An impromptu drive past Diamond Head Beach one day after work made me realize how much they've improved the lookout area. We pulled over and found some stools recycled out of trees and a grassy terrace, perfect for cruising in the shade of the newly-planted greenery. It almost seems like you're looking into someone's private garden.
The lookout at Diamond Head can be a peaceful place to ponder.
Before the manicured landscape we see today, thorny kīawe trees lined the hillside and often discouraged people from even stepping foot over the rock wall. This improvement is definitely a welcomed addition to the always busy stretch of pavement between the beach and Diamond Head Crater. Runners, walkers, joggers, baby joggers and cyclists zoom up and down, while surfers perfectly time their steps so as not to sideswipe anyone. The garden alleviates some of the congestion as a peaceful respite.
Of course, the ultimate reprieve at the lookout is what sits right before you – the expansive blue ocean and spectacular view of southeastern Honolulu. Surfers play in the waves below while catamarans make their return back to Waikīkī. If you look left, you'll see the Shangri La and beyond that, Koko Head Crater.
The lookout's garden is safe enough for children (and pets) to explore, as it is protected by a rock wall. A couple of people let their little dogs run up and down the hillside, while their children searched for caterpillars in the milkweed plants.
Caterpillars thrive on these plants at the lookout.
Hopefully these improvements are just the beginning, and beach-goers can enjoy more areas like this throughout the entire stretch of lookout.
DIAMOND HEAD LOOKOUT / Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI (Map) / Free street parking; near bus and trolley route