Monday, September 6, 2010

Ala Moana Beach Park - East Oahu

Oahu's version of central park has an ocean view! Located south of bustling Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park is conveniently close to the popular Ala Moana and Ward shopping centers. On the east side of the park you will find a 2 mile stretch of golden sand complete with swaying palms. The waves are broken up by a reef and man-made breakers on the north end of the beach, making the water very calm and perfect for little ones. On our weekend visit, the south end of the beach seemed popular with local surfers, whose waves were far enough off shore to not interfere with swimmers. The north end of the beach is very wide and has the calmest water, along with sweeping views of Diamond Head.

Between the beach and busy Ala Moana Blvd is a 500 foot wide stretch of grass with plenty of shady trees. On our trip this area was largely empty, save for a few families picnicking. On the west side of the grassy area you will find a paved path that appears to be popular with local joggers and bikers. A nice benefit of this space is that it provides separation from the high rise buildings and the beach, unlike Waikiki where many hotels line the sand.

Parking is plentiful, though on weekends a late arrival will lead you to stalking departing surfers - if you feel like a lower stress parking experience, both Ward and Ala Moana shopping centers have free covered parking an easy 1 block walk away.

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