Makapu’u Beach Park (wild, rugged and amazing)
Located in the Makapu’u point area just next to Makapu’u Point Lighthouse, Makapu’u Beach Park is one of the gorgeous beaches you pass through that you must visit. As you pass by Makapu’u Point lighthouse, you’ll see the beach park from above and the views from above are really stunning.
First view of Makapu’u Beach Park
Once you round Makapu’u Point, there’s a scenic view point that you can stop at to get a first view of this gorgeous beach. It looks rugged, wild and raw in this natural setting. With the small islands just fronting the beach park and the eastern coastlines and mountains in the background, the entire view is quite breath taking. If you haven’t already done so, do check out Makapu’u Lighthouse trail beforehand and you can see more of Makapu’u beach and the surrounding coastlines and lighthouse from the observation lookout point.
Welcome to Makapu’u Beach Park
Keep driving and enter into Makapu’u Beach Park with its Cove beach setting and bay and sandy beach that seems to cascade right into the ocean amid a sea of green plants that spill into the black lava rocks on the edge of the beach.
From the beach, you can spot the small lava mountain that designates Makapu’u point and the lighthouse at the tip of point. Makapu’u lighthouse looks like it hangs precariously above the high cliffs and is still a working lighthouse that automatically sends out a beacon of light at regular intervals.
Beach area of Makapu’u
You’ll see that the beach park has two distinct sections with a small lava rock area that separates the two small beaches. Along the way you’ll see active boogie boarders and body surfers play in the waves and catching them before they break on the shore. Unless you are a really advanced swimming don’t attempt to try swimming or body boarding in the area or check in with the lifeguard to see what the local conditions are like for that day and if it is safe to enter anywhere on the beach park.
Makapu’u Beach facilities
The beach park has a full range of facilities to enjoy a full day of beach fun here. This includes:
Bathrooms and shower facilities
Free parking lot
Some picnic tables
Shady trees for cover
Details and tips to visiting Makapu’u Beach
There are no food concessions, so bring your own food and drinks at the beach. Alcohol is not allowed on the beach park area.
Parking lot area – Always clear your car of personal belongings to avoid any break in potential
Sunrise and morning are quiet times and a great time to catch sunrise in the area
Directions on getting to Makapu’u Beach Park
By car from Waikiki
From Waikiki or Honolulu drive down Kalanianaoli Highway (H-1) south. This will eventually turn into Highway 72 which follows the coastal areas of the southern part of the island.
You’ll pass the residential areas and around Koko Head Crater and eventually Makapu’u point.
Make sure you stop on top to get the fantastic views and photo ops of Makapu’u Beach Park.
Turn into Makapu’u beach parking lot which is directly opposite Sea Life Park.
By bus from Waikiki
The bus ride from downtown Waikiki to Makapu’u takes about an hour to get to the beach park
From Kuhio avenue going towards Diamond Head, look for Bus #22 or #23 headed towards Diamond Head and ask the driver to let you off at Makapu’u Beach.
Local busses run by the hour on the weekdays and by the half hour on the weekends.
Here’s a nice video tour of Makapu’u Beach park below
Things to see around Makapu’u Area
There’s plenty of things to enjoy on the east side if you do a road trip and want to check out the other attractions in the area.
Sea Life Park
Directly across from Makapu’u Beach Park, Sea Life Park is one of those Oahu attractions that focuses on marine exhibits, shows and events that is a family friendly venue to experience. This park allows you to interact with the trainers and get an inside look at the animals and help educate and guide you through this fun experience.
You can do a tour with transportation to the park here for admission and pick up service
Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
One of the most popular and easy hikes to do on Oahu with a paved road that heads out directly to the observation lookout point to see the lighthouse. Along the way are educational signs that share information about the area while you get spectacular views of the southern coast and also the eastern side looking towards Makapu’u beach and beyond.
Check out our post to visiting Makapu’u LIghthouse trail here for more inspiration and images
Halona Blow Hole
A natural wonder that pushes out sea water through small underwater lava tube and creates a plume of water from this blowhole into the surrounding area. A fun thing to check out especially on big surf days when the water blows into the air upwards 20 to 50 feet through the blow hole.
Halona Cove – Eternity Beach
Close to the Halona Blow Hole, you can visit Eternity Beach just to the right of the parking lot with this small beach that was made famous with the movie “From Here to Eternity” made in 1953.
A drive down from Makapu’u beach park to Waimanalo beach which is a safer and more family friendly beach to swim in with calm water to small waves that is forgiving. Full facilities and lifeguard station makes this an easy park with not as many crowds compared to some of the more popular east side beach area parks.
Check out our post to visiting Waimanalo Bay here for more inspiration and images
One of the most popular beach and snorkeling spots on Oahu, Hanauma Bay is busy with tourists. But it definitely is worth visiting if you want a gorgeous beach and snorkeling that is the best on the island in this Marine Preserve that is carefully maintained and monitored.
Plus, you have to watch a safety video before you are allowed to enter the beach park area. Visiting Hanauma Bay is by a reservation system and you can book a time here if you plan on visiting the park.
Check out this post to visiting Hanauma Bay here for more inspiration and images.
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Conclusion on Makapu’u Beach Park
For snorkeling fun, you’ll love explore all fun activities and attractions around this easy accessible reef and beach areas of Hanauma Bay on the east side. Hope this gives you some great ideas of things to do and see around the town and outlying areas to visit.
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