Sailing of Waikiki by Ron Braverman
Outdoor Travel

Three of Oahu’s “Must-Do’s” for a Beautiful and Enriching Visit

There’s a beauty that permeates everything in the Oahu. Whether you’ve been there or will be going, here are some highly recommend spots.

This short article shares a brief introduction to Hawaiian culture, the legend – Eddie Aikau, Oahu’s Shark’s Cove, The Byodo-In Temple and Pearl Harbor.

I have visited Oahu a handful of times and the island has put a spell on me. The lush gardens, the verdant mountains, the magnificent blue ocean and the sweet people draw me back. So does Island Snow, succulent garlic shrimp and sunset sailing.

If you’ve been to Hawaii you know that extraordinary beauty that seems to be woven through the people; the culture, nature and perhaps best expressed as the Aloha Spirit.

“Aloha,” is a much more than a Hawaiian salutation. Translated, Aloha means “Presence of Breath” or Breath of Life.” It can be also expressed as love!

The Hawaii Statutes states (shortened a bit for quick readability) that: “All citizens, government officials and visitors must conduct themselves in accordance with the Hawaiian “Aloha Spirit.” This is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.”

If you haven’t been to Hawaii, I urge you to consider watching ESPN’s The Legend of Eddie Aikau before you go. Though Hawaii is a U.S. state, this film made me very sensitive to the face that, like there are Native American’s, Hawaii has had and continues to have a rich and beautiful culture and religion still in practice. Please, when you visit, be cognizant of this and be respectful.

Why not emote love, it is the law.

The trailer:

Here’s the Amazon link to buy the film:

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualified purchase.

A few things to do when visiting Oahu!

Shark’s Cove

“Shark’s Cove is one of the Top Twelve Shore Dives in the World”

Scuba Diving Magazine
Shark's Cove by Ron Braverman
Shark’s Cove, Pūpūkea, Oahu

This small cove on Oahu’s North Shore is probably one of the least tourist-y but one of the nicest spots for snorkeling on the island.

It seems the rocks at this beach have formed a pool of sorts, so once in the ocean there are not too many waves to push or pull at you and this calmer water attracts schooling surface fish!

Shark’s Cove is located between the famed big wave surf spots of Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline, so depending when you go it may be very calm or very rough. When it’s rough, my wife and I just watched the mesmerizing waves crashing into the rocks.

Here’s a few things my wife and I found useful in Hawaii.

Pro Tips:
1. Wear reef friendly sunblock, a rashguard, travel flippers and a mask.
2. Watch the weather / check that there are no large swells before you go! 
3. Get there early for clear water and good parking.
4. There’s a supermarket and coffee across the street!
5. Where are public restrooms and showers here you can rinse off and head out to do other things. While on the North Shore I recommend the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens.

Website, Facebook

The Byodo-In Temple

If you want to ground yourself in a sanctuary, I highly recommend this sublime beauty and sacred space of the Byodo-In Temple.

Byodo-In Temple by Ron Braverman
Byodo-In Temple, Kaneohe, Oahu

This Temple provides a great opportunity to catch your breath from seeing all the sites, this is space will help you unwind and just relax…

The Byodo-In Temple is located at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It is a non-practicing Buddhist temple which welcomes people of all faiths to worship, meditate or simply appreciate its beauty. The building is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple, in Japan. With Japanese koi carp, ponds, small waterfalls, wild peacocks and a lush landscape what else do you really need?

Pro Tips:

  1. Make sure to ring the large bell, or hear it rung. It’s really powerful.
  2. Walk around the water as well as the temple, to get some great views and take in the nature.
  3. Stop in the gift shop and explore.

Website, Facebook

Pearl Harbor

At the time of writing, it’s been 79 years since December 7, 1941 but as Roosevelt noted, it’s a date which will live in infamy.

USS Arizona
A perpetual oil slick flows under the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
The National Park Service estimates it could continue to leak for 500 years.
Photo by Ron Braverman

This sacred space is not just a war memorial, it’s really something special. I think it’s one of those places, you simply must visit. It’s a space to share gratitude, reflect and appreciate.

You can get situated in the Aloha Court – which has a well stocked bookstore, tickets, and information. When we were there we met a witness to that day’s terrible events.

There is plenty of media but we watched the 23-minute documentary film on the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.

Throughout the facility are interpretive wayside exhibits that invite visitors to imagine the experience of that tragic day. There is a park with a Contemplation Circle and Remembrance Circle. A great place to share gratitude for those who didn’t make it through that day.

Pro Tips:
1. The first 1,300 people will be let in for free starting at 7:00am.
The free entrance will get you into Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial program which includes a 23 minute documentary in a theater, a boat ride to the memorial, 15 minutes at the memorial, and a boat ride back to explore more of Pearl Harbor on land.
2. Bring sunscreen.
3. Don’t bring backpacks or bags but there are lockers if you need.

Website, Facebook

Here’s the “Ultimate Guide,” Amazon’s best selling travel guide on Oahu:

I also highly recommend Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, Nuuanu Pali Lookout, Sailing.

Did you know: The Hawaiian Island chain was created by hot-spot volcanism. Volcanos encompass the power of Earth, Air, Water and Fire, perhaps that’s what makes them so attractive to us?

Let’s spread essence of the Aloha Spirit across the globe!

Please share your Oahu suggestions, ideas or tips below!

Please visit BraverGuide’s other Travel articles.


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