ALOHA FROM JENNIE: A tranquil spot to 'stop and smell the roses' is Mount Tantalus Lookout high atop Honolulu, located in Oahu's Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park, spread over a cinder cone 2,000 feet above the city. After a twisty road drive lasting 20 minutes from Waikiki, you reach the state park where there are multiple free parking lots.
As Hawaii residents, the park is a special place enjoyed by our on-leash dogs, mainly because there are massive trees galore as shown in our photo gallery, and you know what dogs think about trees! There are a number of trails for hikers (and walkers like us) to spend anywhere from an hour to a day, depending on your mood.
A lookout point provides the fabulous views shown in our photos and video. You can see the Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu's residential as well as high-rise downtown and Waikiki areas, plus the grand Diamond Head Crater. If you park farther away and walk up the paved road to the lookout point, you can see glimpses of our vast Honolulu city below through the trees. The park doesn't close until 7:45 p.m., so many gather during the evening hours to take photos of the sunset against the darkened city skyline.
Other sights among the dense foliage within the park include a state radio tower, picnic area, smaller benches, and now and then, a flower lei returned back to nature after a visitor has enjoyed wearing it during her stay.
After a peaceful outing with the sweet aroma of cut grass lingering, the drive back down the twisty road is just as enjoyable--you can see the park's giant trees transitioning over to the hillside residences and then the Honolulu skyline and highrise buildings in the video below.
We hope that you've enjoyed this glimpse into Oahu's natural features existing in harmony with our metropolitan city. Hope to hear your comments, especially if you've visited or are thinking of visiting our state.