For Beautiful Views of Hawaii: Pu’u Ualaka’a State Wayside

Round Top Dr., Honolulu, Hawaii Many malihini (newcomers) miss this glorious view because it’s not easy to find. But look

Round Top Dr., Honolulu, Hawaii

Many malihini (newcomers) miss this glorious view because it’s not easy to find. But look for Makiki St. on a detailed map and you’ll see that it connects from a scenic drive to this mountaintop wayside. A second, longer route—Tantalus Dr. —begins farther west, off Puowaina Dr. Honolulu residents usually ascend by one drive and descend by the other. The heights tend to be much cooler than the lowlands, and the wayside is an ideal spot to visit on a hot summer day.

When you get here, the expected facilities make it seem like just another park: trees, grass, picnic tables, and a comfort station. But then there’s the view: No other area open to the public boasts anything like it. The city is spread out before you, from Pearl Harbor and the airport in one direction to Diamond Head and Koko Head in the other.

Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a (known locally as Round Top) means “hill of the rolling sweet potatoes.” It got its name, according to the story, because Kamehameha I ordered sweet potatoes to be planted here—and when they were dug up, they rolled down the hill.

Open dawn to dusk year-round.

www.hawaiistate parks.org/parks/oahu

(808) 587-0300

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest