Waimanalo Bay Beach Park
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is a family-style county beach park in the center of Waimanalo Bay, also nicknamed "Sherwood's" by locals. With sand like soft white powdered sugar, shady ironwood forest backing the beach, and regular cooling on-shore breezes this park is a Windward side favorite, yet only 35-minute drive from Honolulu, and well worth the trip. Visitors to Sandy Beach or Makapu'u Beach Parks are often directed to this beach when swimming conditions are too hazardous elsewhere.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: Located centrally on a 5-mile white sand beach of Waimanalo Bay, the longest on the Windward side. The park is family friendly and easy to find. Great scenic views across Waimanalo Bay with distant islands and far off cliffs of Makapu'u Point visible to the east.
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, long beach walks, beach volleyball, picnics, fishing, body surfing and boarding.
LIFEGUARD: YES, 9am to 5:30 pm, Located off of the right-hand-side parking area.
WARNINGS!: Occasional box jellyfish inundation during strong winds, shore break possible, and rip currents occur during eastern (trade wind-driven) swells / wave episodes.
AMENITIES: Generous parking area, 3 separate restrooms each with a shower, and picnic tables.
HOURS: Gates open at 7 am and 7:45 pm gates close.
A panoramic 180 view from the beach reveals miles of sandy beach and ocean in either direction. The distant Makapu'u cliffs and lighthouse to the right, Wailea Point to the left, off-shore islets and a mountain range behind you create a spectacular circular vista that feels like a giant half-sunk crater full of lush greenery, white sand and blue waters meeting the sky. The water here has a particularly bright light-turquoise color partially due to the tiny white sand particles suspended in the water.
The nickname "Sherwood's" fits this beach well, as the visitors have to go through a large Ironwood pine forest stretching between the parking lots and the beach. Ironwoods are native to Australia, with evergreen needles as long as two feet sometimes, though hey still can be recognized as pine trees. Walking through a pine forest onto this stretch of immaculate white sand provides a great contrast, and the added shade helps gauge your sun exposure.
Waimanalo Beach Park is definitely not your average tourist beach, though visitors are welcome. Waiamanalo is a predominantly local Hawaiian town and this park comes alive with families and barbeques on the weekends. Beach volleyball, pop-up party tents, and beach games are a weekend staple here. There is also a campground portion of the park to the left of the parking lot that hosts large family reunions and special events. The parking area on the right is for a day use, and the beach in front of it is much less crowded.
*Note: there are 2 beach parks in Waimanalo; this park is better maintained and has better swimming options. The other one further east is often frequented by homeless people and has a mixed reputation.
*The parking lots are 100 yards from the beach, so visitors may want to take valuables out of the vehicles, or hide them out of site to prevent break-ins.
Ocean safety link:
Closest town: Waimanalo
From the North: Drive Kalanianaole Highway south into Waiamanalo town. After you have passed the first portion of town with shopping, and the public school, the road will have forest on the left side and you will pass the entrance to "Bellow's Air Force Station". The next left passed Bellow's is the park entrance. Once turned into the park the road will split to two different parking areas.
From South: Drive Kalanianaole Highway/ HI route 73 into Waiamanalo, look for "McDonald's"; beach park entrance is second right. Once turned into the park the road will split to two different parking areas.
41-043 Aloiloi St
On bus routes: