The Delights of Waikiki Beach

waikiki_beachWaikiki Beach, the biggest lure due to its famous name alone, is far from the best on the islands, with its pebbled sand not friendly to tender feet. And, it’s crowded- in some ways, it’s busy, hustling streets remind one of resorts like most favorite tourist spots on the mainland. The beaches on the eastern shore are far superior, with fine white sand, gentle surf and warm, clear water. Even veteran scuba and snorkel divers say that the reefs of Hanauma Bay, a 15-minute drive from Honolulu, are among the most abundant in the world with marine life.

The shallow, gentle waters in Hanauma Bay are user-friendly to even the most amateur snorkler, and the fish are bold enough to swim up and kiss your face mask. Just to the north of the bay is the famous Blowhole, an oddity of nature, where crashing surf sneaks under a volcanic rock formation to blow high through a hole in the rocks, much like Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. Also a favorite of tourists is an odd rock formation further north on the east coast called the Chinaman’s Hat, a legendary little island a few hundred yards offshore where a Hawaiian goddess once destroyed the “little lizard,” at least in mythology. And a visitor’s travels take him r her through the sugar fields and pineapple plantations of the inner island, and the Dole pineapple people offer various tours and samplings.

One of the most breathtaking views on Oahu is from the Nuuanu Pah lookout in the central mountains, which offers a panoramic view of the north shore. Another freebie well worth the time is the old Kodak Hawaii Show, at Kapiolani Park, at the Diamondhead side of Waikiki. Of course a trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without a luau, the traditional outdoor feast accompanied by Polynesian entertainment and plenty of refreshments. It’s a good idea to not pack suitcases too tightly going to Hawaii, which is easy since there is seldom any need for much more than beachwear or sports shirts. The empty space can be used to pack home all the Hawaiian fashions available at bargain prices and, of course, macadamia nuts, and a delicacy available for a fifth of the price in stores here on the mainland.

You might even pick up a bit of the Hawaiian language, which has just 12 letters in the alphabet: all of the vowels, plus the consonants of k, h, 1, m, n, p and w. You will learn “aloha,” and “mahalo” (thanks). Most of all, you’ll probably have a great deal of fun in a land untroubled by cranky weather (it seems to always be 86 degrees F, with low humidity and brisk trade winds cooling it further) and
very little rain except in the interiors.

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