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Coast drive up to La'ie

Oahu, HI
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Coast drive up to La'ie, Oahu Hawaii


Most tourists don't drive the winding coast road up to La'ie. But it's a gorgeous drive. You first pass sparkling Kaneohe Bay. Chinaman's Hat Beach is next, with its yellow sand, pretty waters and real island that looks like a Chinese hat! A series of pretty little beaches hug the road. Ka'a'awa Beach (shown above) is framed by a gnarled old macadamia nut tree. These beaches can be windy. Also, if you park near a local resident's home you may be the recipient of "stink eye." You'll round Kahana Bay, a spooky dark bay fed by a muddy river lined with tangled jungle. You end in Lai'e, a Mormon town filled with Brigham Young University students, and home to one of the nation's few Mormon temples. Many Mormons travel here to be married at this impressive-looking temple. Mormon people from all over Polynesia come to La'ie to work at Polynesian Cultural Center, where they perform the dances and cultural activities of their particular islands. It's nice to spend a day at this tourist attraction. The Polynesian Cultural Center has a marketplace, called Hukilau Marketplace, that you can enter for free- it makes for some fun shopping! At the marketplace you can get Dole whip, malasadas (Portuguese donuts), and souvenirs.
Grab a sandwich for lunch at Subway Sandwiches (see address below).
For a nice walk, visit La'ie Point, an amazing peninsula where you can see a natural sea arch and stunning views in all directions, including the mountains that back Kaneohe Bay (see directions below). It is just minutes from Subway Sandwiches.
It's nice to walk the beautiful campus of Brigham Young University while in La'ie.
Past Lai'e, you can follow Kamehameha Hwy around the northern tip of Oahu past food trucks, to Turtle Bay Hilton Beach and the beaches of the North Shore. You will recognize the shrimp trucks in Kahuku from the TV show "Lost." The farmland everywhere is a pretty sight.
Kamehameha Hwy can be frustrating if you are stuck behind a slow truck because it's one lane each way. Be prepared for a long drive!


Photo Gallery

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The natural sea arch as seen from rugged La'ie Point.
The natural sea arch as seen from rugged La'ie Point.
The ocean is always beside you!
The ocean is always beside you!
Beautiful point, as seen on an evening drive to La'ie.
Beautiful point, as seen on an evening drive to La'ie.
Passing a bay on the gorgeous drive to La'ie.
Passing a bay on the gorgeous drive to La'ie.


From Kaneohe, take Kamehameha Hwy (Hwy 83) up the coast to Lai'e. It takes about 45 minutes with good traffic.
To visit Lai'e Point: From Kamehameha Hwy, opposite La'ie's Foodland supermarket, turn right onto Anemoku Street and then right on Naupaka Street.
Subway Sandwiches, 55-510 Kamehameha Hwy, La'ie HI 96762, call (808) 293-0444.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

11/30/2010 22:42
great pictures! amazing! thanks!

06/06/2010 14:38
going in August! Can't wait.

10/22/2009 20:11
2003 was my very first drive up this coast. It was the best, because I didn't really know what to expect !!!!

10/15/2009 13:51
Windward beaches are more beautiful than south coast beaches and hold more secrets. It was an awesome experience visiting Laie and driving down the coast. When I went, jellyfish (portuguese man of war) were around and restricted our swimming, which was a shame. I highly recommend Laie if you are looking for a secluded getaway. There are also some restaurants in the town.

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Last Updated: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 21:29:15 GMT