Where We Be
|The Duke welcomes you to Waikiki Beach! Duke Kahanamoku was an Olympic
medalist swimmer in the 1920s and is known as the father of modern surfing.
|Oahu -- Waikiki & Diamond Head
|The Prince Edward Hotel is budget-priced at $75 per night for a hotel within one minute's walk of Waikiki Beach
After warm goodbyes to my parents (who were
flying home that same day), we disembarked
the cruise ship and headed off for two extra
days on Oahu and ten extra days on Kauai. A
short bus ride got us to our hotel near Waikiki
Beach where we dropped off our luggage and
decided to do some exploring. What was meant
to be a short walk turned into a five-hour trek.
Call it a Bob & Robin Special -- we do this to
ourselves all the time. Our walk took us all the
way from Waikiki Beach to the top of Diamond
Head and back. We were footsore by the end of
it but certainly got our exercise for the day and
saw a fair chunk of Honolulu to boot.
The obvious highlight was the view from the
top of Diamond Head. The trail to the summit
climbs 560 feet and takes about 30 minutes.
You don't get the "money shot" of Honolulu
until you reach the top, so it's a dramatic thing
when you turn that final corner and see all of
Honolulu laid out before you. We were glad to
have made the effort once we saw the reward.
In hindsight I suppose it might have been wiser
to take a bus to and from Diamond Head, but
we would have missed a lot of smaller sights
along the way -- including strolling the lovely
trail alongside Waikiki Beach, crossing through
Kapiolani Park, discovering a local surfer spot,
and seeing several impressive mansions as we
circled Diamond Head the long way around.
|We liked the tiki torches lit each night along Kuhio Beach. Be sure to get out and walk the Waikiki area at night. It feels
like a mini-Las Vegas with street performers, upscale shops and hotels, and lots of young people out to have a good time.
|Here we're looking to the right towards downtown Honolulu. We thought the location was fantastic.
|This overlook is halfway to the top of Diamond Head and faces away from downtown Honolulu towards a quieter side of the island
|It felt good to get some exercise after all that eating on the cruise ship!
|Here's the money shot from the top! Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach laid out before you -- a feast for the eyes.
|Worth every bit of effort to get here -- and you can only get here on foot
|We made the questionable decision to take the long way back -- circling Diamond Head the rest of the way around and eventually passing by this lighthouse
|It was great to see surfers heading to their local surf spot to ride the waves so close to a big city like Honolulu
|We really enjoyed this beach-side path on the way back to Waikiki Beach
|All along the way are glorious beaches where you can stop and relax for awhile
|Eventually we reached Kapiolani Beach Park with its numerous palm trees for shade
|The open frame for the Waikiki Movie on the Beach is situated just behind this surfer dude
|Surfboards await those who dare
|Eventually we headed inland through Kapiolani Park. This huge grassy area features bandstands,
the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, large shade trees, and lots of egrets pecking in the grass.
|It took us a long time to circle around the back side of Diamond Head to where the turnoff is. Public buses drop you
off near here. From this point it's a 20-minute walk to the entrance gate and another 30 minutes or so to the top.
|This is Kuhio Beach, at the heart of the Waikiki Beach scene and close to our hotel. Here we're looking left in the direction of Diamond Head.
|We liked Waikiki Beach a lot more than we thought we would. It has a good vibe -- and just look at that dramatic view of Diamond Head!