Kuhio Beach Park.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Kuhio Beach Park


If you’re the kind of person who wants it all, this beach offers everything from protected swimming to outrigger canoe rides, and even a free sunset hula and Hawaiian music show. You’ll find restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and beach gear rental stands at Waikiki Beach Center, near the police substation. Also here is the Kuhio Beach Surfboard Lockers, an iconic storage area for local surfers. World-famous Canoes surf break is right offshore – you can spend hours watching surfers of all types riding the curls.

The beach, which does get very crowded, is marked on its opposite end by Kapahulu Groin, a walled storm drain with a walkway on top that juts out into the ocean. A low stone breakwater called the Wall runs out from Kapahulu Groin, parallel to the beach. It was built to control sand erosion and, in the process, two nearly enclosed swimming pools were formed.

The pool closest to Kapahulu Groin is best for swimming. However, because circulation is limited, the water gets murky. Kapahulu Groin is one of Waikiki’s hottest bodyboarding spots. If the surf’s right, you can find a few dozen bodyboarders riding the waves. These experienced local kids ride straight for the groin’s cement wall and then veer away at the last moment, thrilling the tourists watching them from the little pier above.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Waikiki attractions

1. Huge Banyan Tree

0.02 MILES

Generations of surfers and sunbathers have enjoyed shade under this century-old banyan tree. It's the perfect pictorial backdrop for photos and it serves…

2. Duke Kahanamoku Statue

0.05 MILES

On the waterfront on Kalakaua Ave, this imposing statue of Duke Kahanamoku is always draped in colorful lei. The Duke was a true Hawaiian hero, winning…

4. Kuhio Beach Surfboard Lockers

0.11 MILES

Where most cities have bike racks and others have big parking garages, Waikiki has a public facility that embodies the very spirit of the beach: a huge…

5. Prince Kuhio Statue

0.12 MILES

This statue of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaʻole fronts Kuhio Beach. It celebrates the man who was prince of the reigning House of Kalakaua when the…

6. Moana Surfrider Hotel

0.19 MILES

Christened the Moana Hotel when it opened in 1901, this beaux-arts plantation-style inn was once the haunt of Hollywood movie stars, aristocrats and…

7. Princess Kaiulani Statue


Princess Kaiulani was heir to the throne when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893. This statue of the princess feeding her beloved peacocks sits…

8. Kahaloa & Ulukou Beaches

0.23 MILES

The narrow beach between the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider hotels is Waikiki’s busiest section of sand and surf, making it great for people-watching…