Hanauma Bay travel beaches - Oahu Traveler - tour guide in your pocket
Hanauma Bay Travel and Beaches Guide
There are countless articles on the food and culture of Hanauma Bay, and while it's true that everything here is awesome, most people come for the ocean.
Possibly the most famous beach in all of Hawaii, Waikiki Beach has been an epicenter for tourists since the 1950s. The 2-mile stretch of white sand coast is actually divided into several sections by various hotels, but each is connected to the other by a boardwalk. The peaceful waters offer good swimming and surfing year-round, and other fun activities abound, including surfing, canoe racing, stand-up paddling, volleyball and more. Attractions such as the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are mere minutes from the beach, while world-class restaurants, entertainment and shopping destinations offer respite from a day in the water.
Just minutes west from Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park is protected by a fringing reef for calm waters. Extending out from the beach is Magic Island, a man-made peninsula with large seawalls and a shallow lagoon, making it a perfect place for keiki (children) to swim. Tables are available for picnics.
A marine sanctuary, Hanauma Bay lies between two dormant volcanic craters on the southeast tip of Oahu, its clear, shallow waters hold a multitude of tropical fish and marine life, making it one of the best places to snorkel on Oahu. Gear rental is available on site.
Situated on the historic North Shore of Oahu, Sunset Beach is a beautifully long expanse of beach that has enamored both locals and tourists for decades. During the summer, the blindingly blue ocean waters are calm and crystal-clear, making it the perfect destination for swimmers, snorkelers and families. But as the winter months roll in, so do the large waves, making conditions suitable only for the most experienced of surfers. Surf fans are still welcome to watch pros ride these giants from the safety of the shoreline and take photos of this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
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A Tour of Beaches in Hanauma Bay
Hanauma is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring and located along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands. Hanauma is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island and has suffered somewhat from overuse (at one time accommodating over three million visitors per year). In 1956, dynamite was used to clear portions of the reef to make room for telephone cables linking Hawaii to the west coast of the US. Hanauma is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District (the first of several established in the State of Hawaiʻi). Reflecting changes in attitude, its name has changed over time from Hanauma Bay Beach Park to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Visitors are required by law to refrain from mistreating marine animals or from touching, walking, or otherwise having contact with coral heads, which appear much like large rocks on the ocean floor (here, mostly seaward of the shallow fringing reef off the beach). About 400 species of fish are known to inhabit the bay. Hanauma Bay is known for its abundance of Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, known as Honu. Hanauma is a nursery ground for the immature turtles, which have their nesting grounds at French Frigate Shoals. It is also known for its abundance of parrotfish.
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