Ala Moana Beach Park is located equidistant between Honolulu and Waikiki and consists of a large park and two beaches, Ala Moana Beach and Magic Island. Located on the Waikiki side of the park is the channel which enters the main harbor in Waikiki called the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. The park and its two beaches are actually located on a peninsula of land that for the most part was man-made. This turned out to be a great addition to the growing local and visitor populations just beginning to burgeon in the 1950's because of the ease of access to the park and its adjacent beaches from the metropolitan areas.
Ala Moana Beach is the larger of the two beaches and spans a distance of one-half a mile all toll. The beach is largely protected from the open ocean by an outside reef and on most days is calm and quite suitable for swimming, stand-up paddling or simply an ocean dip. Further out toward the reef areas there are spots that are good for surfing and boogie boarding but these should only be enjoyed by those accomplished in these sports. The sand entry at the beach makes this an easy place to get into the water and the calm waters often attract long-distance swimmers, many of which can be seen out for their morning swim on a daily basis. Ala Moana Beach is quite wide and offers a lot of area to lay-out upon and although it is not generally as crowded as the beaches in Waikiki proper, it does have its moments. The park located behind the beach is well used and enjoyed on a daily basis by locals and visitors alike. There is plenty of grass area for throwing a football or Frisbee and it is popular among local families on the weekends. Ala Moana Park is also the site of many festivals and public events during the year and has plenty of facilities for all to enjoy.
Magic Island (featured in the first photograph) is located at the end of the peninsula and has great views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. This is also a great place to watch the surfers at the multiple surf spots that surround the perimeters of the peninsula. The swimming area here is totally calm as the half-moon shaped beach is protected from the open ocean by a fortress of rocks and boulders. Breaks in the seawall allow water to come in and refresh the swimming area continuously and this is an excellent area for weak or beginner swimmers, children, or those just looking forward to a refreshing dip. Life Guards are on duty at both Ala Moana Beach and Magic Island Beach.
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this location. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.
One of the few beaches that has the look and feel of old Oahu is Kahana Beach on Oahu's windward coastline. The fact that this beach is located in a section of the island that is normally simply a gateway for island visitors to pass by on their way to visit what are presumably more spectacular attractions is the saving grace of Kahana Beach Park.
Shark's Cove on the North Shore of Oahu is not really a beach, but rather a snorkel and diving spot; and what a snorkel spot it is! This small cove is ringed in rocks and coral providing very little in the way of sand to lay out on, but if you are looking for a great place to snorkel, Shark's Cove is, at many times of the year, an excellent option.
A listing of all Oahu Beaches can be found on these pages. Check for the Oahu Beach that will be perfect for you!
It's a good thing you're going to the beach on Oahu! Not only does Oahu have some of the most beautiful beaches in the state, have some of the best snorkeling to be seen in the state, have some of the best surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddling locations in the state and some of the largest waves for you to watch in the state, but Oahu beaches have more lifeguard locations and more lifeguards all toll than any other island in the State of Hawaii.
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