If you can think back to those long cruise ship voyages through the crystal clear waters of the Pacific with a couple of old trunks bearing enough garments for a few months vacation, then you’ll probably remember the old decals they put on suitcases of the Hawaiian surfer.
One of the most memorable areas in Hawaii is this beach right downtown Oahu. And you would be mistaken to think it’s not that important to see because it is here that the father of surfing and probably the inspiration for those old decals is honored. Take time to visit here. Let me tell you a little of what we found at Kahanamoku Beach, named the #2 beach of 2012 on Dr. Beach’s Top 10 List of America’s Best Beaches.
Kahanamoku Beach has been named the best before, making it to the 6th best beach in America by Dr. Beach for 2010. This is a beach that we honored in our surfing beach area because it is named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku who was an Olympic swimmer Gold Medal winner and who many call the “Father of Modern Surfing.” There is a beach named in his honor near the Ala Wai boat harbor (see the Google Map below) and the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamaran pier. There is also a very cool statue of Duke and a live video feed direct from Hawaii which you can watch.
In this video interview with the famous King of Surf, you can see how well respected Duke was here on the island, and all over the world. It’s fitting that they named the beach and area after him and this place is so beautiful beneath the palm trees which provide great shade all the way to the waters edge.
Perfect for families because it’s not only shallow, protected by an offshore reef, but there are full facilities all around the place. And the location couldn’t be easier to get to.
Transportation couldn’t be easier as The Bus stops here, trolleys, and of course if you rent a car, you can park along a side road and walk on down to one of the very best beaches on Oahu.
Dr. Beach goes to great lengths requiring cleanliness and clear water – not only a nice, sandy beach. Kahanamoku Beach has both, plus the palm trees that shade the grassy area just behind the beach is perfect for setting up a picnic. The beach is at Uluniu Avenue and Kalakaua Avenue. The beach is wide here, but if you go in the water remember to wear reef walkers.
Tourists abound, but hey, we’re in Waikiki! You may have to wait your turn to have your photo with the Duke. We saw a lot of Japanese tourist who are simply charming with their cameras ready around their necks for any and all opportunities to capture a memory.
The bottom is rocky in most places. You can swim, canoe and sail here and further out past the reef, you can surf. It can get busy here because this is the same area that a lot of the local sunset cruises and the famous Atlantis submarine departs from.
If you’re here on a Friday you’re in for a treat. The City of Honolulu puts on a fireworks show called the “Kings Jubilee” along with a torch lighting ceremony free right on the beach. If you can’t make it, you can watch it on the live web cam.