Every morning in Hawaii I’d hop on the computer to plan our day or confirm directions to that day’s destination. Our rule – only plan one thing a day and let the rest unfold on its own. That way we know we definitely have something to do that day (ie: travel to a new beach or site) & won’t “waste” our vacation but we still have the flexibility and time for whatever else might pop up. It worked really well and gave us time to relax too.
Friday, Oct. 14:
Our goal for the day was to ride the bus out to Oahu’s east/windward coast to check out a new beach… Lanikai Beach. I had read a zillion reviews about how amazing this beach was and just knew we had to check it out! I mean how could you not when it’s described like this:
One of Hawaii’s best swimming beaches and frequently ranked among the world’s nicest beaches, the dreamy Lanikai Beach is a hidden gem known for its soft sands and aquamarine waves massaged by gentle onshore trade winds.
Lanikai Beach is a half-mile long but about half of that has disappeared in recent years due to seawalls built along the shore. It is also very hard to find because it is located behind a residential area and thus no public parking lots for easy access.
So, after the hour long bus ride to an address near the beach we jumped off and started to wander the streets looking for access. After 10 minutes or so we finally found a sandy path between the houses that led us to the beach. Well, if you could call it that. Basically it was a strip of sand between seawalls.
But, man, was it magical.
We were immediately drawn to the secluded beach and knew we just had to stay and enjoy the view. After scoping out the area and cooling off our feet in the water we sat on the small stretch of sand, with turquoise waves rolling in, and ate pb&j sandwiches…alone… it was paradise.
As you can tell the sky was starting to darken so we darted under the canopy of vines and trees to escape (most) of the rainstorm. It also rained later in the day…twice! The first time it was just sprinkles the next time? Crazy hard downpour for 3 minutes, then done; immediate sun to follow. Haha, oh Hawaii weather!
After the storm had passed and the clouds began to clear, I sweet-talked Mr.C into taking a few pictures with me. This beach was one of the most enchanting places we had been to yet and I wanted to capture it all. Besides how often are you alone without people or buildings to clutter the shot!
Sadly, due to the rocks and the seawalls the water was too deep and the waves dangerous to swim in. But, after poking his head around the wall, Mr.C said he saw a larger strip of land farther down with people on it. There were also groups of kaiaks heading to and from the islands we could see so we figured we’d wander down the road on the off chance there was a bigger, swimming beach there.
Above are snapshots from our walk. Mr.C is carrying our trusty backpack that we bought at the International Market Place. It had a million pockets was a cool Hawaiian print. Sadly we play hard and so by the end of the week it was pretty much destroyed or “BTS” (beat to shit) as Mr.C would say. Still we used it as a laptop bag on the way home on the plane despite the fact that one of the straps broke. Oops. Anyway, the first picture was taken with our backs to the ocean and on the far right you see a beautiful Hibiscus which is native to Hawaii and its state flower, and below that is just a mailbox…but a pretty awesome mailbox we thought!
Finally, after walking maybe 15 minutes or so we found another beach access and at the end of it we found this….
The *real* Lanikai Beach! Apparently this is the half of the half-mile that was so raved about online. To borrow my favorite phrase from Rachel Zoe…”I die!”
It was absolutely gorgeous. Apparently Lanikai means “heavenly seas” and it definitely lives up to that. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the water and relaxing on the fine, soft white sand. It was light powdered sugar and the water was lukewarm, clear, and fairly calm.
Lanikai Beach….definitely a postcard moment.
[side note!!!! visit this LINK and scroll less than halfway down to see a virtual tour of the beach, it really is remarkable]
Around dinner time we wanted to head back to Waikiki. We waited at the bus stop for what seemed like forever before the bus finally came. I am very impatient and the Mr. can attest to that…so it was probably only a half hour or so that we were actually waiting. It was okay though because while we sat there we spotted a lizard, rested our feet, and took one of my favorite photos from the trip. I think it portrays us well!
Anyway, after the bus came we stopped off in Kailua to grab Subway, dodge the aforementioned heavy rainstorm, and catch our transfer bus back to Waikiki. Once there we took our nightly stroll down the main drag and took in a street performance or two. After being in the sun (and rain) all day and on such a long bus ride we were too exhausted to say out late and soon headed back to the room to catch some Z’s.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, “Hawaii Part 4“, where we basically eat our way through Waikiki.