Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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Over the last few years, people around the U.S. and other parts of the world have been catching on to Waimanalo Beach and its 3-mile stretch of soft white sand. In prior years most tourists and nearby residents passed the village of Waimanalo and rarely stopped to enjoy the wide, calm, watered beaches that the area has to offer. Located between the more popular Kailua and more populated Hawaii Kai, the village abuts what might be one of the finest stretches of mountains in Hawaii. The Ko'olau Mountains are a 2,000-foot-tall stone curtain covered in jungle foliage that sit behind the beach and catch the incoming clouds. The beach is wide and lined with imported ironwood trees that give the area its distinctive look and feel. You have a sandy bottom deep into the water, so there is no need to worry about reef or rocks. You can see Rabbit Island in the distance while looking down toward Sea Life Park just a short ways from here.

While you do not get any surf at this section of the coastline, there is a constant yet small shore break that is fun for bodysurfing, and it is not dangerous like nearby Sandy's or Makapu'u Beach. Portuguese man o' war do frequent the area; be careful, but keep in mind that their sting is painful but rarely harmful. This beach can handle the hordes if they spread out, but it's getting much more popular than it once was. There is good afternoon shade thanks to the ironwoods and the palm trees, a big plus on sunny days.

If the parking lot is full, the beach stretches for 2 miles down Laumilo Street, so just find some legal parking on the road. There are multiple beach access points along the way. It is not recommend to leave valuables in the car, and keep an eye on them if you go into the water. You are not allowed to walk too far north before getting to the restricted Bellows Air Force Base. A rocky area beforehand signifies you are getting close to the end of the public area.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

O'ahu's longest beach. Adjacent campground.

Cons

Can get Portuguese man o' war.

Features

Fishing
Picnic tables

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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