Saturday, December 25, 2010

Beaches: Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island

Magic Island Lagoon looking east towards Waikiki.
One of the main attractions in Hawaii is beaches.  I'll start a running list of beaches and start a separate page when I get a chance, but they're a lot of beaches to cover. Whether you spend a few afternoons or your whole time on the beach, it's up to you.  I'll just post it.  Just bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and towels.  Don't forget to check the local beach conditions, depending on the beach and time of year there could be strong rip currents or unseen beach breaks.  As long as you're aware of the local conditions, you should be alright.    

View Larger Map Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island

Ala Moana Beach Park / Magic Island - This is the same beach, just referring to different areas.  Ala Moana Beach Park is the stretch of beach in front of the Ala Moana Shopping Center.  Magic Island is the peninsula that juts out from Ala Moana Beach Park next to Ala Wai Harbor.  Both are great places to relax.  

Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park is a great place to just lay out.  With an artificial reef, this beach has low surf, gentle currents, a sandy bottom, and lifeguards making it great for kids both big and small.  The park also has large grassy areas, trees for shade, showers, a concession stand, charcoal pits, and restrooms making this an ideal spot for large parties.  

Magic Island has more parking and a decent surf/boogie board break outside the lagoon.  It's a man-made island built on reclaimed shallow reef back in 1964 and was suppose to be a hotel.  That project fell through, so we have Aina Moana (means "Land from the Sea" in Hawaiian), but nobody calls it that.

The surf spot here is a little tricky paddling out and in, you might want to watch the locals for a bit before jumping in yourself.  Just stay away from the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.  Also, this is a reef break, so look out for the rocks.   
These beaches don't get as crowded as Waikiki Beach, but expect a good number of people...and the occasional spear fisherman, who surfaces after catching a fish.

If you want to reserve a park permit for a large party or BBQ, you can call the Ala Moana Regional Park office at 808-592-2288 and leave a message with your name, number, the date and picnic area.  Depending on what you want to do, fees may apply.  

Just an FYI, they cannot return long distance phone calls, so you can fax them at 808-596-7046, or email at dprwestdistrict@honolulu.gov.  Hope this helps.

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