Oahu, So Much More than Honolulu

Hawaiin Coastal Scene

We understand that not everyone loves cities. But the folks who skip the Hawaiian Island of Oahu miss so much more than just Honolulu and Waikiki. To see how much more, we spent several days wandering around the rest of the island.

Here’s what we found:

A beach of our own

Hawaiian Sunset, North Shore Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is everything Honolulu isn’t. It’s quiet and overgrown and mostly untouched by signs of tourism. With few hotels in the area, we booked an affordable oceanfront cottage in the town of Waialua through AirBnB. On the few occasions we roused ourselves off our deserted stretch of beach, we’d bop over to the less than laid back surf town of Haleiwa and grab some delicious truck-food grub. Then we’d head back to our patio chairs and watch the evening show.

Some of the most amazing shoreline anywhere

Oahu Hawaii Eastern Coast

Yes, we’ve been to Maui, and Kauai and the Big Island, too. We still think that Oahu’s eastern coastline offers some of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery anywhere on the islands. Best of all, you don’t have to spend an entire day in the car just to see it. You can get to anywhere on Oahu from anywhere on Oahu in just a couple of hours. That means you can spend most of your time here hanging loose rather than stressing about what’s around that next blind turn.

Random Asian cemetery somewhere on Oahu

Asian tomb stone in tropical jungle

Speaking of driving, we just happened upon this remarkable sight along some random road.

Random dirt roads

Hawaiian Dirt Road through the jungle

Which isn’t to downplay the awesomeness of Oahu’s random roads.

Sea monsters

Manana Island, Oahu

The sea-monster like visage of Manana Island breaches just off Oahu’s southeastern shore.

Byodo-In temple

Byodo-In Temple, Oahu, Hawaii

Modeled after a 900-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, this place of worship is among the most surprising and amazing things we discovered on our trip. And it is not just the beauty of the structure that wows. The loomingly dramatic cliffs of the Ko’olau Mountains and lushness of the surrounding jungle made us feel as if we were thousands of miles away, somewhere deep in the Asian countryside.

Byodo-In Temple Peace Bell

We spent a long while here, wandering through sprawling gardens and along acres of koi ponds. We took off our shoes and paid respects to the 9-foot-tall Lotus Buddha at the center of the temple. And before departing we rung Byodo-In’s three-ton brass peace bell; wishing for all the world the same harmony and serenity we enjoyed at this wonderful place.

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10 Comments on “Oahu, So Much More than Honolulu”

  1. sued51 September 27, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Breathtaking beauty…I’ll take the country rather than the city anytime!


  2. dalecooper57 September 27, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Stunning, the sea is practically luminous.


  3. jonestowne September 27, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    beautiful! my youngest brother, who’s, like, 32(-ish); is marrying his 8yr. girlfriend/fiance, this year. we’re from upstate NY, but my brother has lived in Japan for 8yrs, teaching and meeting his fiance. they’re thinking of having either 2 separate ceremonies, do to travel costs; OR (and this has my vote!): a joint ceremony in Hawaii, like halfway betwixt the countries. asking that family pay for travel cost in lieu of a wedding gift…only thing is i wasn’t planning on spending $1300+, per person of my family (me, wife, 2 kids), on his wedding present!! hahaaa!! …but don’t tell him that! :”)
    seriously, though, always been on top of my list of places to visit, (and live, for that matter), so i’m psyched it might go down. i’ll be there soon!
    awesome work! keep it up!


    • Brian September 27, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      That sounds like a great plan. If we had to do it over again we’d do something similar – a small destination wedding where all we asked from anyone is their presence in a place they want to be anyway. Wonderful.


  4. seascapedesigns2013 September 27, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Great contrast between the rocks and water.


  5. brissioni September 27, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Still hoping for teletransportation. Thanks for the great tour.


  6. nylonliving September 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on Just Go Places.


  7. reen October 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    going to medan at next march.do sme research coz only hav 4 days there.not enaugh i think


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