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Waimanalo Beach is often named Oahu's best-kept secret. A thin flat stretch of white sand that goes on for miles, it looks like one of those perfect tropical beaches you see on posters. Walking the beach is lovely. Near the beach it is mostly undeveloped, so one gets a feel that one is away from it all.
Situated on the windward side of the island, Waimanalo Beach can sometimes be overblown with wind, which often also causes there to be portuguese man of war in the water. These are what they call "blue bottles" in Australia: tiny floating jellyfish-like creatures that are blue in color. They are more common in the summer. Look out for them on the shore or floating on the water. I usually choose not to swim if I see any, because the sting is quite painful. If it weren't for them and the wind, Waimanalo would be too perfect I guess!
Hawaiian homelands are across the highway from Waimanalo Beach, where native Hawaiians with at least 1/8th Hawaiian blood get to live in a house for only $1 a year!
A long walk down Waimanalo Beach can be an uplifting way to spend an afternoon. You can rest under the generous supply of wispy shady ironwood trees.
Bodyboarding is best at the Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area, the sixth access point listed below. Here you can enjoy some really fun rides! This is a great place to learn to bodyboard because there is no reef to scratch your knees like in Waikiki. On bigger days, rides have a small drop in them, where all of a sudden your board just falls a little rather than stays on the wave- Yeehaa! Even better, sometimes two waves form, one going towards the shore and one going the wrong way, and when they collide they will puff you up into the air! Don't worry, it's just a little puff- nothing too scary.
There are several access points to Waimanalo Beach and each section of beach has its own character.
Water quality at Waimanalo Beach is not always the best. Often it doesn't meet state standards, though it usually makes EPA standards. There is green-colored runoff that I suspect is from the sewage treatment plant on Hihimanu Street or perhaps the septic tanks at the residences on Laumilo St. Yuuuuucky! Don't swim when there's green stuff floating near the surface. There are also some slightly dubious conditions where homeless people are sleeping at the campground on the beach. If you want a cleaner swim, go to Lanikai Beach or Makapuu Beach.
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The address is 41-741 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo Hi 96795.
If driving northwest from Makapuu Beach:
The first access point is a parking lot just after a pinkish orange house. Waters here are calm, clear, and shallow. There are restrooms and showers.
The second and third access points are parking lots that you pull into from the highway. These are both located at the ball fields, before you get to the 7-11 store. Restrooms and showers, though at the second access point the restrooms are surrounded by homeless campers.
The fourth access point is if you turn right onto any street after the 7-11 store. Turn onto Laumilo Street and park next to one of the beach access walkways. No restrooms or showers.
At the far northern end of Laumilo Street, where it meets Aloiloi St, is the fifth access point. This area is called Sherwood Forest, a forest of wispy ironwoods trees.
The sixth access area is at Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area. There is a brown sign that says "Waimanalo Bay" at the entrance to the park. Continue down the road. The potholes will let you know you're on an adventure! You can go right or left at the fork. Both areas have restrooms, showers, and a large parking lot. Here the bodyboarding is great. Don't leave valuables in your car. I've seen car windshields smashed in here. The forests of ironwood trees are magic here.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|all it needs now is a perfect peak that reels either way|
|These are the most wonderfull beaches|
|Even though I no longer live in Waimanalo I still love it even more than I did when my parents moved there 12 yrs ago. Something about Waimanalo is so mysterious- the shrouded mountains, the beach forests. The whiteness of the sand and peaceful quality of Waimanalo. I will never forget it!|
|Looks like the water and sand are great!|
|All the author says is true. One of the most beautiful and serene spots on Oahu!|