If you missed Part I, you can check it out here! I'm excited to share the next bit of my trip to Oahu today!! If you're planning a trip to Hawaii soon, hopefully this will help you. I obviously visited Oahu, which is the most touristy island. I don't know a whole lot about the others but I do know if you're hoping to stay busy and see a lot, go to Oahu! I was expecting an island without a huge town where most of what we'd do would be lay on the beach. Thankfully it wasn't because I love staying busy and seeing as much as possible. If you want a getaway away from a million tourists, I wouldn't suggest going to Oahu. Maui or Kauai would probably be better.
This is the Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden. The drive there is amazing and if you're a photographer hoping to do a shoot, this is a good place! You just have to be there during hours which are 9-4 I believe.
Day 2 on Oahu was driving to Kailua for Lanikai Pillboxes which was one of the hikes I was most excited about. You have to park in a neighborhood and walk to the trail, which is near a golf course. You'll see all the cars and it will be pretty obvious where the trail is because people will be walking there. The view from the top was even better than I imagined, though. The ocean was literally as blue as it is in the photos; it was breathtaking. We had been told the hike would take twenty minutes and that it was super easy which apparently to Hawaiians it is, but it was all dirt and my shoes had zero traction so it was more difficult than people said... It wasn't that strenuous if you're in good shape but just wear good shoes, take water, and lather up in sunscreen if you're fair-skinned. Lanikai was my favorite beach and I love the town too! If I lived there, I'd be at Lanikai all the time! Also, go to Lanikai Juice for sure! :) It's a great place to get hydrated after the hike.
The next day, we got up to see the sunrise which was a bust because of the clouds.... Then we drove around and found this beautiful spot that looked like Ireland. The mountains never ceased to amaze me! That afternoon we explored a cave and sat on a random beach attempting to plan our week out because there was SO MUCH TO DO. But then the next morning, day 5, we went to the Byodo-In Temple which was really beautiful. The mountains surrounding it are awesome!! It does cost a couple dollars to get in so bring cash. Actually, take cash everywhere you go. I made that mistake. Day 5 was both my least favorite and my favorite.... We got a Groupon for paddle boarding and this was one of the things I was most excited about until I tried carrying the paddle board from the car to the ocean in the wind... IT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS. I'm a girl, okay. And then the current took us miles down the beach and we couldn't get back..... Megan and I both cut our feet on the rocks and she had to go get the car because it was too windy for anything. When she got back, it started raining a bit and we waited it out in the car and had a good twenty minutes of calm water to paddle board after that! THANK GOODNESS!! Let me just advise you to start in a lagoon or at Waikiki rather than Lanikai if it's windy and you've never been before.
That night, we went on our whale-watching tour, which we got a good deal for on Groupon as well! I was super excited about that but unfortunately I was the one who completely missed the ONE WHALE everyone else saw. I saw the spout but blinked when it came out of the water. Haha. We did the tour with Island Divers Hawaii and it was a two-hour long boat ride which was fun but I think you might have better luck seeing the whales in the morning. Also, if you're visiting and this is something you really want to do, whale season is January to March.
Part III is coming soon!