Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area is one place rarely visited by tourists, that has one of the Oahu Beaches that will leave you in awe of the fact that you had no idea it existed in Oahu. Waimanalo beach on a sunny day is jaw-dropping dead gorgeous, with turquoise blue waters and miles of some of the softest white sand your will toes will ever touch!
Prehistoric Oahu is what comes to
when entering the
Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area. Here some footage of the
surrounding area with kids playing in the surf. This was taken on a
weekend when more families come out to enjoy the beach!
Not to be confused with the
nearby Waimanalo Beach Park (which is also very beautiful), this
countryside Oahu beach along with its
northern neighbor, Bellows Beach
Park, are some of Hawaii’s undiscovered
make up over a 3 mile
stretch of pristine beach front.
Waimanalo is located on the southeastern corner of Oahu, and
commonly known as the Paniolo (rancher/cowboy) countryside.
And without knowing the beauty of its perfectly turquoise blue
shoreline, you might
pass right through the small town and never realize what you missed.
Make sure you slow down around the Polo Fields and keep your eyes peeled to the right. You’ll be looking for an opening road path to turn into with a small Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area sign.
It might feel like you have tuned into the wrong area as you enter. You will see lots of tall brush along the roadsides, and an Ironwood forest (that has been locally named “ Sherwood Forest ”) that stands before you. Stay the course, and park in either of the two parking lots available.
your beach gear and walk 100 yards through the Ironwood
trees. You know you have reached your destination when your
toes sink into the powdery sand, and you feel like you have entered
This is another one
of my family's favorite Oahu Beaches, with
its unspoiled turquoise
blue waters, miles of soft powdery sand, line
of Ironwood trees, and an incredible backdrop view of the
steep Ko’olau Mountains.
You can always count on Waimanalo Beach and Bellows Beach to produce small and playful shore breaking waves. Unless the Oahu surf report is reporting the south easterly side flat, this can be a fun area to jump into the waves, and bodysurf or boogie board back to shore.
It’s a perfect area for beginners, the keikis (kids)
and anyone looking to play around in the friendly surf.
That being said…make sure you always attend to kids in the water, and
do not go out if the surf appears to be too rough.
Countless times, as a kid, I would come out to either
Bay Recreation Area or Bellows Beach Park with my brother, in search of
when the surf wasn’t looking so great around
the island, these surf spots would keep us entertained for hours.
You have 2 options to travel to Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area.
You can either drive the scenic H-1 Hwy route south, around Makapu’u Pt and into Waimanalo, or take the Pali Hwy over to the Windward side and merge onto the Kalanianaole Hwy south towards Waimanalo.
Either way, it’s about a 45 minute drive out to
I would recommend taking the H-1 scenic route, because it’s beautiful and a nice drive.
Taking the bus is a long hall out to Waimanalo, but can be
done in about 1 to 1 Â½ hours time.
You can either take the any number of buses from Kuhio Ave, Waikiki to Ala Moana Shopping Center and transfer to the 57 bus that will take you up and over the Pali Hwy, through Kailua and onward to Waimanalo Beach. Tell the bus driver to let you out at the Polo Fields, where you will have to walk into the grounds about quarter of a mile.
You also can take the number 22 or 23 bus from Kalakaua Ave , Waikiki out to Sea Life Park , where you will need to transfer to the 57 Waimanalo bound bus.
Most of the Waimanalo Bay facilities are located under the Ironwood trees, off the beachside.
While there are not many food options in the area, there is a
great inexpensive plate
lunch place near by, called L&L
Drive-Inn, that serves barbecue and comfort
meals. They have a delicious signature barbecue chicken plate
lunch that is guaranteed to satisfy your hunger!
find this fast takeout restaurant down the road at 41-1610 Kalanianaole
Grab a Hawaiian
shave ice! Dave’s Ice-Cream, which
is also located near by, on the Kalanianaole Highway in a small
strip-mall, where, along with a nice selection of tropical ice-cream
flavors, they also serve another well known treat -Hawaiian shave ice!
Just 15 minutes down the road you can view or hike up to the Makapuu Lighthouse for some spectacular views of the Windward side and beyond! The mile hike up to the lighthouse will only take you about a half hour or so to reach the top...with lots of scenic views along the way!