Tag Archives: Oahu

Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort Offers $200 Fall Room Rates

North Shore Oahu Hotel Has Activities & Surfing Competitions

Turtle Bay Resort Oahu Hawaii beach
The Turtle Bay Resort is on Oahu's beautiful North Shore beach.

One of the top resorts in Hawaii is offering what is – for the property – excellent hotel room rates for most of the fall.

The Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore has what it calls Fantastic Fall Rates starting at $209 a night for renovated ocean-view rooms.

The offer is good from Sept. 1-Nov. 27.

The renovations, involve the rooms, two new restaurants with farm-to-table and sea-to-table cuisine; the new Nalu Kinetic Spa and Wellness Center; and a pair of retail outlets.

Of course, you don’t go to Hawaii – and the Turtle Bay Resort – to sit in the room all day interspersed with a little shopping and dining. You need activities!

And here, there’s stand-up paddle boarding, surf lesson, Segway tours, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, beachside yoga and, of course, 36 holes of championship golf on two courses. Better yet for us duffers, the golf is for free in October on either course.

And this also is the North Shore, one of the top surfing spots in the world. In the fall, there’s the HIC Pro at Sunset Beach from Oct.28-Nov.10; the REEF Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa from Nov.12-23 and The Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach runs Nov. 24-Dec. 1.

To book, call *808) 293-6000 or go to the Turtle Bay website at: turtlebayresort.com.


Stand-up Paddleboarding With Dolphins One Of Hawaii’s Top Activities

SUP With Aquatic Animals, Plus Snorkeling And Surfing Part OF Adventure

Hawaii Activities Stand Up Paddleboarding Dolphins
Get up close to dolphins at the West Oahu SUP tour in Hawaii.

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the hot new water and beach activities, largely because of its relaxing and calming pace.

But who can be relaxed and calm when there are hundreds – that’s no exaggeration, either – of dolphins swimming around when you are on a stand-up paddleboard!?

Yet that’s exactly what happens at West Oahu SUP. That SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard, for all you squids out there, by the way.

It’s two-hour tour in the morning session is greeted by the dolphins, who show up by the hundreds to play with the SUPs. And that could be you, because West Oahu SUP gives lessons, which means people of all ages and no prior skill level is required. In other words, you don’t have to a North Shore big wave surfer to participate. Squids are welcome!

Sessions are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. To paddle with the dolphins, you have to be there at 9. And the location is about an hour from Waikiki, at Mauna Lahi lahi Beach Park in Makaha. Westside of Oahu, on the Waianae Coast.  Fortunately, there are  shuttle trips from Waikiki.

Stand Up Paddleboarding Hawaii Oahu
The stand-up paddleboarding sessions run three times a day.


Oahu Hawaii Activities Snorkeling With Turtles
In addition to SUP with dolphins, West Oahu has snorkeling with turtles.


And West Oahu SUP doesn’t stop with SUPs. it also rents body boards ($20/day), long boards ($25.day), short boards ($25.day),  kayaks ($25/hr., 50/day for and $60/day for two-person), snorkeling gear ($15/day) and even underwater cameras (for just $20 for all day).

You can go on your own or take lessons. The staff is made up of experienced local Watermen, Lifeguards, Professional Surfers, and Paddlers. All are CPR and First Aid certified.

Check it all out yourself at: westoahusup.com.


Be Careful Of The Dangers Of Hawaii’s Spitting Caves on Oahu

Natural Attraction Also Has Hazards From The Cliffs To The Churning Ocean

Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
People stand on the edge of the rocks at Spitting Cave in Oahu.

They are gorgeous and one of those things that seems unique to Hawaii. A natural attraction that’s nature just being, well, nature.

A rush of water rolls into a cut in the rocks and then “spits” the spray back out to sea. It’s a phenomenon that has earned this area a nickname, the Spitting Caves (though there’s really only one main cave where this occurs).

They are a huge draw for locals and a rush for visitors in the know. They are just 20 or so minutes from Waikiki Beach and less than 10 minutes from the blowhole and the famous “From Here To Eternity” beach.

But if you come here, be careful.

When you look into the gorgeous distance, or peer over the ledge to see the cave spit out the waves, watch your step and be aware of your surroundings. There are no ropes or a guardrail. The rocks on which you stand are solid but they are also uneven. And they can be slippery. It would be easy to trip.

On the day I was there, it was also windy, which is a common condition. I felt that at any moment, the wind could blow me off the ledge and plunge me into the churning sea. That is, if I got too close to the edge and on that day, I made sure to keep some surface below my toes.

Call me cautious, or even wimpy, but when I approached the edge I backed away cautiously. When I moved to the edge of the edge, I sat down.

As a confirmation of my conservative approach, there are a couple of religious crosses on the rocks where other people have met their untimely demise. That’s sad. And I had no interest in having flowers placed there as a memorial to me.

Later I learned a sad story about the place.

A friend who lives on the island told of the time when she watched one of her friends perish at the the caves.

Her friend, as some locals like to do from time to time, jumped into the water from the rocks. It seems a foolish thrill to me but “oh now,”my friend said. “Locals do it all the time.”

Except on that day, the sea was churning and the person could not make it back to a ladder that is hanging – precariously, if you ask me – from one of the rock formations down into the water. The suddenly struggling swimmer was being thrown hard against the rocks and by the time rescuers got to him it was, sadly, too late.

This is by no means meant to discourage you from going to the Spitting Cave. It’s just a warning to be careful.

Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Spitting Cave is one of Hawaii's Natural Attractions.


Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Be careful peering over the edge to see the Spitting Cave.


Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Look closely; there are people at the top of the rock pretty close to the edge.


The Spitting Caves are one of Hawaii’s great natural phenomenons and it’s well worth a visit.

Just enjoy them with the proper caution.


Driving Directions To The Spitting Caves



Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay Closed Due To High Surf

North Shore Waves Reach 30 Feet As Huge Swells Hit All The Islands

North Shore Surfer
Surf pounds the North Shore; waves (not here) reached an astonishing 30 feet.

Waves of up to six feet have caused the closure of Oahu’s most popular snorkeling spot, Hanauma Bay.

It is closed on Sunday, Jan. 13, after also being closed on Saturday.

Conditions are dangerous and visibility is poor, causing lifeguards to close Hanauma Bay.

Strong trade winds have been blowing all weekend, causing waves of up to 8-12 feet on east Oahu beaches, and up to 10 feet on other Hawaiian islands. On the North Shore, waves reached an astonishing 30 feet. That’s great for viewing from the saftety of the shore, but not for venturing out into the water.

The conditions are expected to return to normal during the week, though note that Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays throughout the year.

It’s winter hours are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. In the summer its open until 7 p.m. There is a $7.50 usage fee (and $1 for parking, although the efficient Honolulu bus has a stop there) and there is also snorkeling equipment for rent.


Ohau’s Scenic Drives Traveling Around The Island in a Day

See Scenic Lookouts, Waterfalls Beaches and Eat At The Shrimp Trucks

Places like Kualoa Beach Park await those who drive around Oahu.

For those with the drive to do something different than sit on Waikiki Beach (or spend much of their vacation shopping in its many stores), there’s a great one-day escape that’s well worth the time.

It’s taking a drive around the island of Oahu. What awaits are hiking trails through the jungle, waterfalls, beaches and parks by beaches and shrimp trucks. What is not there are shopping centers, tour operators and high-rise hotels. There’s not even any ABC Stores.

This is a quick guide to hitting the highlights of driving around the island. It takes one full day; SurfsideSam.com recommends leaving mid-morning; you’ll be back by early evening.

The Pauli Highway cuts through the interior mountains of Oahu.


This guide goes from Waikiki to the Paul Highway, with the North Shore being the last stop. The drive could easily be done in reverse of this order, but it’s this way to take daylight advantage of a scenic overlook and a hike to a waterfall. Timed right, one can arrive at Sunset beach just in time for, well, sunset.

The directions are simple and the roads are wide and modern. This is not a back-roads drive. And it’s best experienced in a convertible.

Driving Directions

From Waikiki, take H1 westbound to the Pali Highway exit. Follow that to Highway 83; this is a well-marked intersection. The 83 runs along the coast thru to the North Shore. After the North Shore, take the 99 to H2 and follow the signs back to Waikiki Beach.

Nuuanu Pali State Park

Nuuanu Pali State Park is the first stop on this scenic Oahu drive.


Oahu's decisive battle was fought here by Hawaii's original warriors.

The first stop is the lookout at Nuuanu Pali State Park (or, as the Hawaiians spell it, Nu’uanu). The site of the final battle of Oahu, when Kamehameha used superior weapons to win and became the first King of Hawaii. Some 800 of the other warriors leaped to their deaths from the top of this cliff.

And it’s a heck of a cliff, 985 feet, to be precise. It provides a high view of the windward side of the island. And it can be windy; don’t wear a loose-fitting hat because it could get blown away quicker than one’s first impression of the view.

Visitors can also walk down the original highway; if it’s been raining there’s a small waterfall on the right side about a hundred yards down the road.

The Pali Lookout, as it is also known, is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There is a small parking lot with a $3 fee.

Maunawili Falls

Take a hike to Maunawili Falls on this Oahu scenic drive.


It’s a bit of a diversion but well worth it for those who want to go for a hike and swim in a waterfall. The Maunawili Falls are a few miles past Highway 83 that runs along the coast, but it’s pure Hawaii.

The falls are at the end of a 45-minute (appx.) hike through the jungle. This is not a real challenging hike, but it’s not a breeze, either. There are several hills and crossing a stream is required on a couple of occasions.

The reward is a rushing waterfall with a deep pool; several people climb rocks to jump into the water. And that water is initially chilly, but the body quickly adapts.

To get there, take the Pali Highway past the lookout and through two tunnels and make a right on Auloa Road, Quickly veer to the left and park in the residential neighborhood. For those who want to go to the falls, plan extra time into your schedule. It is about 2-3 hours for this side trip.

For more on Manuawilli Falls, click here.

The Coastal Drive

Kualoa Beach Park, with Mokol'i Island in the distance.


Oahu’s version of Pacific Coast Highway and US1 to the Florida Keys is the Highway 83 when it hits the windward coast. As in those scenic drives, there are dozens of places to pull over and admire the view, soak in the scenery, even have a picnic or go for a swim or snorkel.

You don't have to be on Waikiki Beach to see girls in bikinis.


Different types of beaches and parks are part of the coast.


SurfsideSam.com’s highlights start with Kualoa Beach Park. There’s a view of Mokol’i Island and this park also has snorkeling and even diving. Because it’s on the windward coast it’s a bit breezy. That is a common trend on this side of the island.

Further down is the Crouching Lion rock formation. You have to to go down the road to actually see it.

The rugged cliffs of Laie Point in La'ie Town are a must-stop spot.


The blowhole is one of many spectacular views at Laie Point.


Laie Point is a spectacular spot to stop along the Oahu coast.


A must stop is the rugged cliffs and view of Laie Point in La’ie Town. This is a sensational coastal viewpoint from the top of rocky cliffs. Walk across the is a moon-like surface to watch waves crashing into cliffs. One rock has a hole in the center from a storm. This is Oahu’s version of Cabo San Lucas’ arch on Lover’s Beach. To get there, Turn right on Anemoku St across from Foodland shopping center (there’s a light) and make another right at the end of that road..

All during the drive, there are small beaches and parks, some of which allow for overnight camping. For those seeking that adventure, pick one and pitch your tent.

Shrimp Trucks

Giovanni's White Shrimp Truck is place to stop on this scenic Oahu drive.

One of the unique treats of the Oahu scenic drive is a stop at the shrimp trucks at the side of the road. These famous shrimp trucks are in and around the town of Kahuku. The most popular of these is Giovanni’s with its garlic shrimp. (a dozen for $13; or, you can get a half for $6.50 and a half of lemon and butter shrimp for $6.50; includes a scoop or rice). There’s a picnic table and a couple of venders sell souvenirs. Other shrimp trucks are located beyond this point.

There are also shrimp trucks in the North Shore town of Haleiwa. Across the street from a McDonald’s, oddly enough.

North Shore

Shark's Cove is the North Shore's top snorkeling spot.

This is the most laid back of all the laid back places on Oahu. Where surfers call home and surfing dominates the lifestyle.

The North Shore is simple – the luxurious Turtle Bay Resort is about the only high-end property – and hardly commercial at all. There are far more surf shops than, well, shops. One of the most renowned food stops is not a fancy restaurant on the water, but a small bakery that serves sandwiches, loco moco and famous pie. At Ted’s, you sit not at linen-cloth tables with a view of the sea but at old hamburger stand-style round tables outside.

One of the most spectacular North Shore places is Sunset Beach.


The most famous place in the North Shore is Pipeline. This is not actually a beach but the nickname of the break. So there’s no sign for Pipeline. Instead, it’s across from an elementary school (don’t park there) at Ehukai Beach Park. In the summer and fall, this is a beautiful beach great for laying out and relaxing; almost nobody is on it so it’s almost like a private beach, as well. In the winter, tho, whoa! There’s a reason the break is called the Banzai Pipeline. It’s the final, climatic stop on the three-beach Triple Crown of Surfing, held each November & December in the North Shore.

The appropriately named Sunset Beach is an ideal place to be for, well, sunset. It’s ideal for swimming and even snorkeling in the summer. But not in the winter.

The top snorkeling spot in the North Shore is Shark’s Cove. It’s recognizable because the view opens up a bit here and there’s a rocky cove with a bathroom station and parking lot. It’s just before Waimea Bay in Pupukea Beach Park close to the Sunset Fire Station.

One of the most beautiful spots is Waimea Bay. It’s a large bay that’s good for snorkeling when the water is calm in the summer. In the winter, though, huge waves make it an area for expert surfers only.

From here, tired travelers can head left Highway 99 and head back to Waikiki. Or veer to the right to go through the town of Haleiwa. Here is where to find shaved ice, more shrimp trucks, a margarita (Cholo’s) and even sushi (Bonzai Sushi, Happy Hour M-F 4-7). For those in the need of Java, The Coffee Gallery hits the spot. All three of these places are in the North Shore Market Place.

For more on North Shore, click here. For food in the North Shore, click here.