Publics is the stretch of beach nestled between the north side of Waikiki Aquarium and the south end of Queens Beach. The surf break and the beach are named after the public restrooms that they front. To the left and right of the restroom facility are manicured lawns lined with coconut trees that dance with the breeze.  The lawns are often used for barbecues/picnics and other fun, physical activities like yoga and group workouts.  A breakwater, about 100 yards (300 ft.) from the shore to the water offers a closer look at the surfers along the surf break and a nice perspective of Waikiki and the mountains.  Often less busy than Canoes and Queens, Publics offers a more mellow vibe.

HIGHLIGHTS: big grassy lawns great for lounging, picnics, or work outs
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, surfing, sunbathing, people watching, dining, live music, walking, biking
WARNINGS: About 8 days after a full moon, this beach, along with a few other south facing beaches, experience an influx of jellyfish.  Look and heed signs posted along the beaches and near the lifeguard towers.  When in doubt, always ask a friendly local or the lifeguards.
AMENITIES: Bathroom facilities nearby, benches (both covered and uncovered), showers, paved bike and walking paths, caf

Publics and the few beaches south of it are a part of Waikiki that more locals tend to choose to spend their beach time on partly because these beaches have less of the hustle and bustle that come with the hotels and shops. Publics is not a large beach, but the comfortable, cool, and grassy section along it more than makes up for this shortcoming.   

In the late afternoon, after work, you'll find individuals and groups a like practicing yoga, slack line, cross-fit, hula hoop dancing, and other physical training you can imagine.  A clean, paved bike and walking path also runs along the coast.  Often you'll see tourists and locals take a break from their current distraction and perch themselves at the edge water to marvel at the Waikiki skyline as the sun sets, mesmerized by the golden horizon, and hoping like everyone else, to catch a glimpse of the elusive green flash.  

Very much like the surf break with the reef heads that tend to pop out of nowhere as you catch the left hand break, the beach and surrounding lawns of Publics often have surprises that you might want to know exist.  Some of these include the reality of homelessness and also individuals who have an affinity for thongs/banana hammocks.  

If you do own a regular hammock, the coconut trees along the lawn are spaced out perfectly for such luxuries!  Most late-afternoons/evenings, The Barefoot Beach Caf right in front of Publics, offer live music.  On Friday evenings, you can catch a glimpse of the fireworks from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort to start and spark up your weekend.  

  • From the airport head east, follow signs for the H1 freeway east.
  • Take H1-East to S. King Street exit (Exit 25A).
  • Slight left to S. King Street
  • Continue on to Harding Avenue
  • Right onto Kapahulu

Once at the end of Kapahulu, you may chose to park at the metered Honolulu Zoo parking or take a left onto Kalakaua Avenue and park at the Kapi'olani Park metered parking stalls or at the free stalls along the street (if you are lucky).


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