©Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)
Approaching Hawaii Kai from Waikiki, you will see pyramid-like Koko Head. This volcanic tuff cone has a demanding hiking path straight up the flank, consisting of over 1,000 railroad ties. If you’re in good shape, give it a go—the views from the top are spectacular. Following the highway past Hanauma Bay is the curvy road of the Ka ‘Iwi State Scenic Shoreline, which leads to lookouts, the Halona Blowhole and Sandy Beach. Just past Sandy Beach is a traffic light—turn inland, and just before the next stop sign is the entrance to Koko Crater. Inside find a pleasant, nearly-level hiking trail, replete with cactus gardens, plumeria groves and flocks of birds. Koko Crater Stables also operates from here, and offers a chance to view this splendor from horseback. Stables closed Mondays.