How to get to Mermaid Cave and relaxing beaches in West Oahu
West Oahu may not be the road most traveled on, but those who trek off the beaten path will find a magical cave to frolic in and white sand beaches perfect for beach bumming.
Before going, search online and check when the low tides are around Nanakuli Beach. Try and go around the AM low tide time; that was around 9am when we went in early May. Although most people say the Mermaid Caves are at Nanakuli Beach, it is actually a shorter walk if you park at Zablan Beach Park. We went to Nanakuli first and once we parked we saw a couple creepily eyeing our car, which made us feel weird so we moved our car to Zablan. Once you park at Zablan, walk past the bathroom and left onto the rocky terrain. Stay close to the houses (but not onto private property) and after about 200-ish metres (I’m guestimating) you find the entrance to the mermaid cave. There will likely be people standing at the entrance, waiting for their turn to go in. There isn’t that much space down below, probably enough for a group of 5. Enter the cave from the hole closest to the house. The waves inside the cave can be pretty strong and the rocks in the water are slippery so grip the top of the cave as you walk into the water. It’s a beautiful place to frolic in and take cute photos. Getting out requires a bit more strength so you may want a person above to pull you up and/or a person below to give you a boost.
This beach is praised for its excellent snorkeling but unfortunately we were unable to experience that because the waves were too strong for us to even enter the water. Perhaps conditions here are more favourable during the winter months. There are large trees that provide great shade, but be very very cautious of thorny twigs and branches on the beach. They are sharp enough to pierce through the sole of flip flops.
Photo taken by Pamela Pam
Ko’ Olina Lagoons
Since we couldn’t do any swimming at Electric Beach, we hopped over to the Ko’Olina Lagoons. There are 4 consecutive manmade lagoons that sit in front of several large resorts. We went to the Honu Lagoon (a.k.a. Lagoon 2) in hopes of seeing a turtle. No luck there but we managed to snag a parking spot in one of the 20-ish spots in that lot. Each lagoon has a small parking lot that can fill up quickly; I’ve read online that Lagoon 4 has the biggest parking lot. The lagoon is a really great beach for relaxing. You can lay out your beach towel under the shade of some palm trees, feel the fine white sand between your toes, and swim through the calm waters of the lagoon. There are some fish and coral near the mouth of the lagoon so you can pull out your snorkeling gear. It definitely isn’t amazing snorkeling but it’s nice to have that option. I’d definitely return again and visit the other lagoons.