The Lanikuhonua Hawaiian Cultural Park is a serene little cove that for centuries was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty. In 1939, Alice Kamokila Campbell (daughter of super-rich James Campbell), turned the beachside oasis on Oahu's West Side into a community-spirited park and organization.
From the beach, you can walk tidepools along the gardens and modest buildings that comprise the cultural park.
Just around this palmy point the mood shifts dramatically. High end resorts, including a new effort by Disney called the Aulanai, sit alongside four, perfectly symmetrical coves with sandy beaches that were blasted out of a barren limestone reef. Phony, for sure, but still a good place to get in the water. The Grand Ko Olina Resort hosts NFL players for the annual Pro Bowl. Check out Oahu Trailblazer, pages 198-200, for the best places to park, walk, and snorkel. Most visitors who aren't staying here don't know the place exists.