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Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

sandy, utah
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Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

My husband and I will be coming to Oahu for the first time in August for 5 l/2 days and are staying at a rental in Kailua. I have a very busy itinerary planned that doesn't include Waikiki Beach. One afternoon we'll be taking a Makani catamaran cruise and then learning how to SUP at Ala Moana Beach (both free with the Go Oahu Card). We'll be driving from Iolani Palace. Is there plenty of free parking at Ala Moana Beach? We're supposed to meet in front of the tennis courts for the SUP rental from 3-6. I read that the sunsets are good at Magic Island and also that the snorkeling is good there. I'm wondering where the best place to grab a reasonably priced lunch and dinner would be that maybe we could eat at the beach. I also heard that there's a 6-7 pm hula show at Kuhio Beach the day we'd be there. Would that be something we should try to see instead of staying at Magic Island for the sunset? Is there free parking in the evening along Waikiki Beach? Are there other must-sees around Waikiki to keep us there in the evening? We're definitely not into loud music or bars. Thanks for your advice.

South Pacific
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1. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

Ala Moana Beach has plenty of parking. There's a pretty big parking lot. Waikiki Beach is another story!

Bisbane
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2. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki beach is packed. Jam packed. But beautiful and well worth the trip. The bus is a very short ride maybe 15 minutes max and so easy to use.

Download DaBus app or use google maps for up to date bus times.

Enjoy

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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3. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki is basically a neighborhood within the city of Honolulu. It's debatable what one actually calls Waikiki Beach as there are all kinds of different beaches within Waikiki. Kuhio Beach being one of them. The easiest parking for Kuhio Beach would be at the zoo and then walking to Kuhio Beach. It's an easy walk. The parking is automated at a dollar an hour. You can find some free parking inside Kapiolani Park but it will be hit or miss. Other than that, no free parking in Waikiki.

There is free parking inside Ala Moana Beach Park but that will also be hit or miss. If you are going on a weekday you should be able to get it. If it's a weekend, almost impossible. Don't know where you heard about good snorkeling at Magic Island. There is a lagoon of sorts but not many fish and in August the surf is rather high in that area. There is a protective wall but the surf does crash over it at times.

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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4. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

fishdiva, what happened to the free parking at Waikiki Shell lot?

sandy, utah
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5. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

So as a first timer, what would you say are the must-sees on Waikiki Beach after an afternoon spent at Ala Moana Beach? I'd be specifically interested in musical performances and great photo ops including the inside of hotels that we would never stay at because of the cost if some are unique enough to warrant our time. Where would you suggest we park after 6 pm or should we just stay parked at Ala Moana and walk. Are there any reasonably priced places for a good meal?

fishdiva: a map I downloaded of the Waikiki Beach area said there was good snorkeling at Magic Island. Would it be any better than at Ala Moana Beach where I suspect I'll get tired of a 3-hour SUP rental and want to do something else?

Kapaa, Hawaii
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6. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

Dusty, that is what I was talking about inside Kapiolani Park.

The only place I snorkel in Waikiki (we don't snorkel at Ala Moana or Magic Island) is inside the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District. That is located basically on the corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua Ave. Diamond Head side of Waikiki. Across the street from the zoo. The map you have is just plain wrong in regards to snorkeling at Magic Island. Again, Waikiki or any south facing shore really isn't the best place to snorkel in the summer months due to the possibility of high surf.

Kuhio Beach is where you want to be, to see what you are talking about in your post #5. It's a long walk from Ala Moana. Park at the zoo or inside Kapiolani Park.

7. Re: Ala Moana Beach vs. Waikiki Beach

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