Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

Jan 15, 2020

A famous district of Honolulu is Ala Moana. The district has the vast Ala Moana Center shopping complex and the local favorite Ala Moana Beach. The downtown district of Honolulu is home to the Hawaii State Capitol building and Iolani Palace. The Iolani Palace is a museum but was once the home of Hawaiian Royalty. Other famous museums are the Bernice Pauhj Bishop Museum and Hawaiian State Art Museum. Both showcase the local culture and arts.


  • 1.Overview of Ala Moana Beach Park
  • 2. Why Visit?
  • 3. Things to Do
  • 4. Visit Magic Island
  • 5. Events
  • 6. Facilities
  • 7. How to Get There?

Honolulu experience warm weather throughout the year and has two main seasons- dry and rainy. The dry season is from April to October and rainy is from November to March and is considered better for surfing and is famous for whale sightings. Book your accommodation and flight tickets in advance if planning to come to Honolulu in these months.

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

1.Overview of Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Park is located on the island of Oahu. This park is a free public park. The park has been covered with gold sand Beach. This park is Honolulu's most popular local beach and park destination. It is known for relaxation, picnics, and recreation. The lush green grass over here is a perfect spot for a picnic with family and friends. This park with a great beach offers a great place to relax. Watch people playing basketball, or you can also go swimming in the refreshing water.

At the same time, feel the warm sun touching your skin. Being a popular open ocean swimming site in Hawai, it has been protected by a shallow reef offshore. People over here usually prefer the east end of the beach, because of the sharp corals surrounding it. The 100-acre park has large grassy areas, restrooms, showers, banyan and palm trees, tennis courts, concession stands, a music pavilion, and plenty of picnic tables.

Ala Moana Beach Park is a good place to go jogging, playing games, sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and relaxing. Some of the south shore's great surf spots are located just offshore, such as Big Rights, Concessions, Bomboras, Big Lefts, and Courts. Lifeguards are stationed on the beach daily.

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

2. Why Visit?

The Ala Moana Beach Park is a local favorite beach and park because it is centrally located and very convenient to reach. The large park is rarely crowded, and wide beach is perfect for sunbathing, enjoying on the soft sand, strolling seaside, swimming, paddleboarding or surfing. The park is family-friendly with grassy areas, shaded pathways, and many restrooms. It has many picnic areas with ocean views, picnic tables, benches, and barbeque facilities. The paths and parks are wheelchair and mobility scooter accessible with large free parking.

The calm water of the sea and the natural lagoon is ideal as great surf and snorkel spots. Most locals prefer to come here for surfing, snorkeling, or swimming. The large beach park with paved pathways is ideal for jogging or running. The beach park is close to the famous Waikiki Beach, so every Friday evening, locals and visitors gather to watch the Waikiki Fireworks.

3. Things to Do

Ala Moana Beach Park has a lot of activities to offer its visitors. It is the most popular beach and park of Honolulu for the locals due to its beautiful surroundings and spectacular views. There are hoards of visitors enjoying in the park from morning to night due to its convenient location, plenty of parking, many restrooms, showers, benches, picnic tables, and snack bar with a green park with numerous shady trees.

Ala Moana Beach is almost half a mile long and with golden sand. The wide beach has plenty of space for everyone. Visitors walk along the seashore listening to the waves and enjoying the warm and soft sand. Kids and adults both can be seen making sandcastles or just playing the sand. The calm sea with corals at a few spots is a local favorite to watch the sunset. In the evening, many locals crowd the beach with families or friends to relax in the park and catch the spectacular sunset. The beautiful beach is a fantastic spot to do great sunbath and relax in the sun.

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

Photo: instagram@yuuki809

The Ala Moana Beach Park is almost 100 acres of land, including the beach. The huge park has numerous trees, plants, and grassy fields along with a natural lagoon. The park has many paved paths lined with trees providing shade on the paths. The beautiful paths and paved sidewalks with the sea view are local favorites to do morning exercises by running or biking across the park. Many people can be seen walking or jogging in the park throughout the day. The grassy areas of the park with picnic tables, barbeques, and benches are perfect for having a picnic with your family. The huge size of the park is ideal for providing privacy to any gathering despite having a large number of visitors every day. It is the local favorite for any gathering ranging from picnics, barbeques, events, etc.

There is a natural coral reef from the tip of the Magic Island to the other end of the park. The area between the reef and the beach is a natural lagoon. The lagoon without the big ocean swell breaks the surf and is the calm almost whole time. So it is the perfect spot for fun activities or relaxing in the shallow part of the ocean. It is also a fabulous spot for distance swimming or enjoys the paddleboard. The length of the lagoon is ideal for paddleboarding, surf, swim, and snorkel. The convenient parking by the beach makes it easier to carry the paddleboard to the beach. Hence it is a local favorite paddleboarding spot as getting the board to and from the water is easy.

4. Visit Magic Island

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

Photo: instagram@de_beze

Visit Magic Island is a must when visiting the Ala Moana Beach. It is part of Ala Moana Park. The Magic Island is located at the east end of the beach park, so it's like an extended arm of the beach park. Most locals call them together as Ala Moana Beach Park Magic Island. Initially, the island was a site for a spectacular resort. The 30-acres of the human-made peninsula were constructed in 1964 for a luxury resort complex. The peninsula was built atop a shallow reef. Due to some reason, the resort was not built, and instead, a public park was built on the site.

In 1972 the name of the park was changed from Magic Island to Aina Moana. The Aina Moana names mean taken from the sea. But the locals and the tourists still call and know it as Magic Island. The beautiful park is centrally located and serves as an ideal location for barbeques, picnics, parties, weddings, get-togethers, events. Etc.

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

The Magic Island Park has a sheltered lagoon and is considered one of the best spots for surfing in Honolulu. Apart from surfing, the park has many paths that are used continuously by joggers. It is also visited by a lot of locals every Friday to enjoy the Friday Night Champagne Series and later watch the Waikiki firework show. During the Lantern Floating Hawaii Event, it is extremely crowded along with the Ala Moana Beach.

5. Events

Ala Moana Beach is not only famous for its calm sea and beautiful park, but it is famous for otheir events too. Two popular events attract a lot of visitors and locals to the beach park regularly. The events are Friday Night Champagne Series and the Lantern Floating Hawaii event.

On Friday evenings, the Friday Night champagne Series takes place. It is a sailboat regatta with a lot of local sailboats participating for fun and enjoyment. The weekly yacht race also colloquially known as the Beer Can Race starts at 5:15 pm from Ala Wai Boat harbor to the Honolulu Harbour buoy or to the Diamond Head buoy and back. The top three race winners are awarded cheap champagne as prizes. As the boat return to the harbor, it is almost 7:45 pm, time for the Waikiki Fireworks. People flock around the beach to watch the 10 minutes firework show.

The annual celebration of the Lantern Floating Hawaii witnesses the presence of more than 40,000 people on the Ala Moana Beach. This Shiinyo-en Lantern Floating Hawaii Memorial Day Lantern Festival is a unique and beautiful memorial service.

Ala Moana Beach Park: Honolulu Local's Top district

Photo: instagram@lanternfloatinghawaii

This was the first Shinnyo-en lantern festival taking place outside of Japan. The inter-faith event first started in Hawaii on Memorial Day in 1999 and has grown to become one of the largest Observation Holiday of the United States. Thousands of people gather to witness the commemoration or float lanterns in remembrance of their loved ones with prayers. This amazing event is held on a massive stage extending from the Magic Island out to the water. Apart from lantern floating, there are music and dance performances in both Japanese and Hawaiian throughout the one and half hour ceremony.

6. Facilities

The Ala Moana Beach Park has all the facilities for the comfort and convenience of its visitors. The beach has many public restrooms equipped with showers and outdoor showers at various locations, making it easy for the bathers and surfers to take a shower before or after the swim. Many people come for morning surfing at the beach and then head off straight to their office or work after a shower at these restrooms.

Though the sea is comparatively calm at this beach but still to safeguard the surfers and swimmers from any untoward mishap, the beach has plenty of lifeguards. These lifeguards ensure the safety of the visitors at all times and are well trained in safety measures.

The beach park has a huge parking space. The parking lot is conveniently located just 300 meters from the beach. So, it is very easy to carry surfboards and other swimming equipment to the beach from the parking. The parking is free, so ensure to come early if visiting the beach on a public holiday or in the evening, to get a good parking space.

There are various other facilities too at the Ala Moana Beach Park for families and picnickers like picnic tables, benches, and BBQ grills. The beach and park are a popular spot for locals for family outings and picnics with friends. The grassy fields and a huge number of shady banyan trees are ideal for lazing in the sun or watching the sunset.

The beach park has a larger tennis court, which is free. People need to book a slot in advance and enjoy a game of tennis with their friends.

7. How to Get There?

The Ala Moana beach is very convenient to reach. Its central location just opposite of the Ala Moana Mall is easy to find and extremely popular. The locals go by their car or take a cab. Tourists have the option of going by car, local Oahu bus, or Waikiki Trolley. If driving from Waikiki, travel northbound from Waikiki following the Kalakaua Avenue and turn left on Ala Moana Blvd. On this continue till Ala Wai Canal and then turn left into the park once reaching Ala Moana Park Drive. One has the choice to park in the Magic Island parking or park near the stretch of beach.

Popular mode of transport to reach Ala Moana Beach Park is to take the local Oahu bus. One needs to take bus number 8 or 20 from Kuhio Avenue, traveling away from Diamond Head.One needs to get down at Ala Moana Mall and cross the street to reach the beach. The bus frequency is perfect, with a bus for the Ala Moana Beach at every 5 to 10 minutes.

The Waikiki Trolley is the bus service going around many tourist attractions of Honolulu, including the Ala Moana Beach Park. One can choose any route from the four routes the trolley takes. The routes are historical Tour, Scenic Tour, Island Tour, and Shopping Tour. The Purple Line goes to the Ala Moana Beach Park. The tickets are roughly $ 25 for adults and $9 for the kids for a day pass.

Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island are the top tourist attractions of Honolulu worth visiting for their scenic beauty, beautiful parks, calm sea, and other attractions. The beaches are a must-visit tourist attraction for any tourist. Plan your vacation well in advance to enjoy the best discounts and deals on tour packages, flight tickets, and accommodation. Customize your Honolulu trip with the lowest airfare, best discounts on hotel rooms, tour packages, and other information to ensure you don’t miss out on any offer, and your trip is memorable and enjoyed to the fullest.

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