Kahanamoku Beach is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in Hawaii. Dr. Stephen Leatherman has certainly given this highly rated strip of sand its due respect. Also known as "Dr. Beach," Leatherman is renowned for his annual best beaches in the U.S. lists. He has added Kahanamoku Beach to these lists on several occasions, going as far as to name it the second best in 2012 and the best U.S. beach overall in 2014. If this isn’t enough to convince you to visit Kahanamoku Beach during your Hawaii vacation, maybe the story behind its name will. The wonderful location is just one more reason to include it on your Hawaii itinerary.
Kahanamoku Beach calls the Hawaiian island of Oahu home. More specifically, you can find it fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki. Kahanamoku Beach actually makes up the widest part of world famous Waikiki Beach. As for the beach’s name, it honors Hawaii’s famous "Ambassador of Aloha," Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968). Among other things, Duke Kahanamoku was known for his swimming and surfing exploits. He won five Olympic medals in swimming, and thanks in part to exhibitions like the one that he gave at Sydney’s Freshwater Beach in 1914, he is largely credited with spreading the modern sport of surfing throughout the world.
The charms of Kahanamoku Beach are many. There’s the soft white sand, the turquoise blue waters, the swaying palm trees, and the wonderful views of the Diamond Head State Monument. The beach also features a lovely lagoon – the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. On most days, both the lagoon and ocean waters are calm and ideal for swimming. The offshore protective reef helps to explain both the beach’s width and its relatively tame ocean surf. In addition to swimming, other popular activities at Kahanamoku Beach include kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. Many people also come to Kahanamoku Beach to go on submarine tours and dinner cruises, as it is home to the Port Hilton Dock.
Top image: (c) 2012 Hilton Hotels & Resorts