Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Great Hikes into Hawaii's History on Oahu

Manoa Valley above Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Want to dig deeper into Hawaiian culture on your next island vacation? There's no better place to start on than Oahu, home to ancient temples and battlegrounds, WWII historical sites, and the wild scenery of the Windward Coast and North Shore.

Over on, check out my list of five of the most worthwhile day hikes across Oahu, from the easy ascent of Diamond Head near Waikiki to the Maunawaili Trail that snakes below the jagged pali (cliffs). Visit WWII pillboxes or a Hawaiian temple of traditional medicine and healing, all within a surprisingly short drive of Honolulu and Waikiki.

Here's a bonus for readers like you! I didn't have room in my Lonely Planet article to point out the best locals' places to refuel after your hike:

1. Diamond Head - Back in Waikiki, drop by Waiola Shave Ice for icy treats or 1950s-era Leonard's Bakery for malasadas (Portuguese-style doughnuts).

2. Maunawili Trail Network - Drive from any trailhead to Sweet Home Waimanalo cafe, pouring veggie smoothies and mint lemonade.

3. Lanikai Pillboxes - Line up at Lanikai Juice for tropical fruit smoothies, often made with produce from organic farms, and heaping fruit bowls.

4. Kaena Point State Park - Backtrack to Haleiwa for  Matsumoto Shave Ice from a roadside shack.

5. Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area - Gorge on an island plate lunch or poke rice bowl with spicy eggplant fries at chef Elmer's Poke Stop.

Got another favorite hike on Oahu? Let us know about it by leaving a comment below. Mahalo!

Related links:
Big Island Trekking: From Coast to Volcanic Peaks
Hawaii: Go Green, Live Local & Save Money
Hidden Hiking Trails in West Maui

Photo credit: Sara Benson & Michael Connolly Jr.

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