Hi Everyone, it has been a crazy travel month for me. We spent 2 weeks in Hawaii and back in LA for a week and then I packed up to attend the 19th Annual Film Festival in Newport Beach for 4 days this weekend past. Spent Sunday all day to unpack and repack for the family and now we are in NYC. Phew, I need a major break after this. But first things first, I have gotten so many questions about all the Instagrammable beaches and secret spots in Hawaii so I decided to write a post dedicated to all of the Instagram Worthy beach fronts and “secret” beaches and beach front swing in Oahu. You guys better BOOKMARK this because it will give you all the juicy details on HOW to get there.
Lanikai Beach, Kailua
What do you have in mind when you picture what the perfect Hawaiian beach looks like? Blue sky? Clear turquoise waves? Lanikai Beach fits that picture exactly and is located in the neighborhood of Lanikai in Kailua. Away from the crowded Waikiki beach crowd, Lanikai beach offers plenty of soft sand and seclusion for a morning of peaceful relaxing or swimming. Because of its remote location on the eastside of Oahu, Lanikai beach is a little tricky to get to unless you rent a beach front house (I highly recommend doing this if you are traveling with a larger group). The pedestrian access to Lanikai Beach can be found between the residential homes, and the word Lanikai is written on a pillar entrance.
From Waikiki, take the H1 headed west, then take the Pali Highway (61) to Kailua. Take a right at Kailua Rd., merge left, and then turn right onto Lihiwai Rd. until it turns into Kawaiola Rd. Left into Alala Rd., which turns into Mokulua Drive, which loops around into Aalapapa Dr. Follow as it loops around into Mokumanu Dr., and on the ocean side of that road is where the beach access points are.
Fort DeRussy Beach + Pier, Waikiki
This sunset photo on the pier generated a lot of attention when people thought that there is a magical secluded spot in Waikiki. The short of that answer is Yes, there is a rock pier located at the end of Fort DeRussy Beach in front of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Resort. The long answer is that this pier is usually PACKED with visitors, especially around Sunset because everyone is trying to capture that unobstructed sunset view. I had to use my body and dress to cover up many of the people and fisherman on the pier and photoshop out the fishing poles, but the result does look pretty magical. If you don’t mind sharing the view with other people, then here is how to get to this beach front park and pier.
If you are already in Waikiki area, park at the designated spots for the Park and head towards the beach via Saratoga road. There is a pedestrian path between the Outrigger Reef hotel and the Fort DeRussy Army Museum. Follow the path until you hit the sandy beach and you will see the Pier right in front of you. I would suggest wearing sandals because the pier is made of rock and shaped like a washboard. Walk at your own risk of excruciating pain.
Kualoa Ranch, Kaniohe Bay
Your eyes did not deceive you, this is the place where they filmed Jurassic Park. Don’t let the photo fool you, there is so much more things to do at Kualoa Ranch besides stare at the sheer magnificence of the mountain cliffs. Kualoa is a 4,000 acre Private Nature Reserve as well as a working cattle ranch with more than 600 head of cattle. It is truly a paradise for outdoor recreation and Kualoa offers guided tours by several forms of transportation … electric Mountain Bikes, ATV’s, Zipline, Horseback and more.
The simplest way to get from Waikiki to Kualoa is to take one of our many Kualoa buses straight from Waikiki. With any booking the rate is only $15 roundtrip per person, and if you purchase an activity package, it is only $10 roundtrip per person. If you are self driving, here is the ADDRESS: 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744. We didn’t do many activities given the short time we have and the rain, but I would def go back and book a few of the tours and zip lining activities.
The Secret Swing of Oahu, Somewhere on Kamehameha Highway
It’s not that I don’t want to share the location of this Giant beach front swing in the middle of no where, it is because this swing is literally in a residential area and the residences have complained about people flooding to find it after a few super popular bloggers like Gary Pepper Girl posted photos of it. This giant swing was not an easy swing to find in Oahu… google doesn’t even have any details on the location…and all that I can give away is that it is on Kamehameha Highway in the neighborhood of Hauula. If you are making your way to North Shore on Kamehameha Highway, keep your eyes peeled after you have passed Kalaipaloa Point, the swing is on your right.
Secret Beach and Tide Pool of Alan Davis Beach
Those that remembers my Instastory of an adventurous day, the Alan Davis Beach is certainly one that is worthy of the books. I love this place so much that I am a little reluctant to share this untapped treasure and want to keep it all to myself. I’ve seen it listed as Alan Davis or Allen Davis, but it’s never clear if that’s the name of the trail or beach or both. In any case, Alan Davis is a nice, isolated spot on the south side of Makapu’u. No tourists, clear water and a tide pool on a nice day. It’s along the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline and you can access it from the Makapuu Point lighthouse parking lot.
After you park for the Makapu’u light house, Instead of ascending the concrete path up towards the trailhead, take the hidden dirt path on the right down to the ocean. It’s beautiful and wild and windy and you think that you are walking towards nothing because of all the hills surrounds you. But I promise, it is there so just keep walking. The hike takes maybe 15 minutes, wear comfy shoes because it gets muddy along the way. At the end of the hike, you will be rewarded with a beautiful secluded beach that is so rural, so untouched you wouldn’t know that you are in Oahu. Bring all the swim gear with you because you will be spending all afternoon here and not wanting to leave.
I hope this post is a treasure map for all of you guys who wishes to enjoy the non-touristy things and places when you visit Oahu, Hawaii. I will continue to scout more “secret” things and places to see next time I’m in Hawaii.