Diamond Head Hike and Kailua Beach

I’m very glad Ryan and I enjoy vacationing the same way. We both prefer adventurous vacations jam-packed with activity. Sure, we love a day of relaxation peppered into the mix here and there, but we both enjoy exploring new areas far too much to kick back for too long.

You better believe our first full day in Hawaii was full of fun!

After a quick grab-n-go breakfast at a local coffee shop, we drove to Diamond Head to hike the 0.8 miles to the summit of the crater.

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Diamond Head is believed to have been formed 300,000 years ago during a single, brief eruption and the width of the crater is even greater than the impressive height.

We parked just outside of the state park and walked about a mile to get to the entrance. We were glad we opted to walk because the parking lot was already full at 8 a.m. Labor Day crowds! 

Check out all the teeny people!

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The hike itself wasn’t overly strenuous and we made sure to stop and enjoy the incredible views on our way to the top.

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The only part of the hike that made me uneasy was the time spent in a dark tunnel.

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As a claustrophobic person, I freaked out a bit at the tunnel entrance. Fortunately a nice man coming out of the tunnel sensed my apprehension and did a great job of assuring me I would be in and out of the tunnel in less than two minutes.

He said I wouldn’t be able to see the exit at first which was my main fear, so I held onto Ryan’s back and looked down at his shoes and only looked up when Ryan told me he could see the way out. I made it, but I emerged from the tunnel drenched in a nervous sweat. Eek.

While the views on the way up were impressive, the view from the top reigned supreme.

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I cannot get over the beautiful color of the water. Simply gorgeous.

The walk back down to the base of the crater flew by and we hopped back into our car, bound for the beach!

On our way, we made a pit stop to check out the Halona Blowhole, a rock formation with an impressive blowhole that shoots seawater high into the air.

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The blowhole itself was really neat, but I was even more enamored by the water crashing into the jagged rocks nearby.

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As we continued on our drive, we ended up getting a little lost. We were hoping to arrive at Lanikai Beach, but somehow ended up missing it and arriving at Kailua Beach.

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Ryan and I were pretty hungry at this point, so before walking out to the water, we popped into Buzz’s, located directly across from Kailua Beach Park.

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I knew I was hungry when everything on the menu sounded fantastic.

I ended up ordering the fresh fish burger, which came out looking more like a grilled ahi tuna sandwich which was fine by me!

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The burger came with a side of hot and sour soup and I also ordered a side salad for some greens.

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It was delicious! I could not stop raving about the fish and ate every last bite.

After lunch, we changed into our bathing suits and walked out to Kailua Beach to spend some time in the water and sun. diamond head hike 061

We loved how many people brought their dogs to the beach and had a good time watching dogs play in the surf. Our favorite dogs to watch were the ones who really wanted to get in the water, but were a little too scared to bite the bullet and dive in. They were so sweet and made us miss Sadie!

Now we’re back at the hotel room and it’s time to shower and clean up before dinner. We’re hoping to find a restaurant that overlooks the water for our evening meal tonight and are loving all of the suggestions you guys sent our way. Thank you!!


  1. says

    My fiance and I visited Maui in June and LOVED it. I know what you mean about the color of the water. I couldn’t stop staring! We decided to have our wedding there next year and I absolutely cannot WAIT to go back! I am so glad you are having a great time and thanks for sharing with us!


  2. heather says

    some really fantastic photos in there, julie!! what a great vacation. i have soft spot for hawaii, though i’m a maui girl. continue enjoying 🙂 (oh, and glad i’m not the only one who doesn’t like the idea of tomato soup. i love tomatoes in just about every other form.)


  3. says

    Your photos are making me home sick! I went to elementary school right by Diamond Head and I used to love hanging out by the blow hole! You should definitely head over to the Pali lookout, Polynesian Cultural Center, Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice on the north shore (celebs frequent this place! Azuki beans and ice cream are a must!!), and you cannot leave Hawaii without getting at least one spam musubi, malasada (must be eaten fresh), and li hing mui covered sour gummy worms or sour patch kids! Ahhhh !! Yum!!!

    Oh! And don’t forget to go to the Windward side and check out the upside down waterfalls!


  4. says

    Oh how I miss Kailua Beach! Lanikai is kind of tucked behind Kailua Beach. You need to drive through the residential area and park in front of one of the houses and walk to it. Glad y’all are enjoying yourselves.



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