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Exploring Oahu on Foot, Bike and Boat

We have one perfect day in Oahu, Hawaii filled with fun, adventure, and great food. This is a great itinerary for couples or families and a great way to see Oahu’s true beauty.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast, then head out to one of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu, followed by a bike ride with amazing views of Diamond Head, a Catamaran ride, and finish the day at the best Oahu Tiki Bar.

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Manoa Falls in Oahu

Exploring Oahu’s Beauty on Foot, Bike and Boat

There are many sides to Waikiki, Hawaii’s biggest city can be enjoyed in many ways. You can relax poolside drinking blended drinks, play in the surf or shop the many ultra-high-end stores in town. But, it’s the nature and adventure of Oahu that we are exploring today!

This perfect day in Oahu is all about outdoor adventure including hiking in a bamboo rainforest, finding some of the best city views by bike, and ending the day with a catamaran sail.

Outrigger Reef on the Beach

A starting point for any Hawaii vacation is securing a great hotel. The perfect place to stay these days is the recently renovated Outrigger Reef on the Beach. The multimillion-dollar renovation expanded the size of guest rooms and updated decor making it one of the poshest places to stay in Waikiki. Besides the updated rooms, the hotel offers a quintessential tropical open-air entry and all the perks of staying at a large hotel.

Best Breakfast in Oahu

Ahi and poached egg Start your day like a local with breakfast at Eggs and Things in Waikiki Beach. Just off the beaten path of the well-traveled Kalakaua Street, on Saratoga Road, you’ll find the breakfast spot of choice for locals and tourists alike.

The popularity of Eggs and Things will quickly become apparent as you see the groups of people waiting in front of the restaurant for their name to be called for one of the coveted tables.

The two-story open-air restaurant has a great old Hawaii feel. Once seated, menus mounted on a wood board with English on one side and Japanese on the other are provided.

The menu offers a wide range of traditional items like pancakes with whip cream, crepes, waffles, omelets as well as eggs anyway. Make sure to check out the daily specials like Island Ahi and eggs, sweetbread French toast, and fresh papaya and sour crème crepes.

Best Waterfall Hikes in Oahu

Manoa Valley rainforest

After a hearty breakfast, get ready for a morning of adventurous exploring in a nearby rainforest. Bike Hawaii offers a multitude of bike, hike, and sail/snorkel trips and offers pick-up from many hotels.

You can join in for one, two, or all three parts of their tour. 

hike in Oahu

We started our Bike Hawaii adventure with the hike. The begins by heading up to a 75-acre piece of land owned by the company for a private hike in the Manoa Valley rainforest.

After a good dousing of bug spray, while knee-high boots are passed out and provided by the company, it’s time to begin the rainforest hike.

The group, which usually averages about seven people, heads off into a maze of bamboo. The guide leads the group as he zigzags through the bamboo to a stream. Now you know why they provide the boots. It is a rainforest, after all, so water and mud are part of the deal. But, you’ll barely notice because the hike is so beautiful.

Once across the small stream the scenery completely changes- becoming a lush and tropical forest. In view are beautiful flowers such as yellow ginger, a beautiful red (and rather phallic) heliconia, gardenias as well as towering trees like the albizia. Also found is the banyan tree with its amazing root systems sending down shoots from above to create a really mystical ancient-looking tree.

Downhill Bike Adventure

This easy 5-mile tropical bike ride coasts downhill on a paved road nestled in Oahu’s lush Puu Ohia rainforest.

The hike in is mostly uphill ending at a 200-foot waterfall where the group has a chance to catch their breath, take a few photos and chat with the other hikers. On the return trip, the guide led us on a new route through a different bamboo forest. The entire jungle hike runs a few hours and left us all feeling like we had an authentic experience.

bike ride

For the bike ride, all participants are driven further into the winding roads of the residential hills where you will see some of the most lavish and expensive homes on the island. The starting point of the downhill ride is in the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve in the Puu Ohia rainforest at about 1800 feet above sea level. The five-mile paved road ride is a fun slow-paced downhill jaunt.

Midway down the group stops at a grassy lookout for a picnic lunch which is provided by the tour guides. The views are quite spectacular offering a panorama of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. The remainder of the ride down is more curves as the group slowly descends to just 200 feet in elevation.

Both the hike and bike ride are fun for families. 

Shorebird Beach Bar

After the bike ride head back to Waikiki Beach for happy hour at the Shorebird beach bar at the Outrigger Reef. With Mai Tai’s specials for just $3 and lots of yummy food choices like mahi tacos and the kalua pig sandwich, it’s a great spot to unwind and refuel from your hike and bike.

Outrigger Catamaran

Just in front of the Outrigger Reef is the Outrigger Catamaran. They offer a variety of catamaran excursions throughout the day and one particularly fun one for adults is the sunset cruise. Departing at 4:30, the all-you-can-drink cruise offers a great way to meet new friends and an opportunity to take great photos of the shoreline and sunset. Simply sit back as vessel manager and Senior Captain, David Flood takes the boat out into the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Arnold’s Tiki Bar

Arnold's Tiki Bar

To keep your evening going after the catamaran ride, head back to where your day began on Saratoga Road. Right next to Eggs and Things is Arnold’s Tiki Bar. The small place is one of the oldest buildings in town and has gone through many incarnations from the carriage house to cat house and now is a great little dive bar serving up Hawaiian beers and house-infused vodka drinks to locals and tourists in the know.

Finish your evening with a walk along the beach. Dig your feet into the sand and take in the sounds of the crashing waves, the lights of the hotels scattered along the curved Waikiki coastline, and the shadows of Diamond Head in the distance. Oahu may be the cosmopolitan hub in the Hawaiian Islands, but in my opinion, when you dig beyond the city façade there is immeasurable beauty that shouldn’t be missed.

What & Where:
Eggs and Things
(343 Saratoga Rd, Waikiki; 949 0820; www.eggsnthings.com)
Outrigger Reef Hotel (2169 Kalia Rd, Waikiki; 922-2887; Outrigger Reef Hotel Reviews | Check Best Hotel Deals on Hotels.com)
Outrigger Catamaran (2169 Kalia Rd, Waikiki; 922-2210; www.outriggercatamaranhawaii.com )
Arnolds Waikiki (339 Saratoga Rd, Honolulu; 808-924-6887)

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This perfect day in Oahu is all about outdoor adventure including hiking in a bamboo rainforest, finding some of the best city views by bike, and ending the day with a catamaran sail.

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