Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Laie Hawaii Temple & Honolulu Hawaii Tabernacle

This is my final post in my series, Places to Visit on Oahu. Today I want to highlight two places which were special to me. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my church has beautiful temples all over the world. One of those temples is on Oahu. It’s called the Laie Hawaii temple.

It was rainy and overcast the day we visited.
The public is welcome to visit any of our lovely temple grounds.
There is also a visitor center at this temple.
This sculpture dates back to 1919. This temple was dedicated on November 27, 1919 and rededicated on November 21, 2010

This depicts Lehi blessing Joseph. The account is found in The Book of Mormon and you can read it here.

Along the court wall, there are scenes depicted from the scriptures.

On the last Sunday we were in Hawaii, we attended a Sacrament service at the Honolulu Stake Tabernacle. This tabernacle has a cool history.

This tabernacle sits ten miles from Pearl Harbor. Although it was highly visible during the attack, it remained a secure refuge throughout World War II.

It was dedicated less than four months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, by President David O. McKay, when he was the second counselor in the First Presidency. This tabernacle served as a spiritual gathering place for Latter-day Saint servicemen throughout the war. You can read more about its history here.


A unique feature of this tabernacle is the mosaic of Jesus Christ over the main doorway.

There are over 100,000 Italian glass tiles in this mosaic designed by artist Eugene Francis Savage.
I fell in love with the trees on Oahu. This one with vines hanging down was in the yard of the tabernacle. Children were swinging on the vines.

♥ I hope you’ve enjoyed my series of places to visit on Oahu. Thanks so very much for taking the time to visit my blog. I truly appreciate it! ♥

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Waimea Valley

Another place we visited on Oahu was Waimea Valley. Here you can walk through some lovely botanical gardens as you make your way to a waterfall. The main path is wide and paved.


There is an admission price to enter the gardens and walk to the falls, but it is well worth it. You’ll enjoy the casual stroll and lush green scenery.





This was an area showing off traditional Hawaiian houses. You might miss this section if you don’t go off one of the side detours.





It is not one of the more impressive waterfalls, but it is fun because you can swim and enjoy the water (as long as you wear one of their lifejackets). The water is 30 feet deep.


The word waimea translates to “reddish brown water” in Hawaiian.


I waited twenty minutes for this stunning guy to flaunt his lovely tail feathers. He was in the free part of the park. There is also a restaurant called The Proud Peacock (which we didn’t try out) and a concession stand.


Stay tuned for my final post on this series and if you’ve missed any of my previous posts, make sure you check them out. You can start here with my visit to Pearl Harbor. ♥ Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Diamond Head State Monument

I hope you’ve been enjoying my series so far of places to visit on the Hawaiian island, Oahu. We have covered Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, and Dole Plantation. Today I want to highlight Diamond Head State Monument in Honolulu.


Diamond Head is a volcanic crater and in ancient times was the site of a Hawaiian temple devoted to their god of wind, Paka’a, to safeguard against updrafts, which often put out the flames of navigational fires. Navigational fires were fires lit at the summit. They acted as a lighthouse, lighting the way for canoes along the shoreline.

I would call this a moderate to challenging hike, depending on the hiker. Here you can see how rough the dirt terrain was, requiring steady footing.

The name Diamond Head comes from the 1700’s when explorers confused calcite crystals found inside the crater for diamonds. Diamond Head is also called Le’ahi. This name is believed to have come from Hi’aka, who was the sister of Pele, the fire goddess. Hi’aka thought the summit looked like the forehead of the ‘ahi fish (the word for forehead is lae).


The trailhead to summit is 0.8 miles, one way. It is a switchback hike with a climb of 560 feet from the floor of the crater. This trail was roughed out in 1908 by the U.S. military who saw it as ideal for coastal artillery defense.

First set of stairs, leading to the tunnel.
The tunnel was well lit and had a handrail.


It took me 2 hours to hike this trail roundtrip. I’m glad I wore sensible shoes and brought a water bottle along. It was pretty steep at times and I was happy to take a few photo breaks! But it was definitely worth the views at the top!

The staircase leading up to the lookout station.



One of the views from the summit was the Diamond Head lighthouse, built in 1870.


All the views were lovely, but the lighthouse was my favorite. Lighthouses are cool!


I don’t have a photo of the bunker, but there was one you could enter that featured a spiral staircase and ended up just below the lookout station. ♥ Thanks for reading. If you’ve hiked Diamond Head be sure to comment and let me know.

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Dole Plantation

Visiting the lovely Hawaiian island of Oahu? So far, I’ve highlighted Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center as two great tourist destinations on Oahu. Today I want to add the Dole Plantation to my list. Plan to spend 2-3 hours here, possibly longer depending on how many experiences you choose.

One of the views of the plantation from the train ride

First you’ll enter their specialty store (not pictured), where you’ll be tempted by all kinds of fun merchandise, including pineapple specialty treats. There are also pineapple cutting demonstrations and a grille. Don’t miss out on a tasty Dole Whip. Yum!

This train just unloaded its passengers and was on its way to pick up more.

From the store, venture out back where you can purchase tickets to ride the Pineapple Express train. This is how you tour the plantation fields. And who doesn’t enjoy a train ride?


After the train ride, why not take a stroll through the plantation gardens? We purchased combination tickets that included both the train and the gardens. The gardens are a self-guided tour. There is a free app you download for an audio tour if you’d like. (There is free WiFi at the plantation.)




There is also a giant garden maze to explore, but I can’t tell you anything about it because we only took the train ride and walked through the lovely gardens. But it sounds fun!


So, if you find yourself in Oahu (lucky you!) than I recommend a visit to the lovely Dole Plantation.

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Polynesian Cultural Center


Another place we visited (or I should say re-visited) while in Oahu earlier this month, was the Polynesian Cultural Center. Best to arrive as soon as it opens and spend the whole day as there is much to see and experience. This is a cultural delight your entire family will enjoy.

One of the lovely views within the center, seen from a canoe ride or walking across the bridge.

There are six cultures represented here: Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti, Tonga and Samoa. Each one has its own village, offering unique performances and interactive demonstrations. You might learn a new game with sticks, prepare a local food native style, or make your own woven headband.

Moai statues, representing Rapa Nui (Easter Island).


Guests may freely tour the villages themselves or participate in a tour, as we did. This was our sweet tour guide, Brooklyn. We spent most of the day with her, visiting each village as she explained traditions and history. We caught at least one attraction in each village, took the canoe ride, and here she was explaining how the taro plant becomes poi (a traditional Hawaiian food).

One of the highlights of the day is the canoe pageant. Each culture demonstrates their particular style of song and dance. My favorite was Tahiti. (Please excuse my amateur video, haha.)



After a full day of village hopping, enjoy a luau, which is what I recommend for first visits. As we had experienced the luau before, we thought we’d try the prime rib buffet. The main difference is that the luau has Hawaiian entertainment as you dine on traditional luau food (quite yummy and served buffet style), while the delicious prime rib (and crab legs) buffet forgoes the show (although we were serenaded with the song, You Are My Sunshine, in honor of our anniversary).

Aren’t these doors beautiful? They lead into the dining hall where the prime rib buffet is served.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the evening show, Breath of Life. It’s  simply spectacular! I have no pictures of it since photography is not allowed. Just trust me, this is will be the perfect end to your day here. ♥ Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Pearl Harbor

If you visit the Hawaiian island of Oahu, there are some great tourist stops. One is historic Pearl Harbor. My husband and I were there just this past week while we were in Hawaii celebrating our 25th anniversary.

USS Arizona memorial. You are brought to this remembrance site by boat.

Admission is free, but no bags or purses are allowed inside unless they are completely see-through. There is a holding place for bags just outside the entrance (for a small cash fee). There are walk-through exhibits which are free and give a detailed history of the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the attack itself. For a charge, there are headsets available with audio tours.

Inside the USS Arizona memorial.

The USS Arizona memorial is also free, but requires a ticket for each party member as only a certain amount of people are allowed at one time. We reserved our tickets, with a specific time slot, the day before. This tour begins with a film just over twenty minutes.

Inside the memorial is a wall with the names of those who died on board the USS Arizona.
Oil leaking out from the USS Arizona
Part of the USS Arizona sticking out of the water.

Guests visiting this special memorial are encouraged to do so quietly, in a spirit of respect to those it honors. This is a time of remembrance and reflection.

View of the USS Bowfin submarine

Other attractions have separate admission prices, such as the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin submarine, and also the Pacific Aviation museum. We have been to all three, but this time we only toured the USS Missouri. We arrived there by shuttle bus and there was a ramp for those who have trouble managing a lot of stairs

This banner was over part of the ramp.
On board the USS Missouri
It was aboard the USS Missouri where Japan formally surrendered.

If you get the chance to visit beautiful Oahu, make sure you stop at Pearl Harbor for a day.