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Ala Moana Beach Park

I have a special attachment to this beach. First, it is a very popular gathering place for local families, who always seem to be having a wonderful time while there.  Barbecues cooking away, little keiki’s running around the kapuna’s (elders) holding court at the center of the family…all of these are very endearing images and concepts to me, and I really do enjoy just being “amongst it.”

The second reason i like the park so much is that during one of my tours of duty in Pearl Harbor I was bitten by the “running bug” and used to run one or two 10K “fun runs” every weekend (I loved the neat T-shirts we all got for participating), and many a run was held at or near this park.  This park is also where the “Tin Man Biathlons” used to be held.  The event consisted of a 3-mile run followed by a half-mile swim.  One of my most precious memories was my older daughter, Tiffany, and I particpating in the Valentine’s Day “Sweetheart Run” in 1986.  Tiffy ran the three miles and I did the swim.  Tiffy was only 10 years old at the time, but bless her heart she ran the entire 3 miles without stopping or complaining.  I was next to last entering the water, but was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as the last guy into the water motored past me during the swim.  Tiffany was so excited about the shirt she got that day that I don’t think she took it off for 2 or 3 days. Those were wonderful times in our lives… (Tiffy went on to be an honors grad at Stanford, got her MBA from UCLA and is now working for the World Economic Forum, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland; can you tell I’m a VERY proud father??)

Ala Moana Beach Park is a free public park on the south side of the island located between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This 100-acre park has a wide gold-sand beach that is over a half-mile long. It’s man-made and was created by the owner of the Dillingham Dredging Company, who was looking for a place to dispose of his dredged earth. So in the 1950s, sand was dumped at this park, which created the beach.

The water is almost always calm because the beach is protected by an outer reef. This makes it a good spot for long-distance swimmers and small children. There’s a 25-foot deep swimming channel and a former boat channel that was dredged out of the reef.

Ala Moana’s ocean bottom drops quickly, so novice swimmers should use caution. Big grassy areas, banyans and palm trees make the park a good place to picnic, barbecue, play all kinds of ball games or go running. There are lifeguards, showers, restrooms, phones, tennis courts, picnic tables, food concessions and a music pavilion. Ala Moana Beach Park is a favorite among Honolulu residents. On the weekends, they come here with their whole ‘ohana (family) to picnic, swim and spend time together.




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