Hawaii October 28, 2018
The Beautiful Hawaii Valley You’ll Want To Spend More Time In
Extending from the peaks of the Ko’olau Mountains all the way to the coral reefs off Waikiki Beach, Manoa Valley is as vast as it is beautiful. Though located just minutes from Waikiki, Oahu’s Manoa Valley is often overlooked by visitors. But locals in the know recognize that this is one of the best places in all of Hawaii. Though this valley is now largely residential, it was once the site of the first sugarcane and coffee plantations in Hawaii. Manoa translates to “thick, solid, vast, depth or thickness” in the Hawaiian language, and we think its quite fitting.
In addition to being home to both the famous Punahou High School and the University of Hawaii, Manoa Valley is home to several stellar attractions and places of interest. From remarkable restaurants and charming inns to waterfall hiking trails, botanical gardens, and temples that will transport you to another world, here are eight places found in Manoa Valley you’ll want to add to your Hawaii bucket list.
1. Breakfast is best at Le Crêpe Café.
There’s little better way to start your morning than with a scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth crepe from Le Crêpe Café. Utilizing fresh ingredients and offering vegan and gluten-free options, the crepes here are quite simply heavenly. Choose from sweet and savory flavor combinations that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds.
2752 Woodlawn Dr. #6-100, Honolulu, HI 96822
2. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the Manoa Falls Trail.
Just 20 minutes from Waikiki, Manoa Falls is a favorite amongst tourists. The 150-foot waterfall plunges down a vertical drop into a small pool below and is a beautiful reminder that there is more to Honolulu than high-rise apartments and luxury resorts. The easy, but often muddy, 1.6-mile hike will take hikers on a magnificent journey through bamboo and banyan trees before leading you to the incredible Manoa Falls.
Na Ala Hele, Honolulu, HI 96822
3. Get your caffeine fix at Morning Glass Coffee.
Serving coffee not recommended for the faint-at-heart, Morning Glass Coffee is known for their Hawaii-grown coffee brewed in-house with a Chemex filter. Each cup of coffee is freshly ground and prepared to order. They also have an extensive food menu, focusing on "simple preparations of great ingredients made from scratch whenever possible, with an emphasis on seasonal, local and sustainable products." From breakfast burritos, macaroni and cheese pancakes and fried rice omelets to a variety of sandwiches, their eclectic menu is sure to please.
2955 E Manoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822
4. Find serenity at the East-West Center.
Located on the University of Hawaii Manoa’s campus is the East-West Center, a serene space in the middle of the city that was designated by the United States Congress in order to pursue the strengthening of relationships with the Asia-Pacific region by way of education and research. The center features a zen garden and art gallery with rotating exhibitions.
1601 East-West Rd., Honolulu, HI 96848
5. Immerse yourself in the lush, verdant surroundings at Lyon.
While this beautiful arboretum has been open to the public for more than 40 years, many locals and tourists alike opt for the more popular Manoa Falls, but this picturesque rainforest should not be overlooked. Surrounded by cliffs on three sides, the 194-acre Lyon Arboretum receives approximately 34,000 visitors per year and is home to more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, as well as 12 beautiful gardens and seven miles of hiking trails.
3860 Manoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822
6. Enjoy lunch at Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies.
This tiny eatery serves up some of the best sandwiches in Honolulu. Made with freshly baked bread and a variety of scrumptious ingredients, these sandwiches are so much more than your average lunch. And when you add a scrumptiously sweet smoothie to the mix? Well, then you’re in lunch heaven.
2904 E Manoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822
7. Take in a live show at the Manoa Valley Theatre.
Billing itself as Hawaii's off-Broadway playhouse, this community theatre will be celebrating 650 years of artistic performances in 2019. The non-profit theatre puts on a variety of shows each year, from Broadway musicals to mainstream contemporary plays.
2833 E Manoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822
8. Steal away for a night at the Manoa Valley Inn.
Built in 1912, this beautiful historic home perfectly captures the charm of Old Hawaii. Though the three-story home has been renovated several times during its century-long history, it quickly transports guests to a bygone era. Originally known as the John Guild House, this historic residence turned B&B was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, and it's easy to see why as soon as you step inside. Here, you will find seven separately air-conditioned guestrooms furnished with fine antiques and dripping with charm.
2001 Vancouver Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822
What is your favorite destination in Manoa Valley? Which of these incredible places will you visit on your next day off? Share your opinions and experiences in the comments below.
Want to experience a Hawaiian valley that feels worlds away from it all?
Click here to check out the remote and wonderful Waimanu Valley, nestled on Hawaii Island’s Hamakua Coast.