If there is any beach that is a favorite of Hawaii residents, it could very well be the Ala Moana Beach Park. This popular 100 acre public beach park is on the Ewa (west) side of Waikiki. It’s also directly in front of the massive shopping center of the same name, the Ala Moana Shopping Center. This is a place where generations of residents have brought their families. Here, they’ve enjoyed picnics, had social events, basked in the sun and learned how to swim. For many others, it’s also been a convenient place to surf, jog or play tennis.
History of the Beach
Before the 1920s, this area was a forgotten wetland area. Around that time, the Hawaiian Dredging Company dredged a channel to connect the Ala Wai Boat Harbor to the Kewalo Basin Harbor. Today, this channel provides swimmers with an excellent venue for long distance swimming.
Hawaiian Dredging Company eventually filled in the wetland area by depositing waste materials and created a parkland area. In the 1950s, the company deposited sand to create a half mile stretch of white sand beach. The wide white sand beach and the sandy bottom of the former boat channel made it a favorite place among locals.
In the 1960s, hotel developers created a man-made peninsula on the east end of the park. But they never built the hotel. What remained became a beautiful extension of the park with a beautiful lagoon at the end of the peninsula. This area also provided much needed additional parking for park users.
A Popular Beach
Parking at Ala Moana Beach Park is free. But because of its popularity, parking is somewhat limited on weekends and holidays. There are shower facilities as well as a number of concessionaires that sell food. Because of its proximity to Waikiki, it offers a great alternative for those looking for a place to swim and to soak up the sun.