Exploring Hawaii’s State Parks and Nature Reserves

The Hawaiian Islands have long been associated with lush greenery and colorful local wildlife. The island of Oahu is home to over 20 State Parks and numerous Nature Preserves and Marine Life Conservation Districts. These areas serve as a place where visitors and residents alike can come to enjoy the unique beauty and majesty of the natural Hawaiian landscape.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve functions as both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District. Located just east of Honolulu, this area was the first such Marine Life Conservation District established in the state of Hawaii. The word “hanauma” itself means “bay” in the Hawaiian language, and Hanauma’s beautiful bowl-like shape makes it one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on the island of Oahu. This iconic Hawaiian beach has also been featured in a wide variety of film and television productions, including Blue Hawaii, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Hawaii Five-O. Just outside the Hanauma Bay stands the Marine Education Center, where visitors watch a short educational film before entering the area to ensure human behavior does not disturb this valuable and beautiful natural resource.

‘Aiea Bay State Recreation Area

The six-acre ‘Aiea Bay State Recreation Area offers visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy aspects of Hawaii’s natural and human history from a single spot. From its location along the Pearl Harbor’s East Loch near Aloha Stadium, the park and picnic grounds at ‘Aiea Bay State Recreation Area provide views of not only the natural Hawaiian landscape, but Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial as well. The 20.5-mile Pearl Harbor Bike Path also winds its way through the area, making it easy to access as part of a longer all-day outing if you prefer.

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head is perhaps one of Oahu’s most iconic and recognizable landmarks. Sitting on the southeastern shore of the island near Waikiki, Diamond Head was formed approximately 300,000 years ago by an explosive volcanic eruption. Today, Diamond Head State Monument covers over 475 acres of land, including both the exterior and interior of the Diamond Head crater itself. Experienced hikers can take the steep 0.8-mile trail to the summit of Diamond Head (called Le’ahi in the Hawaiian language), which rises 560 feet from the trailhead to offer stunning views of the island and ocean beyond. As you hike, you’ll see a progressive geologic history of Oahu in the various layers of rock visible on the crater walls. Diamond Head State Monument also features restrooms, vending machines, food sales, drinking water, and family picnic areas.

Waena Apartments of Honolulu offers both a lifestyle and a location you’ll love. Our newly-renovated apartments near Pearl Harbor offer easy access to many of Oahu’s most popular hotspots and outdoor destinations. When you arrive home after a rewarding day exploring the natural beauty of Hawaii, you’ll return to amazing amenities that include a fitness center, playground, and barbecue and picnic areas just outside your apartment door. Visit our website for more information about our apartments and our community, including a gallery, floor plans, and map of our neighborhood’s most popular shopping, dining, and entertainment.


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