Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oahu: My Favorite Walking Spots

Sure visitors flock to Oahu for its golden crescents of sand and it's surf-centered sports. But whenever I'm on the island, I don my walking or hiking shoes to explore some of my favorite parks and gardens.


I didn't run into anyone at Ka'ena Point, the western most point of Oahu that's accessible only by foot or mountain bike. This wind-swept expanse of dunes and tiny beaches is an albatross nesting site where, on my several visited, I spied monk seals, dolphins, whales, and green sea turtles.


Not far from Diamond Head, the Koko Crater Botanical Garden is lush with sweet-smelling plumeria trees. In this 200-acre arid garden that's set in two craters, I again was one of only few visitors. This time I was mesmerized by the towering crater walls.


At Makapuu Point, I walked a road to the lighthouse that hugs a lava cliff where I had panoramic views of the Koko Crater and Molokai. I even spotted some whales in the open ocean as I took the unofficial cliff trail to the bottom.


It's easy to spend the whole day in Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens, which is blessed with 400 verdant acres laden with heliconia and other sweet-smelling blossoms and other plants from around the world. I strolled the more than half dozen different trails that wander through a landscape rimmed with sheer-walled cliffs and the ocean beyond. This garden couldn't be a more perfect place to lay out the beach blanket and chill.


I knew it was impossible to walk the entire 700+ acres of the leafy Senator Fong's Plantation Gardens. Luckily, they provide a narrated tram tour as well as guided nature walks through a small portion of this green space. Here, I learned how kukio nut trees are used to make hair conditions; ti leaves are considered good luck; mango is related to poison ivy; queen ginger can grow to 10 feet tall and a rose apple smells like a rose and tastes like an apricot.



23 comments:

marthaandme said...

It all sounds glorious!

JTravel said...

Hi marthaandme, So glad you enjoyed the post. I adore exploring parks and gardens.

Frugal Kiwi said...

I love your virtual walks.

sarah henry said...

we're kindred spirits, jeanine, i so love a good green -- or coastal -- walk. thanks for motivating me to head out right now while we have a day without wind or rain.

happy hiking!

ruth pennebaker said...

Just looking at this, I feel warmer.

Jennifer Margulis said...

This looks so lovely. Wish I could be there too. Thanks for the photos especially. Like Ruth, I found them to be totally warming (though unlike Ruth, it's not THAT cold where I live)

Susan Johnston said...

Beautiful pictures! This time of year makes me pine for warmer weather and beautiful scenery like Hawaii. :)

MyKidsEatSquid said...

Just beautiful. I've never been to Hawaii, this certainly makes me want to go!

Emily @ Maiden Voyage said...

Loved this post! I have always wanted to visit Hawaii. Your photos are beautiful, and it really does sound like a wonderful place to walk/hike. That beach that is only accessible by foot or bike reminds me of that movie The Perfect Getaway (though don't waste your time seeing it!).

JTravel said...

Hi Frugal Kiwi, Glad you enjoy my posts on walking. It`s always a great way to explore the land.

JTravel said...

Hi Emily, I actually have seen Perfect Getaway. And I agree with you in both respects. It`s funny how so many people don`t hike in Hawaii when it`s a perfect place for that.

JTravel said...

Hi Sarah, It`s great to meet a fellow walker/hiker. Hope you enjoy your walk with the somewhat better weather, brief as it may be.

JTravel said...

Hi Jennifer, I`m pretty sick of the cold myself. Thought it was a way to get everyone warmed up who feels likewise.

JTravel said...

Hi MyKidsEatSquid, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love doing off the beaten track activities in Hawaii. It`s a great way to see the islands.

JTravel said...

Hi Susan, Yes, to me any place that`s not as cold as NYC is fine by me, especially Hawaii.

Stephanie - Wasabimon.com said...

Darn it, you make me want to travel so badly! Just got home from Mexico, so you'd think I'd be over it for the time being.

JTravel said...

Hi Stephanie, I`m just like you. I`m back from a trip and ready to go on the next. Gotta love that attitude.

blackchickontour said...

Thanks for this post. My husband and I are considering Hawaii for about 5 days in March and I have been researching hiking trails.

Name Tags said...

Thanks for the post. I have spent some time in Hawaii and have felt the exact same spirit that you talked about in your blog... What a trip down memory lane, I think it might be time for a vacation. Keep us the good work, it encourages me to take a break!

jcreaturetravel said...

Hi blackchickontour, I hope you enjoy your March trip to Hawaii. I've hiked on many of them and have found plenty of day trip opportunities -- like the ones I wrote about -- that allow time each day for other activities as well.

jcreaturetravel said...

Hi Name Tags, Glad you enjoy my posts and that they can get you in the mood for another travel adventure.

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JTravel said...

Hi Traveller, Thanks for your kind comments. Love your site as well. Just included it in my blogroll.