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Few beaches have been as fabled as Waikiki. Since the 1950s, this beach has been a tourist destination. Upon seeing the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, there won't be any question why this beach is so popular. If that wasn't enough, the beach is also one of the best places to surf on the island. During the night, visitors strut their clubwear on the beachwalk, and lovers find peaceful little nooks under the cover of sweeping palm trees. Affording scenic views of the Diamond Head, the beach exists quite in tandem with Hawaii's laid-back spirit.
For a real underwater adventure that doesn't even get you wet, take an excursion in a 100-foot (30.48 meters) passenger submarine. At 160 tons, this air-conditioned giant is decked out with special ports for viewing the coral and sea life as far as 150 feet (45.72 meters) below the surface. Tours depart daily from the pier across from the Hilton. Various cruises are available for booking including the Sunset Buffet Dinner Cruise and the Premium Submarine Tour.
As one of the largest ocean activity providers on the island, Hawaii Nautical is your go-to for unforgettable adventures and memories that will last a lifetime. Hop aboard one of their vessels and get ready to dive into the crystal clear waters to discover the beautiful marine animals that call Hawaii home. From snorkeling with turtles through coral reefs, sunset sailing dinner cruises, whale and dolphin watching, to private charters, scuba diving, and fireworks, Hawaii Nautical has activities for the whole family to enjoy. This ocean adventure company operates out of various harbors on the island, so you'll be sure to find one close to you. Check out the website or give them a call to learn more about the seemingly endless options of seafaring fun.
Tucked in the back of lush Manoa Valley is Manoa waterfall, which is commonly thought to be one of the most beautiful sights of O'ahu. It rushes over a precipice and drops 100 feet to the pool below. The briskly cold water makes a refreshing change from the Hawaiian air. The hike to the waterfall takes approximately an hour and is not particularly difficult. The trail can get slippery during the rain, but on sunny days, it's clearly marked and easy to follow.
Famed for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped sandy beach and clear, calm turquoise waters, this natural marine sanctuary is home to thousands of colorful tropical fish. The waist-deep water inside the reef is perfect for novice snorkelers to explore. More experienced snorkelers might want to check with the lifeguard before venturing beyond to deeper waters to see sea turtles and other marine life. The Bay is least crowded in the early morning or late afternoon.
Located about a half-hour from Waikiki near the small country town of Waimanalo on the windward side of Oahu, this beach is simply gorgeous and crowd-free most of the time. The shoreline is wide, and the sand is soft and thick. This is one of the only beaches on the island that can be closed for military training, and there is also a portion of the beach designated for those with military IDs. Surf break is consistent and fun for all levels, but kids should be supervised at all times since rogue waves can appear suddenly. No surfing is allowed between the two lifeguard towers. This lifeguarded beach comes along with free parking, picnic tables, restrooms and showers.
Windsurfers, a breed apart from regular humans and similar to wave surfers, travel from far-distant corners of the world to hit this top windsurfing beach. When the water is flat, they simply sit and wait. When the wind starts, they head here in droves. If you are not a windsurfer, you can still enjoy the warm waters and gentle surf of this famous, beautiful beach. Barbecue facilities, bathrooms and showers are available.
This is reputed to be one of Oahu's most beautiful beaches and that is high praise indeed. The aquamarine waters, smooth white sands and gently swaying palm trees epitomize South Pacific paradise. Of course, when the wind is up, the hordes of energetic windsurfers quickly dissolve any fantasies of being marooned on a tropical island. Still, most of the time, Lanikai Beach is fairly quiet, and even when it's not, one must gape a bit at the natural beauty of it. Note: As with all Hawai'i beaches, conditions are changeable. Check with the lifeguards or locals before entering the water, and always use caution.
Dolphin and sea lion shows, a Hawaiian monk seal center, a sea turtle lagoon and a seabird sanctuary are a few of the highlights at this 62-acre ocean theme park on the coast of East O'ahu. The park's newest attraction is Pirate's Lagoon, a themed play area for kids. Serious marine biology takes place at the rehabilitation center for endangered marine life. Other facilities include eateries and gift shops. Interactive dolphin programs and reef walks are also available.
Laze around in the waters of the Lazy river, let the adrenalin rush through you on the slides at Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii, an amusement water park that is a fun place for all ages. The park has a separate section with a wave pool and smaller slides for kids to splash about. Slide fanatics have a few heart-stopping rides to enjoy, among them the Tornado, a 130 foot-(40 meter) long tunnel, and the Waianae Coasters. A perfect getaway for families and for a fun-filled holiday in Hawaii. Don't forget to check your excitement levels on the Thrill-o-meter in the park.