Secluded Oahu

Posted on 01. Aug, 2008 by in Lifestyle

words by Frances Miyamoto, photos by Mark Sullivan

Strolling on the powdery sand of Lanikai beach and gazing at the sunrise is the perfect Hawaiian experience to soothe the soul.

Lanikai and the adjacent town of Kailua are located on the southeast coast of Oahu, also known as the “windward” side of the island. There are no hotels on the beach which makes it an ideal location for those seeking a diversion from city life. Visitors can stay in a house or cottage which can be rented through

The accommodations are tucked away within the sheltered neighborhood of Lanikai where the stressed-out urban dweller may be tempted to relax in seclusion for the entire stay. However, one should definitely venture out for relaxing walks on the beach, and there are day trips to sites around the island that are worth the drive (keep the island vibe by tuning the car radio to 102.3 FM for Hawaiian music).

The culinary options on this side of the island reflect the relaxed mood. For very casual, local comfort food, visit Boots & Kimo’s, Sushi Man, K&K Barbeque and Island Snow. For dinner, check out Buzz’s Steak House and Pinky’s. Don’t miss the Kailua farmer’s market on Thursday at 5:00 P.M. in the Longs Drugs parking lot. The array of Hawaiian produce, tropical fruits, local roasted Kona coffee, and freshly prepared food is a local treasure.

Active visitors who want to enjoy local ocean sports and activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling can rent equipment from the local businesses servicing the Kailua Beach Park area. For spectacular views of the bay, hikers can get to the peaks above Lanikai via trails off of Kaelepulu Drive.

Some day trip options include snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a morning trek up to Diamond Head and a drive up to the North Shore. The historic town of Haleiwa on the North Shore is home to an assortment of shops, galleries, restaurants (including Giovanni’s shrimp truck) and the famous shaved ice at the M. Matsumoto store.

Returning to the windward side of the island, the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden is a wonderful place for a mauka (picnic). It is one of the few public places to hang out near the base of the steepled cliffs of the Koolau Range.

For an escape from hectic urban living, avoid the resort hotels in Waikiki and retreat to Lanikai for a beach cottage vacation where every day brings Hoomaluhia (peace and tranquility).

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