Oahu, Hawaii, United States
When I was younger, I was mesmerized one day as I walked into the apartment of one of my friends and spread before me was the most marvelous view- Kaneohe Bay, displaying its breathtaking array of colors, little circles of creamish white where sandbars lay, pale glistening patches of shallow water, deep navy blues, bright lines of aquamarine. And to frame it all, perfectly shaped sharp mountain peaks.
Unfortunately, though I've searched and searched, I haven't found a public park with views of Kaneohe Bay like the ones I saw that day. The views can be seen, though, from Lilipuna Rd, either near the Marine Institute, or from the right hand side of the pool gate at Poha Kea Point apartments. Maybe you can take a look at an open house while you're there! It would be a great vacation home!
The bay is great for kayak or sailing trips. I don't particularly like sailing because I get seasick, but I never turn down an offer to go sailing on Kaneohe Bay. Days spent looking out across the shimmering waters and standing on my very own sand bar are some of my best memories (beware: there are sharks).
You can kayak in Kaneohe Bay from He'eia State Park to a sandbar 2 1/2 miles out. I've never done this paddle so I can't say how safe it is, but I've heard it can be hard when the wind and waves are strong. Wear reef shoes. I'm sure it must be fantastic to stand on the sandbar and look out at the bay around you.
If you're hungry or feel like looking around some shops, head over to Windward Mall for something to eat. Windward Mall is an attractive indoor mall, and it's just across Kamehameha Hwy from the northern-most entrance to Lilipuna St. There's a food court there. Try a malasada at Mr. Malasada's wagon. Malasadas were introduced by the Portuguese sugar cane workers who came to the islands in the 19th century. They are similar to donuts but yummier. They are warm, round balls dipped in cane sugar. Aaaah! Give me one now!
For stunning views of the H3 Freeway hugging cliffs that loom above you, from the northern-most entrance to Lilipuna St, cross Kamehameha Hwy. You are now on Haiku Rd passing Windward Mall. Continue on Haiku Rd toward the mountains until it ends- it changes name at some point. There is a neighborhood there that is magical because it sits at the base of the steep green Koolau mountains.
Take a drive over the Pali Highway back to Honolulu, stopping for a breathtaking view at the Pali Lookout.
For a lovely place with stunning mountain views (pretty much one of the most beautiful places on earth), at the base of the H3, check out Hawaii Pacific University's windward campus. After 2020, it will become a part of Castle Medical Center.
For a swim you'll never forget, drive to Lanikai Beach.
View from Poha Kea Point apartments. The view is more distant from here than from the Marine Institute.
Views of mountains from Poha Kea Point apartments.
Views from Poha Kea Point apartments
View of the H3 freeway from the neighborhood at the top of Haiku Drive.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
From the Pali Hwy or Kalanianaole Hwy, turn onto Kamehameha Hwy. Follow it all the way to Lilipuna Rd, a loop, and turn right. You can pull up along the road near the Marine Institute for great views.
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