Travel Koncierge: Honolulu page 7
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NORTH SHORE AND ROUND THE ISLAND
It is worth it to drive around the island. We recommend that you do it counter
clock wise. You avoid most traffic that way. A few things along the way: Go
through Kahala. The homes are lovely and you will see where the Kahala
Hotel is for future reference. Hawaii Kai Shopping Center is a good place to
stop for supplies. Going up the hill, you will hit the fabled Hanauma Bay. Be
aware that they do limit parking, so either go early, go late, or go with a tour.
Depending on how comfortable your kids are with water, you might skip it
altogether. Going on the cliffs are breathtaking. On a clear day look for a
low grey bump on the horizon, that is Molokai. Forget every beach you pass.
Unless you are an excellent swimmer, you will get pounded.
Going around Makapu’a point before you go down hill again, there is a
parking lot with a nice short hike to the lighthouse. Worth a stop. The views
Back in your car, you will pass Sea Life Park referenced elsewhere in this
guide. You will pass through Waimanalo where there is a decent beach at
the former Bellows Air Force Base.
The road will eventually “T” at Castle Hospital, take a left on Pali Highway
and then a right on Kamehameha Highway (if you took a right, you would be
in Kailua). Follow the signs. You will then pass through Kaneohe and then
the town will melt away and you will be in country again.
The drive here gets unbelievably beautiful. There is a Laulau stand in Wai’
ahole/Waikane that is worth trying their Laulau. Also, look on your left hand
side for an old, weather-beaten wood building with old painted words, "Poi
Factory" on it. They have great Hawaiian take out. Take your time, enjoy the
views. The road is one lane each way, so don’t have an agenda. In Laie,
you could visit the fantastically expensive Polynesian Cultural Center. I have
never been, but people who have (including locals) say it is authentic (if
somewhat touristy) and well worth the extremely high price (count on a base
price of about $160 for a family of three - without VIP treatment or luau).
While you are here, though, you should check out Laie Point. To get there,
take a detour via Anemoku Street (makai side) to the end of Naupaka Street.
In this area is Malaekahana. Sleepy area, little infrastructure, but a very
idyllic location. This is where the locals (and Steve Case) come to
vacation. If you keep going, you will start to hit Kahuku and the North Shore.
There is a pretty decent hotel here if you want to get away called the Turtle
Bay Resort. It is for those that absolutely do not want Waikiki. The beaches
there are also very nice and pretty calm.
Past Kahuku you will hit the surf towns, Sunset, Waimea, Haleiwa. In
general, ignore the beaches unless the water is absolutely flat. These
beaches are geared towards surfing, not kids.
In Sunset Beach, you have to hit Ted’s Bakery http://starbulletin.
com/1999/02/08/news/story8.html. It is just downright sick how good their
chocolate haupia pie is. You can get it in town at Star Market, but why not
get the real thing?
Waimea Bay is a lake during the summer and probably OK to swim in, but the
beach is steep, so small children should be watched carefully. Older kids
might like to jump off the rock if they still allow it. You can also venture into
the valley for a lovely waterfall and a Hawaiian cultural area (including a
restored sacred Hawaiian hei'au).
Haleiwa town is quaint and worth a stop if you are hungry. Haleiwa Joe’s is
right past the bridge (the new traffic pattern is a bit tricky, so make sure you
hit the local route in stead of the express otherwise, you will bypass the town)
on the harbor. See our dining section on page 4 for more details.
Matsumoto’s Shave Ice (and, just a little further, Aoki's) is an institution,
although I prefer Waiola's shave ice stand in Honolulu near the old stadium.
If you want the low down on the stuff, check out http://www.dakine.
net/hawaii/guide/oahu/oahu-shaveice.shtml. It was written by someone
with way too much free time on their hands! Haleiwa is also home to the
original Kua’Aina Sandwich Shop. Large, healthy, and, oh yes, delicious
On the way out of town, you have a few choices at the roundabout: go
straight to Wahiawa and Honolulu via Kamehameha Highway (which will take
you past the Dole Pineapple stand), go towards Wai’alua which will take you
out to Mokule’ia which is noteworthy as the “Lost” location, launch point for
gliders and sky divers, and a lovely, if rough beach on the other side of the
polo fields. Say what you want, a day at the polo games with a picnic is a
great way to spend a day. Between chuckers, you can replace divots on your
way to the beach. By the way, the road to Mokule’ia DOES NOT go through.
At the end of the road is Ka’ena Point. It is NOT passable by vehicle.
Just before the end of the road is a charming place to rent a cabin at Camp
Erdman (http://www.cmiregistration.com/user/splash.jxp?org=524 or
Camp Mokuleia (http://www.campmokuleia.com/main.php). It is only if you
REALLY want to get away from it all and want to have a truly “Lost”
experience since it is shot nearby. Bear in mind that the nearest grocery is
several miles back in Wai’alua or Haleiwa. The beach can be a bit rough as
well. That being said, it is truly breathtakingly beautiful with the cliffs behind
you. There are trails to hike on and you could walk around Ka’ena Point if
you like. Still, I went to camp there in 8th grade and had a wonderful time.
On the way back, it is worth it to take the Schofield Barracks route as the road
through the ironwoods makes it very charming. All roads eventually hook up
to the H2 which will take you to the H1 which will take you to Honolulu.
Again, try to avoid this area around drive time. In the grand scheme of
things, it is not as bad as the 80 at rush hour, but it gets close.
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Travel Koncierge Honolulu Page Seven
Updated May 28, 2009
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