Best Beaches Of The West Coast; Oahu, Hawaii
My personal photo album
I am a beach baby, born in San Diego, California, I am definitely attracted to beach scenery. Let's just say it is my quick fix for everything; having a bad day, need to relax with calm surroundings, ideal vacation destination. I can hear the calm waves reaching out to me, calling my name. You need to look no further than the beach. It may not be the meaning of life, but it certainly is The Life!
I want to share with you my favorite beaches located off the West coast. My second favorite stretch of beach is featured in another hub "Best Beaches Off The West Coast; The Oregon Coast" http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Beaches-On-The-West-Coast-The-Oregon-Coast I love both of these beaches, but they are distinctly different.
Oahu, Hawaii- The beach, the palm trees- it's not everyday you get to jump into a paradise screen-saver. My trip was in the month of August and it was hot, humid, but not uncomfortable at all. Many people do their research and find what month is ideal for them.
Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is 44 miles long and 30 miles across with exapnsive beaches and views enough to take your breath away. Actually, it seems to give you a renewed breath, like breathing for the first time.
First impression- Instantly I wanted to give up my life on the "main land" and move to Oahu to become a professional beach bum. So tempting! My 9-5 job, decidious fir trees, and suburbs could kiss my bikini wearing beach butt goodbye. I forgot about life back home and was transported to paradise. If you come for the beaches, that's what you'll get. Whatever tourist activities you choose, you will be on, in, near, or overlooking the beach.
The biggest attraction for me was the time zone- 3 hours behind my Pacific time zone. Yay! Also, the natives have a different interpretation of time. You can arrive somewhere an hour late, but to them, you're not really "late". It's very flexible and they take surf breaks in the middle of a work day. For those that know me, I operate on Hawaiian time. Late? Me? Not in Hawaii!
Activities I suggest include:
- Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay http://www.hawaiiweb.com/html/hanauma_bay_beach.html- Hanauma Bay is not too far from Waikiki Beach. It is basically the crater of an old volcano that flooded with water and became a hot tourist spot in 1967 for beginner to intermediate level snorkeling adventures. Of course there is sun bathing on the beach, snorkeling rentals right on the beach, a diverse population of marine life in the shallow waters, a deeper area outside of the cove for divers, and hiking trails overlooking the bay.
- Island Adventure- If you have a car available to you (if not, there are tours available) do a trip around the entire island. This can be done in one day. As you get out of the Waikiki Beach tourist area, the scenery changes drastically. You may get caught in a warm downpour of rain as you go through the rain forest area, meet some surfers as the waves get much larger venturing north, see some turtles and other wildlife, and meet some of the natives as you progress to the north shore.
- Waimea Bay- This beach is part of the north shore region of the island and has incredible, unspoiled beaches. I watched surfers here and even had a chance to see turtles crawling the beach. The botanical gardern is worth a visit as well. Don't forget to try shaved ice, a flavored ice treat. Just a warning, this area is not as tourist friendly so they won't find your tourist charm as appealing here, but the scenery should not be missed.
- Diamond Head is a gorgeous, fairly short (.075 mile) hike, but definitely expect some rough terrain and a beautiful panoramic view of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.
- Waikiki Beach- sun tanning, relaxing, and shopping.
Shop- Yes, Waikiki Beach is a great place to shop for souvenirs and island clothing. Also Honolulu, nearby, is the only commercial city in Hawaii and the center of the hustle and bustle.
Beach- I was pleasantly surprised the beach itself really isn't crowded. Also, I was expecting it to be tainted with bathing suit models, but it wasn't anything like that. It was speckled with average people, enjoying their vacations.
Food- There are incredible restaurants along Waikiki Beach and don't forget to try a pupu (pronounced poo poo) platter, a Hawaiian appetizer. Most of the cuisine is a combination Chinese and island food, using local pineapple and Ono fish. Of course you could be more daring than me and have a Spam and eggs breakfast at McDonald's. I couldn't force myself to do it. Spam strange meat combination mixed with ham and became popular around World War II because fresh meat was scarce on the islands.
Lodging- I would encourage picking a great hotel- they're all fairly expensive so choose one that offers entertainment like luaus. I stayed at The Hilton Hawaiian Village and it was perfect. During my last two days I was worn out from all the tourist activities so I stayed around the hotel and beach. The hotel itself is right on the beach- super convenient. I laid back and had a wonderful chocolate martini while watching the entertainment. http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/resort_activities/
- Pearl Harbor- It is located in a lagoon off of Oahu, the spot at which the Japanese attacked our U.S base there and began World War II. This is a chilling historical monument and tourist attraction.You can walk right over the USS Arizona Navy ship.The whole ordeal has been captured in movies, most popular is "Pearl Harbor" starring Ben Affleck. The history is fascinating and I could easily dedicate an entire article on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor
- Other activities- I didn't personally experience these, but Oahu offers great cruise excursions, tours, helicopter rides, surfing, Byodo-In Buddhist Temple, and fantastic golfing.
View of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu from Diamond Head
map of activities near Waikiki Beach
Waimea Bay, north shore
Waimea Bay north shore beaches; distance in relation to Waikiki Beach
"Leeward side" of island. Valley of The Temples
How to enjoy Oahu, Hawaii
Split your Hawaiian vacation time wisely. Spend the first 3 days doing tourist type activities. I highly recommend the day trip around the entire island- totally worth it. Dedicate another 3 days to relaxing and sticking around the beach, Waikiki Beach and shopping area. By doing this, you really get a sense of the culture, food, and time to relax. Sometimes we forget to relax on vacation and it would be a crime if you went to Hawaii and didn't veg out on the beach.
While I was there, I didn't miss too much. I had tons of adrenaline and energy going. I woke up at 5am to the best scenery off the west coast. I had dinner about 10pm with friends, that lasted until about 1am. The pineapple and papaya are ridiculously perfect and much different than what you'll find in your store. I lived off fruit and fish while I was there, meals fit for a queen and best of all, I didn' t lose sight of the coastline views the entire time.
What is your ideal vacation destination?
Suggested Travel Locations
- Best Beaches Of The West Coast; The Oregon Coast
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