Nuuanu -- Waiahole -- Kaneohe
If you’re looking for a less time consuming itinerary (or just want to sleep in a little bit later), Kaneohe is much closer to town and takes less time to get to in comparison to some of the other locations on this list, but still has some unique experiences that are not to miss out on!
Leave town no later than 10 am and choose from two quick waterfall hikes in the Nuuanu area -- Judd trail (aka Jackass Ginger) or Lulumahu Falls. Both are muddy and fun, but be sure to wear bug spray to avoid being eaten by all the mosquitoes!
It’s about a 45 minute drive, but well worth it, to Waiahole Poi Factory which is located a little past Heeia. Super ono Hawaiian food and fresh, fresh poi -- combo plates are the way to go so you can eat a little bit of everything! We usually order the side haupia, because one little square of that sweet, coconut creamy goodness is just not enough.
Next, get your Zen on and go to the Byodo-In temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe. An amazing temple and beautifully-kept grounds, with the Koolau mountains as a backdrop -- it’s the perfect place to take some time to reflect and appreciate life. Open daily 9 am - 5 pm, with admission being only $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and $1 for children.
Finally, wrap up this nature-filled day by checking out the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, a scenic and lovely place to enjoy plants from various geographical regions (e.g. Philippines, Malaysia, India, Polynesia, and Africa, just to name a few). Open daily 9 am - 4 pm, free admission, and on the weekends (10 am - 2 pm) they have a catch-and-release fishing program -- they provide bamboo poles and barbless hooks, you bring the bait!