This post is part 2 of my Hawaii write up, part 1 is here. After spending the first week of our 2 week vacation in Honolulu we drove out of the city and moved into a rented cottage on Lanikai beach on the east coast of Oahu. There are a couple of things Lanikai is particularly famous for. Firstly, having one of the best beaches in the US and secondly, being the beach community that is down the street from Kailua where President Obama rents a vacation home for his winter holidays every year.
I did not see the President during my stay in Lanikai but I saw his motorcade a number of times taking him on his daily excursions to play golf, hike a mountain or have a snow cone at Island Snow. Even though the President’s motorcade caused lengthy traffic delays in this small neighborhood, the locals love their President. I asked local business owners about the President and everyone said the same thing – “he is an ordinary guy”
Getting out of the city and moving into a residential area meant we explored the island far more. Our daily ritual was breakfast, day trip, Whole Foods grocery shopping and dinner in our cottage. Below is some of the activities we enjoyed.
Our cottage was in Lanikai – an ordinary beach side residential community with a world class beach. The water was so clear and the sand soft. Due to the high season, the beach got crowded by midday, but still I had to pinch myself that I was actually staying at this beautiful place. Every morning I would be up by 6.45am to see the sunrise at 7.08am. Long after anything about this holiday is forgotten the memory of these sunrises will linger.
This is the beach just up the road from Lanikai, slightly wider with an elevated level and gorgeous views.
The drive around the north shore of Oahu is so scenic – the surfer communities, the food trucks, the road side shrimp shacks and bakeries are the definition of quaint. The biggest town in the north shore is Haleiwa – a little surfer enclave, which honestly now is more a tourist trap, with the tour buses and the traffic and the long lines outside shave ice and ice-cream bars. Still if you are looking for the opposite of big city Honolulu, this picturesque small town is it.
East Coast Drive
Driving down the east side of Oahu some of the mountain scenery seemed straight out of Jurassic Park.
I would have liked to have done more hiking during my stay in Oahu -that is something on the bucket list for next time – but I did manage to do a trail to see the waterfall in Manoa Falls State Park. I am not an experienced hiker so for me the trail was quite hard and the muddy walking path was a little gross but the surrounding scenery and sight of the water fall at the end made it all worth while.
Oahu is also known as “The Gathering Place”. America and Asia collide on Oahu to create a unique culture that is enriching to experience. Sun, sea, sand, friendly locals, great food and a diverse range of activities. There is so much to do and experience. I know I will be back and I can’t wait.