Many tourists from all over the world are no stranger to Oahu’s must visit destinations. Top beaches, parks, man-made wonders, and places to dine, are just a few clicks away. This is why Oahu’s hotspots easily pack with crowds, considering an average of 200,000 tourists on any island on any given day.
If you’re looking to uncover hidden gems in Oahu, the exploring off the beaten paths is for you. Take the roads less traveled and see these hidden gems the next time you go to this wonderful island.
Here are some of the ‘not-so-famous-yet-must-see places in Oahu:
It is one of the best secluded beaches in the whole of Oahu, complete with a green mountain backdrop which adds to it’s more remote vibe. Keawaula is the northernmost beach on the west shore, and thanks to a lack of development, you could very well have this beach all to yourself. To get to this beach, take the Farrington Highway until you find a pull-off just before the road ends at Ka’ena Point.
Lulumahu or Hamama Falls
Hawaii boasts of many rainforests, which hold many hidden gems inside. One of those gems is the Lulumahu or Hamama falls located near the Kaniakapupu Ruins, King Kamehameha III’s summer home. It takes about 15 minutes traveling up stream, until you reach the Hawaiian waterfall. Make it up the stream, and you’ll have a grand 50 ft plus waiting for you tucked away in the middle of nowhere.
As elusive as the fictional characters it was named after, the Mermaid Caves could be hard to locate, but, can be one of the best places to see in Oahu. The Mermaid caves is a cavernous setting with holes of varying sizes is half-submerged along the west shores of Oahu and looks out into the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean.
Well-known as it may seem, locals are not quite sure how this elusive spot earned the moniker “Mermaid Cave”. To get here, head towards the west side and locate the Kalaniana’ole Beach Park. Some people refer to it as the Nanakuli Beach Park, so just use this if you have a hard time pronouncing the local name. The cave is located only 5 – 7 minutes from the parking lot. Head to the rocky side of the beach and look for a large gaping hole to the left.
Meet the Sharks
If you are more of the adventurous type of person, why just watch dolphins or whales? Interact with sharks! Go to the North Shore and swim with the sharks. Take a short boat ride just a few miles from Haleiwa Boat Harbor where you can get up close to Galapagos and Sandbar sharks in their natural environment, while you observe from safety of a polyglass floating cage.
Travelling off the beaten path is always exhilarating and exciting. However, make sure that you prioritize your security and safety. It is important to take safety precautions to ensure your time is memorable for all the right reasons.
Do your research and follow your own instinct as far as your hiking and swimming limitations and always check the weather conditions before venturing out. If you are still feeling unsure but wanting to venture out and explore.
Arranged or not, well-known or hidden, your trip to these wonders of Oahu should be done safely and efficiently, not compromising your safe and health. Make sure you follow rules and protocols in the areas listed above to make sure they remain protected and not exploited.
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Eddie Keliinohomoku is the Director of sales and marketing and co-founder of Go Hawaii Tours and Aloha Trikke, With Direct Ties to the Hawaiian islands, Eddie's passion is sharing the islands and spirit of aloha with the world. "E Komo Mai"