Waves crashing at La'ie Beach Park, aka Pounders Beach, on Oahu, Hawaii.

© Heather Barrett/Shutterstock

Laʻie Beach Park

Top choice in Windward Coast

A half-mile south of the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) main entrance, this is an excellent bodysurfing beach, but the shore break can be brutal, thus its nickname, Pounders Beach. Around the corner at the northern end you'll find Bathtub Beach, a perfect playground for families with small children as a stretch of beach is protected by a shelf of limestone about 50ft offshore at lower tide times, creating a 'bathtub' of shallow water in which to wallow.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Windward Coast attractions

1. Polynesian Cultural Center

0.46 MILES

A cultural park owned by the Mormon Church, the PCC revolves around Polynesian-themed ʻvillages’ representing Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Fiji,…

2. Kokololio Beach Park

0.54 MILES

A wide patch of sand, good surf and decent parking make this a great beach to pause for a picnic and a splash. There's a wide lawn, picnic tables and…

3. Laʻie Point State Wayside

1.15 MILES

Crashing surf, a lava arch and a slice of Hawaiian folk history await at Laʻie Point. The tiny offshore islands are said to be the surviving pieces of a…

4. Laʻie Temple


In 1919 Mormons constructed a smaller but still showy version of their Salt Lake City, UT, temple here at the foot of the Koʻolau Range. It was the first…

5. Hauʻula Beach Park

1.55 MILES

Right along the highway in the middle of town, this narrow, ironwood-shaded beach has a shallow, rocky bottom that isn’t too appealing for swimming but…

6. Hukilau Beach

1.58 MILES

North of Laʻie Shopping Center is a crescent of white sand that’s a leisurely place for swimming when summer waters are calm. Just beware any time the…

7. Malaekahana State Recreation Area

1.91 MILES

The long, relatively uncrowded beach with buff-colored sand is popular with families. Swimming is generally good here year-round, although there are…

8. Mokuʻauia

2.05 MILES

When the tide is low you can wade from Malaekahana State Recreation Area's southern Kalanai Point to Mokuʻauia (Goat Island), a state bird sanctuary about…