Located on the island of Oahu, Diamond Head is a young but extinct volcano that makes for a fantastic and inexpensive day trip. Entering into the crater through a large tunnel in one side of the volcano wall, immediately the place just opens up and the sky is revealed around you. One small corner of the interior is a former military base / current government broadcasting station and is therefore off-limits to the public, but all the rest is free reign.
Random Trivia Fact Several scenes from Lost were filmed both on Diamond Head and inside the military base. In fact the entire series was filmed on location all around Oahu. Although I never watched the show somehow still remember being told those factoids while I was there.
From the interior plains you can hike up the winding trail all the way up to a couple viewing stations located up top, giving you an impressive view of the coastline and ocean.
The path is quite deceptive looking. Although it starts off fairly straight and at a very gradual slope, before long the pavement turns to a stone path and the path then eventually turns to all dirt. Meanwhile the slope increases and the winding back-and-forth begins. Definitely bring some water with you.
Once you get closer to the top you have several staircases to climb and even pass through a dark tunnel before climbing a metal circular staircase (a la lighthouse style) which is — you guess it — also dark.
The entire hike takes only about an hour each way and is well worth the visit. From up top you can see Waikiki and a nice portion of the rest of the island. Makes for an awesome spot to take panoramic photos of the island.
However as Diamond Head is quite close to Waikiki beach and thus countless resorts, there is always a flood of tourists there. But it’s not too bad… where in Hawaii is there not a flood of tourists?