West Oahu is very much so underestimated. I hope this article can change that for you; West Oahu holds some of the islands greatest gems.
West Oahu features some of the most special things such as the beautiful Makua Cave, Mount Lahilahi, the Mermaid Caves, and so much more. People often skip over the west side – but through this article, we will show you some reasons why you definitely shouldn’t.
1. Hike the beautiful Makua Cave for Sunset
Total time: 1 hour
Best time to hike: Sunset
We recommend you to bring:
Keep in mind:
- It can get pretty hot closer to sunset – so bring lots of water (and wear sunscreen!)
- The west side is the dryer side of the island so if you want everything in your photos to be green – make sure to come after rainfall
Viewing the west side of Oahu from Makua Cave is absolutely spectacular during sunset. You simply can’t miss this hike – It’s easily my favorite hike for sunset on this side. If you want more of a view of the entire west side, then we would recommend checking out the Maili Pillboxes – which is #10 on this list.
2. Snorkel at Electric Beach
Electric Beach (Official name: Kahe Point Beach Park) is a well-known place to snorkel on the west side. It attracts a lot of fish and sea life due to the warmer water – which is caused due to the power point across the street which outflows clean warm water. I would recommend coming here with someone who has snorkeled here before because it can get a little harsh at times.
3. Catch the sunset
This one is the easiest but one of the essential things to do on West Oahu. West Oahu has some of the best sunsets on the entirety of the island.
4. Hike up Mount Lahilahi
Located in Makaha, Mount Lahilahi is a short and easy, yet stunning hike. It includes a little bit of rock climbing, but nothing a beginner can’t do. It took us roughly 20 minutes to get to the top and about the same to get back down. We aren’t the most avid hikers – but we barely broke a sweat.
5. Visit the beautiful Ko’olina Resort
If you’re looking for the ultimate place to lay down and relax on the west side of Oahu – the Ko’olina Lagoons are the place to be. It can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so we recommend coming earlier in the day. The Ko’olina Resort features 4 lagoons and the popular Aulani Disney Resort and Four Seasons.
6. Visit Makua Beach
Located on the West side of Oahu, Makua Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful on this side of the island. Right next to this beach is the beautiful Makua Cave, which we ranked number 5 on the best hikes on Oahu, which you can read more about by clicking here. This beach is also very well-known for encountering dolphins.
7. Visit Kaena Point
Kaena Point is a trail located at the very end of Waianae. It is a state park and a bird sanctuary. It’s located on the most western part of the island and can get very hot on a clear day, so make sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks. The whole trail, from the parking lot in Waianae to Dillingham Air Field is 6.3 miles one way to hike the whole trail – or roughly 4 miles out and back if you’re only looking to visit the state park.
8. Experience the beauty of the Mermaid Caves
Nanakuli Beach Park is most popular for its beautiful Mermaid Caves, which is shown above. When you get here, you will realize why it’s so popular – something just feels special about this place. It can potentially be dangerous at times due to swells that can fill up the cave.
9. Visit Yokohama Bay
Yokohama Bay is the most western beach on the island and is well-known for surfing and bodyboarding. The beautiful mountains in the background combined with the white sands and vibrant blue waters are what makes this beach so perfect to visit. The waves can get pretty big – especially during winter months, so swimming is probably not an option.
10. View Waianae from the Maili Pillboxes
Maili Pillboxes (or Pu’u’ohulu Kai) is a short 1.5-mile hike. It takes a little over an hour to complete. We recommend you hiking the pillboxes during sunset for the best view possible. It can get a little crowded – but it’s definitely worth it.
Looking for more to do on Oahu? Check out some other articles:
- Best Hotels on the North Shore of Oahu
- 15 Best Beaches on Oahu, Hawaii
- Oahu: Travel Guide
- 45 Best Things to Do on Oahu
- 10 Best Hikes on Oahu