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Ways to Experience Waimanalo Beach
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Reviewed 11 July 2007

Hawaii reeks of wonderful beaches and we've been to many and ejoyed them all. But, Waimanalo has one of the best as far as the most beautiful 'azure' aqua colored water to behold. Waimanalo Beach, is one of the longest white sand beaches on Oahu. The entire beach is over three miles long, but the portion of it fronting the park is approximately three-quarters of a mile long. The beach is wide, and the ocean bottom slopes gently to overhead depths across a series of shallow sandbars. Small, one-to two-foot high trade wind-generated surf breaks on the sandbars all year round. The best part we love is finding lots of shade on a very hot day, where you can sit, sleep or read a book at your leisure. The trees are awesome and of course, the place is not as crowded as other beaches.

8  Thank grammysyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 May 2007

My wife and I have enjoyed Waimanalo Beach many times over the years and while we love it and have made many friends there, we recognize that Waimanalo isn't for everyone.

Before reading on, consider opening the attached map.

Access to the beach is through one of two parks (there's one on each end of the public beach) or by parking on Laumilo Street, which is the street closest and parallel to the ocean. From Laumilo you'll walk approximately 100 feet to the beach on a public access path. If you want to park on Laumilo (read on before deciding), go to the north end (Aloiloi and Laumilo) where there is street-side space for numerous cars. Parking near one of the other beach access paths along Laumilo is not recommended, mostly because ...

Unfortunately, rental cars break-ins are fairly common at both parks and even more so on Laumilo. We seen too many sad visitors and broken windows so, do not under any circumstances leave valuables in your car. If you put your wallet, purse or other valuables in the trunk after parking, keep in mind that thieves are known to watch cars as they arrive. Same goes for removing and stashing your jewelry once parked.

Avoid swimming on days when the tradewinds are strong. The trades blow in floating Portuguese man o' war jellyfish and wow oh wow their sting hurts! Watch the evening weather on TV as they almost always include tradewinds in the forecast. Keep in mind, too, that it often rains on the windward side of the island (that's where Waimanalo is) when there are clear skies in Waikiki. (Trivia: Waikiki also gets jellyfish but they're box jellyfish that primarily come and go with lunar cycles.)

Okay, now that we have all that negative stuff out of the way, here's how you can enjoy a perfect day on Waimanalo Beach.

Consider taking a bus. Buses are clean and generally prompt and the ride from Honolulu to Waimanalo is stunning! Hint: If you're coming from Honolulu, for the best view sit on the right side of the bus going and left side coming back. And have your camera ready! Routes and more info are here: http://www.thebus.org

The bus will drop you off on the main road that runs through Waimanalo. Get off the bus at the stop nearest McDonald's (Aloiloi and Kalanianaole). If you go past McD's, you've gone past easy beach access. From McDonald's you'll have a 3 block walk down Aloiloi to the beach. Pack lightly and keep in mind there are fresh water drinking fountains and restrooms at both parks. (Did you know Waimanalo means "potable water"?)

Once in town or on the beach, be sincere, humble and friendly with the locals. A courteous "hello" or "aloha" along with a gentle smile will go a long way. We've started many friendships doing just that.

If you'd prefer to stay with your rental car and assuming you don't have a friend's house in Nalo to park at, or if you prefer a bit more polished experience, drive a few miles past Waimanalo to Kailua Beach. Parking is much more secure there and the locals are accustomed to -- and warmly welcome -- tourists.

Waimanalo is a 5 star beach. Kailua is a 4.5 (only because there are more people there than Nalo but nothing at all like the crowds at Waikiki). Kailua will be the beach of your dreams if you'd enjoy renting a kayak, snorkeling, windsurfing or people watching. You'll also find all the comforts of home in Kailua such as Starbucks, Coldstone Creamery, book stores, and juicy hamburgers.

31  Thank Windward_Wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 7 January 2007

I love Waimanelo Beach. My favorite on the Windward side of Oahu. If your feeling an itch to get out of Waikiki-you can have this beach to yourself during the week. On the weekends you will have to share with the locals and their families tossing a football or cooking out on the grills supplied by the park. Don't be afraid of the pine trees-once you get past them all you will see is miles of sandy beach, a great view of rabbit island, and the sparkling blue waves coming towards you.

10  Thank livemusic2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 10 November 2005

Thisis my favortire beach by far. The white sand and the warm clear water are so inviting! I would spend everyday there if I could. I love this place!

** A bonus for military - Bellows Air Force Station is attached to Waimanalo (seperated by some rocks) so if you are military you can rent a bungalow on the beach for fairly cheap, then the beautiful beach is right out your door. You also have access to a little convience store, camping, playground, picnic area, and bathroom with showers! **

10  Thank Kw22
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 June 2004

This is without question, the best beach on Oahu. Very few people seem to know about it, but Waimanalo Bay is the picture-perfect, island-paradise beach. On the windward side of Oahu, it is just a 15-20 minute scenic drive from Hanauma, or a 30 minute drive over the mountains from Honolulu. The sand is clean, the water is turquois, the waves are small (unlike the north shore), and there are plenty of shady trees and picnic tables. Most of the visitors seemed to be locals. There were very few tourists, which surprised me given the unbelievable beauty of this place. The beach streches for miles. There were one or two parking lots, but most people seemed to be parking by the side of the road. We also visited Kailua beach and Lanikai, but found Waimanalo to be the best. Waikiki, with it's crowds and rocks, doesn't even begin to compare. We found this place toward the end of our vacation on Oahu. It will be the first place we visit on our next trip.

23  Thank Dream25802
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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