Composed of eight islands and surrounded by the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is a beautiful vacation destination for those wanting to escape to the tropics and experience the year-round sunshine. If you find Berkeley’s constant battle between heat wave and frigidity to be tiresome, Hawaii always delights with a consistent 80-degree weather forecast and rainbows galore. While there are several wonderful things about island life, from the food to the culture, nothing beats the all-encompassing nature. Having grown up on Oahu, the most populated of the eight and home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, here are some breathtaking sights you must see if you find yourself visiting in the near future.
Makapu’u tide pools
Getting to the tide pools is a treacherous journey not cut out for everyone, but once you find yourself magically floating atop the salty seawater, you’ll instantly feel a sense of gratification. However, if you’re looking for something a little less risky, there is an abundance of equally excitable adventures for you to embark on within the area. Take the light Makapu’u hike up to the lighthouse for a bird’s eye view of the shoreline and Mānana Island, or Rabbit Island (appropriately nicknamed because of it resembles a rabbit head).
Located at the end of the Manoa Falls hiking trail, this 150-foot waterfall is quite the spectacle. It’s essential to bring proper footwear since the path is a muddy one, but the serene sound and lush atmosphere of the falls will make it all the more worth it. If you aren’t the ultimate hiker, no need to fret. The trail is considered relatively easy, taking about an hour to complete.
Easily one of my favorite beaches, Lanikai Beach features calm, azure waters and soft, white sand to make your time spent there relaxing as can be. Far away from the touristy and overcrowded Waikiki Beach, Lanikai is a nice alternative situated in the residential area of Kailua, perfect for browsing your favorite magazine while you sunbathe. After your moment of repose, head over to the Lanikai Pillboxes hike if you’re prepared for a workout. The steep trek provides a panoramic view of the scenic ocean, which includes a look at the famed Na Mokulua twin island peaks, also known as the “Mokes”. Sunscreen, swimwear and your camera are musts!
If snorkeling is a lifelong dream of yours, check one more wish off your bucket list by heading to Hanauma Bay for a swim. Located on the south shore of Oahu, Hanauma Bay is the state’s nature preserve home to a vast marine life ecosystem with more than 400 species of fish and many sea turtles, called “honu” in the Hawaiian language, inhabiting the area. Enclosing the crescent-shaped bay is a stretch of sand for you to lie on beneath the palm trees, basking in the sun with a light breeze to cool you down.
Whether you like to plan your trip itinerary in great detail or prefer to go with the flow when it comes to how you spend your vacation time, make sure to allocate a day for Oahu’s North Shore. Waimea is one of the many great spots located in the town of Haleiwa on the North Shore. Notorious for the Eddie Aikau surfing competition with open ocean swells reaching heights of 40 feet, Waimea Bay is not the most fitting of beaches for leisure swimming. However, it’s still fun to watch the impressive waves and wade in the waters close to the shore. In the summer season when the waves are smaller, you can catch locals jumping off the famous 10-meter tall monolith into the pristine ocean. If you’re willing to unleash your inner daredevil, Waimea’s rock jumping is the perfect way for you to make a massive splash in your summer.
While on Oahu, be sure to take advantage of the wondrous landscape by spending ample time on its renowned beaches and gazing at its captivating views. Amid the multitude of hotels and rapid commercialization in the city region, it’s important to remember that the natural charm of the island is what makes Hawaii the one-of-a-kind paradise that it is. If you’re in need of an ideal getaway this summer (or even in the wintertime), hit up the shores of Hawaii for a fitting remedy against the pressures of school and work.