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Beyond Waikiki – Honolulu’s Other Fantastic Beaches

Waikiki gets the spotlight when it comes to beaches in Honolulu. This stretch of sand is the most famous and most crowded, with hordes of sun-worshippers from all over the world lounging by the lapping ocean waves. But what about the other beaches in Honolulu?

There are, in fact, plenty of other wonderful beaches that you can visit during your time in Honolulu – so don’t just stick to Waikiki! Here are some of the other options for beaches in and around Honolulu. Some of them are great for swimming and some have strong waves, but all of them are beautiful in their own way.

Ala Moana Park


Photo by Bob Cummins via Trover

Only a few minutes west of Waikiki you will find a lovely peaceful beach with calm and shallow waters, offering a perfect place for children to swim. Ala Moana Beach has hardly any waves, which also makes it ideal for stand-up paddle boarding. The park surrounding the beach also offers large grassy areas, palm trees, concession stands, restrooms, showers, tennis courts, a music pavilion and picnic tables – as well as lifeguards stationed on the beach.

Makapu’u Beach

Located just east of Honolulu is this scenic beach, which is popular with surfers and body boarders thanks to its massive waves.  The powerful shore break and rip currents make for a rough ride – so this beach is not suitable for swimmers. Instead, pack a picnic and watch the boarders as they dance nimbly on the waves.

Hanauma Bay

Declared a protected marine life conservation area in 1967, Hanauma Bay is a pristine marine ecosystem. It is a very popular area for snorkeling, as there is such a wide variety of species living here including yellow tangs, milletseed butterfly fish, angel fish, trumpet fish and many others. Visitors to this beach are limited so that the natural environment can be protected and you will need to watch a 9 minute video on safe snorkeling so that you can learn how to view the coral reef without damaging it.

Sandy Beach


Photo by Lilia via Trover.com

This gorgeous beach lies at the base of Koko Crater and it offers fantastic waves for surfers and body boarders. The strong waves at Sandy Beach are due to a quick change in the ocean bottom and the beach has the nickname “Break Neck Beach” because of the dangerous rip currents. It’s not a place to swim and the waves should only be tackled by experienced boarders, but it’s wonderful for walking along the sand, watching the talented daredevils play on the waves and admiring the beautiful scenery.

These are just a few of the other fantastic beaches that Honolulu has to offer besides Waikiki. Of course, they aren’t the only beaches out there – Honolulu has many more to discover. During your stay in Honolulu make sure that you take the opportunity to explore beyond Waikiki and see some of these other beaches.

Featured Image Photo by Isa via Trover

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