After we hiked Diamond Head, we got back in our car and continued to drive east from Honolulu on H1. We had no plan really; we figured we’d just go as far as possible until it was time to turn around and head to the airport for our overnight flight back to California. It’s a small island. You could, theoretically, circumnavigate the entire thing in a matter of hours.
That’s how we came to discover and, simultaneously, adore the Windward side. The crashing waves, the rocky coastline: The Hanauma Bay area was a recreation of Big Sur…only, on an island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (Disclosure: These photos weren’t actually taken at the bay as the parking lot was full. Rather, we traveled a couple minutes past the famed bay and pulled off into an overlook, where we scaled a wall and scampered down the natural rock ledge.)
We had actually seen the northern part of the coastline on our drive down from the North Shore, but then cut across the island at Kaneohe and didn’t see the southeastern most tip. It changed from rocky and volcanic in parts to green and lush…
…to wide, sandy beaches the closer you get to the North Shore.
But you see, this is exactly the facet of Hawaii that makes it the perfect travel destination. There are such a variety of landscapes and scenery, activities and offerings—how can you not find something that strikes your fancy?
If you can’t, then you’re clearly impossible to please. Because I must say we’re two relatively well-traveled people with high expectations and we found absolutely nothing that wasn’t perfect about our time in Oahu.
(Side note: Who wears SNEAKERS on the beach? Weirdo.)
*All photos taken with a Canon T1i and Canon 17-85mm lens and Sigma 10-20mm lens housed in a LowePro SlingShot.
**For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby.
Maybe, like me, SVV doesn’t like sand between the toes. Beautiful!
You and SVV would get along well. He also doesn’t like flip flops because “they’re too hard to wear…you have to constantly be grasping them with your toes. It’s too much to think about.”
So funny – my husband won’t wear flip flops either and he has been known to wear sneakers on the beach! I did talk him into a pair of Keen sandals though and he wore those much of our time on Oahu.
“Because I must say we’re two relatively well-traveled people with high expectations and we found absolutely nothing that wasn’t perfect about our time in Oahu.”
We’re not quite as well-traveled as you two, but this is how we felt. I loved Oahu, and I hadn’t expected to.
I don’t know, Emily–I’d say you two get around =)
I, too, was surprised by how much I loved the island. Scott actually said of the four Hawaiian isles he’s visited, Oahu’s now his favorite!
These pictures are absolutely stunning.
Hahaha! Before I saw your side note I was thinking, “Who the heck wears sneakers on a beach?!” Then I saw your note and laughed out loud! Great minds think alike! 🙂 I love your pictures! I never really had an urge to visit Hawaii until I saw your posts. I thought I might want to go diving there one day, but now I want to see it all…above and below the surface of the ocean! 🙂
Oooh, a fellow diver…birds of a feather! We only got to dive one day, and I’ll blog about it/post pictures probably the week after next. There was a really cool wreck we visited, though I was surprised how cold the water was. I wore a 5mm long wetsuit and shivered the whole time!
(Also, yes, my husband is weird. We’re working on the “no flip flops” mantra. Given that I live in flips, I don’t understand wanting to wear anything but!)
I can’t wait to see that post! I’ve heard the water is pretty chilly down there. I prefer the nice warm temps of the Caribbean, but I would love to dive Hawaii…I’ll suffer the cold temps for at least one dive, maybe two. 🙂
You and I are on the same page with the flip flop thing! I LOVE them and have a hard time wearing anything else.
Can’t believe I haven’t made it to Hawaii yet. This part looks so rugged and mysterious. Lovely shots.
I really like the red rock cliff photo. I haven’t seen this color rock in Hawaii before. It’s truly amazing how differentiated the landscapes are on those islands.
I LOVE that you follow the statement “There are such a variety of landscapes and scenery, activities and offerings—how can you not find something that strikes your fancy?” With a photo of you and Scott all cozied up. Hmmm. double meaning? Adorable in any event
Are those real shots? It looks too perfect to really exist:) Hawaii on a whole strikes me as a surreal place, and you definitely captured it!
HAHAHAHAHA I zeroed in on the sneakers immediately in that photo and thought the same thing! hahahahahaha
Hawaii is just SO spectacular, isn’t it? These are great “take me away” pics!
I should say the same for your Kauai shots! I’m loving them, particularly as I’ve never been to the island and so want to go!
Oh! I really enjoy your Hawaii posts. I really need to get there soon. 🙂
As for wearing sneakers on the beach, it will be my hubby too. He lived in Florida for over 10 years but never wore flip flop once. He just recently got one pair of flip flop when we moved to Atlanta. Go figure!
What is with dudes and their feet phobia? Maybe they’re worried we’ll all point and laugh at their hairy toes? =)
Normally I’m wearing NOTHING at all on my feets on the beach. The asphalt off camera was hot!
At least I didn’t expose the Internet to your SPEEDO.
The Internets can’t handle the Speedo.
I’ve never been to Hawaii nor has it been high on my list but your photos make me want to go.
Oh, it’s just a fantastic vacation destination. So much to do, so much natural beauty. Definitely somewhere I’d never classify as overrated! Plus, there are smaller islands like Molokai or Lanai that you can visit and feel like you have the whole place to yourself! Me, I like the mix of quiet (Oahu’s North Shore and Windward Coast) with a bit of city living (Honolulu).
Most of the photos I’ve seen of Hawaiian beaches in the past seemed to involve high-rise buildings and scads of people. I’ve really cared about going there before, but if I could visit the Hawaii I’m seeing in your photos, I might reconsider 🙂
Ha, really? I guess that was all Waikiki, seeing as Honolulu is the only big city in Hawaii. You should DEFINITELY reconsider. It’s an awesome place!
Great pictures of you two! We are with you…as we wandered around Hawaii for the week there really was nothing that we didn’t like. Looking back, I can’t name one thing that didn’t sit well with us…of course maybe it is because it was the first vacation without the kids!
It’s funny – Oahu can get a bum rap for being crowded and spoiled. As soon as you get out of the city, there are just as many gorgeous stretches of coastline as the other islands. Your first two photos look fake they are so incredible. Have you done anything to them to make them look that way? I want to print these out and put them on my wall!
Thanks, Amie! We actually took the tripod on this trip and did some long exposures. We used the neutral density filter to be able to expose the shot for such a long time (15 seconds), so anything with movement (in this case, the waves) blurs together for a cool effect. The second photo wasn’t very sharp (it was windy, our tripod was cheap) so instead of increasing the clarity in Lightroom, I decreased it a bit for that dream-like quality–it’s my quick auto-fix to a slightly blurry shot =)
Ah ha, thanks, I need to play with my photos more like this.
I’m SO glad you LOVED Oahu as much as we did–that makes me smile, and SO excited to hear it’s SVV’s favorite island now. Oahu does have such a variety of different things in one. This is how I feel about any place, though–there is SO MUCH beauty waiting to be seen in every crevice of the earth if one just takes the time to find the places that hold that beauty.
Couldn’t have said your last statement better myself. With that type of philosophy it’s virtually impossible to be disappointed. Unless, you know, it’s REALLY hard to dig into that crevice.
That made me laugh out loud.
Oahu is totally underrated. It’s awesome. If you want city, you can have city. If you want country, you can have country. If you want big, busy beach, you got it. If you want quiet, secluded big (or small) beach, you can have that, too! Oahu has it all.
Did you get to Lanikai Beach? That’s my favorite.
Not to my knowledge…then again, we really just got in the car and drove most days, with no clue where we were or the names of the places we visited! What a detail-oriented journalist I am, eh? =)
hahaha my brother in law also wears sneakers on the beach. He “hates” sand and he carries a bottle of water to clean his feet!! I think the feeling of trapped sand in your shoes is worse than to let it free with the flip flops!!!
I have some pictures from that lookout from a couple of years ago. I also found it by driving around. It was a nice surprise!! where is that beach from the 4th picture? so beautiful!!!! and the picture of the 2 of u is a picture frame worth picture!
I honestly don’t know the name, but it was probably 15 minutes east of Kahuku Bay. We just pulled over anytime we saw a pretty spot, which was often!
(P.S. I totally owe you an email response. I’m so sorry…we take off for two months tomorrow and things are pretty hectic. I promise you an email from the road at some point!)
Dont worry! We booked 5 days at Kauai. Finally decided where to go. We still need to book the Oahu hotels. I’m trying to convince my bf to stay at the north shore for a couple of days instead of all 5 nights in Waikiki. I saw your post about the turtle bay resort. I’ve been wanting to go since I saw “forgetting Sarah Marshall”.
I need to start a map w everything about Hawaii. I know I won’t remember the names of everything!!
Have a great trip!
oh my goodness! i just moved from hawaii after living there for 7 years. kaneohe was, and always will be, my home sweet home. so glad to have found your blog!
real beautiful pictures 🙂