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Franko Maps is proud to present a very special map of Oahu dedicated to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, and to the visitors who come to Hawaii with an interest in knowing more about President Obama.
Barack Obama is a local born son of Hawaii. Growing up in Hawaii provides a unique and tolerant  multicultural environment found nowhere else on Earth. First Lady Michelle Obama is quoted in saying that "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii." This map makes an effort to present some insight into President Obama's early years through his graduation from high school. 
Franko's Obama's Oahu Guide Map is packed with a wealth of visitor information about Oahu with our favorite things to see and do and with many attractions that mark President Obama’s early life.  These include special insets with descriptions and photos of the hospital where he was born, his schools, his family homes, his favorite beach and much, much  more.  In addition to a large detailed map of Oahu with roads, trails and place names there are special sections on Makiki, the neighborhood where Barack Obama grew up, and on Oahu's South Shore.Printed on durable waterproof synthetic paper using fade-resistant inks, this oversized Oahu map incorporates a sense of place as experienced by President Barack Obama.
Our map is a work in progress. Anyone with special observations, insight or photographs is welcome to offer additional information for future editions of the Obama Map of Oahu. Contributors please use this contact form.
Captions from Side One of Franko’s Guide Map to Obama’s Oahu:
HANAUMA BAY STATE UNDERWATER PARK  This fabulously beautiful beach with a calm inner reef and tame tropical fish was on the Obama "must visit" list during their summer 2008 stay on Oahu .  He and the family enjoyed snorkeling the calm inner reef.  The outer reef has coral gardens, green  sea turtles, and reef fish.  The bluff above the bay has a great new visitor center which educates visitors about reef life.  Closed Tuesdays.
SANDY BEACH PARK  Barack Obama grew up going to this beach.  Obama loved to bodysurf here as a teenage.  In fact, Obama bodysurfed here in the summer of 2008 while on vacation.  However, Sandy Beach's vicious waves have injured many tourists and it is considered a very advanced surfing spot, best left alone except for experienced locals like Obama.  For calm waters, head to Ala Moana or Waikiki.
AERIAL TOUR Thrilling and beautiful tours via HELICOPTER, BIPLANE, and SEAPLANE are available.  Contact:  Makani Kai Helicopters at 834-5813; Stearman Biplanes Rides at 637-4461; Island Seaplane Service at 836-6273.  Or ask a tour coordinator at any activity center.
SEA LIFE PARK Dolphin shows, sea lions that like to ham it up for the audience, penguins, a huge reef tank full of fish, and learning programs.  Various marine animal encounters available.  Phone 259-7933.  Dedicated to marine preservation and education.
WAIMANALO BAY  Oahu's longest sandy beach.  Snorkeling amongst tropical fish and colorful corals in a shallow, reef-protected bay.
NUUANU PALI LOOKOUT  This famous viewpoint was on the Obama list of places to visit in their summer 2008 vacation to Oahu.  The views of Oahu's windward side and the spectacular Pali (near-vertical cliffs) are absolutely breathtaking.  The lookout is the site where King Kamehameha defeated Oahu Chief Kalanikupule by forcing his opponents off the cliff.  This battle was pivotal in uniting the Hawaiian Islands under Kamehameha.  Nuuanu Pali State Wayside has a dense rain forest.
ENCHANTED LAKE BIRD SANCTUARY  One of Oahu's best places to enjoy birdwatching.  Includes red-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, red-tailed tropic birds, Hawaiian duck, egrets, and plover.
KAILUA BEACH & PARK The Obama family spent their 2008 Christmas at a beach house here, shortly before the 2009 inauguration.  Kailua is one of the world's top-rated beaches.  Turquoise waters are protected from big waves by shallow water.  Tradewinds prevail to make for perfect windsurfing as well as kite sailing.  The beach is great for family fun. 
HOOMALUHIA PARK 400 acres of natural preserve on the windward side of Oahu.  Worldwide collection of tropical trees and plants.  Nature hikes and weekend camping.
OAHU STATE PARKS WITH CAMPING     Information:  587-0300     
KEAIWA HEIAU STATE RECREATION AREA:  Top of Aiea Heights Drive, Aiea.  Forested camping, picnicking and hiking.  Remains of Healing Temple, Heiau Hoola.
KAHANA VALLEY STATE PARK:   Off Kamehameha Highway in Kahana.  Scenic  wild valley, beach activities, picnicking, camping, hiking, and pig hunting.
MALAEKAHANA STATE RECREATION AREA:  At Kamehameha Highway north of Laie.  Wooded beach park, camping and lodging.
SAND ISLAND STATE RECREATION AREA:   At the end of Sand Island Access Road near Honolulu Harbor entrance.  Beach park, camping and fishing.
COUNTY PARKS:  There are 15 County parks marked with a "     " that allow camping with a permit.  For permit information call:  523-4525. 
TheBus:  Information Line: 848-5555  Oahu's famous transportation system began in 1971, the year Obama returned to Oahu from Indonesia.  This system has served Obama, his mother and his grandparents well over the years, getting them almost everywhere they wanted to go at an affordable price.  On board TheBus you can see Oahu as a relaxed passenger instead of as a driver.  A quarter of a million riders use TheBus every day going to and from its 4,000 stops on almost 6 dozen lines.  To circle the island you can take off from Ala Moana Shopping Center and return after an all day adventure.  TheBus is so efficient that many tourists don't even bother to rent a car. 
HEEIA STATE PARK  Coastal picnic and beach site.  Party hall rentals.
VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES The Obama family visited the Byodo-In Temple, which sits up against the steep, beautiful pali (vertical cliffs) of the Koolau Mountains.  This replica of a 900 year-old Japanese temple features a huge Buddha.  Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has beautiful grounds and fish ponds with koi.
ALOHA TROPICAL FARMS Obama took his family here during their summer 2008 Oahu visit for a one-of-a-kind experience.  This is Oahu's only macadamia nut farm outlet.  Enjoy true Hawaiian hospitality with free samples of freshly roasted mac nuts, dried fruits, and Kona coffee from a deck overlooking an 800 year-old fish pond in a lush tropical setting.
KUALOA RANCH is a genuine working cattle ranch in an unbelievably beautiful setting.  Enjoy horseback and ATV riding, mountain and ocean views, or tours through lush gardens, ancient fish ponds and a variety of movie sets.  Kualoa is Oahu's "biggest" attraction, at 4000 acres.
WAHIAWA BOTANICAL GARDEN Right in the middle of Oahu, these gardens have 26 acres of lovely ferns, trees and flowers.
DOLE PLANTATION  On Kamehameha Highway just 10 minutes from the North Shore.  Wander through the "World's Largest Maze" as recognized by the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records, take a ride on the Pineapple Express Train, stroll through the Plantation Garden, and then stop in the country store for a refreshing Pineapple Dole Whip or pick up a unique gift.
POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER  Authentic Hawaiian luau with a spectacular Polynesian show.  Explore genuine Polynesian villages from Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, the Marquesas, New Zealand, and Hawaii.   The Center has a marketplace with souvenirs, gifts and crafts, plus an IMAX theater.  This is one of Oahu's top attractions.  Closed Sundays. 
MORMON TEMPLE AT LAIE  Beautiful manicured gardens surround this striking coral-white temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has been a Laie landmark since 1919.  The visitor center has a breathtaking replica of Thorvaldsen's "Christus" statue.
SCENIC DRIVES THROUGH KOOLAU MOUNTAINS Oahu has three spectacular drives, which go through tunnels in the mountains.  The H-3 freeway is one of the most spectacular pieces of freeway on earth.  It traverses the island by ascending through the rain forest, tunneling for a mile through the near vertical pali, then descending on amazing mountainside bridges into Kaneohe.  Similarly, LIKELIKE HIGHWAY (Hwy. 63) also goes from Honolulu to Kaneohe.  The PALI HIGHWAY (Hwy. 61) goes past the spectacular Nuuanu Pali Lookout, through two Pali tunnels and then descends into Kailua.  All three have to be seen from both directions.  Make sure to stop at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout off the PALI HIGHWAY.
MANOA FALLS:  One of Obama's favorite two hikes as young man, this easy trail starts at the top of Manoa Drive and winds far above the Waikiki skyline and Diamond Head through a lush rain forest amid tropical flora and birds.  1.5 miles (2.4 km) ahead is the waterfall and a pond to put your feet in.
MAKAPUU LOOKOUT:  Another of Obama's favorite hikes is where the windward side of Oahu begins.  Like Obama, you will hike to the Makapuu Lighthouse via a trail that leads up to the top of a 750 ft. (229m) volcanic peak with views up the windward coast and to distant outer islands.
DIAMOND HEAD:  This is a fun, steep, and short hike up the inner wall of Diamond Head Crater, through a dark tunnel, and out to a postcard-pretty view of Waikiki's skyline and the ocean below.
TANTALUS and ROUNDTOP TRAILS:  The drive around Tantalus and Roundtop right above Obama's Makiki neighborhood goes to a dozen or more trails above Makiki Valley overlooking Waikiki, Honolulu, and Diamond Head.  The views are unbelievable and the feel and fragrance of the rain forest is unforgettable.
KAENA POINT:  Far from civilization, the Kaena Trail begins at the end of Farrington Hwy out beyond Yokohama Bay, as well as at the end of Farrington Hwy in Mokuleia.  From either trailhead to the point is a round trip of 5 miles (8.1 km).
GUIDED HIKES:  For professional insight into Hawaiian nature and history, tour companies and nature clubs offer guided hikes in the diverse trails of Oahu. 
WHALE WATCHING:  For the best whale watching on Oahu, in season, go to North Shore Catamaran Charters in Haleiwa Boat Harbor.  Season is November thru April.
THE NORTH SHORE  World's most famous winter surfing spots, summer snorkeling, fabulous rural scenery, ranches, flower farms, banana plantations, amazing sunsets, and sandy beaches.  Home of Haleiwa, "Surf City, U.S.A."
SUNSET BEACH  Great surfing on winter swells.  Personality changes with swell.  Great rights, but point closes out at head-high, then shifts to middle reef.  Dangerous rip handy for getting out when big.  Advanced surfers only.  Great viewing.
BANZAI PIPELINE  Unforgiving waves in winter swell.  One of world’s greatest left breaks.  There is a shallow and creviced bottom.  Outside reefs create a fast, super hollow break when big.  Advanced surfers only!  Viewing access from Ehukai Beach Park.
SHARK’S COVE  Part of marine life conservation district.  One of the best North Shore summer snorkeling and scuba  spots with caves, colorful corals, reef fish, and invertebrates.   Notable for night diving.  Children can snorkel in the tide pools.
WAIMEA VALLEY  1800 acres of tropical rainforest, botanical garden, arboretum and ancient Hawaiian sites.  Walking tours to Waimea Falls, a lush nature park with bird and wildlife habitat.  Kayaking on the estuary.
WAIMEA BAY  World's most famous big-wave break for advanced and expert surfers only.  Winter waves to 30' (9m) high.  Waimea's heavy shorebreak is especially wicked and dangerous.  Summertime conditions are often flat and suitable for snorkeling and kayaking.
HISTORIC HALEIWA TOWN The real "Surf City U.S.A." is a century-old plantation town full of interesting tourist shops, surf shops, scuba dive shops, galleries, fantastic food, the North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum and wonderful beaches.  Visit the North Shore Market Place while you are there and buy a copy of Franko's Oahu Surf Map.  Haleiwa is a must-see destination for any visitor who leaves Waikiki.
SHAVE ICE  The Obama family knows that when you go to Hawaii, you must enjoy a delicious and refreshing Hawaiian Shave Ice - one of Hawaii's favorite treats!  
HALEIWA  Alii Beach Park features world class surfing on hollow waves in winter swells.  This is also a perfect surf lessons spot. 
NORTH SHORE SURF and CULTURAL MUSEUM  In the North Shore Market Place in Haleiwa.
GOLF  Oahu features numerous spectacular championship golf courses and a host of economical public courses as well.  Ala Moana Golf Course adjacent to Waikiki is the busiest golf course in the world, with 180,000 rounds of golf played in a single year.  Obama is an avid golfer himself, and in his August, 2008 family vacation to Oahu he played two rounds of golf - one at Olomanu Golf Course in Waimanalo,  where he also used the driving range and the practice putting green with the kids who were there; and the second at the super scenic Luana Hills Country Club.
SNORKELING  Hanauma Bay is one of the most snorkeled places on earth and it is an Obama favorite for good reason.  It is spectacular in or out of the water.  It is easy to get to via bus or rental car.  Snorkeling gear is available to rent right on the beach.  If you are experienced, get out beyond the Inner Reef to where it is not crowded.  Good snorkeling can also be found on the North Shore, but not during the winter surf!  For snorkeling adventures check with activities centers or dive shops.   
SCUBA DIVING  There are dozens of fantastic places to enjoy fabulous underwater scenery.  For details, you should own a copy of Franko's Oahu Dive Map.  There are reefs, wrecks, caverns, walls, overhangs, and every kind of diving you could want in clear, warm, tropical waters.  Check dive shops for boat and beach dives.
WINDSURFING, KITEBOARDING, KAYAKING, JETSKIING  The hottest spot for windsurfing is Kailua Beach, right where the sport was invented.  Kailua is also the spot to kiteboard.  Haleiwa, Waikiki and other spots offer lessons and rentals as well.  Sit-on-top ocean kayaking is growing in popularity so fast that it has become available all around Oahu.  Guided tours are available via activities centers.  Jetskis are available in Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai, just down the street from Obama's first home.
HORSEBACK RIDING RENTALS  Several great places to ride with a rented equine friend include the Hotel at Turtle Bay Beach;  Kualoa Ranch Horses; and Happy Trails Hawaii in Pupukea. 
MOUNTAIN BIKING & CRUISING BIKES RENTALS & TOURS  There are many places in Waikiki and around Oahu to rent mountain bikes or to go with guided tours into the island interior.  There are beach cruisers and road bikes for rent for those who would like to simply cruise around Waikiki or down the coast past Diamond Head.  If you are an experienced cyclist you could rent a bike and take a chance with traffic in Obama's old Makiki neighborhood to check out the sites.
SPORT FISHING  Kewalo Basin, near Waikiki, is the sport fishing capital of Oahu.  For a big game fishing charter with one of Hawaii's best skippers, contact Capt. Lee Severs at Sea Verse Sport Fishing (808) 262-5587, or Capt. Russel Tanaka at Magic Sport Fishing (808) 596-2998, or "walk the dock" in the evening hours.
SUNSET DINNER CRUISES  See Waikiki from offshore.  Plan a romantic evening adventure at any activities desk.  Cruises  leave from Kewalo Basin & Honolulu Harbor.
DILLINGHAM AIRFIELD  This airfield is the home of some of Oahu's most extreme adventures:  Tandem skydiving from 13,000 feet (4,000m) above the North Shore with 50 seconds of freefall;  Soaring in a glider for unsurpassed views of the North Shore, valleys, mountains & passing humpback whales.
YOKOHAMA BAY  This sandy beach has great scenery and superb snorkeling amongst coral with plentiful reef fish in clear water.  Caution:  Strong currents offshore and high surf can pound this shoreline.  Good fishing from beach.  End of the road here is the trailhead for hiking to Kaena Point.  Warning:  Very secluded.  Few tourists travel here.
MAKAHA  Fabulous advanced surfing on famous semi-reef point break.  Variable surf lineup in swells which wrap around the island.  Surfing is good anywhere from knee-high to 30' (1 -  9m) high.  Giant bowl during big surf.  Famous for long-boarding surfing contests and brilliant sunsets.
WAIANAE SCENERY:  The Waianae side of Oahu is full of spectacular scenery.  The turquoise ocean shimmers in offshore breezes while afternoon rains produce rainbows set against the green Waianae Range.  This part of Oahu seems so distant from Waikiki that it is another world.  There are dive sites offshore, and great snorkeling along the shore.  One of the world's premier surf spots is Makaha. 
M/V MAHI  Popular scuba dive on 165’, 800-ton navy cable-layer sunken intact in 1982 at 90’ (27m) depth.
HAWAII'S PLANTATION VILLAGE at WAIPAHU CULTURAL GARDEN  Museum that preserves and interprets Hawaii's unique plantation history, architecture, and heritage. 
ELECTRIC BEACH (KAHE PT.) Beach park entry for snorkeling and scuba diving.  Patches of coral and an artificial reef fed by warm power plant discharge creates an aquarium-like home for green sea turtles, all kinds of reef fish, eagle rays, and dolphins.
HAWAIIAN WATERS ADVENTURE PARK 25 acres of water rides, slides and cool fun. 
PARADISE COVE ("Luau Village")  Home of the Paradise Cove Luau features a private beach setting with "backyard-style" all-you-can-eat luau, Polynesian pageantry and show with song and dance from Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, and New Zealand. 
KO OLINA RESORT  640-acre all-inclusive resort.  Beautiful blue lagoons, catamaran rides, snorkeling, golf, wedding chapel, swimming, and dining around a master-planned community.  Features a Marriott Hotel, marina, time share condos, a shopping center, and more.
HAWAIIAN RAILWAY SOCIETY Educational railway museum.  Sunday train rides. 
SHOPPING:  The Waikiki area is covered with magical shops with products from Hawaii, the Pacific and Asia.  Major shopping centers near Waikiki include Ala Moana Shopping Center, The Ward Centres, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Kahala Mall Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, and the International Marketplace. 
PEARL HARBOR:  The site of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor is now an array of memorials, museums, and a Navy Base.  This is also the most visited site in Hawaii.  The description at right gives and overview.  For extensive historical details as well as today's things to see and do at Pearl Harbor, refer to Franko's Map of Pearl Harbor.
BISHOP MUSEUM  Described at right, this is a "Must See" museum for all museum buffs.
IOLANI PALACE  The Royal Palace of Hawaii's Monarchy.  This is the only royal palace in the United States.  Royal Hawaiian Band free concerts every Fri. at noon.  Guided tours available Tuesday through Saturday.  Reservations recommended - tel. 522-0832
MISSION HOUSES MUSEUM  The oldest frame house in Hawaii dates to 1821.  It was home to Hawaii's first Christian missionaries. Located near the State Capitol (see reverse side of map).
HONOLULU ACADEMY OF THE ARTS  This is the center of Hawaii's fine arts, including exhibits of italian Renaissance, Japanese and American arts.  Located near Waikiki (see reverse side of map).
U.S. ARMY MUSEUM  Almost on the beach in Waikiki, this museum was a coastal defense battery, but now has military memorabilia from early Hawaiian period through Vietnam War.
HAWAII MARITIME CENTER  Loacted next to the Aloha Tower in the Honolulu Harbor, this museum has ancient and modern Hawaiian maritime and surfing history.  This site was once Kamehameha's boathouse.
PEARL HARBOR, a naturally formed safe haven, is the home of the U.S. Navy in Hawaii.  The USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL honors the more than 1,100 men who died aboard the ship in the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  This attack drew the United States into the conflict of World War II.  Barack Obama and family were given a personal tour of the memorial by head historian, Mr. Daniel Martinez, who also edited Franko's Map of Pearl Harbor. The memorial spans like a bridge across the mid-section of the sunken battleship, which still entombs the remains of hundreds of men.
The battleship USS MISSOURI, fondly known as "THE MIGHTY MO", is now a museum and memorial berthed at Ford Island.  It was right here upon the decks of the Mighty Mo that the WWII surrender was signed in 1945. 
Next to the  USS Arizona Visitor Center and theater, be sure to visit the USS BOWFIN SUBMARINE MUSEUM and PARK, which is a tribute to its service distinction and to submariners. 
The PACIFIC AVIATION MUSEUM on Ford Island has a fabulous display of historic aircraft in a world-class museum in an old hangar.
ALOHA STADIUM  Home of  University of Hawaii's Rainbow Warriors, the annual NFL Pro Bowl, and Oahu's largest swap meet (6a.m. - 3p.m. Wed., Sat., Sun.). 
BISHOP MUSEUM The premier exhibitor and guardian over the natural and cultural history
of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.  Artifacts of Hawaiian culture include royal clothing & weapons.  You can also visit a Planetarium. 
HONOLULU HARBOR Cruise ship terminal for all passenger lines at piers 10 & 11 by Aloha Tower.  Catamaran & dinner cruises at pier 8.
PUNCHBOWL CRATER  The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is the resting place for over 38,000 casualties from WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  A shrine commemorates the missing-in-action.  The rim of this crater provides an incredible view of the city of Honolulu.  This is the final resting place of Barack Obama's beloved grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII  The Manoa Campus is the flagship of the UH System.  It is the  home of the Rainbow Warriors and the East-West Center, and is famous for marine biology.
DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT "Leahi" in Hawaiian is Hawaii's most famous landmark.  It is a 100,000 year-old volcanic tuff cone.  A steep trail up the inside of the crater leads to a spectacular view of Waikiki and outer islands from its summit.
LYON ARBORETUM At the end of Manoa Road above Waikiki, on 194 acres is a world-famous collection of over 5,000 species of tropical plants.  This academic resource conducts regular classes.
Captions from Side Two of Franko’s Guide Map to Obama’s Oahu:
Walking Tour - This route guides you through Obama's Makiki neighborhood, past his birth place, school, apartments, playgrounds and the area where he was raised.  The walk takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.
OBAMA'S BIRTH PLACE  The Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children is the site of Barack Obama's birth on August 4, 1961.  In the August 13, 1961 edition of Honolulu's THE SUNDAY ADVERTISER,  a birth announcement appeared as follows:  "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, Aug. 4."  Located in the Makiki district, his birth place was originally established by Queen Kapiolani as the Kapiolani Maternity Home in 1890.  Today it is part of Hawaii Pacific Health's network of hospitals.  It boasts the state's only 24-hour pediatric emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit, and adolescent care unit.
HIKE TO MANOA FALLS  As a teenager, "Barry", as he was called by his grandparents and friends, would Manoa Falls, which cascades down a near vertical cliff 150 feet into a small pool. Many visitors make this easy 1.5 miles (2.4 km) trek to the falls. However, drinking the water is not advisable since the area has wild pigs.  Swim at your own risk.  Beware of flash floods.
OBAMA'S PLAYGROUNDS  From the mid-1970's on, Barack Obama has played many a pick-up basketball game.  It all started at Washington Middle School at 1633 S. King Street.  His basketball continued at the Paki Playground on the edge of Waikiki across the street from Kapiolani Park, and then on his high school team. 
WAIKIKI BEACH  Obama's family lived "mauka" from the most famous beach in the world.  Grandfather Stan Dunham is known to have loved taking his grandson "Barry" over to this spectacular beach.  
RAINBOW DRIVE-IN  Located at 3308 Kanaina Avenue just off of Kapahulu Avenue, this eatery is a long time favorite of local residents including Barack Obama.  Seiju Ifuku, who learned to cook while serving in the Army with the famous 100th Battalion during World War II, founded Rainbow in 1961, the same year that Barack Obama was born.  It serves simple and delicious plate lunches, with two scoops of rice and a side of macaroni salad at a reasonable price. 
PUNCHBOWL CRATER  The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is the final resting place for Barack Obama's beloved grandparents, Stanley (1918-1992) and Madelyn (1922-2008) Dunham.  He spent most of his first six years from birth through kindergarten in their care. He lived with them again from the age of 10 through 17.  Since "Gramps" was a World War II veteran, the Dunhams are interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
PAKI PLAYGROUND  One of Obama's passions growing up was basketball.  He honed his skills in pick-up games on the outdoor courts here at the Paki Playground on the edge of Waikiki.
OBAMA AT KAPIOLANI PARK  This wonderful park is where the Obama family picnicked during their summer of 2008 visit.  The largest and most beautiful public park in Hawaii was named after Queen Kapiolani in 1876.  It is easy to presume that as a youngster "Barry" would have been taken to this park by his mother or by his grandparents for a nice day out.  The park is unchanged since then, except the trees just keep getting bigger.
WAIKIKI AND DIAMOND HEAD  One of the most beautiful and photographed spots in the world, this lovely scenery was just a few miles from to Barack Obama's homes, yet his experience of it was worlds apart from the typical visitor.  Diamond Head State Monument ("Leahi" in Hawaiian) is Hawaii's most famous landmark.  It is a 100,000 year-old volcanic tuff cone.  Inside the crater, a steep trail leads up to a spectacular view of Waikiki and the outer islands from its summit on a clear day.  The view is worth the hike.
SHAVE ICE  Just a few doors over from Baskin Robbins is another favorite treat called "Shave Ice."  Similar to a snow cone, but much better, a big block of ice is shaved into fine snow and filled with your choice of delicious tropical syrups.  Obama and his buddies slurped a few of these on warm, humid Hawaii days.
BASKIN ROBINS 31 FLAVORS  One of Obama's first jobs was serving ice cream at this popular Baskin Robins store at 1618 South King Street.  The store is just a short walk from his grandparent's apartment at the corner of Punahou and Beretania streets.  You can still go to this store and order an ice cream treat. 
OBAMA'S FIRST HOME - 1961  Excluding his four years in Indonesia between 1967 and 1971, Barack Obama's early years were spent in several residences, primarily in Honolulu's Makiki neighborhood as shown above.  However, his first boyhood home was at 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Hawaii Kai, right by Paiko Lagoon.  This location is five miles east of Makiki.  The Obama residence was apparently a small 450 square-foot cottage built behind this four-bedroom home in 1953.  Obama's 18-year-old mother, Stanley Ann Obama and his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., likely shared the cottage in 1961, the year of Barack's birth.  It appears that his maternal grandparents, Stan and Madelyn Dunham, occupied the house, as they had moved to Hawaii from Kansas in 1960 to this location.  Built in 1948, the house shown here has remained virtually unchanged since 1961.
1971 to 1979 OBAMA RETURNS TO HAWAII  In 1971, 10 year-old Barack Obama was sent from Indonesia back to Honolulu to live with his grandparents, who had since moved to Punahoe Circle at 6117 South Beretania, Apartment 1206 in Makiki.  His mother remained in Indonesia with his 1-year-old sister Maya.  In 1973 Obama's grandparents moved with their 12 year-old grandson to apartment 1008 in the same building.  Punahou Circle was "Barry" Obama's principal residence throughout most of his 5th through 12th grade schooling (1971-1979) at Punahou School.  This apartment remained the home of Obama's beloved grandmother until she passed away just before the November, 2008 presidential election, which her grandson won.  Just days before the election, Obama momentarily left the campaign trail for a touching last visit with his grandmother.
OBAMA'S DIRECTIONS  Kids from all backgrounds growing up in Obama's neighborhood pick up Hawaiian slang known as "Pigeon English".  They also have a different way of giving directions.  To them, "Mauka" means inland or toward the mountains and "Makai" means toward the sea no matter where you are on the island.  If you are from  Honolulu, or Barack's Makiki area, then "Ewa" means westward (toward Ewa), and "Koko Head" means eastward (toward Koko Head).
BARACK H. OBAMA, SR.  Barack Obama's father left Hawaii in the first year of his young son's life for good.  He returned for one short visit in 1971 when the younger Barack was just 10 years old.  The Kenyan left his young American wife and son to attend Harvard and work on his advanced education.  He was eventually to become a senior economist for the Kenyan Ministry of Finance.  Tragically, the senior Mr. Obama died in a car accident in 1982 in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
HANAUMA BAY STATE UNDERWATER PARK This beautiful crescent beach formed when the sea eroded one side of a volcanic tuff cone.  To this day, the calm shallow inner reef of Hanauma Bay is an Obama family favorite snorkeling spot.  Note, the park is closed Tuesdays to give the tropical reef creatures a rest.
DEDICATION  This Map is dedicated to Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, Obama's beloved grandparents, and his mother Stanley Ann Soetoro. Obama called Stanley Dunham "Gramps".  His nickname for Madelyn Dunham was "Toot", which is short for "Tutu Wahine", the Hawaiian term for grandmother.
SANDY BEACH PARK  Photos show "Gramps" Dunham playing with his grandson at the beach when little "Barry" was at a pre-school age.  Local kids in Hawaii grow up going to the beach.  As a teenager, Obama went with friends to Sandy Beach to bodysurf its dangerous shore-pounding waves.  Sandy Beach waves have injured many tourists and is considered a very advanced surfing spot.  However, the adept bodysurfer Obama again got into a few waves here on his August, 2008 family vacation.
OBAMA PAYS TRIBUTE TO MOM  In the summer of 2008 Obama was seen spreading a white flower lei into the ocean off of the Makapuu Beach rocks, as seen in the Makapuu Point View photo above.  He was paying tribute to his mother, whose ashes were scattered into the sea after she died of cancer at age 52 in 1995.  Just after Obama left the cliff edge, where he had been splashed and soaked by waves, a large wave swamped the spot where he had been peacefully tossing the flowers into the foam.  Onlookers gasped!  Visitors beware.
OBAMA'S GRADUATION  Obama's Punahou School has had a close relationship with the Central Union Church for generations. A traditional baccalaureate (a religious farewell sermon) is held here a week before graduation.  Obama was accompanied by his proud grandparents to his 1979 baccalaureate on the Sunday before his graduation.  Following his Punahou education, Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years.  He earned his B.A. from Columbia University in New York in 1983.  He entered Harvard Law School in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1988 and graduated magna cum laude with a law degree in 1991.  Obama was the Harvard Law Review's first black president. 
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII  In 1960 Barack Obama's mother, 18 year-old Stanley Ann Dunham, was a freshman from Kansas.  His father, 24 year-old Barack H. Obama Sr., was a student from Kenya.  The two U of H students married on February 2, 1961.
OBAMA'S MOTHER MOVES BACK TO HAWAII  In 1973 Ann Soetoro returned to the University of Hawaii to study anthropology.  She had meanwhile separated from her second husband Lolo Soetoro in Indonesia, and had Obama's 3 year-old sister Maya Soetoro with her.  Both mother and child moved into this nine-unit apartment at 1839 Poki Street, just six blocks from the Punahou Circle apartments of her parents.  Young Obama lived with his grand-parents, but he also spent plenty of time with his mother and sister.  In an International Herald Tribune story, Maya said that her first memories were of Poki Street.  "There was a big chair, and we would rock and rock together until it fell backwards."  She said she would torture her brother in all the usual ways - blocking his view of sports on TV and building impediments with toys for him to trip on.
1964 to 1967 OBAMA IN A "TRADITIONAL HOME"  In 1964, the elder Dunhams along with grandson Barack and daughter Stanley Ann shared a four-bedroom 1947 home at 2234 University Ave in Manoa Valley.  Manoa is a stable middle class  neighborhood bordering Makiki and it remains one of the preferred residential areas in Honolulu.  The Honolulu Advertiser notes that "this single-story Manoa home with its wide-open veranda and sprawling front and back lawns was within walking distance of Noelani Elementary School, which Obama attended."  Noelani was and is one of the best public grammar schools in town. 
Barack Obama's residence shifted drastically in 1967 when his mother married another University of Hawaii student named Lolo Soetoro.  The couple, along with 6 year-old Barack, moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he experienced tremendous changes in lifestyle and culture.
1962 to 1963 OBAMA'S FIRST MAKIKI NEIGHBORHOOD HOME   By 1962 Barack Obama Sr. had separated from his wife Stanley Ann and went off to Harvard University on a scholarship.  Barack Obama Sr. only visited his son once again in 1971 when Barack was 10.  By 1962, Obama's grandparents, Stan and Madelyn  Dunham, had moved into apartment #110 at 1427 Alexander Street.  According to a Honolulu Advertiser article, in 1963 Mrs. Obama's address was listed as 2277 Kamehameha Ave., which is several blocks from the University of Hawaii.   One can speculate that Obama often visited and was  babysat by his maternal grandparents in this apartment while his mother attended the university as a sophomore.   
PUNAHOU SCHOOL  Barack Obama was educated from  5th through 12th grades (1971 - 1979) at the prestigious Punahou School (pronounced "Poo na hoe")  in Honolulu.  This coeducational college prep school was established in 1841 for children of New England missionaries.  Obama has described the school as "an incubator for the island elites".  Fortunately, through scholarship, Barack was admitted to the school.  Punahou is the largest private school in the U.S. and it boasts one of the top-ranked athletic programs in the country.  His varsity basketball team took the state championship in 1979.  Obama has often said that this school profoundly affected his life by teaching him to work hard and strive for excellence.  However, Obama's family, friends and teachers seem to agree that "Barry's" happiest moments at Punahou were spent on the basketball court, mixing it up with best friends and whomever he could get into a game.  Please be aware that unauthorized visits to the Punahou School campus are forbidden.
1975 - Intermediate Football (8th grade)
1976 - Boys Chorus One (9th grade)
1977 - Concert Choir (10th grade)
1977 - Junior Varsity Basketball (10th grade)
1978 - Varsity A Basketball (11th grade)
1979 - Varsity A Basketball State Champs (12th grade)
1979 - Ka Wai Ola (Punahou School's literary journal)
"OBAMA" is etched in a concrete patch near a campus gathering spot.
MAKAPUU POINT  Obama and friends enjoyed trekking up to this point at 647' (197m) elevation to watch the sunrise and to see the magnificent view of the windward side of Oahu.  Makapuu, which means "bulging eye" in Hawaiian is approached by a paved access road and parking lot leading to a relatively easy 20-minute hike.   Makapuu Beach below is another great bodysurfing spot for the locals.  The lava flow here is only 25,000 years old and was Oahu's most recent eruption.

- Identification Cards