I recently completed a hike up Diamond Head (my Diamond Head hike post). Once I reached the top, I had a 360° view of the south shore of Oahu. I looked up the coast to see Waikiki and all the high rise condominium and hotel buildings. I looked down the coast to see Makapu’u lighthouse. But just below the crater lies a few small neighborhoods. Barely peeking out from one of those neighborhoods was a tiny, but discernable sandy beach (Makalei Beach Park). I’ve driven past this neighborhood a hundred times and never knew it was there. I had to stand on that beach. Max, to the Amymobile!
Mystery Beach, Here I Come!
I packed up the beach bag, grabbed some snacks, and headed out to find this mystery beach. First thing I did was look at Google Maps in satellite view so I could see exactly where the beach was located in relation to the streets I was familiar with. Once I knew the location, I mapped my way to the local neighborhood and parked. After wandering around a bit, I found the entrance to the beach was through Makalei Beach Park. Eureka!
Pro Tip: Most beaches have public beach access, even if they are in private neighborhoods!
Once I was on the beach, I looked back inland and saw Diamond Head staring down on me. I was just there!
Swimming and Snorkeling at Makalei Beach Park
Getting in the water at Makalei Beach Park is somewhat difficult. Most the beach is protected by a coral reef with a few sandy put ins. But this reef makes for good snorkeling!
Collecting Sea Glass at Makalei Beach Park
The beach area is very small and I was surprised to see how much beach glass was washed up on shore. Honestly it was a little bit scary because, where there is sea glass, there is glass! If you’re looking for a spot to collect smoothed out, cloudy sea glass, this beach is a great option. Just be careful!
The beach park itself is nice and well managed. There are no public restrooms, but there is lots of seating at picnic tables under a large shade tree and showers for when you’re done swimming.
Sea Walk to Le'ahi Beach Park
At the far end of Makalei Beach Park is a “sea walk.” Not sure what to call it, but it’s like a sidewalk on the ocean! The sea walk connects you to the nearby Le’ahi Beach Park.
Next time you’re out and about, look around you. You never know what will lead you to your next adventure!