Ala Moana Regional Park Ala Moana Regional Park

A Guide to Ala Moana Regional Park

Ala Moana Regional Park is a public beach park on the island of Oahu, one of the US states of Hawaii. It is free for the public and is located between Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu.

The Park is spread across 100 acres and has an 800 m long gold sand beach. It is a wide beach that extends over half a mile and has a white sand shoreline. It is the most popular beach park in Honolulu, visited frequently by the people who live there.

Ala Moana Regional Park
Image by Garett Mizunaka from Unsplash

1. 5 Interesting Facts About Ala Moana Regional Park

1.1. History of the Ala Moana Regional Park

1.1.1. Development of the Regional Park

The land of this regional Park waParkce swampy marshland which became reclaimed land later on. The Ala Moana regional park was full of coconut palms, bulrushes, and kiawe trees. This place was actually being used as a garbage dump by the year 1920. Annexation of this land was done by the US government.

The deed of the land was again made back to the territory of Hawaii and Honolulu city by the federal government in 1927. The criteria behind this was that this whole place would only be used as a regional park. In the year 1931, this land was named Moana park by the park board authorities.

Further development was initiated in the Park byParkling in the marsh with the dredging of coral reefs by the Hawaiian Dredging Company. The later additions to the Park arParksports pavilion, lawn bowling green, bridal path bridge, and banyan court. The company created drainage canals and two ponds, allowing the running of natural water.

Henry Sims Bent designed the bowling green, bridges, and portals. The tennis courts, murals, banyan court, and sports pavilion were established by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Civil Works Administration. Robert Lee Eskridge did them in 1937.

1.1.2. History of the Park

This Ala Moana Regional Park was also used during World War II as a military battery and a staging area. Many military personnel and weapons were saved at the Park. AParky, barracks, and temporary fortification areas were constructed.

Later, in 1947, the authorities changed its name again to ‘Ala Moana’ from ‘Moana Park,’ which means the path to the sea. In 1954, a beach was created and a deep swimming area. A boat channel was made through this coral reef which fronts this swimming area in 1920. This water channel joins the Ala Wai Harbor and Kewalo Basin. Bathrooms and concession stands were added from 1957 to 1961.

Henry Kaiser suggested a magic island with theaters, hotels, and swimming pools. Construction for this proposal started in 1962, and a peninsula needed to be constructed for the first phase, which required two more islands for the resort hotel complex. This development project stopped due to public demand. The peninsula constructed until now has been converted into a public park. This magic island was Aina Moana.

McCoy Pavilion was added to the Park at the diamond head side of the courtyard. It is a special place used for some great events, such as the Highland Games, the annual Greek festival, and the Hawaiian Scottish festival.

In 1988, the Ala Moana Regional Park was put on the list of the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places.

1.2. Improvement plans of Ala Moana Regional Park

There were improvement plans proposed for the Magic Island and the Ala Moana Regional Park. The various ideas that were offered were:

  • parking improvisation,
  • canal and pond renovations,
  • canal bridge repairing,
  • Improving the beach area, areas of canoe halau, McCoy Pavilion, lawn bowling, pedestrian access area (near Queen Streets and Piikoi), and the entrance of the Park
  • InParkuction of a playground and dog park

The changes of making a dog park and the playground couldn’t come into play. The plan of building of a parking lot got into a controversy by the park roadways in 1975. Instead, the building of a multi-story garage was proposed.

1.3. Activities of the Ala Moana Regional Park

1.3.1. Ala Moana Surfing

It is one of the famous surfing spots which is mostly on the southern side of the Park. TPark is a paddle of 200 yards to the reef and another 200 yards of distance to the raised reef. There is a paddle of 400 yards to the lineup crossing the surfing zone.

These are known to be the cleanest and largest waves found on the southern side of Oahu. It is one of the quite favorable surfing spots for visitors. The main surf spots are the tennis court, big rights, and concessions. Bomboras break and baby Haleiwa is located near Magic Island when the summers arrive.

Surfing sessions and 2-hour lessons on learning the craft are available at the spot.

1.3.2. Strolling through the Park

It is An ideal Park for jogging and taking a fresh walk in nature. It has some amazing views of the Waikiki Beach skyline and the Kewalo Basin. People can enjoy exercising or spending quality time with their friends and family.

Many locals stroll around or spend the rest of the day in the Park after their work. There is also a grassy field peninsula seen here, which ends in a crescent moon beach called Magic Island. From here and back to the parking lot, there is a mile-long seawall along the beach, and the endpoint is the Kewalo Basin.

Walking on the park trails when the sun is setting is very beautiful, and the lighting is also very beautiful.

1.3.3. Bike Riding

There are bike bikes available for rent in the Ala Moana Regional Park. The rent of the bike is around $3.50. The people renting the bikes ride in and around the area of the beach park and may be up to the Aloha Tower market and back to the spot of Waikiki.

1.3.4. Yoga lessons on the paddle board

There are people doing simple yoga exercises on the paddle board. It is a surreal experience practicing yoga on the board with the rising sun. The paddle boards are not compulsory to get as the availability is there on the beach. The poses that are performed are lying down, sitting, and kneeling down.

1.3.5. Swimming

The activity of swimming is quite enjoyable in the natural ocean waters of the beach. The waters of the outer reef are totally calm waters to have a great swimming experience. It takes almost a while to swim to the other end of the ocean, and it is almost a stretch of a mile.

It is a great beach park for kids to enjoy swimming in the waters. There are facilities for restrooms, food stalls, and a sandy beach. The water gets deeper as you dive in, so supervision of the adults is necessary for the kids.

1.3.6. Best Sunset Spots at the Ala Moana Regional Park

The northern and western parts of the Park faParkhe Oahu beaches. The Ala Moana Beach Park is the perfect place to watch the Hawaiian sun set into the horizon. The hour of the setting sun is the bewitching hour of the Park.

A great spot for sunset is Magic Island’s right side, which is located up to the peninsula. This place highlights the color changes while strolling in the serene views of the place.

Directions to reach the Oahu beach: The Oahu beach is located near Waikiki Beach, just across the street from the Ala Moana shopping center. There is also a Waikiki trolley for transportation. It covers four different routes: a shopping tour, a historic tour, a scenic tour, and an island tour. The price of the ticket is $9 for a full-day pass for a child and $25 to $49 for an adult pass for seven days.

1.3.7. Facilities of the beach park

  • Tennis courts
  • Picnic tables and benches
  • BBQ grills
  • Food concessions
  • Jogging paths
  • Street parking
  • Palm trees and a lot of green space
  • Music stage (Pavilion style)
  • Lifeguards on surveillance
  • Free parking space

1.4. How to Reach Ala Moana Regional Park

If you are driving from Waikiki, you need to follow Kalakaua Avenue, which is northbound out of Waikiki. A left turn is taken onto Ala Moana Blvd. Driving is done till the Ala Wai canal is reached. A left turn is again done, and you reach the Ala Moana Regional Park.

The other mode of transportation that exists and is the preferred choice among the people is the Oahu Buses. They operate from Kuhio Ave, which operates in the northbound region away from the Diamond Head region. Twenty or eight Oahu buses need to be boarded. These buses are available every 5 to 10 minutes. They reach Ala Moana Park, which is reached just by crossing the street where the bus lays you off.

After reaching the regional Park itParkt takes around 300 yards for the beautiful beaches to reach. The three beautiful Oahu beaches to be visited after reaching are Hanauma Bay, Waikiki Beach, and Ko’olina Beach.

1.5. Nearby Places to be Visited

There are some great recreation places nearby to be visited:

  • Ala Moana Mall: It is a great entertainment place which should be visited when coming to the Ala moana regional park. This mall has around 400 restaurants and shops with some high brands like Fendi and Louis Vuitton to some great flip flop shops. A new area of the mall is built with more than 65 shops and restaurants in the new Ewa wing of the place. There are some unique shops located in the open-air 4-level structure related to Hawaii. This has a Mai Tai Bar at the top a signature of Hawaii.
  • Kaka’ako Shopping Area: This area has some great places to eat and boutique shops to experience. Ward Center is the area to visit in this shopping arena. To reach the Park, you must reach the north end of the Park, park and head to Kamakee St. Then, take the first left on your way to Auahi St., and you will reach the place.
  • Drive-in space of L&L Barbeque: The place offers some great comfort foods, such as the Hawaiian barbeque. The popular food choices on the menu taken by the guests are Kalbi ribs, Loco Moco, BBQ chicken, and Teriyaki beef. This L&L barbeque station is present on two of the food concession stands in the Ala Moana Beach Park.

1.6. Nearby Attractions in the City of Honolulu

There are some great places to visit nearby Honolulu, like the Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Iolani Palace, Hawai’i State Art Museum, Chinatown markets, Foster Botanical Garden, Lyon Arboretum, National Memorial Cemetery of the Public, Spalding House, Washington House, Hawaii State Capitol, and many more.

Some theaters for entertainment in the city are Doris Duke Theater, Hawaii Theater Center, Dragon Upstairs, Movie Museum, Kumu Kahua Theater, Republik, Ala Moana Center Stage, Manoa Valley Theater, and more.

Nearby restaurants include Senia, Mud Hen Water, Alan Wong’s, Ethel’s Grill, Pig & the Lady, Kahai Street Kitchen, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Artizen by MW, Sweet Home Cafe, Cafe Julia, Cafe Kaila, Maguro Brothers, and more.

Ala Moana Magic Island
Image from Best of

Ala Moana Regional Park is a great place to enjoy a multitude of things at once. It has beautiful views and shades of banyan, palm, and coconut trees, and large green areas perfect for picnics. It is great for nature enthusiasts and sports lovers. There are tennis courts and space for ball games. Facilities for barbecues and restrooms are provided.

It is a loved place for the local residents, with food stalls and music playing at the pavilion. The Magic Island is also part of the Park, which showcases some famous annual events of the city. The time of the place is 10 PM to 4 AM.

It’s a great place to swim and roam around on the beach. It’s like resting and relaxing in the midst of nature.   

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Rajeshwari_Das