Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Sand Island State Recreation Area is an urban beach park located at the end of Sand Island Access Road with amazing views of downtown Honolulu. The surroundings are highly industrial, with many of the larger shipping containers coming in and out from this area of the port. However, the state has maintained a beach and rather extensive park that wraps around the the tip of the island. With plenty of open space and very little shade, Sand Island can be oppressively hot on certain days, although there is usually an ocean breeze. The main selling point of Sand Island is its unique perspective of downtown Honolulu, which are unparalleled unless you have a boat. Rarely do people see the skyline from this angle, against the majestic backdrop of the Ko'olau mountains. Take a stroll along the beach and around the point, where visitors can watch the planes take off and land from the nearby Honolulu International Airport. A small portion of the beach (closest to the park entrance) is protected by jetties and is ideal for groups and families. Shore fishing and board surfing are also popular at Sand Island State Recreation Area. 

Sand Island used to be where incoming ships were quarantined and inspected before being allowed to enter the harbor. During World War II it was converted into an internment and prisoner-of-war camp, with some historic remnants still existing today. Camping is also available with a valid permit from the state.

Other amenities include plenty of free parking as well as picnic areas, public restrooms, showers, baseball fields, and campsites. The park is also adjacent to Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) and bike day use riding trails. 

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Quiet beach in Honolulu. Weekend camping.


Beach is a little gravely. Deteriorating facilities/grounds.


ADA accessible
Historically significant



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