Wine Travel Adventure

Bay Area & California travel blog

Category: Hawaii

Visit Pearl Harbor and be moved

By Kevin Nelson

It is hard to predict when the sadness and solemnity will hit you when you visit Pearl Harbor. For me it was when we set out on the Navy vessel across the channel that on a December morning in 1941 turned into hell on earth, a bloody chaos of explosions and smoke and fire and bombs.

December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day, and 2014 marked the 73rd anniversary of the attack that brought the United States into World War II. Ceremonies were held at the Pearl Harbor Historical Sites on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, honoring the more than 2,000 American servicemen killed that day as well as those who survived the destruction.

At the Wall of Names. Below, visitors at the memorial and a plaque in remembrance.

At the Wall of Names. Below, visitors at the memorial and a plaque.

The ceremonies—another purpose of which is to keep the memory of these events alive to younger generations of Americans—were a poignant and emotionally charged experience for those who attended. But a trip to Pearl Harbor is well worth it any time of the year.

We went in August as part of a family vacation filled with the usual Hawaiian pleasures of beaches, sun, snorkeling, surfing and shave ice. I had been there as a boy, and now as a grown man I wanted my three children to see the place that had meant so much to their late grandfather, a Navy radio technician who had come through Pearl Harbor on his way to fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. Continue reading

3 spectacular beaches on the North Shore of Oahu

A boy runs along the Banzai Pipeline. Below, a flower in Waimea Valley.

A boy runs along the Banzai Pipeline. Below, a flower in Waimea Valley.

The North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world. About an hour’s drive from Honolulu, the North Shore is also more relaxed and less congested than Hawaii’s biggest city. It truly has a hang-loose island vibe to it. Spend a week or even a day there and you will feel like you’ve gotten away from the madding crowd and done something special. Most special of all are these three dream North Shore beaches eminently worth visiting:

Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay is the locals’ beach where native Hawaiians and longtime residents go to catch some rays in summer and roll around in the warm and gorgeous turquoise waters. It is, as its name says, a small bay, with the sand forming a lovely curving shape along the water. To the left as you look out towards the Pacific, there is a bulky rock formation tall enough and big enough to jump off safely into the surf. For many travelers the rock jump at Waimea has become an item on their bucket list, an experience they must have at least once. Continue reading