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Posts Tagged ‘Oahu beach’

Return of a Treasure Hunter!

Posted by E.G.D. on March 11, 2017

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Ken Muise, who last wrote us a post in 2015!  Congratulations on the beach-move, Ken, from all of the Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches treasure hunters (all of whom have moved to the beach since starting this website ^_^.  We totally get it!).

Finally…I Moved to that Beach! (Well, Near it…)


Ken Muise, Our Featured Guest Writer

Hello to all the beach lovers once again!

Nearly 2 years ago I wrote a guest post here on BT&TB about how much I loved looking for sea shells on Makaha Beach on the west coast of Oahu.  Well, here it is:  I’m retiring from the military at the end of March and I am actually moving about 400 yards away from that beach!  It’s a condo/beach community called Makaha Surfside.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not rich.  I just happened to luck into a 500 sq ft condo that is everything that I ever wanted.  It’s a great deal.

So, in the last two years, what have I been doing on Oahu?

Going to the Beach- 

LOL.  Seriously, I think there are only a few beaches on the island that I haven’t been to.  If you’ve been to Oahu then you know that it’s kind of a feat!  Makaha is still one of my faves.

Visting the Beaches on the other Hawaiian Islands- 

I’ve been to beaches on Maui, Big Island, and Kauai at this point.  I’m here to tell you…it’s paradise!  One of my favorite spots in the state is the beach that is part of the Marriott Kauai Resort.  Man, it’s beautiful!

Still Snorkeling-

I have a couple different snorkel gear review sites online now and things are going really well.  One of my favorite moments of my life was when my girlfriend and I got into the water at Honaunau on the Big Island and within 90 seconds we were swimming, watching and filming an entire pod of dolphins.  It was awesome!  Especially since so many visitors pay an arm and a leg to “swim with dolphins” while there on vacation.  Check out my video…EPIC!

I really wanted to come back and say “thanks” to everyone at BT&TB for letting me guest post waaaay back in July of 2015.  Something the military taught was to never fail to show gratitude where it’s meant.  So, if you’re ever on Oahu…please hit me up and you’ll always have a couch to crash on…100 feet from the beach.

About the Author:  Ken Muise is an active-duty (almost retired) soldier stationed on Oahu.  He owns and runs a snorkel gear review site as well as a move to Hawaii blog.  When Ken isn’t working he is usually snorkeling or upset when he can’t go snorkeling.  Much to the chagrin of those around him, Ken calls himself a “world class snorkeler” and believes he does it better than most.

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Featured Guest Writer, Snorkeling, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

I Don’t Always Snorkel but When I Do, I Look for Shells

Posted by Jody on July 3, 2015

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Ken Muise, an active-duty soldier stationed on the beautiful island of Oahu.

This is one of my favorite topics to talk about when it comes to going to the beach and, in particular, snorkeling.  I will never understand how people can get bored at the beach.  You can do so many things and there’s a great opportunity for some alone time, too.  You can read, tan, nap, build sand castles, dig holes, swim, sit in 6 inches of water and just…sit.

Makaha Beach Park, Photo Contributed by Ken Muse

Makaha Beach Park, Photo Contributed by Ken Muise

Personally, my favorite past time at the beach is snorkeling.  I can’t get enough of it.  To be honest, I don’t feel 100% complete when I’m in water anymore without a mask and snorkel.  My kids are some of those people who “get tired of the beach” after about an hour…an hour and a half at tops.  I don’t understand it.  “Take your mask and snorkel and go in the water and look around.” I tell them.  Depending on the beach we’re at, they usually come back with something like, “But there’s no coral here.  There won’t be anything to see.”

Nothing to see?!  OMG…it’s the ocean.  Anything you see below the surface is new and exciting.

Sea Urchin, Photo contributed by Ken Muse

Sea Urchin Photo contributed by Ken Muise

One of my favorite things to do when I’m at a beach with little coral is to hunt for sea shells.  My favorite spot to do this:  Makaha Beach, West Oahu.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Makaha is known as the turtle cleaning station, but it requires about a 100 yard swim out to the sweet spot.  There is plenty to see out there; fish, coral and turtles. I don’t always want to do that, though.  Instead, right at the shoreline in about 3 to 4 feet of water, is a gentle break where all sorts of rock, coral, and sea shells gather.

Keep in mind, that during the winter months on Oahu, Makaha Beach Park is known for some good surfing and you shouldn’t snorkel anywhere where this a  large surf.  Always take notice of the beach and surf warning signs and gauge the situation against your abilities.

I have found a large piece of my sea shell collection while snorkeling in that gentle break at Makaha Beach Park.  Plenty of shiny, cowry shells and even sunrise seashell are the favorite pieces of discovery at Makaha.

Besides that, Makaha Beach Park is one of my favorite “sit down and chill” beaches on Oahu.  The space is wide open with hardly enough people to call a group, let alone a “crowd”.   I always find parking and there are restrooms and showers across the street.

Ken Muse, Our Featured Guest Writer

Ken Muise, Our Featured Guest Writer

About the Author:  Ken Muise is an active-duty soldier stationed on Oahu.  He owns and runs a snorkel gear review site as well as a move to Hawaii blog.  When Ken isn’t working he is usually snorkeling or upset when he can’t go snorkeling.  Much to the chagrin of those around him, Ken calls himself a “world class snorkeler” and believes he does it better than most.

A note from our Treasure Hunters: On this Independence Day weekend we would like to express our gratitude to men and women who serve, and have served, our country.  

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


A note from our Treasure Hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Featured Guest Writer, Snorkeling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Smile

Posted by Jody on January 29, 2013


Elisa’s great big smile!

On this bright and sunny day Elisa and I were relaxing at Fort DeRussy Beach Park which is located on a lovely, relatively uncrowded stretch of Waikiki Beach (Oahu, Hawaii). Fort DeRussy Beach Park is a public, grassy area with plenty of shaded picnic tables. It was a great spot to set a spell and thoroughly enjoy our fresh & delicious pineapple fruit boats along with amazing views of the wide sandy beach and sparkling Pacific Ocean. ~Smiles all around!~

One of the must-haves for every member of our family on any beach trip is a big floppy sun hat (for the guys: this translates to a manly wide brimmed hat). Elisa always seems to do this best!!

What is a must-have on your list for a fun day at the beach?

sun block____________


big floppy sun hat__

√ _______________________

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Smile

Related Waikiki Beach posts: The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon, Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

A Word a Week Photo Challenge – Cloud

Posted by Jody on January 9, 2013

Just Another Morning in Paradise

Morning in Paradise, Waikiki Beach

Many folks who visit the Hawaiian island of Oahu just can’t wait to see the much ballyhooed Waikiki sunsets. And, yes, Waikiki’s sunsets really are worth the wait. But we morning people get to begin the day in paradise with another one of Mother Nature’s most unique and beautiful spectacles: the sunrise over Diamondhead. Sunrises on Waikiki Beach come with the extra bonus of having a peaceful, uncrowded shoreline almost entirely to yourself.

Waikiki Sunrise

Waikiki Sunrise

Set your alarm. You won’t want to miss this!

A Word a Week Photo Challenge – Cloud


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

The Monday Morning Blues

Posted by Jody on January 7, 2013

The North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

If you can’t beat ’em,  join ’em!


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by Jody on December 31, 2012

OK, maybe it doesn’t come close to the Sydney New Year’s US$6.9 million fireworks extravaganza from the steel arch Habour Bridge, and it has nothing near the glitz of the First Night celebration with the well known Zambelli Fireworks spectacular over Boston Harbor, but it is a room with a great view and a fireworks show!

So, Happy New Year with all the glitter and glow from Waikiki Beach’s man made Hilton Lagoon (aka: Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon)! The ocean beach next to the lagoon, Duke Kahanamoku Beach, has been named the #2 beach in America for 2012 by the well-respected “Dr. Beach.”  This is where world famous Waikiki Beach begins.

The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is the setting of a free fireworks display, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, which takes place every Friday evening. It’s one fine show!

A room with a view, Honolulu, Hawaii

A Room with a View, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

The Hilton Lagoon has always been one of our favorite sandy spots on Waikiki. This family friendly, kid pleasing swimming and recreation center boasts five full acres of splashable fun that is open to Hilton Hawaiian Village guests and the general public, alike. It’s also the spot where you can catch a parade of brides and grooms posing for dazzling and dramatic wedding photos, with sun-drenched Waikiki Beach and iconic Diamond Head as their backdrop. This is the perfect place to catch those amazing Hawaiian sunrises, too!

By the way, do you recognize this unique building?  It’s the Ilikai, where Detective Lieutenant Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), the head of a special state police task force, is standing in the opening credits for the original Hawaii 5-O. “Book ’em, Danno.”

Here are a couple helpful links: Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach (includes family friendly freebies near Waikiki Beach)

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon

Aloha and Beat Wishes for 2013!


Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

The Magic of Magic Island

Posted by E.G.D. on December 3, 2012

A Cast Party at Magic Island with Ala Moana in the Background (Photo by Jody Diehl)

A Cast Party at Magic Island with Ala Moana Beach in the Background (Photo by Jody Diehl)

Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time, someone started building a resort adjacent to Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The company got as far as making a man-made peninsula aaaaaaaaaaaaaand…. stopped.  Rumor has it, they ran out of money.  Anyhow, the resort was going to be called “Magic Island,” and when the new peninsula became property of the city, the name stuck and it became a really spiffy park right next to the beach.  Now, once upon a time long after that, I lived in Honolulu while working on a terminal degree in theatre performance, and Magic Island became significant in my life as a prime location for extremely low-budget cast parties (for you non-theatre types out there, a cast party is a party that happens just after the closing performance of a play, and is not limited to the cast, but usually includes the entire design and technical crews of a given production, plus guests).  Suffice it to say, you can’t do any better for a location than “free and on the beach,” unless perhaps it’s “free and on the beach, and nicely landscaped, and attached to a safe swimming hole blocked off from the ocean with boulders, and featuring picnic tables in the shade of gigantic and beautiful trees.”  Magic island is definitely a winner!  As with Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island is generally a hangout for locals, and unless it happens to be a major holiday (like Christmas, for example) it is not usually crowded.

View from Magic Island (Photo by Jody Diehl)

View from Magic Island (Photo by Jody Diehl)

I do not believe I have ever been to Magic Island and not easily found a free, shaded picnic table… except for on Christmas.  Seriously, if you want a prime location that close to Ala Moana Beach on Christmas, you probably have to show up at six in the morning.  Otherwise, though, whether you are a local or a visitor, Magic Island is a great place for a picnic, and if you don’t feel like making your own, it’s right across the street from Ward Center (a mall catering primarily to locals) where you’ll have your choice of any number of different, quite excellent places to pick up take-out.  After lunch and a swim in the swimming area, I highly recommend a walk on Ala Moana Beach, which can be a good place to find shells and chunks of coral at low-tide, especially after a storm.  What more can you ask for?

View from Magic Island (Photo by Jody Diehl)

View from Magic Island (Photo by Jody Diehl)

That, my friends, is the magic of Magic Island… which is neither magical nor an island in any literal sense.  Next time you’re in Honolulu, go ahead and drop by.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed- E.G.D.

Jody, E.G.D., and Grandma at a Magic Island Cast Party (Photo probably by Jackie Okimoto or Steph Pak)

Grandma, E.G.D., and Jody on Magic Island, Honolulu (Photo probably by Jackie Okimoto or Steph Pak)


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay – a Perfect Day!

Posted by E.G.D. on September 24, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer is Vic Dinovici of Hop Tours.  His guest post is a fun bit of accurately detailed fiction that could just as well be any of a hundred different people’s story.  It is certainly more universal than my quirky story last April…  Enjoy! -E.G.D.

That beautiful Hanauma Bay beach and reef from above (photo by F. Travis Riley)

Special thanks to our friend F. Travis Riley for today’s Hanauma Bay photography.

I visited Hanauma Bay for the first time this last June.  Having very little experience with the ocean, or anything to do with ‘water related activities,’ I was a little apprehensive at the idea of snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and had no idea what to expect.  My boyfriend, who had visited Hanauma Bay before, assured me it was probably one of the safest places to learn how to snorkel, and that turned out to be true.

We hadn’t rented a car, choosing to spend most of our vacation in and around the Waikiki bustle. This left us the option of going with a snorkeling tour group or taking the bus; we chose the bus. Bus #22 picked us up at 8:30 am at the corner of Kuhio Ave and Kalakaua, and surprisingly most seats were already filled with tourists going to Hanauma Bay. It seemed completely ridiculous to be boarding a city bus with a cooler full of food and drinks, snorkel gear, a boogie-board and my bikini top, but the bus driver must’ve been used to it because he announced Hanauma Bay was his last stop and the trip would take around 45 minutes.

The water beckons! (Photo by F. Travis Riley)

The bus dropped us off at the Hanauma Bay parking lot. From there it’s a short walk to the ticket counter. Admission is surprisingly cheap. Admission is the same price as a Waikiki Mai Tai, $7.50 for visitors, and free for military and locals. There is a mandatory 9 minute informational video that covers the history of the Hanauma Bay Marine Sanctuary and important snorkeling and swimming etiquette.  We had to wait 15 minutes until the next showing, but there is an incredible overlook that gives you the perfect vantage point of Hanauma’s volcanic caldera, the gorgeous beach and the breathtakingly blue water. I had never seen such inviting water before in my life – the day of snorkeling in Hanauma Bay has arrived! Even from the overlook, I knew the water was going to be warm and inviting. I couldn’t wait.

After the video, we walked down the steep incline toward the beach. Even though the sun had not yet crested the lip of the caldera, it was already warm. We found out later, finding shade or bringing a shade-tent is key to an enjoyable day at Hanauma. The bay is protected from the afternoon trade winds and feels much hotter than the normally 85-90 degree afternoons.

As soon as we laid out our blankets and ‘marked our turf,’ we jumped in the water. I spent  the first 10 minutes snorkeling in waist-deep water just getting familiar with the fins, mask and breathing through the snorkel; but it didn’t take me long before I was venturing toward the reefs.

Beach at Hanauma Bay (Photo by F. Travis Riley)

At 9:30 am there were only a few people in the water, and the fish were everywhere. Entire schools surrounded us, swimming through our legs and right past our masks. It felt like I had been dropped into the middle of an aquarium during feeding time.

Without meaning to, we timed the tides perfectly, beginning our first snorkel at exactly high tide. Normally shallow reefs were easy to swim across, allowing us to see every part of the bay’s reefs. Later on in the afternoon as the tides changed, those same reefs were actually exposed, with some even above the water line.

Hanauma’s beach is truly picturesque – the kind of beach every mid-west gal dreams of visiting. We spent much of the afternoon in the shade of a coconut tree, reading, and talking; taking occasional swims in the water whenever we became too hot. A perfect beach day.  However, we were glad to have brought our own cooler and lunch. There is a concession stand near the parking lot, but prices are expensive and choices are limited. Local families bring wheeled, industrial sized coolers down to the beach.

Beach days disappear in a flash, and it was already late afternoon by the time we were climbing the hill back toward the bus stop; my shoulders already a threateningly dark pink. The #22 Waikiki bound bus runs once an hour. Make sure you check the bus schedule so you don’t spend 45 minutes waiting like we did.

About the author: Vic likes snorkeling and scuba diving at Hanauma Bay, long bike rides and writing about cool stuff happening in Honolulu and Oahu island. Evenings and weekends, he enjoys sharing stories with his friends over some beers and delicious traditional Hawaiian food like kalua pig, pipiluala ribs or squid luau.


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Signs that make you go “Yikes!”

Posted by Jody on June 25, 2012

If you’ve been to Oahu some time after 1990, you probably have this shot in your vacation collection! This photo has probably been taken a million times by tourists over the years. I, of course, am no exception. In fact, I take a few shots of this very image every time I’m on Waikiki Beach!

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Waikiki Beach

Born and raised in Waikiki, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was an Olympic champion swimmer, master surfer and expert outrigger canoe paddler. Known as the Father of Modern Surfing, a bronze statue of Duke welcomes locals and tourists to Waikiki Beach with open arms.

If you can’t make it to the beach, you can still see what’s happening around this statue! The City of Honolulu has a 24/7 webcam so you can check up on the conditions and live vicariously though the happy beach-goers. If you are on the beach already, smile, wave (maybe do a little dance), and show your friends how you are living it up in Hawaii. People from around the world can watch you, with musical accompaniment, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue and on the sands of Waikiki. This would be a very bad place to lose your suit to the surf!

Now, take another look at the picture above, right beside Duke’s left knee. Do you see it? There is a beach warning sign that really surprised me because there were so many people playing in the ocean on this day.


Even though there were plenty of swimmers and surfers nearby, it certainly was enough to keep me out of the water. That’s OK, though. It was the absolute perfect day for beachcombing. It always is!

Go ahead and take a look. Sit back, relax, and start the week off on the soft, warm sands of Waikiki Beach.


Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The End of the Road, Oahu, Hawaii

Posted by Jody on May 14, 2012

Have you ever wondered where you would end up if you traveled from Waikiki Beach, through Honolulu, along Oahu’s western shore, and just kept going?  We did!  Here’s the answer:  The End of the Road is where you’ll end up, even if you have rented a four-wheel drive Jeep!  Although you may see an errant 4WD head off the pavement here, no vehicles are allowed beyond Keawa’ula Beach, the farthest of two beaches in Ka’ena Point State Park. From this spot, it’s a 2.7 mile hike to Ka’ena Point, the westernmost tip of the island.

The End of the Road. Oahu, Hawaii (Photo: ©Jody Diehl)

Although the actual ride along Oahu’s west coast is not the most visually appealing of  island experiences, remote Yokohama Bay, at the end of the road, is an absolutely beautiful and worthwhile destination!  Also known as Keawa’ula Beach, this typically uncrowded (and relatively untouched) spot, managed by Hawaii State Parks, is the northernmost beach on Oahu’s west coast and the last stop on Farrington Highway. Lifeguards are stationed at Keawa’ula Beach, and it’s a good thing because this area is known for its high surf and strong currents year round. With its wide, fine sand beach and surrounding picturesque green mountains it is absolutely worth the one hour Leeward Coast (Wai’anae coast) drive from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach. You won’t find any upscale shopping or fancy restaurants out here!  Just gentle tropical breezes, and a quiet beauty! Ahhhhh.

Mom and EGD at the End of the Road, Keawa’ula Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Restrooms are provided here, but no drinking water is available.  You’ll want to be sure to pack your own water if you’re planning a family hike to Ka’ena Point. And a hat, and sun protection, and … well, you know the drill! 😉

Have a great day at the beach! Aloha!

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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