Bellows Air Force Station, named after WW-I American hero Lt. Franklin Barney Bellow, was an important air field during World War II. Bellows Field was made a permanent military post in July 1941, and it was one of the airfields attacked during Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Fast forward 75 years and what you find today is a 1,500 acre military reservation which serves mostly as a resort for US military personal. Sure they have training exercises a few times a year, mostly simulated amphibious landings and small unit tactics, but for the most part it’s a military recreational area. If you’re in the military you can camp on the grounds, rent cabins, enjoy activities or the beach. Several US presidents have stayed on base to enjoy a relaxing Hawaii vacation.
What a lot people don’t know, especially tourists, is that the beach and recreation areas are completely open to the public on the weekends. To get there you take Highway 72 (Kalanianaole Highway), just passed a town called Waimanalo. Each week locals (and a few lucky tourists like yourself) turn out in numbers to enjoy this beautiful beach area which curves around Waimanalo Bay. There are places to barbecue, camp out or just enjoy a long walk on this vast white sandy beach.
If you’ve never had an opportunity to go boogie boarding this is the place to get started. The protected bay makes it a perfect place for beginners. No matter what your skill level you can have fun at Bellows because the wave action is almost always on the mild side. It’s also great for building sand castles and playing in the shallow water which is perfect for swimming.
If you are going to be on Oahu and it takes you over a weekend, consider checking out the beach over at Bellows Air Force Station. The scenic ride out there is magnificent along the southeast side of the island. This experience will be memorable and one that a lot of tourists never get to enjoy.