Posts Tagged ‘Whale Watching’
Hiking Makapu’u Lighthouse
This trail is the second most popular of all hiking trails on Oahu following Diamond Head. It is an easy to moderate hike up a paved trail and when you reach the top be prepared to be blown away! The views are some of the most stunning and memorable you’ll probably see on the island. The views overlook the Makapu’u Lighthouse, Koko Head, the windward coast, and the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai. Below you’ll see the giant tide pools and if you’re lucky (like we were) a pod of majestic whales! If I could only hike once while in Oahu, this would be the one I’d pick!
Know Before You Go
- It tends to be dryer and warmer on this point of the island and there is virtually no shade.
- Arrive early to avoid crowds and a full parking lot.
- Bring water.
- Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunglasses.
- Gates open at 7am.
- If you wish to start your hike earlier, you can park your car on the side of the road and walk in.
- The hike climbs approximately 500 feet up to a viewing platform.
- It takes about 30 minutes to reach the top. There are amazing views the whole way up and plenty of places to stop and take it all in!
- It’s free to park and free to hike!
There are some giant tide pools at the bottom of these sea cliffs and brave souls climb down and swim in them. While this may look fun and attractive, it is NOT recommended. It’s dangerous not only to make the climb down, but the ocean is unpredictable and strong waves tend to smash over the barrier reef onto the shelf area.
The Makapu’u Lighthouse is on the very southeastern most point of Oahu and sits 600 feet on top of a sea cliff. You can see three different sections of ocean from one point making a beautiful panoramic photo!
From Waikiki, it’s about a 45 minute drive. You hop on the H-1 South. It will turn into Hwy 72, but still part of the Kalanianaoli Hwy which follows the coast. You will follow H-1 past Koko Head, Sandy Beach, and up towards Makapu’u Point. Turn into the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline area. In the area you’ll also find Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay, and the Halona Blowhole.
It’s an amazing feeling to see animals in the wild, in their natural environments. There is something refreshing and peaceful knowing they’re doing exactly what they’re meant to do….what the choose to do.
Six Great Places You Can See Marine Life in the Wild
San Francisco Whale Tours
Did you know that you can go on a whale tour year round in San Francisco? There are different migrating whale species that go up and down the coast at different times making almost any time of year ‘whale season!’
The tour starts out of Pier 39 and takes you about 15-25 miles off the coast. What a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, right!? Point Bonita Lighthouse is a beauty, too!
When you finally get out of the bay you will see something really unique. It looks like giant marshmallows, but it’s really sea foam. It happens when the bay meets the ocean!
You may also catch a glimpse of some Harbor Porpoises or even a hungry sea lion like this one….
On our particular day we traveled about 20 miles out and we got to see two humpback whales! They were a good distance away and we mostly saw the water spouts, which look like big puffs of smoke coming out of the water! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see an breech, but they were actively popping up and down!
Highlight of the Trip
The captain and the crew where amazing! They really worked hard to make it an enjoyable trip for everyone! Carla, an on-board marine biologist, was so knowledgeable and friendly and narrated the trip wonderfully. She was there to answer questions, point out different birds and sea life, and make sure everyone got to see the whales! To learn more about other sea life in the San Francisco Bay make sure to visit the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39!
What To Wear
It’s COLD and WINDY on the water so wear many layers! A waterproof jacket, hat, and gloves are even recommended. There is a warm cabin that has great big windows, but the best seats on the boat are outside! Be prepared and you’ll be comfortable!
San Francisco Whale Tours does several different trip routes! Check out their website for all the details!