Week of December 8-14, 1995
Hawaii in one week
Question: How can I experience as much of Hawaii as possible in one week during February? I've never been there before, and I want to experience more than just soaking up sun on a beach. I have my own bodysurfing board and suit. I want to do this on a reasonable budget--not too cheap and not too expensive.
Adventure Adviser: Unless you want to spend your week in a frantic flurry of island-hopping, your best bet is to hide out at one or two quieter, less touristy Hawaiian destinations. Since you're starting out on Oahu, consider escaping overrun Waikiki and Honolulu for the island's low-key windward coast, just over the towering Koolau Range. This stretch of beautiful shoreline--running from Makapuu Point, on the southeastern tip, to Kahuku Point, on the northern end--is filled with white sand beaches and lots of possibilities for bodysurfing, hiking, and boardsailing. A mere 20-minute drive from Waikiki on Hawaii 72, Makapuu Beach Park is an exceptional surf bowl with 5- to 10-foot waves, where bodysurfing and bodyboarding are the sports of choice.
From there, head 12 miles north to Naish Hawaii/Windsurfing Hawaii Kailua (808-262-6068), where Mistral boards rent for $30-$40 per day. The boardsailing and kayaking is best off Kailua because of its protected bay, steady onshore trade winds, and five-mile-long beach. Two-Good Kayaks Hawaii rents boats for $25-$39 per day and offers one-hour lessons for $55 per person (808-262-5656).
Continue about 20 miles up the coast and you'll come to Hauula, starting point for the two-hour hike through the rainforest to a deep gorge, a swimming hole, and 80-foot Kaliuwaa Falls. For reasonably priced accommodations on the Windward Coast, book a one-bedroom unit at Pat's of Punaluu--an unassuming condo complex beside a sheltered reef--for $68 per night (808-845-8799 or 808-293-8111). For more ideas on seeing the quieter side of the Aloha state, be sure to check out "True Hawaii" in the Destinations section of our March 1995 issue and "Hawaii: Paradise Without Customs" in our Winter Travel Guide.