Enjoy a variety of Waikiki, Hawaii activities while staying at the Ilima Hotel. Diamond Head State Monument, locally known as “Leahi,” sits along the Honolulu skyline just beyond Waikiki. This 760-foot tuff crater is one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks. Leahi, translated from “brow of the tuna” in Hawaiian, was named “Diamond Head” by 19th century British sailors who thought they had discovered diamonds on the crater’s slopes. What the sailor actually found were shiny calcite crystals that were of little value.
Formed over 100,000 years ago, this famous Waikiki landmark was utilized as a strategic military lookout early in the 1900’s. Leahi was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Now, Diamond Head is revered as a popular hiking trail that affords its hikers a stunning, panoramic view of Waikiki and Oahu’s south shore.
What’s really handy about visiting Diamond Head State Monument is that it only takes a quick car ride or bus trip from Waikiki to reach this popular destination. This moderately challenging hike is comprised of two sets of stairs totaling 175 steps, as well as underground tunnels and old military bunkers that require a flashlight. The spectacular views at the top of Diamond Head are well worth the effort it takes to get there.
If you happen to plan to go to Diamond Head State Monument on a Saturday, remember to stop by the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market—Oahu’s #1 outdoor bazaar that showcases locally grown food and produce. If you would prefer to sit down for a meal, there are many notable cafes and restaurants that line the street by the entrance of the monument.