Sunset at Kewalo Basin Harbor is a very busy time. Fishing charters sort through their day’s catch, hanging them up in front of their dock; it’s almost like an unspoken competition between charters as to who’s got the biggest catch. At the same time, dinner cruises quietly make their way to sea just before the sun sinks into the horizon.

Kewalo Basin Harbor, across from Ward Center, enlightened by a spectacular sunset.

This 55-acre harbor in Honolulu has not only contributed to Oahu’s tourism but to the island’s rich history as well. Built in the 1920s, the harbor lived through many significant events – from WWII to the advent of statehood; each of which helped it to evolve into one of the many Hawaiian water portals.

Meaning “the calling” or “the resounding,” Kewalo is an artificial cove built into the former swamplands surrounding the area. Its original purpose was to alleviate the congestion in Honolulu Harbor, just west of Kewalo. Overtime, Honolulu’s business and government districts have developed around both harbors into what is now Downtown Honolulu.

One fish, two fish, big fish, blue fish.

Today, more than 50 local marina companies call this harbor their home. They include catamaran, fishing and yacht charters, as well as ocean cruises, sailing, parasailing and scuba ping. As a kid, I remember coming here to ride a glass-bottom boat outside of the harbor. Right next to the harbor is the Kewalo Basin Park.

Be sure to make Kewalo Basin Harbor a part of your next Hawaii vacation. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and reel in the next biggest catch!

KEWALO BASIN HARBOR • 1125-B1 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814 • 808-594-0849 • To schedule marina activities, visit

Sources: “A Guide to Port Hawaii”


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