An April 2004 trip
to Honolulu by not2creative
Quote: Wow, in 20 years, a lot of new buildings were built. Honolulu has grown! This time, we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, hiked up Diamond Back, visited Hunauma Bay Nature Preserve, watched the sunset at Sunset Beach, and had some of the world-famous shaved ice....
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 28, 2005
Hilton Hawaiian Village
2005 Kalia Rd.
Attraction | "Hunauma Bay Nature Preserve"
I had read to arrive early, but it took longer than we expected to reach the park. We arrived at 9:45am and did not have a problem parking. The parking fee is $1, which is refundable if you are only stopping to take photos (you have 15 minutes to exit). If you opt to stay at the beach ($5 admission/pp), you are required to view a mandatory video to access the beach.
The video is 8 minutes long and is repeated every 15 minutes. We waited about 25 minutes to watch the video, and the room was very crowded. I flashed back to a recent visit to WDW. When the film broke out into song to the tune of "Under the Sea", that idea was confirmed.
After leaving the theater, you have the option of walking down the hill or taking the tram for an additional 50 cents. Even with the hoards of people descending the hill every 15 minutes the beach remained relatively uncrowed.
If you didn't bring snorkeling gear, no worries--you can rent a face mask and fins right on the beach.
While snorkeling, you must be careful not to step on any of the reefs, but you are rewarded by the beautiful fish that will swim right up to you. It is not uncommon to feel them nibbling on your bathing suit. It is a wonderful experience.
Hanauma Bay is open 6am to 7pm daily and closed Tuesday. If you plan to return, be sure to sign a log book, and you will not have to view the video a second time. Parking is limited, so arrive early.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2005
Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
7455 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
Bring plenty of water--I can't stress that enough. The temperature here is hotter than at the beach. The path is a dirt trail that is a series of switchbacks up the side of the mountain. At the halfway point, there is a concrete landing with some photo opportunites. It is here that you are fooled into thinking you have almost made it to the top. Then you encounter a steep staircase (74 steps), which leads into a 225-foot-long tunnel. Guess what--a second staircase with 99 steps is now facing you! You have almost made it! You will encounter a spiral staircase, and then you will have made it. You can get a certificate that shows you made it to the top! Gee, did I mention that you have to climb out what I remember to be a hole to actually see the view? Now you have the option to climb one more set of steps to get to the very top observation area. Yes, the views are incredible!
Link to the offical site to download a brochure:
Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head Road And 18th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816