Picnics, Parks, Beaches and More: Here Are the Best Solo Outdoor Activities on O‘ahu

The latest emergency orders allow us to try new things outdoors, find some new local grubs and relax—as long as we do it alone. Here are some ideas.


solo hiking in hawaii

Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


Take a Hike

Head to Makapu‘u Lighthouse Trail for an easy and light workout. If you plan to see the sunrise, which starts roughly around 6:20 a.m., it is best to go early. The parking lot won’t be open yet but there is street parking along Kalaniana‘ole Highway. Make sure to bring water, sunscreen and sunglasses. You’ll get nice views of East O‘ahu the entire way up, not just at the end. Normally, it’s common to see families, children, dogs and mothers pushing strollers up the trail. But with the solo rules in place, you’ll likely have much of the trail to yourself, especially at that hour.

Waimānalo, between Sandy Beach and Sea Life Park


SEE ALSO: O‘ahu Hike of the Month: Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail


fishing season in Hawaii

Photo: Courtesy of Palafamala Paddles, @palafamala


Go Fish

If you like fishing, here’s what’s now in season as of Sept. 1: moi (pacific threadfin), ula (spiny lobster), ula pāpapa (slipper lobster) and Kona crab, which just ended their summer spawning season. Go early for lots of parking. Plus, while you’re setting up your fishing hooks and bait, welcome fall with the next equinox on Sept. 22; the sun will be directly above the equator at 3:30 a.m. HST.


doughnuts hawaii

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

HI Cravings is one of my favorite açaí places. I always get the açaí bowl with fruit, granola and honey, and add on the house-made chocolate chip cookie dough that doesn’t include eggs so you can eat it raw. If you don’t like cookie dough, there is also Nutella, li hing mui and many other add-ons to choose from. I also love Purvé Donut Stop. The parking lot can fill up in the late morning, but do-nut worry; Purvé opens at 6 a.m. The “You’re Killing Me Smalls” doughnut is one of my favorites because the combination of chocolate, marshmallows and smashed graham crackers reminds me of roasting marshmallows with my family. My mouth is watering as we speak.


HI Cravings: Multiple locations, hicravings.com, @HiCravingsHawaii; Purvé Donut Stop: 1234 Kona St., purvehawaii.com


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 9 Best Açaí Smoothie Bowls on O‘ahu


Have a Picnic at the Park

You might not be used to going to the park alone, but it’s a good chance to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine with a picnic for one. If you’re going for lunch, head down to TsuruTonTan for a $12 bento box. It includes rice, crispy tonkatsu and fresh hot udon on the side. My favorite comedian to watch is Jo Koy—he can always put a smile on my face, especially with his Netflix stand-up special Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot. Watch while you eat and try not to choke from laughing at about seven minutes in—you’ll see why.


2233 Kalākaua Ave, (808) 888-8559, tsurutontan.com, @tsurutontan_hi


SEE ALSO: 62 Thoughts We Had While Watching Jo Koy’s Netflix Special, Comin’ In Hot


microgreen seeds

Photo: Augusto Decastro


Grow Sprouts, aka Microgreens

There are (hopefully) only a few more days of the current lockdown, so if you want a fast reward, try growing something that sprouts quickly, like microgreens. They are easy to manage and you can choose from many varieties of sprouts, such as purple radish, broccoli and cilantro. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can grow them in your kitchen in one to three weeks. If you don’t have a planting container, use a leftover Zippy’s container—anything works! You can find seeds through Fukuda Seed Store or the Hawai‘i Seed Growers Network. Toss your microgreens into a salad, in a tuna salad sandwich, soups or use as a garnish.




hawaii beaches

Waikīkī Beach during lockdown in April, 2020. Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Have a Beach Day

You might not feel comfortable leaving your cell phone and car keys on the beach while you go for a solo swim, so play in the sand instead and make a sand sculpture. Why not sculpt Gov. David Ige or Mayor Kirk Caldwell and take your anger out on them? Or just chill and observe all the aunties and uncles at the beach. Maybe you’ll spot some cute Acacia bathing suits to look for online, or have fun counting how many lifted Toyotas there are.