Ala Moana Beach Park

Lonely Planet review

Opposite the Ala Moana Center shopping mall, this city park is fronted by a broad, golden-sand beach, nearly a mile long and buffered from passing traffic noise by statuesque shade trees. Swimmers should be aware that at low tide the deep channel that runs the length of the beach can be a hazard – formerly a boat channel, it drops off suddenly to overhead depths.

Ala Moana is hugely popular, yet big enough that it never feels too crowded. This is where Honolulu residents come to go running after work, play beach volleyball and enjoy weekend picnics. The park has full facilities, including lighted tennis courts, ball fields, picnic tables, drinking water, restrooms, outdoor showers and lifeguard towers.

The peninsula jutting from the southeast side of the park is Magic Island . High school outrigger-canoe teams practice here in the late afternoon when school’s in session. In summer it’s a hot surf break. Year-round, you can take an idyllic sunset walk around the peninsula’s perimeter, within an anchor’s toss of sailboats pulling in and out of neighboring Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.