What to do and see in Hawaii Kai, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 18, 2017 Almeta Stockton

Discover the best top things to do in Hawaii Kai, United States including Waimanalo Beach, Koa Lani Private Tours, Bellows Field Beach Park, Shrine to Drowned Fisherman, Diamond Head State Monument, Makapu'u Beach, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Sea Life Park Hawaii, Kaiona Beach Park, Shangri La.
Restaurants in Hawaii Kai

1. Waimanalo Beach

41 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1299
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 580 reviews

Waimanalo Beach

A large beach in Oahu.

Reviewed By Jenn D - Yulee, Florida

Away from the hub hub of Waikiki, this beach is quiet and much bigger waves. There is a bathroom and several places to eat nearby. The sand is super fine and soft and tree offer some shade after noon. The shoreline is long too so it is a good place to walk the beach.

2. Koa Lani Private Tours

Hawaii Kai Drive, Hawaii Kai, Oahu, HI 96825
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Koa Lani Private Tours

Reviewed By Jean B - Andover, New Jersey

My husband and I were happy to be in Waikiki for a much deserved vacation, and relaxing was a big part of it. After a few days of Waikiki beach, relaxing, and shopping we decided to take a sightseeing tour and the reviews we read all pointed to Koa Lani Private Tours, and off we went.

Will, our guide, was a blessing from above. We hit it off right away, and went from 0 to 60 right away. He had interesting information and stories about anything you could point at, starting right with telling us about the history of our hotel!

Oahu has so much more than we expected, and we saw a lot more than we would have seen with a rental car. We went to the turtle beach, hidden lava tunnels that went to secret places, a Japanese temple with green mountains behind it, bonzai pipeline, the coffee plantation, the macadamia nuts...It was wonderful.

I wholeheartedly recommend taking a tour with Wil and his beautiful SUV. Thank you Koa Lani Tours! Todd and I wish you continued success and happy holidays!

3. Bellows Field Beach Park

220 Tinker Rd, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1903
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 364 reviews

Bellows Field Beach Park

Reviewed By Alexander G - Honolulu, Hawaii

O'ahu is literally surrounded by beautiful beaches, but some are truly nicer than others. Bellows Field Beach Park may be one of the more beautiful on this island. Located on the eastern shore, just north of Waimanalo, it's a quick drive from either Honolulu/Hawaii-Kai, or from Kailua. You simply turn onto Tinker Road, which leads you right to the park. The beach itself is well kept white sand; plenty of area to lay out and tan, or relax swimming in the surf. The waves never seem to be too big, so it doesn't strike me as good surfing area. It's a crescent shaped beach so it's perfect for pictures: mountains to the back with green trees, islands off the coast with clean blue waters.

There are two distinct areas to this park. The first is open to the public and allows camping. There is a large bath house and areas under the trees for parking and tents, permits are required. One issue with this area is it's crowded, especially on the weekends. With the beauty, I can understand why but it doesn't seem like an ideal situation to "get away."

Traveling down the road a little farther leads to a security check point where the beach becomes part of Bellows Air Force. With valid ID (check their website for specific types), entry will be granted to reach the other facilities. These include free paved parking lots, the rental cabins, castle playground, pavilions, and cabin rental office. Inside the latter, they have a newly renovated bar with pool tables, light food, and beer; a pro shop with golf, water sports, tennis, and disc golf equipment; and public restrooms. In the park proper you'll find the tennis courts, open field for volleyball and other games, and a disc golf course surrounding it (please see my specific review if interested).

Staff in all these facilities are friendly and professional, it feels like a family here. There are always big groups having fun for events. The beach is an easy walk; everything is picturesque. Be sure to have a beer on the lanai and just watch the clouds roll in. For anyone with access, whether visiting or living here, this is a must visit beach!

4. Shrine to Drowned Fisherman

Hawaii Kai, Oahu, HI 96825
Excellent
0%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
100%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 1 reviews

Shrine to Drowned Fisherman

Reviewed By Kimberley42 - Portland, Oregon

I am grateful that I saw a ceremony happening at this shrine, which inspired us to stop. Built in the 30s, this shrine tries to protect fisherman who cast lines from the rocks. Fascinating history! A group of Vietnamese Buddhists now care for the site, replacing the Jizo (which had been vandalized years earlier and ultimately removed) with a statue of equally protective quality Quan Am Nam Hai. An annual memorial service is held in November.

5. Diamond Head State Monument

18th Ave., Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 +1 808-587-0300
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 19 reviews

Diamond Head State Monument

A dormant volcano crater.

Reviewed By fishmister - Syracuse, Utah

We visited Diamond Head on a Wednesday at about noon. According to Google it started to slow down by then.
The lot was full but we were able to pay and wait in the parking line/queue until someone left. Took about 5 min.
As we started the hike there were two groups from tour buses coming down the hill. So the crowds were decreasing.

The hike starts out slow and then hits some switch backs that weren't too bad. The final part of the hike are steps. We took a break after the first set of stairs. If you don't like the idea of tunnels you can avoid the second one by going left and up the stairs on the side of the hill, but the first tunnel you have to go through up and down. It is wide enough for traffic both ways but can be snug on the down hill side. The peak was crowded and had to wait our turn to get the best photo ops but was not crazy.

We wore flip flops, sneakers or hiking shoes would have been better for the down hill. Great for the whole family.
Bring water you will need it.

6. Makapu'u Beach

41-095 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1808
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 262 reviews

Makapu'u Beach

Stretching more than 1,000 yards of sandy shoreline, this spot is considered the premier bodysurfing beach in Hawaii.

Reviewed By Jin G - New York City, New York

We got off the bus at sea life park and tried to walk back to Makapu’u lighthouse hiking trail. We spotted this beach along the way and decided to take a look. The beach was beautiful and not crowded. I was so glad to catch bodyboarders in action.

7. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96825-2005 +1 808-396-4229
Excellent
65%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

A perfect snorkeling spot.

Reviewed By venicegirl - Los Angeles, CA

Although advised to go early, since it was gloomy and chilly early in the morning, we didn't arrive until 9. However, there wasn't much of a line, we got the 9:15 presentation spot, and the day warmed up considerably. The setting and water color is beautiful.

Although it was quite crowded on the beach and in the water, and there wasn't much in the way of colorful coral, my kids (4, 6, and 8) and I were all impressed and delighted with the variety and quantity of very large, colorful fish we saw while snorkeling.

Food options are very limited and barely edible so eat beforehand or bring food with you!

8. Sea Life Park Hawaii

41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy Ste 7, Makapuu Point, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1820 +1 808-926-3800
Excellent
28%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
9%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 1 reviews

Sea Life Park Hawaii

Sea Life Park, Hawaii's marine life comes alive in a dazzling display that will entertain and delight visitors. Located just 15 miles from Waikiki, on Oahu's beautiful and scenic Makapuu Point, Sea Life Park is a world-class marine attraction perched between the majestic Koolau Mountain Range and breathtaking Makapuu Beach. See dolphins swim, sea lions sing, and penguins perform in this magical place by the sea.

Reviewed By Reverend T M - Honolulu, Hawaii

A Hawaiian Disappointment
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I have been living on Oahu about 25 years and go to the south shore about once every other month. My daughter was coming from Texas to visit and wanted to visit several Animal oriented attractions here in Hawaii. She is a Government Animal Protection Agent from Texas and these type of things are interesting to her.
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We made a special trip to south shore just to visit this Park. I really can not state how disappointing our trip to this park was. My daughter stated that the living conditions of the animals bordered on cruelty.
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The park itself is small and the grounds and buildings are much in need of painting and repair. They provide a few shows but the shows are all scheduled at the same time so you will need to stay longer to see other shows.
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There is a Bird exhibit and it is cool. The birds are not sea birds and I fail to see what they have to do with a Sea Life park.
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They do provide a few extras to do such as swimming with the Dolphins, but these are provided at an additional cost and seemingly to overt your attention away from the lack of entertainment that the rest of the park provides.
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If you are reviewing the 'Ka Moana Luau' please do a TripAdvisor search and post it on the TripAdvisor 'Ka Moana Luau' page.
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Happy Hawaii Days
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9. Kaiona Beach Park

41-575 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1819
Excellent
76%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Kaiona Beach Park

Reviewed By WorldTravelers34 - Chicago

Our private tour guide brought us to this area and told us some detailed info about Mokuleia Beach Park and this area. Mokuleia Beach is located on the North Shore of the Island of Oahu, on Farrington Highway, about two miles east of Kaena Point State Park. Kaiona Beach Park has picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, lifeguard stations, and camping sites. There are really two beaches in this area, the beach at Mokuleia Beach County Park and Mokuleia Army Beach, located near an airfield. The beach here is fantastic. It has clear turquoise water, soft sand, calm water, and the amazing views.

10. Shangri La

4055 Papu Cir, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-4850 +1 808-734-1941
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 801 reviews

Shangri La

Doris Duke's home, built in 1930, is an architecturally significant home which includes a collection of Islamic artwork.

Reviewed By Marcia K - Homer, Alaska

If you like historic homes of interesting people, fabulous art and architectural details, you'll love Shangri La. Managed by the Honolulu Museum of Art, the tour does a great job of showcasing Doris Duke's home, art collection and how it all came to be. Don't miss it! You don't have to have a passion for middle eastern art to appreciate what Duke accomplished here. You just have to love beauty.

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