Activity Finds: Kailua

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

For some, hiking is well, a pill. But to outdoor enthusiasts who want to take a walk on O‘ahu's more scenic side the Lanikai Pillbox hike (as it's referred to by locals) takes adventure seekers on a quick tour of Lanikai's pillboxes with views of the scenic shores of Lanikai, Kailua and Kane‘ohe.

Head out early (and with plenty of sunscreen and water) before the day heats up for the up to three hour jaunt - depending on how far you and your group want to go -- to the now-abandoned pillboxes that dot Lanikai's ridgeline. The historic World Ward II-era bunkers once used as observation decks to protect O‘ahu's Windward coastline against potential attacks from Japan, today takes participants on a scenic hiking tour along Kaiwa Ridge.

Great for families and those without a heart for hiking, the first pillbox is easily accessible in about 20 to 30 minutes with the second pillbox just another 10 minute jaunt away. Here, many O‘ahu hikers opt to stop for a photo opportunity (trust us, this Facebook album will get lots of likes and jealous comments from friends and family stuck at home) and head back.

Our tip: the initial 10-yard vertical climb can be a little daunting but well worth the jaw-dropping views you'll be rewarded with. If you're lucky, you may even be treated to a Hawaiian rainbow or two.


“Our concierge recommended we wear shoes and we're glad we did. Next time we want to go before sunrise.”
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