By Anna Fishman

Hawaii is one of my favorite destinations for a luxury travel experience! I love being a Hawaii vacation travel agent and sharing my favorite finds! A few years ago my husband, Oleg, and I went to Hawaii. It was a spontaneous trip, the type of trip that you take when you are desperately in need of a getaway and you jump on the first good deal that you see. We had a crazy year and we were burnt out. We really needed to stop and smell the roses.Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

And we did. We bought our tickets two weeks before departure and I hurriedly planned out our itinerary. Having had limited time to prep for the trip (usually, I book 4-6 months in advance), I only made a quick list of places we wanted to see. I also planned to have half of each day free, so we could explore the beaches of Oahu.

When we got to the Waikiki Beach, I almost cried. I was longing for peace and quiet, a secluded beach, drink and a book in hand. Instead, I found myself in a place that reminded me of both the Las Vegas Boulevard strip and the Miami Beach. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either of those places and there are times when I wish I was there, but this was not that type of trip. Needless to say, we did not spend much time at the Waikiki Beach and ventured outside of Honolulu as much as we could.

The first beach outside of Honolulu that we visited was Kailua. I believe this is the beach where the Obamas vacationed recently. It was much quieter than Waikiki. It still had a lot of people, but it did not feel crowded. However, it was not the beach of my dreams. Kailua beach is part of the Kailua Beach Park, so the beach is at the end of the park and if feels like a typical city beach. I could not point out what was wrong there (there really wasn’t anything wrong, it was just all in my head), but I wasn’t happy. Luckily, Hawaii is in the US, so I had perfect cell phone service, I started looking at the map on my phone to see what was near us because I was getting bored and was not feeling the Kailua beach.

And there it was, a tiny dot on the map – the Lanikai Beach. I don’t even know how I noticed it, because if you Google it, you will see the name of the beach, but the terrain does not look yellow, like in typical beaches on Google maps. Lanikai Beach was a 3-minute drive from Kailua, so we decided to give it a try. We entered the coordinates into the GPS and a few minutes later found ourselves in the middle of the residential street. Moreover. this was a residential street that did not have any sidewalks and all the cars were parked back-to-back on the side of the road, which didn’t even look like a road where you could park. Great! Where to next? I didn’t see a beach and we were risking getting our car towed. I started loosing hope. Then I saw a family emerge from a narrow pathway between two houses; they were carrying towels and a cooler and clearly coming from the beach. I think the universe felt bad for us, because this family happened to get into the parked car right in front of us and leave. We took their parking spot and strolled down the narrow path, and at the end of that path there it was – a little piece of paradise on Earth, that beach from my dreams, that secluded piece of white powdery sand without another human in sight. Oh heaven, here I come! It was everything I dreamed of and more. The beach sat in front of multi-million dollars mansions, but because all the beaches in Hawaii are public, anyone could enjoy it. The water was turquoise, but not as warm as it usually is in the Caribbean. Well, keep in mind the Caribbean beaches are in the middle of the sea, while Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean, so the water is cooler. But honestly, I did not care. I just wanted to sit there and stare at nothing. It was a non-peak season afternoon in Oahu, so the beach was empty. We ran back to the car, took our floating chairs and parked on the beach for the next 3 hours until it got dark.

We explored a few more beaches on Oahu in the next few days, but still kept coming back to the Lanikai Beach, because for me it was truly a little piece of paradise.

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