Oahu Itinerary - Day 4

You're finally in your Hawaii groove so let's keep exploring.

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Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Oahu Vacation Itinerary
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We're going to start the day off with a relatively easy morning hike, then hit one of the best beaches on Oahu, and then go on an adventure.


Since Day 3 was likely a pretty long and late day, there is no need to get up too early for Day 4. Grab yourself a light breakfast and then head over for the epic Lanikai Pillbox Hike / Kaiwa Ridge Trail.

Don't worry, this isn't a long, grueling hike at all. But, know that while it is a short hike it's basically Oahu's version of a Stairmaster so it's uphill the entire way, even if you're only moving forward around 0.4 miles to reach the second pillbox. The very beginning of the trail is the steepest part and the rest is far easier but still uphill. If heights freak you out you may find parts you don't like as this is a "ridge" trail so there are parts of the path that are just a few feet wide with steep drops on both sides. That worries some but at the same time you'll watch kids and mom's with kids strapped to them plowing right by as if it's nothing.


I say you give it a try and if you don't like it you simply turn around. Make it to the pillboxes and you'll be rewarded with some of the best views around. If you can't do it, don't worry as I have more amazing views planned that everyone can do tomorrow.


The locals in Kailua hate when we mention this beach publically, but like I always tell them, "the secret is already out" and you can't hide this place from the world any longer. So what am I referring to? One of the best beaches on any of the islands, Lanikai Beach. If you did the hike you're already over here, otherwise drive on out early for the best shot at parking. On that note, there is no parking lot so it's all street parking and there are several beach access points along the area which we cover in more detail in our guide to Lanikai Beach.

This is reason number 1 why the locals here hate having "their" little slice of heaven publicized. So find a spot and be respectful of those who live here. Park only where it's allowed, never park where you're blocking a driveway or otherwise not allowed. Reason number two is that people who come here are sometimes loud, obnoxious, and/or leave junk behind. But that's not you, right? Again, respect the people and the aina (land). Pack out what you packed in and keep the noise down because these people quite literally live right on the beach.


Note that there are no facilities here what-so-ever so use the bathroom before you arrive. I'd also suggest wiping off as much sand as you can before leaving the beach. This stuff is like a fine powder and difficult to get off. Most locals know to bring a gallon (or two) of tap water with so they can rinse off before tracking the mess back into their car.


You can also try Kailua Beach Park which is basically right next to Lanikai Beach so it has the same powdery sand, same beautiful waters, and actually has facilities which is nice.


Now's a great time to grab some lunch and there are many dining options in Kailua or just do a Oahu Restaurants Nearby Me search on your smartphone while in the area. We're taking it a little easy and slow today so don't rush, enjoy your time.


Belly full but settled? The next stop as we move north will be at the Byodo-In Temple which you may recognize from such TV shows as Lost, Fantasy Island Remake, Hawaii Five-O, and even Magnum P.I. The Byodo-In Temple is a replica of the real thing located in Japan which is over 950 years old, though this one was built in 1968. There isn't a ton to see here but many people really enjoy a stop here. It's incredibly peaceful here, that much is for sure.


Next up, let's head north along the coast to the Tropical Farms Macadamia Farm Outlet which also offers the Tropical Farms - Ali'i Tour. The tour is a lot of fun but and you'll get to sample some of the fresh and free macadamia nuts they offer before or after the tour (that you get to crack open yourself).


Just a bit further north along the coast and you'll run into the very popular Kualoa Ranch. You'll find a variety of activities here that include a zipline tour, horseback riding tours, ATV tours, a movie tour showing the famous locations of over 50 movies and TV shows, and many other fun activities. Stop in and take a look around, there's a little something for everyone here. For best results, make some advanced reservations so you've got everything you want to do here fully booked before showing up.

By the time you're done at Kualoa Ranch it will late afternoon or early evening so best to start making the long trek back to your hotel. Grab some grub for dinner when needed and then why not spend some time at your hotel's pool or hot tub and enjoy a beverage or three. You are paying a lot for that hotel, might as well use it on a day like this where we're trying to take it easy. Tomorrow's a big day with a lot to see so rest well.
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