It would be tempting to stay on the touristy side of Oahu, catching a gentle wave on one of Waikiki’s beaches, or doing a luau at one of the many fine hotels in Honolulu. Nothing wrong with that. But it’s not us.

We wanted to go where no one else does, because that’s how we are. (After all, we’re in search of the real Hawaii.) So we headed to the North Shore area, to Waimea Falls and Kualoa Ranch.

First, the bad news: Tourists have discovered these places, too. We found ourselves on a boat full of very polite Japanese visitors on the Hawaiian Fishpond and Garden Tour at Kualoa Ranch.

After driving out to the island, a tour guide named Halam pulled us aside and asked us if we wanted to see the rest of the ranch. We did. Kualoa offers a number of tours, including horse rides, movie site tours (see where the movie Jurassic Park was filmed) and Hula lessons.

The fact that these place have been “discovered” shouldn’t stop you from seeing them. This is quite possibly the most beautiful part of the island, with its jagged mountains and picture-perfect beaches with monster waves.

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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