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Oahu's East Shore

Must-see stops along Oahu's East Shore
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 55 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  If the driving tour of Oahu's North Shore whetted your appetite for more, then head out to explore the beauty of Oahu's East/Windward ... more »

Tips:  Plan for at least half a day of sightseeing to visit all the POIs in this guide, which covers 50 miles of driving.

To extend this... more »

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Points of Interest

From Waikiki go east through Kapiolani Park to the Diamond Head Crater. You'll find a little parking lot that offers mesmerizing, unobstructed 180-degree views of Oahu's South Shore. Directly below is Diamond Head Beach, popular with wind surfers and regular surfers.

During the winter months you can catch glimpses of whales from this vantage... More

This quiet hotel off busy Waikiki is not only a nice place to stay, but there is a little something for passers-by too--the outdoor pool has several dolphins who will pose for you.

Park in the Wai'Alae Beach Park and walk to the hotel or simply use the paid parking on the hotel's premises.

Address: 5000 Kahala Ave Honolulu, HI 96816-5498
... More

3. Hawaii Kai Lookout

Hawaii Kai is an upscale community that could be referred to as the Beverly Hills of Hawaii. You know, one of those places where you park your car on one side of the house and your boat on the other.

The lookout parking lot offers perfect views of Hawaii Kai, the Koko Head Crater and the mountain ridge of East Oahu (all to the right). Look left... More

Hanauma Bay Park can be a whole day adventure. It's one of the best, but also busiest, places to snorkel down to the clear ocean bed for swimming with thousands of colorful fish. Today though, enjoy the fantastic view of the bay from the parking lot atop.

If you leave the parking lot within 15 minutes your fee will be reimbursed.

Note: Park is... More

5. From Here to Eternity Beach

An old-time classic, this little beach is famous for its tricky waters. If you decide to go down to the water be extremely careful; the waves and currents are unpredictable.

This is a beautiful beach popular with body surfers. Be very careful here, especially during winter months. This beach has one of the state's highest accidents rates because of the powerful and dangerous shore brake. Unexperienced swimmers should stay away from the water.

This is one of Hawaii's many "wow" places. The panorama from here--in any weather--is just breathtaking. Stop by and see for yourself.

While you're gazing over the landscape, observe the islands and peninsulas. What do their shapes remind you of? Hint: Think animals.

Dare to swim with the dolphins or "talk" to sea lions close up? Sea Life Park is the place for that and more. It's a great stop for families.
Address: 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway #7, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795
Phone: (808) 259-7933
Admission: $29.99 for Adult and $19.99 for Children
Hours: Daily 9:30am-5pm

One of my favorites is this beach, mainly because it's a little off the beaten path. Waimanalo Beach is long and beautiful, great for swimming, boogie boarding or just to relax.

One of the best for swimming on Oahu, this beach regularly makes it onto international top 10 beaches lists.

In the distance catch stunning views of the twin Mokulua Islands. Paradise must look something like this!

Parking might be little tricky here--try to find a spot on Mokulua Drive.

Another gem among the Oahu's beaches, Kailua Beach made it several times all the way to the top - voted as "the most beautiful beach in Hawaii". Top sports here are windsurfing and kite-surfing.

12. Olomana Ridge

As you drive along Kamehameha Highway, to the left find the dramatic Olomana peak. It's a popular, yet steep, hike. Interesting fact: Olomana is sometimes referred to as the "Matterhorn of Hawaii" because its shape resembles the famous Swiss peak.

13. Nuuanu Pali Lookout

It is believed that Mark Twain referred to this view as the most beautiful in the world. Nuuanu Pali is surely a memorable place to complete the journey around the island of Oahu.

The lookout here offers views of the island's east shores.

14. Punchbowl Crater

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located in this crater. Even if you are not a big fan of cemeteries, this place is important to the Pacific Islanders and offers a nice view of downtown Honolulu.

15. Tantalus Mountains Lookout

From here enjoy panoramic views of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and Honolulu.

Feel like finishing the drive with something really yummy? Then stop by Leonard's Bakery for not-to-be-missed "malasadas," Portuguese confections that made it to the Hawaiian islands in 1800s. They've become so popular that Hawaii even celebrates Malasadas Day.

These deep-fried doughy pastries come in many different flavors and styles--try the... More