From scenic mountain vistas to spectacular beaches and more, Oahu is known for its outstanding natural beauty and outdoor wonders. With so many destinations outside your doorstep, it’s possible that some may be missed or overlooked. Here are a few of our personal favorite outdoor escapes:
Million Dollar Hunakai Beach
Kahala Beach, also called Hunakai Beach, is a secluded paradise that becomes a beautiful enclave of all sorts. While Kahala Avenue is lined with stunning gated mansions, the beach is not exclusive to these billionaire residences so keep an eye out for marked beach entryways. Not convinced yet? Come on a weekday and the long white sandy beach, lined with tall palm trees surrounded by beautiful blue sea, will most likely be all yours. Not the best beach for swimming, this little oasis is the perfect getaway when you just need a quick break in the sun.
Destination Kaneohe Sandbar
Have a boat? This is for you, if you don’t already go every chance you get. The Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is a raised strip of land in the middle of the bay. At high tide the water is just above the waist and at low tide the sand is completely exposed. During low tide consider this place your own private beach in the middle of the ocean. With this destination spot being pretty hard to get to for the average beach goer, it makes it pretty awesomely exclusive. Bring friends, refreshments, and a volleyball or Frisbee and you’re set. The surrounding coral reefs are perfect for snorkeling and views of the majestic Ko‘olau Mountains and nearby islets are absolutely mesmerizing. Just keep an eye out for the rumored hammerhead sharks that like to swim around there.
Velzyland’s Big Debut
Enjoy a day near a North Shore break that has appeared in many movies. Making its big debut on Bruce Brown’s Slippery When Wet, Velzyland invites you to come ride or just admire its feisty high performance waves. Located approximately a mile north of Sunset Beach, Velzyland is a hidden gem that is rarely visited by tourists. However, surfers worldwide will recognize this coveted beach from Surfer Magazine. Velzyland is a beautiful, serene beach with pro-level surf during the winter. One of Oahu’s hidden treasures for those who know about it.
Hidden Little Pu‘u o Kaimuki Park
Pu‘u o Kaimuki Park is a great place to come and relax while taking in the views. There are no benches here but great grassy areas to sit. The views let you see in all directions from Kaimuki and Hawaii Kai to Diamond Head, Waikiki, and the Honolulu skyline. Buy some snacks from the Crack Seed Store and walk up the asphalt walkway right to the park. This park is also a special spot during the holiday season. Here, a Christmas tree is lit up, which becomes a holiday attraction that can be seen by nearby communities and by drivers on the H-1 Freeway.
China Walls Sunset
Everyone loves to be a little touristy sometimes. And surrounding yourself with calm shallow water, white sand and tame fish? That never gets old. No matter how many times you’ve snorkeled the crystal clear waters of Hanauma Bay you just can’t seem to get enough, and you don’t have to! Located on the east side of Oahu, this old volcanic crater is protected from all but the biggest of ocean swells making it a wonderful place to snorkel for all. Hanauma Bay is by no means hidden, but while the tourists head back to their hotels, head towards the ocean on Lunalilo Home Road until you reach China Walls, a hidden lookout on a rocky cliff with one of the best sunset views on Oahu. Go during dusk and watch the sun set over Diamond Head, snapping up some killer shots for your Instagram feed. Just be safe. The waves here can be relentless, so stay high up on the cliffs where the ground is dry.