Little Hidden Gems Around the Island of Oahu

by | Last updated May 4, 2023 | Oahu

As we visited different sites around Oahu, we often came across surprising little hidden gems. These are NOT things that you want it to make it a destination, but if you happen to be there, it will add a little more to your visit. This is a running list, so check back and if you have a little gem that you’d like to share, please leave it in the comments below.

Aloha Tower

Next to the Aloha Tower is a small pier area. We were just visiting the Aloha Tower Market place one day and thought we’d just walk around the pier instead of just checking out the stores only. As we walking around, we happened to spot some fish right off the pier. So, we were just taking turns spotting fish. To our surprise, there were coral reefs that were formed really close to the pier and you could actually see a log of fish and coral reefs really clearly. Usually, if you want to see this much variety of fish and coral reefs, you often have to jump in the water at a well-known spot. But, here they were in the comfort of air 🙂 (swimming isn’t my favorite activity. I go in the water because my kids like to. I often come up with excuses not to go in the water and make my wife go in the water with the kids.)

Honbushin International Center

Here is a little hidden gem in the middle of the island.  Honbushin is a newer religion from Japan and has an Honbushin Internation Center in Mililani.  They have a few community events a year and also hold regular Bazaars.  They have fresh produce and they also have homegrown coffee and Tumeric.  We happen to come across this facility and land through a friend, it’s really a nice hidden gem of Oahu.  It is a religious and residential area, so visiting should be limited to events only.

“Private Pool” next to the Halona Blow Hole

Tide Pool hangout

Tidal Pool between Halona Blow Hole and Sandy Beach

This is not really an official spot, but 99% of the time it’ll be pretty much just you and your group.  At Halona Blowhole Lookout, if you look to your left, a little far away will be Sandy Beach.  But, if you look to your immediate left, there are some tide pools where you can hang out.  Please exercise extreme caution as the waves approach you.  These tide pools are generally safe, but ocean waves are something to be respected and you must always be careful.

“Private Beach” next to the Halona Blow Hole

Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove seen from Halona Blow Hole

It’s probably not so much of a hidden gem anymore as more and more people know about this beach cove and it often is quite busy, but nevertheless, Halona Beach Cove is another beautiful hidden gem that many people pass by without knowing about it.  One of the favorite spots for those people who know it.

Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden

Ok, ok.  This is not really a “hidden” gem, but many visitors skip this from their itinerary and I think it’s worth considering.  It is a beautiful botanical garden with a man-made lake where you can catch-and-release (the program was on pause due to COVID, so please check at the time of your visit).

Kaneohe Friendship Garden

This is also referred to as Friendship Gardens Trail.  This is a spot that we accidentally came across while we were trying to find a beach and a trail one day.  We went with a 5 year old and 2 year old at the time. It is a quick and easy loop hike.  We were happy with our little discovery that day.  It has views of Kaneohe Bay and it’s a nice green trail.  Many plants were marked with names and you could tell that there was effort put in for this little section of paradise.  It’s a privately maintained trail, so if you are interested in helping them out, go to their website and consider a donation.  Not that many people know about it and the trail generally isn’t that busy, although we did come across 2~3 families while we were walking along the trail.  Parking can be a little tricky.  You’ll have to park on a side street


Hi, we are the Kim Family. We wanted to share our experiences living on Oahu and traveling around Hawaii.  We have four kids and who enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities.  We’ve learned a lot raising our kids here and wanted to share with you.  We hope it helps with whether you are visiting, living, or a little bit of both. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to also participates in affiliate programs with Fareharbor, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

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Please note that many of these places we have visited personally or have been recommended by one of the more seasoned travelers within our friends-and-family circle. As someone who was born and raised in Hawaii and then had the experience of being a transplant from the mainland as an adult with a spouse and children, we want to make sure that we recommend things we enjoy or would like to do ourselves. Thank you for your support!

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