Our first full day in Hawaii started off at the crack of dawn, as we headed up into the mountains to hike up to Manoa Falls. As we parked we realized we were surrounded by chickens.
Our path up the rocky and muddy trail took us into the jungle.
Eventually we reached Manoa Falls. At 150′ high it is one of the taller waterfalls in all of Hawaii.
Coming back down the mountain into the neighborhoods we had yet another rainbow. At times it seems we could get rain without clouds, but they were always brief and the sun was out in a few minutes.
Our next stop was Tantalus Overlook. The views from here are amazing.
The airport is built in the harbor.
Honolulu has height restrictions on buildings so they don’t block the view of Diamond Head. Almost all buildings have to be under 400 feet, so most are 399.
Leaving the overlook we headed out Pali Highway, stopping at the overlook facing the east side of the island.
The town of Kailua and Lanikai Beach.
From here you can clearly make out the cauldron of a former volcano.
We continued down this side of the mountains to go to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens.
After stopping at the visitor center we set off.
It was great to see plants and flowers we normally only see at conservatories out in the wild. The only down side was the mud, What looked like grass, was in fact mud hiding just below. We came out a mess.
In addition to the plants and flowers, their views of the mountains were spectacular.
Eventually it was time to head on and we set out for the North Shore.
Lunch was at one of the famed shrimp trucks.
The North Shore is famed for their large waves for surfing.
At the far end of the island we stopped at Waimea Valley, another botanical garden, with less mud than the earlier one. This one had paved paths and a great collection.
The falls were somewhat of a disappointment, at only 85′ high.
As we returned towards Honolulu we went through a valley with large pineapple fields.
In the middle was the Dole Plantation. Now a tacky tourist spot it did give us a chance to see pineapples in various stages of growth.
They also have nice gardens. But still a very tacky touristy place.
Finally we reached Honolulu as the sun set.
And our day was over – but not before one more treat. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I they had an all day celebration, complete with fireworks. And we were lucky enough to have a front row seat from our 8th floor balcony.