Finding Oahu’s Romantic Side
Waikiki may not come to mind as the ideal romantic getaway for honeymooners and couples looking to avoid the crowd. Unlike the quiet escapes of Maui or Kauai, Waikiki is a bustling tourist hub. There’s plenty to do and see, but a romantic sunset on Waikiki beach has a fair chance of getting interrupted by the screams of children in a good old fashioned sand fight. So when it’s time to ditch the crowd and focus on each other, here’s a few tips to help you find Oahu’s romantic side.
Wallet-friendly date nights
Catch free live music during sunset
You can catch nightly performances by up-and-coming artists during sunset at The Modern Honolulu’s sunrise pool deck. The view is stunning, and hanging lanterns create a beautiful ambiance for sipping a cocktails at the end of the day.
See the Modern Honolulu line up here
Take a drive up Mt. Tantalus
Mt. Tantalus (also known as Round Top Drive) is a little known route for taking in one of Hawaii’s best views. Mt. Tantalus offers sweeping views of Oahu’s South Shore, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu city skyline, Diamond Head Crater, and Punchbowl Crater. The twists and turns of the drive allow for a number of turnouts along the way, each offering gorgeous vantage points for daytime and sunset views.
At the top of the ridge sits a private estate known which hosted a number of stars during Hollywood’s Golden Age including Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, and Elvis Presley. The estate is exclusive to weddings, special events, and the Big Kahuna Luau. Imagine sipping a Mai Tai while taking in the view from the top of ridge.
For a date night that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your anniversary or honeymoon, go to The Big Kahuna Luau
On a moonless night, jump in the car and head away from the city lights. While Oahu’s North Shore is the ideal place to watch the stars without interference from the city lights, Diamond Head is a much closer stargazing spot and will do just fine.
You’ll want to wear a light jacket and bring a blanket to lay on. Find a soft patch of grass, and just lay back. To set a more romantic mood, bring along a a portable speaker and queue up your favorite playlist. Hint: We like Jack Johnson.
Hike to a waterfall
The island of Oahu is teeming with lush tropical rainforest just waiting to be explored. For couples looking to dip their feet in the serene rainforests of Oahu, Manoa Falls is a great start. The Manoa Falls trail is an easy 45 minute hike which ends at an enchanting 150-foot waterfall. The trailhead is in Manoa Valley, just a 15 minute drive from Waikiki. The bus route 5 will also take you there.
The trail is a total of 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the falls and back. It can get muddy, especially if it’s been raining. To get a good idea of the weather in the valley, just look toward the mountains. If you see grey clouds, it’s going to be muddy on the trail. Be sure to choose proper footwear. We recommend forgoing flip-flops for walking shoes with plenty of traction. Hint: Don’t forget the camera.
Kayak to your own private island
This one is a challenge, but well worth the effort.
Kailua Beach is located on Oahu’s Windward facing shore, about 30 minutes from Waikiki. You’ll find turquoise water, soft white sand, and a more laid back atmosphere than Waikiki. Just offshore you’ll see the Mokulua islands (or Moks for short). These little islands even have their own mini beaches accessible by kayak.
Tandem kayak and paddleboard rentals are available just across the street from Kailua Beach. You can push offshore and head for the Mokulua islands, or paddle down shore toward Lanikai Beach. Lanikai was named one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic Travel, but it’s remained out of sight and out of mind to most tourists since it’s tricky to access by car.
For more information on Kailua Beach kayak rentals, visit: Kailua Sail Boards
Recreate your own “From Here to Eternity” moment
Halona Blowhole is a must-see stop along Oahu’s Eastern Coastline. The blowhole is actually a molten lava tube, formed by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. When the surf is high, this blowhole can shoot water up to 30 feet in the air.
This is great stop for a photo op if you’re planning to drive around the island. You might even see sea turtles sticking their heads above the water. If you look down and to your right from the blowhole lookout, you’ll see a sandy cove. This is where the famous love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was shot for “From Here to Eternity” in 1953. To get down to the beach, climb down carefully. If you’re an early riser, you’ll probably be the only two to visit the cove all morning.
Need more ideas for your romantic Oahu getaway? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: Annalisa Unbedacht