View Full Version : Honolulu, Hawaii--GREAT swimming beach

November 13th, 2007, 02:52 PM

I had the pleasure of vacationing in Hawaii for a week and a half recently, 4 nights on Hawaii (the Big Island), and 5 nights in Honolulu, Oahu. As I usually do before most of my travels, I did some online research, looking at masters programs, etc. Then I figured, I'm on vacation, and I'll be at the beach, I'll make due.

On the Big Island, I stayed in the Waikoloa resort area, an easy walk to A-Bay beach (really called 'Anaeho'omalu Bay but everyone just calls it A bay). It wasn't marked, but I was able to do some really good 800-1000 yard swims out/across the bay. Lots of coral, fish, turtles, etc...you need to watch out in spots, especially around low tide, that you don't get too close to the coral. I chatted with the lifeguard ahead of time, just so he knew that I could swim. The first time I did it, hardly anyone at the beach, and a gal sitting near my stuff got really concerned, was standing on shore, which really helped guide me right in to my chair.

Near Honolulu (stayed in the Waikiki area), I thought naturally that Waikiki would be great for swimming--but it is very shallow, too much coral, rocks, etc. I did one swim there, maybe 500 yards, and had to stop it was too difficult. After chatting with someone later on, I found out that the Waikiki roughwater swim goes about 800 yards out before they start to swim parallel to the beach (I went maybe 50).

I found Ala Moana Beach, from what I gather THE beach to swim on Oahu. It is walking distance from Waikiki (maybe 10-15 min from the Hilton), across from the Ala Moana shopping center/mall. Again, good idea to check with the lifeguards, unofficially, you can leave things near one of their stands. It is a curved beach, you start on the smaller portion of the curve, where it sticks out, go straight out, and swim parallel to the longer part of the beach (maybe 50 yards out). There is sand far enough out that you can walk to where you start swimming. There are markers at 500 and 1000 meters, and it was easy to stay in a mostly-straight line with 10+ swimmers doing it when I was there (plenty of passing room). I did 3 swims, all in about 2 hours: down to 800 M (not marked, but after chatting with another swimmer I figured it was about that) and return, then 5-10 min rest. Down to 1000 M marker and back, a 10 min rest. Was going to stop, but then a guy got in who the lifeguard didn't think could do it, so I did another down to 500 M marker and back, easy cool down then headed to the shower (he got out the same time as I did). I was there on a Friday afternoon (1 to 3pm), it was a steady flow of swimmers, I heard at 4:30pm it gets busier, and Sat mornings just crazy.

All in all, I was glad to get any swimming in during the trip. I do very little open water swimming, mostly just 25 yard pools. I was worried about the waves, but the salt water buoyancy more than made up for any rocking of the waves (although I felt the rocking for a few hours after). Considering I was on vacation, I got in a fair amount of swimming, running, and weights, plus snorkeled and surfed for the first time.

If anyone is heading over, I'd be happy to give more details.


Julie Roddin
November 13th, 2007, 03:13 PM
I found Ala Moana Beach, from what I gather THE beach to swim on Oahu. It is walking distance from Waikiki (maybe 10-15 min from the Hilton), across from the Ala Moana shopping center/mall.

Glad you found Ala Moana Beach! I was in Waikiki for about a week last May and did a lot of swimming there since a lot of the pools were closed. It's so easy to get to, parking was not a problem and the water is so calm!

I also stayed with a friend in Kailua and we did the "flat island" swim near her house, about a 1-mile swim from the beach out and around the island and back. It was rough the day we did it, but on the way back in I saw a hugh turtle and beautiful rainbow behind the mountains. It was incredible! Definitely took the pain of the jellyfish stings away!


November 13th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Ala Moana is my favorite swimming hole of all time! Just haven't been there for about 17 years! Plan to visit my sister next June, who lives right across the road from there. It's crazy on Saturday morning because the Waikiki Swim Club has an informal swim, I think around 10, where anyone can do 1000 or 2000 or whatever, and then everyone goes out for breakfast. Have some great memories of the place and looking forward to returning next year.