Your Complete Guide to the Beaches of Waikiki
Waikiki’s two-mile stretch of white sand extends along O‘ahu’s southern shore from Duke Kahanamoku Beach in the west to Outrigger Canoe Club Beach in the east. Attracting over 4 million visitors annually, Waikiki’s beaches are divided into eight different sections, each offering their own distinct character. Some beaches are ideal for surfing and watersports, while others are perfect for hours of uninterrupted serenity on the shore. Get to know the most popular destination on the Hawaiian islands with our complete guide to the beaches of Waikiki.
Due to COVID-19, beach and water activity may be suspended at any time. We recommend checking City and County of Honolulu or State of Hawai‘i mandates, facility websites for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures and be sure to lather up with reef-friendly sunscreen before heading out on the water.
1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach
Lying on the western edge of our beach neighborhood near the Ala Wai Canal and Harbor, Duke Kahanamoku is the widest beach in Waikiki. The stretch of shore was named after the legendary native competitive swimmer who popularized surfing. The public lagoon and beach is protected by a seawall and protective outer reef, creating a calm and shallow swimming area that is ideal for kids.
2. Fort DeRussy Beach Park
This less crowded shoreline was once a thriving military base. The greenspace behind the beach now operates as a grassy park that is perfect for a picnic under the palms. At 71 acres, Fort DeRussy Beach Park is the largest beach in Waikiki and offers a variety of watersport rental options, beach volleyball nets, and surfboard racks.
3. Gray’s Beach
Named after the historic Gray’s-by-the-Sea Lodge that once stood on its shore, Gray’s Beach is one of the oldest beaches in Waikiki. The sandy point has eroded considerably throughout the years, but remains a quiet place to swim, surf, stand-up paddleboard, and people-watch.
4. Waikiki Beach Center
Also called Royal Hawaiian Beach or Royal Moana Beach, Waikiki Beach Center is an adventure lover’s playground. Catamarans and outrigger boats depart from the shore, while surf shacks are frequently busy renting gear to beachgoers. Embark on an excursion from the beach or just lay back and enjoy the energetic pulse of Waikiki.
5. Prince Kuhio Beach
The busy beach is home to one of the most photographed spots in town - the Duke Kahanamoku statue. The 9-foot bronze effigy’s outstretched arms are often adorned with flower lei. Known for its back-to-back concrete walls stretching 40 yards into the ocean, Kuhio Beach’s enclosed swimming area creates a calm swimming pool with a sandy sea floor. Please refrain from climbing on the low sea walls to prevent injury, they are covered with algae and are quite slippery!
Kuhio Beach couldn’t be located any closer to Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel - it’s our front yard, so to say. Guests can enjoy a day at the beach and exquisite sunsets every evening all just steps away from their rooms. Packing for a day at Kuhio Beach? Visit our beach day checklist for helpful suggestions.
6. Kapiolani Park Beach
Also known as Queen Kapiolani Beach or simply Queen’s Beach, Kapiolani Park Beach is adjacent to the Honolulu Zoo. The beach is home to the popular ‘Sunset on the Beach’ series, where free feature films are shown outdoors on a 30-foot screen. The popular Waikiki Wall separates Kuhio and Kapiolani Park Beach, acting as a walking pier where visitors can view the sunset and weekend fireworks.
7. San Souci Beach
Located across from Kapiolani Park, San Souci Beach is a favorite amongst locals. The name dates back to 1884, when landowner Allen Herbert named his new beach lodge ‘Sans Souci’, French for “without a care”. The family-friendly beach is great for relaxing and is one of the best places to snorkel in Waikiki. A flat bar reef approximately 50 yards offshore is teeming with marine life.
8. Outrigger Canoe Club Beach
Outrigger Canoe Club Beach may appear private, but we assure you, it is free and open to the public! The tiny pocket of sandy beach just south of San Souci Beach is a quiet place to lay out and look out at the sprawling Waikiki skyline to the north. When the sun is positioned just right, the buildings along the beach provide plenty of shade.
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is located just steps away from Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. In addition to a host of amenities, we offer free use of a GoPro Camera to take on your water adventure, subject to availability. Read more about the amazing amenities at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and start booking your travel plans with us in Waikiki.
Stay longer and enjoy extended discounts with our Escape to Hawai‘i offer and save up to 30% off our standard rates. Read more about the exclusive offers only available on our website and start booking your travel plans with us in Waikiki.
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