Swim in the reef-protected bay of this city on the island’s northeast or explore the surrounding area for greenery, golf and O’ahu history.
Sail and kayak in the calm waters off Kāne’ohe, one of the bigger cities on O’ahu. Kāne’ohe Bay is shielded by a coral reef and the tranquil water is great for swimming. The reef extends from a peninsula, which features a U.S. Marine Corps base on its tip. Walk out to the “Sandbar”, a temporary stretch of sand that appears in the bay at low tide and attracts crowds of locals and visitors.
Enjoy the bounty of the land around Kāne’ohe at the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden. Walk among rare and endangered plants from around the world, including species from the Philippines, Africa, India and the Americas. If you’d rather tour the park’s 160 hectares (400 acres) by car, a road through the gardens lets you do so. Joggers, bikers and hikers are also welcome. You can even fish in the lake. Drop by the visitor centre to sign up for activities such as handcrafts, guided walks, cloud watching or camping, some of which require a fee.
The Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in nearby Kahaluu is a peaceful place to relax and meditate. Here, you’ll find friendly wildlife such as black swans and peacocks roaming the grounds and koi swimming in the ponds. Enter the Byodo-In Temple, constructed in 1968 as a memorial to Japan’s century-long rule of O’ahu. Inside you can see a golden Amida Buddha and a massive replica of a sacred 900-year-old bell. Visit the nearby Japanese teahouse, which houses a gift shop and visitor centre.
Three exquisite golf courses, Pali, Ko’olau and Bayview, lie in the Kāne’ohe area. Enjoy panoramas of the ocean and vibrant greens year-round. Pali is a public course, while the other two are privately owned but open to the public. If you only have time for one game, play a round at Ko’olau. A nearby mountain range gives the course an interesting topography and some of the best views on the island.
Drive 16 kilometres (10 miles) northeast of Honolulu to reach Kāne’ohe. While the bay offers plenty to see and do, you can spend days on the surrounding attractions without ever touching the water.