Sand Island State Recreation Area


A barely visited half-mile ribbon of sand hides in plain sight from much of Honolulu. Industrial Sand Island, sitting between the airport and the port, is home to this large urban park. The beach faces the open pacific and has fine-grained sand. It's backed by vast lawns dotted with trees and public facilities such as restrooms.

From the sand there are fine views of planes taking off (wave to the morose faces overhead winging their way home) and of the high-rises of downtown and Waikiki. On the downside, the park suffers from shabby maintenance and there's a few people wandering about who clearly have no place else to go. It's also a bit of a trek to reach the beach. From the intersection where the Sand Island Access Rd heads southwest from the Nimitz Hwy (Hwy 92), it's about a 4-mile drive, as you have to drive all the way to the east end of the island before hooking back to the beach.

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