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An hour from Honolulu, this beach has it all... crystal clear water, a nice beach break, and dolphins!! 

Getting There:  From Honolulu, head west on the H1 and follow signs for Waianae. Continue as the H1 turn into Farrington highway and drive along the coast. On your way to Makua Beach you will pass through Waianae and a couple small towns; depending on your schedule you may stop at a couple beaches along the way (Makaha, Electric Beach, etc.). Take the opportunity to stock up on food and drinks while traveling through these towns as there are no stores after a certain point. Once you pass through these towns you will continue driving for about 5 miles, then you will see signs for Makua beach.  You will notice a gate on the left hand side of the road*: drive through the gate and onto the dirt road that parallels the beach. There are many pull offs along the road so choose a parking spot wisely and head out onto the beach.

*If the gate is closed then you can follow the road just before the gate that heads towards the ocean. There will be a parking lot and you can walk onto the beach from there. 

The Beach: The sand on Makua beach stretches for about a half mile and is a great walk if you feel like exploring... along the beach you will find tide pools, beach breaks (to bodyboard or surf), and if you look closely you may also see some wildlife along the way. In the morning especially you should keep an eye out for the dolphin pods that swim a couple hundred yards off the shore... The water is crystal clear and it is not uncommon to be able to see 30+ feet down, as such this is a great beach for snorkeling... If you have the gear then I would highly recommend snorkeling off the beach. If you feel confident in your abilities, and see the dolphins jumping, then you can also venture out into deeper water and try to snorkel with the pods (this is definitely not a guarantee but happens more than you would think!). 

Warning: be careful of the tides and currents though as they can be strong and venturing out far is not always a good idea... As usual, be safe and trust your gut!

  • Besides the dolphin sightings, in the winter you may also see whales breaching in the distance (in the winter months binoculars may be a welcomed addition). 
  • There are no bathrooms at Makua beach... Keep that in mind when you decide to venture out there. If you are at the beach and feeling desperate, then the nearest bathroom is likely at Yokohama beach, just a little further down the road.
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