Road.Travel Road.Travel

    Day Itinerary

    7 Activities
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    Day 1

    55 mi0.2 mi

    Heading to the North Shore, via Oahu's Windward Coast

    While the North Shore isn't hardly an hour's drive from Honolulu, Hawaii, directly, by taking the longer, more exploratory route to get there you'll see parts of Oahu only a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of visitors a year that the island receives ever visit. To the south beyond Diamond Head, the journey begins with stops to see the Halona Blowhole Lookout and a short, paved hike to the lookout over Makapu'u Lighthouse. Next it's lunch on the beach — plate lunch, that is, on Waimanalo Beach, one of Oahu's finest (that you've probably never heard of). The afternoon presents an opportunity to kayak and snorkel in the calmest bay in all of the Hawaiian islands, so best to wear your swimwear and sun cream from the get-go. The day winds down with checking in to a legendary North Shore resort property — with ample leisure time and prime sunset views.
    Koko Head Cafe
    08:001 hr

    Koko Head Cafe

    Café
    Open Details
    There's no better way to start a road trip adventure day than with a satisfying breakfast, and Chef Lee Anne Wong's Koko Head Cafe is well on its way to becoming an Oahu institution. Chef Wong's "all-day brunch" menu gives your classic breakfast/brunch offerings more than a few twists.
    Omelettes, for example, include a miso smoked pork omelette and a poke omelette; there's also "Dumplings All Day Wong," made fresh daily, a breakfast bibimbap, cornflake French toast, ricotta pancakes with all sorts of toppings, and a baked egg skillet with Portuguese sausage and a spicy ginger marinara sauce called "Volcano Eggs." For as cheeky as some of the names are, the food itself is stand-alone delicious.
    8.8 mi20 min
    Halona Blowhole Lookout
    09:3015 min

    Halona Blowhole Lookout

    Scenic Lookout
    Open Details
    How much action you might see from the blowhole itself all depends on the time of year and the weather, really. But any time of year, this lookout offers some incredible views — and a glimpse of what the raw, natural beauty of Oahu looks like, without hardly a glimpse of civilization in sight.
    Oahu is the second-oldest island in the Hawaiian Islands chain, and the stark contrast of the landscapes here — its smoother stone compared to, say, the Big Island's rough and jagged volcanic terrain — offers a glimpse into the millennia over which these islands have formed.
    2.6 mi10 min
    Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail
    10:001 hr 30 min

    Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail

    Hiking Trail
    Open Details
    Oahu has many hikes for outdoor enthusiasts, but the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is particularly wonderful, as its views are fantastic and it's readily accessible to all. The trail is 2 miles round trip, on a wide, paved path, and while you could probably complete the loop in less time, you're going to want to pause (more than once) to soak it all in.
    Keep an eye out for whales during the season (mid-December through mid-May). Bring water and a sun hat, and pause as often as you'd like — there are plenty of benches along the way for that purpose precisely.
    3.6 mi10 min
    Ono Steaks and Shrimp Shack
    11:4530 min

    Ono Steaks and Shrimp Shack

    Restaurant
    Open Details
    Welcome to the concept of the Hawaiian "plate lunch." Unfussy fare, typically some options of proteins or seafood served on a couple of scoops of rice, plus a side of creamy pasta salad, cooked-to-order and packaged in a humble to-go styrofoam clamshell with plastic utensils — ready for the beach, at a price that can't be beat.
    Ono Steaks and Shrimp Shack does all of this with perfection. There are plenty of sandwich and burger options, too. For a few more lunch choices — plus packaged treats, snacks, and cold beverages — Kalapawai Cafe & Deli is also just around the corner. The point being: Order up, and do as the locals do and head for the beach.
    0.2 mi5 min
    Waimānalo Beach Park
    12:301 hr

    Waimānalo Beach Park

    Beach
    Open Details
    A 3-mile white sand beach on Oahu that you've never heard of? That would be the treasure that is Waimanolo Beach Park. Decamp to the beach (sunny or shady location, your choice) to enjoy lunch and perhaps jump into the ocean for some midday heat relief. Welcome to the windward side of Oahu.
    12.6 mi30 min
    Kama'aina Kayak and Snorkel Eco-Ventures
    14:002 hrs

    Kama'aina Kayak and Snorkel Eco-Ventures

    Travel Agency
    Open Details
    It would be easy to spend the better part of a day exploring Kane'ohe Bay, the largest sheltered bay in all of the Hawaiian Islands, thanks to Oahu's only barrier reef, which minimizes ocean swells and currents.
    But there's no better way to get out and explore the bay for a couple of hours than by kayak, with your snorkel gear at the ready. After being set up with gear on the beach at Kama'aina Kayak and Snorkel Eco-Ventures in Heʻeia State Park, make your way towards the Kane'ohe Sandbar where you can jump out and snorkel or just splash around for a bit. The chance of spotting sea turtles? Highly probable.
    27.6 mi1 hr
    Turtle Bay Resort
    17:0012 hrs

    Turtle Bay Resort

    Lodging
    Open Details
    Sure, there's more you could perhaps try to squeeze into a day along Oahu's windward coast — but when your destination for the evening is such a jewel as the North Shore's Turtle Bay Resort, you want to arrive with time to settle in, relax, and enjoy the property. (They'll have no qualms whatsoever if you arrive still a bit soggy from an afternoon playing in the ocean.)
    Plus, the North Shore's sunsets are legendary — and Turtle Bay Resort has some prime viewing options; well, pretty much anywhere on property facing the ocean, but also consider Turtle Bay's open air Sunset Bar or its onsite restaurants.
    As a dinner alternative to dining on property, if any of the food trucks around Kahuku caught your eye, they're just 10 minutes or so back down the road. Keep in mind though that they do tend to close up shop around 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.
    Also keep an eye on what time the sun sets — because in Hawaii, that's something special to behold.
    Day 2
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