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Five amazing outdoor day trips in Honolulu

In Hawaii, the sand, sun and surf are the attractions. If you want to venture away from Honolulu to see what else Oahu has to offer, here are the top five day trips to consider.

1. Lounge on the Leeward Side: The west side of Oahu is quite remote. Fantastic beaches like Makaha and Yokohama are less crowded, and the terrain is more rugged. The area offers outstanding snorkeling and scuba diving. The surf is often up, so bring your surfboard or boogie board. Stay for a sunset overlooking the spacious Pacific Ocean. If you’re thirsting for civilization while there, stop into the Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina where Mickey and Minnie will greet you draped in Hawaiian attire. The luaus at Paradise Cove and Germaine are also worth the trip.

2. Pay your respects at Pearl Harbor: The USS Arizona Memorial and all the venues bring the events of December 7, 1941 to life in a moving way. The museums offer a fascinating look into many aspects of World War II. The memorial tends to be crowded, so you might want to purchase tickets ahead of time and get an early start on your visit.

3. Fly a kite at Kailua: The name means “two currents” and is derived from the prominent currents produced by strong local trade winds. The winds make the beaches at Kailua ideal for windsurfing or flying a kite. The sands are clean and white, the surf is gorgeous and the sun will probably be shining. Local resorts and restaurants will meet your needs for food and drink, or bring along lunch to enjoy on the beach.

4. Unwind at Waimea Bay Beach: The winter is the time that surfers congregate at Waimea Bay to catch the big waves. It’s the same place mentioned in the Beach Boys’ tune “Surfin’ USA.” If you don’t surf, watching is great sport too. The rest of the year, the sea is more calm, and the beach is ideal for swimming and catching rays.

5. Ponder Hawaii’s past at the Polynesian Cultural Center: This is a fun and interesting trip to make for the whole family. You’ll learn about the traditions and lifestyle of those from the Central and South Pacific islands. Villages have been re-created to show what traditional life was like among the native peoples of Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Fiji. Authentic food is available as well as the invitation to participate in an authentic luau.