When we were first researching for our move to O’ahu, I heard one thing loud and clear: stay away from Waianae. I’m so glad I ignored that advice (and I think you should too.) We have visited the west side of the island plenty, and we’ve only had great experiences. The people have been nice, the views are unbeatable, and there is plenty to do and see! So James and I jumped at the chance to have a date day where we could just do and explore and go where the wind took us!

First we checked out Upper Makua Cave. It’s a short little hike right off the road near Ka’ena Point.IMG_0990

This isn’t a hike for the littles because it’s pretty steep. It’s short and sweet, but definitely steep.IMG_1007

Once you climb up the rocks, you have a pretty breathtaking view.IMG_1008 IMG_1010

After at least 20 minutes of intense hiking, we reached the cave!IMG_1011

And, yeah. That’s beautiful.IMG_1019e

There were some friendly fellow hikers up there who took this photo of us.IMG_1025edit

That was neat, but then we were on our way back down. (That part is always scarier to me.)IMG_1031e IMG_1036

Made it! Onto the next portion of our day…IMG_1041

We have passed this sign a million times, so we decided to play tourist and grab a shot.IMG_1046

This one too. IMG_1050

Is this Lower Makua Cave? I’m not really sure. It’s not very deep although my first instinct was to let James explore it to find out. I’m a kind and caring wife.IMG_1057

Then we hopped back in the van and checked out the beach areas. We were in search of a few hidden spots.IMG_1060edit IMG_1064

Success! We found this arch. I’m not entirely sure what it’s called (possibly Mā‘Ili Point Arch?) but I had seen it on social media and I became determined to find it.
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We then went in search of the famed mermaid cave nearby. And we did locate it with some help, but there were tons of people in there so we just mentally checked it off our list and left.

At least these palm trees are pretty.IMG_1115

If I haven’t already impressed upon you that the west side of O’ahu is gorgeous, well then, here’s one last image to persuade you.

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Go, be friendly with any locals you meet, and make sure to always be respectful of the land.

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park
Camping at Bellows AFS