Hawaii
August 2015
Diamond Head
Diamond Head is a crater and historic hiking trail located near Waikiki Beach and close to our hotel. You can learn all about it here. The hike itself isn't too challenging until a bunch of steps at the very end. It was hot so we brought water along and sunscreen is a must. The views from the top are spectacular. There are amazing views of Honolulu and the ocean. There is a vendor in the parking lot so we enjoyed some Shave Ice after our hike.
Honolulu Zoo
After Diamond Head, we headed to the Honolulu Zoo. It was only a short drive there. Parking is $1/hour and tickets are $14/adult and $6/kid. There is a really nice kids (Keiki Zoo) area in the zoo that had goats, fish, and a cow. Here is a link to their website.
Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is amazing! This is one of my top highlights from our trip. When you first walk in the view is incredible. You are up high looking down into the cove and can see all of the reef under the water. Once you get down to the beach, the water is calm and perfect for snorkeling. Faith even went pretty far out with me. There are two areas you need to be careful because of the current. The boogie board that someone gave us wasn't all that useful here but we had a lot of fun with it at a few other beaches during our trip.
Snorkeling
We did a bunch of snorkeling in Hawaii. I separated out Hanauma Bay into its own video since it was so incredible. This was the best and easiest place to snorkel during our trip. Some of the other great places were Sharks Cove, Aulani's beach, and Poipu Beach Park. The video from each of those are included in their sections below
Hilton Hawaiian Village
Our first hotel in Hawaii was the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. You can find their hotel site here. This hotel is very nice and has an excellent fireworks show on Friday nights. Check them out in the video. In addition to the beach area, they have a few pools including one that has small waterslides. Also, they have a lagoon but we didn't really use it too much (the water was really cold).
Waikiki Beach And Hula
We went to a free Hula show on Waikiki Beach one evening. The actual performance is different depending on the day of the week. They have it Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings. It started out with the blowing of the Conch shell and lighting the torches. You can find all the details about the show here.
Bellows Field Beach Park
This was one of the surprise finds on our trip and the best waves we had for boogie boarding. It is a bit off the beaten path. We parked as close as we could get to the entrance of the Bellows Air Force Station. Almost everywhere you go in Hawaii offers Shave Ice. We had our fair share while we were there, but one of our favorites was from Island Snow in Kailua. It was a very yummy treat!
Pearl Harbor
One item on our must do list was Pearl Harbor. We were not able to reserve tickets ahead of time so we had to just go and get walk-up tickets. There is a bunch of stuff to see before the tour begins and we had to finish some of it after we got back. We did the free tour over to the USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial sits right over top of the sunken ship and has a giant wall with all of the names of the men who died. Go here if you want more details about the memorial.
North Shore
We spent one day visiting the North Shore. We made a pit stop at the Dole Plantation and stopped at several beaches. The snorkeling at Sharks Cove was one of the highlights on the day.
Aulani
We loved Aulani! Aulani is a Disney Resort in Hawaii. We spent 3 nights there with an ocean view room. We got to see some of the Disney characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Stitch, Chip, and Dale. They have a waterpark and beach area in addition to a Kids Club (Aunty's Beach House). The waterpark had several pools (including a separate adult's only pool), a body slide, a 2 rider tube slide, a splash zone, and lazy river. We loved going round and round the lazy river (Waikolohe Steam) at Aulani.
Snorkeling at Aulani
Aulani had its own section of beach by their resort and the snorkeling was really good. This was the only place that I saw a turtle on our entire trip. Another snorkeler gave a dinner role to me while I was out there and the fish went crazy for it.
Starlit Hui
The Starlit Hui is a hula show that Aulani has on certain nights. It is spectacular. I loved the ukulele guys: Heart and Soul. If you go early, there are crafts and activities for the kids. They also get to participate in doing the hula early in the show. You can find out all of the details about it here.
Kukuiolono Park
When we landed in Kauai from Oahu, we went straight to a Wedding welcome BBQ at Kukuiolono Park. There were amazing views there and a golf course. We were able to spend a little time with the other wedding guests and family before heading to our hotel: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach. This hotel was really nice and we took advantage of our free drink a couple of the nights. They have a nice pool, a hot tub, and beach access.
Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the pacific. It is truly spectacular. It was a pretty long drive to the west side of Kauai, but it was definitely worth it. The canyon stretches 14 miles long, is 1 mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep. There are a bunch of areas you can pull off the road and enjoy the panoramic views. You can learn all about it here.
Poipu Beach
This beach was another highlight and surprise for me on our trip. Poipu Beach was beautiful and you could snorkel right near the shoreline and see tons of fish. Even Drew was able to snorkel here. We got up close and personal with a seal that was trying to come in to shore. I definitely recommend visiting this beach if you ever make it to Kauai. Nearby is Spouting Horn, which is a blowhole that shoots up water when there are large swells.
Wedding
Thank you Angie and Jonathan for giving us a reason to visit Hawaii and Congratulations on your wedding! We had a great time at the wedding. The food was fantastic. Between the wedding and the reception, we got to enjoy entertainment in the form of Hawaiian dancing. These two were brothers and each performed their own dance and then a dance together. They were very good.
Kauai Beaches
Our last full day in Kauai we did some beach hopping. It rained a bit off and on during the day, but that didn't stop us from having fun. The beaches we visited were on the north shore of Kauai. There were a couple really good snorkeling spots. The overcast skies actually made it easier to see the fish on the underwater camera. We were able to checkout a beach umbrella and two chairs from our hotel. It was really nice having though when it started raining.
Waterfalls
We did a bit of sightseeing and shopping our last day in Hawaii before heading to the airport. Two of the best waterfalls we saw were Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls. Check them out in the video. Everywhere you go in Hawaii, there are chickens just roaming around. This is especially true in Kauai. I was really surprised we didn't see any hit alongside the road because there are tons of them. Drew loved seeing them and chasing after them.