Hawaii - circle-island drive: OAHU, any tips? suggestions?
Jul 31, 12, 12:24 am
Hello travelers! :)
I want to do a circle-drive around O'ahu. I will have about 6 hours to do it. I looked into it and have my points of interests listed down. Starting from Waikiki, driving counter clockwise to see the lighthouse, Byodo-in, the banzai beach, turtle each, and ending my drive around 2pm at sunset beach until the sun sets. Any suggestions, good eats and other cool things to see along the way?
I appreciate the help!
I think you got the important stops.
I do this often with my visitors (though often divide it in two days) and stop pretty much at the same spots. My suggestions:
- stop for a smoothie at sweet home Waimanalo, after your hike at makapuu.
- get some fruit from northshore stands, usually right after sunset beach resort in the northshore.
- my visitors and I like kahuku shrimp trucks, but heard some bad comments from Locals.
- go to turtle beach before sunset. It's just impressive.
That should be 6 hours.
Enjoy and hit me up if you have any other questions.
Aug 2, 12, 11:06 am
A stop on the way at Sandy Beach park is worthwhile to see the lava flow formed beach front and strong surf breaks. . . Yes, save time for turtle beach and sunset beach. Waimea beach park and falls is on the route and beautiful if you have the time.
Aug 2, 12, 9:31 pm
I think the Dole Plantation is worth a visit - and IIRC, the juice is free. :)
Aug 7, 12, 3:16 am
I think the Dole Plantation is worth a visit -
Two Words: DOLE WHIP
Aug 7, 12, 8:51 am
I prefer doing the circle island going counter-clockwise as well. My favorite stretch is the portion between Hanauma Bay and Makapu`u along the Ka Iwi shore. The counter-clockwise route places the ocean on the passenger side and makes pulling off into the lookout areas easy and safe.
I recall doing a FT version of the tour as part of a Do a few years ago...
Starting from Waikiki, I would take Diamond Head Road past the lighthouse (good whale-watching area during the season) then down Kahala Ave and up to Kalanianaole Highway, then past Hanauma Bay, stopping at the Lana`i Lookout if it's clear and the Halona Blow Hole Lookout most every time. I also stop at Makapu`u Lookout every time. If I am hungry, I will stop at Keneke's in Waimanalo for a plate lunch or a shave ice.
The detour into Lanikai/Kailua Beach along Kalaheo Ave is nice if I am not in a rush and then instead of taking Kaneohe Bay Drive (which is nice), I like to pop on the H-3 for a short run up to Kamehameha Highway (there is a nice lookout along the way) and then Kamehameha Highway up all the way to Kahuku. If you haven't lunched yet, a good place to stop is the He`eia Pier in Kaneohe, right off the highway.
There's a seperate thread in the archive on the shrimp trucks on the North Shore; I prefer Romy's over Giovanni's myself. At Sunset Beach, a stop at Ted's Bakery for a slice of the chocolate haupia pie is a must. Another place I like to visit is the he'eau (temple) ruins at the Pu`u o Mahuka park which is on a bluff over Pupukea (turn off the highway at the Foodland/Starbucks). There's a great view of Waimea Bay, especially if the surf is up.
In Haleiwa, I'll skip the bypass highway and take Kamehameha Highway into the old town and stop at Matsumoto's for a shave ice, Kua Aina for a burger, or Cholo's for some Mexican food. A walk along the nighway to visit some of the shops/galleries (shameless plug for my classmate Clark Little and his gallery; google it) doesn't take much time.
I do normally skip the leg on Farrington Highway out to Mokuleia unless someone is a big Lost fan or wants to go on a glider ride, but it is nice.
Back into Wahiawa, the most common route is Kamehameha Highway and this does allow for a stop at the Dole Plantation and I do love the Dole Whip (it's also a good stop for clean restrooms). The more scenic route is up Kaukonohua Road but it's easily one of the most dangerous roads on the islands (curves and downhill grades = bad head on collisions).
From Wahiawa, I take H-2 and then H-1 back into town.
I do the exact same thing... Including the required stop at the Makuapu'u lookout, whree I have always wanted to move :)