Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, HI, USA

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Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, HI, USA

Find the best place to stay — Diamond Head State Monument

The crown of Honolulu

Towering above Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Monument is one of Hawaii's most iconic landmarks. While locals call the volcanic crater Le'ahi, British sailors crowned it Diamond Head after the sparkling calcite crystals that encrust its peak. You can't stay in the park, but Diamond Head vacation rentals put you just steps from the volcano. You'll enjoy breezy rooms, resort style amenities, and most importantly, knockout views of Diamond Head _ the crowning glory of this part of the island.

Work up a sweat on the Diamond Head trail

Diamond Head's biggest drawcard is its calf-crunching hiking trail. Winding its way up the mountain, it was originally built in 1908 as part of Oahu's coastal defense system. The ascent to the summit is steep and provides quite the workout, and you'll be rewarded with sweeping views over the Pacific Ocean. If you don't want to walk, why not splurge on a scenic helicopter flight over the crater? You'll probably work up an appetite, so stock up at the bustling food market at the foot of Diamond Head. Held a few times a week, it harbors a bonanza of organic fruit, artisan cheese, island grown coffee, fresh coconuts, and more.

Nights out at the Broadway of the Pacific

Accessible by car, Diamond Head Lookout is perched above Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park. It's home to one of Honolulu's best breaks, which makes it a great place to watch local surfers carve up the waves. If you're lucky, you might even spot a playful pod of dolphins. You can also gaze up at the crater from sun-drenched Diamond Head Beach Park, which is eternally popular with swimmers, surfers, and tide poolers. For a culture fix, check out what's playing at the Diamond Head Theatre. Known as the "Broadway of the Pacific," the vintage venue hosts a string of exciting shows.

Winter escapes to Oahu

Winter is well-known as the high season in Hawaii, when flocks of snowbirds and sunseekers descend on the islands. Oahu is no exception, so book well in advance. From sleek Waikiki condos to luxurious waterfront properties in Kahala, Diamond Head vacation rentals fill up fast. Thanks to its popularity with families, Honolulu is also in hot demand during the US summer school holidays. If you want the Diamond Head trail all to yourself consider visiting in fall, when Honolulu feels wonderfully quiet.

Tick off Oahu's trio of volcanic craters

With breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean, it's no wonder that Diamond Head was used as a US military post lookout. Of course, its history dates back well before the war. Diamond Head encompasses the remains of a volcanic crater that was formed more than 300,000 year ago. If you can't get enough of Oahu's volcanic landscapes why not visit Diamond Head's fellow craters? Punchbowl houses the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, while Koko Head offers a trail featuring colorful wildflowers, military bunkers, and panoramic views of the Honolulu skyline.