Top 10: Beaches 4 Miles Within Chaminade


Kim Barroga

Late afternoon walk at Waialae Beach Park.

As the weeks begin to progress, break time at the beach is greatly needed. Surprisingly, Chaminade University’s location is close to many, beaches are within a 4-mile proximity. Whatever the time of day it may be, the closest beaches from Chaminade is a must know for a perfect getaway.

Dan Mangum
Beach walk to the right of Kaimana Beach

1. Kaimana Beach (2.1 miles)

Kaimana Beach Park is a nice but small beach across Kalakaua Avenue. It is located between the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial and The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. Commonly known as San Souci Beach, features calm waters that are semi-protected by a wall of the Natatorium. This gem that is far enough outside of Waikiki, provides a prime location for surfers, stand up paddle boarders, and outrigger canoeists. Public bathrooms are located in the Natatorium, adjacent to the beach.

2. Hunakai Beach (2.3 miles)

Hunakai Beach, a beautiful gem, isolated at the end of Hunakai Street. The beach stretches between Kahala Hotel through Diamond Head lighthouse. Public access ways to the beach can be located by a right of way beach sign at the end of the street. Private parking is not available, but street parking is plentiful in the Kahala neighborhood. Considering the location nestles behind the residential neighborhood. Overcrowding is not an issue to worry about.

3. Kahala Beach (2.4 miles)

Kahala Beach stretches on the far side of Diamond Head, from Black Point to Waialae Beach. If driving from Waikiki, head toward Kalakaua Avenue, that turns into Diamond Head Road then into Kahala Avenue. Between the intersection of Kahala and Elapio streets where the curb is not painted red, parking is allowed. Snorkeling here is much different than places like Hanauma Bay. When snorkeling here, small marine critters hover over the flat shallow reefs. The water is generally shallow but the Kahala Beach is the perfect place to unwind the start of a new semester.

4. Waialae Beach Park (2.4 miles)

A secluded beach offers a quick escape from Honolulu just past Diamond Head next to Kahala Hotel near Waialae Country Club. Calm, protected waters make this a very good calm swimming spot. A short walk to the left of the beach, toward the Kahala Hotel, is a tiny offshore island. Among most resort beaches, Waialae Beach Park has a relaxed atmosphere feel. At the beach park, over the bridge to the right, the shoreline is rocky, the sand is coarse, but that does not stop a picnic on the grass. Facilities, from public restrooms to picnic tables, and benches are located near the bridge.

5. Diamond Head Beach Park (3.2 miles)

The foothill of Diamond Head is the spot to venture and check out a unique south side view, where endless surf swells tend to break outside the reef. The views are stunning both up top near the Diamond Head turnouts and down below along the intermittent pockets of sand.

Swimming conditions are poor due to the narrow beach extended by a rocky shelf, but surfers find this area to be uncrowded compared to Waikiki beaches. During high tide, snorkeling is ideal.

6. Makalei Beach (2.8 miles)

This salty getaway offers a small strip of beach off Diamond Head Road. It is a quarter mile walk from Kapiolani Park, with limited parking in the area. The beach is rather small but a hidden gem with a walkway (and railings) along the ocean that connects to Leahi Beach Park. Several grassy sections with picnic benches are scattered around shady areas in the park.

7. Queen’s Beach (1.8 miles)

On the north end of Kalakaua Avenue that meets Kapahulu Avenue is a “swimming-pool” calm type of beach that is less crowded than the beaches in front of many Waikiki resorts. Kapiolani park is nearby where metered parking is plentiful along and around the park. A beach walk runs along the upper lengths of the beach. The view from the beach overlooks the Waikiki beachfront hotels.

8. Ala Moana Regional/Beach Park (2.4 miles)

This wide beach with endless sand and shallow, protected waters is a quick alternative from the busy shores of Waikiki. It’s located at Ala Moana Center with free ample parking. Behind the beach is a gigantic lawn among moving shadows of palm trees that makes a perfect spot for a nap. Bathroom facilities are scattered among the area of which are a five-minute walk from each other. Walk ways along the park also make very well jogging paths in the early morning/early evening.

Tip: Thanks to the Hilton Hotel, fireworks can be viewed from the beach every Friday at 7:45 p.m.

9. Magic Island (2.4 miles)

To the right of Ala Moana Beach Park lies a peninsula where fairly large waves are diffused, much like Ala Moana. This area is backed by a city skyline. Water turbidity makes this beach unsuited for snorkeling but this area is a prime spot for stand up paddlers.

10. Kaawlawai Beach (3.2 miles)

Ka’alawai Beach features a quieter experience than Waikiki. Toward the eastern end of the beach, it offers a prime swimming spot that is fairly protected. Although no facilities are available, there are shady areas along the perimeter of the beach. This beach also allows for snorkeling.