O‘ahu: Waimanalo

Rural pleasures and inviting beaches in Waimanalo, O‘ahu

Round Makapu‘u Point heading north and in a few minutes, and a few miles, you’ll reach rustic Waimānalo. To the right is the azure Pacific; to the left, the verdant Ko‘olau Range. In between are farms, stables, nurseries, a golf course, great down-home eateries, and O‘ahu’s longest continuous beach.


Matches at the Honolulu Polo Club thrill crowds from early June through October. 41-1062 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-521-6927; honolulupolo.org. 

Enjoy views of the Ko‘olaus from all 18 holes at Olomana Golf. 41-1801 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-259-7926; olomana.golf. 

Octogenarian Walter Liew is a bonsai master who lives, works, teaches, and hosts visitors at Dragon Garden Bonsai Nursery. Reservations are required for tours. 41-909 Mahailua Street. 808-373-9296; dragongardennursery.com. 

Avid campers head to Waimānalo Beach Park (41-741 Kalaniana‘ole Highway), Waimānalo Bay Beach Park (41-043 ‘Ālo‘ilo‘i Street), and Bellows Field Beach Park (41-043 Kalaniana‘ole Highway), which share an inviting 5-mile stretch of sand. 808-768-3440; camping.honolulu.gov/parks.


Find just-picked fruit and tropical fruit trees (including exotics such as rambutan, sapodilla, and durian) at Frankie’s Nursery. Tours are on Mondays; reservations required. 41-999 Mahikū Place. 808-259-8737; frankiesnursery.com. 

The garments of East Honolulu Clothing Company flaunt original, hand-printed, Hawai‘i-inspired patterns. 41-1537 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-259-7677; easthonoluluclothingcompany.com. 

Raw honeycombs, medicinal plants, and house-made vegan ice cream are among the array of local merchandise at Waimānalo Market Co-op. Momona Nights (4–6 p.m. Fridays) feature live music, food stands, and a farmers market. 41-1029 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-690-7607; waimanalomarket.com.


At ‘Ai Love Nalo, the vegan fare is so fresh and hearty you won’t miss the meat (think tofu poke bowl and all-veggie laulau). 41-1025 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-888-9102; ailovenalo.com. 

Teriyaki chicken, smoked pork, fresh fish, loco moco, Hawaiian plate, and made-to-order malasadas—Ono Steaks and Shrimp Shack offers all the kama‘āina favorites. 41-037 Wailea Street. 808-259-0808. 

Hawaiian Island Café is the place to go for breakfast (try the waffle topped with whipped cream and drizzled with Kona coffee), salads, pizzas, pastele stew, sandwiches (the “Gorg” is the bomb), and beverages (cappuccino or organic li hing mui lemonade, anyone?). Don’t be shy: You’re welcome to play the piano and ‘ukulele in the dining area. 41-865 Kalaniana‘ole Highway. 808-200-4637; hawaiianislandcafe808.com.