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Diamond head


The iconic silhouette of Diamond Head State Monument sits along the Honolulu skyline just beyond Waikiki. This 760-foot tuff crater is one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks.

Known as Leahi (brow of the tuna) in Hawaiian, the crater was named Diamond Head by 19th century British sailors who thought they discovered diamonds on the crater’s slopes. These “diamonds” were actually shiny calcite crystals that had no value.

Formed more than 100,000 years ago, the crater was used as a strategic military lookout beginning in the early 1900’s and was named a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Today, Diamond Head is a popular hiking destination with panoramic views of Waikiki and Oahu’s south shore.

It only takes a short drive or bus ride to get to Diamond Head Crater from Waikiki. This moderately challenging trail includes two sets of stairs, totaling 175 steps, as well as dark, underground tunnels and old military bunkers that require a flashlight. The stunning views that greet you at the top of Diamond Head are well worth the effort.

If you plan to hike on Saturday morning, don’t forget to stop by the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market — Oahu’s premier farmers market showcasing locally grown food and produce — across the street from the monument entrance on Monsarrat Avenue. In fact, there are a few notable cafes and restaurants lining Monsarrat that will make for a great pre or post Diamond Head meal.

Cost is $1 for walk in’s and $5 per car. provided information for this blog

The Panaewa Zoo is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. The Zoo is home to more than 80 animal species, including the endangered Nene (Hawaii State Bird). You can picnic in the shade of over 100 varieties of Palm or stroll with Peacocks in the extensive collection of orchids, clumping bamboos and tropical rhododendrons. The plantings by volunteers is continuous which turns the zoo grounds into a beautiful botanical garden.

The Zoo offers a variety of activities, such as:

    • Picnic in the shade of over 100 varieties of Palm
    • Visit the gift shop- all proceeds help support the zoo
    • Stroll with Peacocks on the Zoo botanical gardens
    • Several times a year the “Friends of the Zoo” organization hosts a “Family Fun” day providing entertainment, games and refreshments
    • Visit the petting zoo on Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30


Best of all, admission is FREE!  The zoo is opened from 9 to 4 every day except Christmas and New Years Day.  Visit their website at


Click on map to enlarge

zoo map


Recently the Kohala coast has been having some unusually high surf swells.  Enjoy a beautiful video of the swells shared by Ethan Tweedie Photography. Mahalo Ethan! Great shots!