Kuhio Beach Park

Beach in Waikiki

Image by Ann Cecil Getty Images

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 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.