If you’re staying in Waikiki and don’t want to travel too far away, a nice alternative is a visit to Ala Moana Beach Park. Within walking distance or short drive from most of the hotels, this is a great place to enjoy the beach and also mingle with locals.

The park itself is kind of like the “Central Park” of Hawaii. This is were a lot of locals gather and also the site of many family activities and gatherings throughout the year. It’s adjacent to the very popular Magic Island and the entire area encompasses over 76 acres. On just about any given weekend you’ll find something happening, from fireworks displays to outdoor concerts and events.

While the beach there is relatively safe for swimming, caution should be taken in certain areas. There can be swift tidal changes and undercurrents so make sure that you adhere to any signage posted by the lifeguards which are on duty. Most days the water is calm and it’s protected by an outer reef. The beach was actually man-made by accident when a dredging company back in the 1950s dumped the sand here.

You can make a real great day of it by going to Ala Moana Beach Park and then heading over to the famous Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping center in Hawaii where you’ll find everything you can imagine from a shopping perspective. All of the major stores are there as well as restaurants and a food court.

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