Oahu has many hidden gems that are not as well-known as the island's popular attractions. Here are some of Oahu's best kept secrets:
Makapu'u Tidepools - Located near Makapu'u Beach, these tide pools are a secret spot for snorkeling and swimming. The pools are accessible via a rocky trail, and are home to a variety of colorful fish and marine life.
Kaena Point - This remote and rugged wilderness area on the western tip of Oahu is one of the island's last undeveloped coastal areas. Visitors can hike along the coastline, spot Hawaiian monk seals and seabirds, and enjoy stunning ocean views.
Lanikai Pillboxes Hike - This moderate hike takes visitors to the top of two World War II-era pillboxes that offer stunning views of the Mokulua Islands and the ocean beyond.
Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden - This 400-acre garden is tucked away in a valley on the windward side of the island, and features a diverse collection of tropical plants and trees from around the world. Visitors can stroll along scenic paths, fish in the lake, or even camp overnight.
Tantalus Lookout - Located in the lush rainforest of the Tantalus Mountains, this lookout offers breathtaking panoramic views of Honolulu, Diamond Head, and the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can also explore the nearby hiking trails and picnic areas.
Kualoa Ranch - This working cattle ranch on the northeastern coast of Oahu offers a variety of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, ATV tours, and ziplining. The ranch is also a popular filming location for Hollywood movies and TV shows.
Shangri La - This stunning estate on the slopes of Diamond Head was once the home of heiress Doris Duke, and is now a museum of Islamic art and culture. Visitors can tour the ornate rooms, gardens, and collections of art and artifacts from the Islamic world.
Mākaha Beach - Located on Oahu's west coast, this secluded beach is a local favorite for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The beach is known for its clear waters, soft sand, and stunning sunsets.
Kaneohe Sandbar - This unique sandbar in the middle of Kaneohe Bay is only accessible by boat, and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking. Visitors can also explore the nearby coral reefs and sea caves.
Koko Crater Botanical Garden - This botanical garden is located on the rim of an extinct volcano, and features a collection of desert plants and cacti from around the world. Visitors can hike along the scenic trail to the top of the crater, where they'll be rewarded with stunning views of the island.