Our very first hike on Oahu, located in Honolulu! The Koko Head Crater Hike consists of 1,048 stairs and took us about 30 minutes to get to the top. This hike up an abandoned railway was actually constructed during WWII. The military built several bunkers at the summit, and the railway was used to move troops and supplies up and down. Pretty easy hike; however, Rilde had a tough time keeping up with me ;-). We like to call this the real life “Stair Master,” I could do this every morning!
Tip: Many Acaí bowls only come with bananas and granola!
I always add strawberries and blueberries (honey, and peanut butter are also sooo good)
The hike up to the Diamond Head Summit was one of the busiest hikes we did. It’s an easy concrete pathway up to the summit which makes it easy for anyone to hike. This volcanic crater has been dormant for 150,000 years. “It got the name Diamond Head almost 200 years ago when British sailors believed there were diamonds in the side of the crater. Although none were found, the name stuck” (alltrails.com). To get to the top you walk through a bunker built during WWII, I don’t think the staircase up through it has been touched since then either.
Tip: Last entrance to the trail is at 4:30pm, gates close at 6:00pm!
The Byodo-In Temple was built to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.
It’s located in the Valley of Temples, and even the drive through is beautiful. The Koolau Mountains make this place picture perfect.
THE BELL, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND
As legend has it, ringing the bell before entering the temple not only purifies the mind of evil spirits and temptation, but also brings you happiness, blessings, and a long life.
Although this place looks huge there’s not a ton to see inside! Surrounded by koi fish ponds, the entrance to the temple is in the middle. You slip off your shoes to enter this small room with a huge statute of Buddha, here you are encouraged to light incense, take pictures, and continue on to the small flea market and gift shop.
This makes a great pit stop before Lulumahu Falls! We just ran out of time before dinner to make it there.
Kaniakapupu Ruins are the ruins of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama’s summer home. On the plaque outside the ruins it states that, “Completed in 1845 it was the scene of entertainment of foreign celebrities and the feasting of chiefs and commoners. The greatest of these occasions was a luau attended by an estimated ten thousand people celebrating Hawaiian Restoration Day in 1847.”
^^ this is actually crazy because when you see the ruins and the space around it you’re like, “HOW THE HECK DID 10,000 PEOPLE FIT HERE.” But I’m sure the whole forest that is surrounding it was probably cleared away back then.
Tiki’s Grill & Bar
One thing Rilde and I have in common is a love for food. Some people save money on expensive vacations by not eating out- no way, half the vacation IS THE FOOD!
Rilde is more of a expensive foodie and I’m more of a location-is-key foodie. So, while he’s busy looking at everything above a 4 star rating, I’m looking at what places are on a rooftop overlooking the ocean.
Tiki’s Grill & Bar had both! Views of Waikiki Beach, outdoor rooftop seating, and they even present their menu on iPads at each table. When in Hawaii, you have to eat all the poke you can get! Poke stacks were the go-to appetizer for us (don’t judge poke before you try it! I can’t stomach the thought of ever eating sashimi, but poke is a whole different story, I promise!)