My photo of the Hanauma State Park in O'ahu was featured on IG:
When in O'ahu ... do book the Grand Circle Island Tour! Do note that it's almost impossible to circumnavigate the entire island due to the lack of roads; therefore, let your tour operator take the wheel and enjoy the scenic views the east half of the island has to offer.
My friend and I booked this tour online through Roberts Hawaii but we did so without paying extra for the deluxe upgrade which includes a buffet lunch at Kuala Ranch.
Although you can find more details through Roberts Hawaii, this post will portray the highlights of my experiences while on this tour:
You can always come back, watch the introductory film about the park and then just sunbathe, relax or start your search for the State fish of Hawai'i - a triggerfish - called Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.
This location is also the site of the Battle of Nu'uanu where former King Kamehameha I on 1795 was able to join all of the islands that comprise Hawai'i. Our tour guide told us that during the battle, many warriors were driven to this high pali or cliff and were pushed or forced to jump off the cliff.
Hear the wind roar and for a few seconds, feel its strength as if the wind would lift you up
and carry you away!
Later on, as you have already soaked in the views and imagined the battle that took place here, it's time to start descending from being all elevated and almost nearly touching the clouds, to being back on the O'ahu coastline.
The tour always turns left when it arrives at the junction near the bottom; otherwise you could go straight into the azure ocean for some R&R at Kailua Beach.
As the tour continues through the coastline and into the North Shore, it's time to head to:
Before lunch, the tour operator has organized a tram ride throughout part of the Kualoa Ranch which makes you feel as being in the movie Jurassic Park; but as a matter of fact, most of the Kualoa Regional Park was the site where most of the footage took place. So if you decide to come back later, do check out the different activities that this ranch has to offer.
Moreover, this area was considered sacred to Hawaiians:
While on the tram ride, you will be able to have this great panoramic view of the surroundings but more specifically, that of the Chinaman's hat island.
The Chinaman's Hat island is known to locals as Mokoli'i meaning little lizard as legend has it that a Hawaiian goddess slew a dragon and cut off its tail tossing it into the ocean and thus the remains of that tail is known as Mokoli'i Island. To others (the general public), this island is known as Chinaman's hat island as it resembles the hat worn by Chinese peasants in rural China.
More info on this island here.
My advice: If it's that crowded with other tours and tourists, just head straight to the far back right counter to order their world famous Dole Whip!
... and well, that's all for now folks, I hope you enjoyed my highlights from this Grand Circle Island Tour!