- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Fodor's Hawaii 2014
Diamond Head State Monument and Park
Diamond Head State Monument and Park Review
Panoramas from this 760-foot extinct volcanic peak, once used as a military fortification, extend from Waikiki and Honolulu in one direction and out to Koko Head in the other, with surfers and windsurfers scattered like confetti on the cresting waves below. This 360-degree perspective is a great orientation for first-time visitors. On a clear day, look east past Koko Head to glimpse the outlines of the islands of Maui and Molokai.
To enter the park from Waikiki, take Kalakaua Avenue east, turn left at Monsarrat Avenue, head a mile up the hill, and look for a sign on the right. Drive through the tunnel to the inside of the crater. The ¾-mile trail to the top begins at the parking lot. Be aware that the hike to the crater is an upward ascent with numerous stairs to climb; if you aren't in the habit of getting occasional exercise, this might not be for you. At the top, you'll find a somewhat awkward scramble through a tunnel and bunker out into the open air, but the view is worth it.
Take bottled water with you to stay hydrated under the tropical sun. To beat the heat and the crowds, rise early and make the hike before 8 am. As you walk, note the color of the vegetation; if the mountain is brown, Honolulu has been without significant rain for a while; but if the trees and undergrowth glow green, you'll know it's the wet season (winter) without looking at a calendar. This is when rare Hawaiian marsh plants revive on the floor of the crater. Keep an eye on your watch if you're here at day's end: the gates close promptly at 6.
- Address: Diamond Head Rd. at 18th Ave., Diamond Head, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Map It
- Phone: 808/587–0300
- Cost: $1 per person, $5 per vehicle
- Hours: Daily 6–6; last trail entry at 4:30
- Website: www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/oahu/?park_id=15
- Location: Greater Honolulu and Diamond Head
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
My film “Lava Luau” can be seen on the web if you have a high speed internet connection. Read more
I'm back, the laundry is done, and it's time to start my trip report.
I just finished putting together a photo album - hopefully the link will work. It's the quick version of the report: https://picasaweb.google.com/107255467248504604599/HawaiiTrip2014?authkey=Gv1sRgCKyj4easp5qOqwE Read more
My wife and I arrived at our hotel, the Westin Maui, just before sunset. Read more
· News & Features
Navigate the chaotic street food scene of Ho Chi Minh City like a pro with our quick guide to no-fuss ... Read more
Come for the beautiful architecture and stay for the vibrant local culture.... Read more
A look at ultra-luxurious airline accomodations and a fascinating visual breakdown of literary storytelling are... Read more