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With the soft blue waters of Waikiki beach awaiting you and the lush greens of Diamond Head Crater beckoning in the distance, it may seem crazy to even think of prying yourself away from the beautiful city of Honolulu. Oahu, however, has its fair share of secrets waiting to be discovered. To those itching for adventure, adventure awaits,   including hidden inland waterfalls, secluded beaches, small towns with lots of character, and snorkeling grounds that are indescribable.

A centralized starting point, such as that of The Lotus Honolulu presents the perfect balance for those hoping to enjoy world-famous attractions and explore the island’s less-travelled path. With scenic drives waiting to carry you to any and all corners of the island, there’s never an adventure that’s too hidden or too much trouble to find. Imagine yourself reaching the summit of a 600foot volcanic crater at sunrise, watching the surfers take on the giant waves at the North Shore at midday, strolling through Waikiki at sunset, and enjoying a delicious island dinner at one of the famous luaus on the island. Just imagine the possibilities.

oahu volcano
Oahu volcano

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for those yearning for a special slice of paradise on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Unspoiled Beauty at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Conveniently located a mere 25 minutes away by car, the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden has been stealing the breaths of visitors for decades. Complete with walking trails and campgrounds, this garden showcases the natural botanical beauty unique to Hawaii, and is filled with colors and views that will engrain themselves in your mind. Let the lush tropical green landscape wash over you as you walk around the lake, admiring flowers with richest hues. Pack a lunch, jump in the car, and head east for a wonderful day trip.


A World-Famous Beach Trek

Traveling further east to the windward side of the island, you’ll arrive at the small town of Kailua. Home to Kailua Beach, regarded as one of the top beaches in the world, and a favorite of President Barack Obama, this area is ideal for those interested in spending a beach day away from Waikiki. Given its location on the eastern seaboard, Kailua is famous for its windsurfing, as well as a host of other aquatic activities. For further exploring, head to nearby Lanikai Beach, another famous stretch of Hawaiian shore, and hike up to the bunkers from World War II, known as the Pillboxes. The hike is very manageable, and the views upon reaching the summit will not disappoint.


kailua beach
Kailua beach

Scenery You May Recognize

Further north along the windward coast of the island lays Kahana State Park. With its beaches tucked away behind the tree line, this area is fantastic for those hoping to stumble upon a nearly empty slice of island paradise. For those feeling adventurous, head down to Kualoa Ranch and take an ATV or horseback tour through the Ka’a’awa Valley, where you can see some of the famous sites used in the film Jurassic Park and the television show Lost, among others.

Ka'a'awa Valley
Ka’a’awa Valley

There are adventures to be had in every nook and cranny of Oahu. Whether you’d like to take a stroll through downtown Waikiki to hear the Royal Hawaiian Band on a Friday night, or get in the car and watch the surfers on North Shore, when visiting Oahu, the fun is never far away.


*This post was sponsored by Great Vacation Retreats, a property management company specializing in  Kauai vacation rentals

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