I got in some dolphin time today on Wild Side Specialty Tour's morning wildlife cruise (8 to 11 a.m., $105 per person, sailhawaii.com). If you're looking for a way to get in a short tour of the Waianae coast, snorkeling, and a chance to swim with dolphins, this is your best bet. You're guaranteed to see a lot of fish and probably a few sea turtles, too. And if you're good--i.e., quiet enough in the water--you could get to see dolphins swimming by. Just make sure not to splash around when they approach. That scares them off. Fast, stealth swimming will do the trick. The trip back to the harbor, showcasing the mountain range along the coast, is also a mesmerizing treat.
If you're looking to spend a lot more time in the area, try EO's Waianae Tour (call 808-699-5910 for rates, eowaianaetours.com). You'll get to kayak, snorkel, and paddle board while learning about the history of the place, too.
Later in the day, I drove to the North Shore. The area has a very provincial feel, and you'll be able to see the swells from the highway, which looks more like a country road. The only hotel out here is the Turtle Bay Resort (rooms from $255 per night, turtlebayresort.com), but you won't lament that it's the only option once you get a gander at the view from your beachfront room. If you don't want to stay at the hotel, you can rent a cottage or villa on the property.
Photo: Courtesy of Wild Side
The most popular annual Ironman event will take place at Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii Saturday, October 10. Outside Online'sAileen Torres will be covering the big day, and she's also writing anaccompanying blog, "Hawaii Adventure," for tips on what to doand where to stay if you're planning to visit.