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Waimanalo Beach

Oahu, HI
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Waimanalo Beach, Oahu Hawaii

Description

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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Photo Gallery

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You can camp at Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area, amongst the ironwood trees.
You can camp at Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area, amongst the ironwood trees.
Waimanalo Bay Recreation area.
Waimanalo Bay Recreation area.
The stunning waters, near the orange-pink house at the south end of Waimanalo Beach.
The stunning waters, near the orange-pink house at the south end of Waimanalo Beach.
Kids swimming at the southern end of Waimanalo Beach.
Kids swimming at the southern end of Waimanalo Beach.
Blissful swim at Waimanalo.
Blissful swim at Waimanalo.
What could be more beautiful than this?
What could be more beautiful than this?
Mountains across from the beach.
Mountains across from the beach.
Picnic table with a view!
Picnic table with a view!
Girl running on the dry grass by the beach.
Girl running on the dry grass by the beach.
Ironwood forest.
Ironwood forest.
Tent set up for a day at the beach.
Tent set up for a day at the beach.
Greenish water day- very pretty nonetheless.
Greenish water day- very pretty nonetheless.
A couple sits, taking in the view.
A couple sits, taking in the view.
Lifeguard shack at the beach access near the ball fields. This is not my favorite spot because of the homeless campers.
Lifeguard shack at the beach access near the ball fields. This is not my favorite spot because of the homeless campers.
View of the mountains.
View of the mountains.
On this day the water had green stuff on the surface- I skipped on a swim.
On this day the water had green stuff on the surface- I skipped on a swim.
Not the right color for a swim...
Not the right color for a swim...
 

Directions

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.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


jm
04/09/2010 20:33
all it needs now is a perfect peak that reels either way

Arnette
10/22/2009 19:42
These are the most wonderfull beaches

Josh
10/15/2009 13:11
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!

Roberto
10/06/2009 14:51
Looks like the water and sand are great!

Pam
04/08/2008 08:56
All the author says is true. One of the most beautiful and serene spots on Oahu!

Last Updated Sat, 17 Aug 2013 01:18:31 GMT