makapu’u Lighthouse.

After the parking in the Lighthouse Trail parking lot, walk up the paved path for about 20-25 minutes. While it is paved and isn’t a hard trail it is uphill and it is hot, so you will be tired. There are signs along the trail that educate you about the area and wild life, when you find the sign about the whales you will reach the part where you begin you descent.

If you look down you will see the tide pools below in the distance. From here you just make your way down the lava rocks, I wouldn’t say there’s a defined path but just keep going down the safest way possible. At the bottom you can swim in the tide pools and see the parallel blow holes called Dragon’s Nostril’s.

 
 

After our morning hike, we wanted to spend the rest of the day just hanging out at the beach. We headed to Lanikai Beach and this was our first opportunity to just do nothing and hangout. We picked up some poke and chips and laid out our beach mat. I also wanted to get some more photos of the haku before it completely wilted.

Lanikai is a gorgeous beach, pretty crowded and hard to find parking, but has nice snorkeling if you swim a little farther out and a view of Chinaman’s Hat.

After a few hours just relaxing, we wanted to finish the day with sunset at China Walls. This was a great spot to watch the sunset and surfers surfing the last waves of the day.

After sunset we headed to Costco to pickup souvenirs, the classic chocolate covered macadamia nuts but also bags of toffee nut cookies. Post Costco we met up with his family at Sura Hawaii for KBBQ. It was pretty good, they had some really good sides too!

Bonus, look how cute Jordan’s grandma is:

 

Oahu Day 3 + 4 | Lulumahu Falls, Shark's Cove, North Shore

 

Day 3

We spent the majority of Day 3 visiting both of Jordan’s grandpas cemeteries. Our first stop was Mililani Memorial Park. After that we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, which was a mix of stand after stand of souvenirs and people’s second-hand goods. We bought a few Ikaika Hawaiian Warrior Helmets as souvenirs for our car rearview mirror. I would recommend doing a lap around the place, although this will take a while before purchasing to get a sense of pricing.

For lunch we went to Button Up Cafe; since it was so small and the wait would be 30 minutes for a table we decided to take it to go. We found a nearby park just down the street to eat by the water (Neal S. Blaisdell Park). The nice thing about this park was that it was pretty empty and you could see parts of Pearl Harbor.

We ordered the Kalua Pork Hash and Tiramisu French Toast, both delicious! I wouldn’t say this was our most memorable meal on the island but well worth it!

Our next stop was Valley of the Temples to visit Jordan’s other grandpa. We planned on going down the street to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, which seems to be a spot everyone visits in Hawaii but we ran out of time and wanted to make sure we had enough time on our hike.

Lulumahu Falls wasn’t a challenging hike, I would say easy, about 1.5–2mi out and back. The only drawback was how extremely muddy it was, so be ready to wear shoes that you don’t care about. Also if you hate wet socks, don’t even bother wearing them. It is easy to get a little lost on the trail, but follow the pink plastic ties. We followed these the whole way and would have been the only way we found the waterfall.

Most hikes in Hawaii are private property, so I would recommend staying away most hikes out of respect to the land and risk of getting ticketed. This hike seemed visited by many and okay to go on.

Park at Nuuanu Pali Drive, and choose and entrance. There are two entrances, one where the the private property signs are that walks through a bamboo forest or through a wire gate that walks around the bamboo forest.

You end the hike at this 150 foot waterfall with a small pool at the end.

Day 4 — North Shore

We started another day early at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. While this spot was more crowded, it was a great snorkeling spot especially for families with kids. The water was shallow but you could see tons of fish. This area is enclosed by a rock barrier, but you can go beyond this barrier where the water is a little deeper and see more fish. I would recommend water shoes because it is super rocky and sharp.

Even though it’s called Shark’s Cove, there aren’t sharks, its because of the lava rock formations that look like a shark. We even found some great trees to hammock under for a bit.

We had to also make a stop at Haleiwa Bowls which was probably my favorite acai bowl of the trip.

We ended our day meeting up with Keri and Brandon to shoot for sunset. We even had a beautiful haku lei by Sky!

Here are a few of the photos they took for us!