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Need to know




Waikiki Beach is actually made up of several beaches, with Kūhiō Beach along the southeastern end. What makes Kūhiō special is a long, 40 ft concrete sea wall that blocks the waves and basically makes 2 swimming pools with calm waters that are great for swimming, snorkeling, and for kids. Queens Beach, right next to Kūhiō on the south side is a great boogie boarding spot. You can rent beach equipment and grab food nearby too.

Running perpendicular from the beach to the sea wall is a walkway with the unfortunate name of The Groin (technically “The Kapahulu Groin”. It’s basically a pier that you can walk all the way down to see the bigger waves coming.

At 6:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (6:00 - 7:00 Nov - Jan), local dance schools put on a free hula show that kicks off with a torch lighting and the sound of the conch horn. [Temporarily CLOSED]

Kūhiō Beach is also home to the Prince Kuhio Statue and the Duke Kahanamoku Statue.


2453 Kalakaua Ave

Honolulu, HI 96815




  • Queens Beach — 4 min walk

  • Momosan Waikiki — 7 min walk

  • Espacio the Jewel of Waikiki — 9 min walk

  • Hula Dog — 11 min walk (3 min drive)

  • Marukame Udon — 14 min walk (5 min drive)

  • Arnold’s Beach Bar — 8 min drive

  • Maui Brewing Co. — 12 min drive (8 min drive)

On the south end of Waikiki Beach. A 40 ft sea wall blocks the waves, making the water calm for swimming and kids. Free hula show and torch lighting some evenings.

Kūhiō Beach


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Good to know





  • Tube Pool Float. You can grab one from any ABC store, but if you want a more Instagrammable one, pick one up before your trip. 

  • Snorkel Gear. You can rent a set, but if you think you’ll use it more than once on your trip, it might be worth bringing your own.



  • Lifeguards

  • Restrooms

  • Outdoor showers

  • Tons of restaurants and food options nearby

  • Kuhio Beach Surfboard Lockers



  • Free Hula Show and Torch Lighting (Tues, Thurs, and Sat) [Temporarily UNAVAILABLE]: It starts with traditional blowing of the conch at the Duke Kahanamoku statue and then the lighting of the torches. Then authentic hula dancing begins at a nearby hula mound as Hawaiian musicians and members of top hula halau (dance schools) put on a show as the sun sets. Bring a beach chair or towel. The show is about an hour long. *Weather permitting

  • Prince Kūhiō Statue. Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole was the last Hawaiian prince when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893, he joined revolutionaries in an attempt to restore the monarchy, which was unsuccessful. He was arrested, charged with treason, and imprisoned for a year. After his release he traveled through Europe and Africa, but returned to Oahu in 1901 and became Hawaii’s congressional delegate for 10 consecutive terms, until he died in 1922. The Statue was created by sculptor Sean Browne and dedicated in 2002.

  • Duke Kahanamoku Statue. Duke Kahanamoku (aka “The Big Kahuna” is a Hawaiian hero and surfing god. He grew up surfing in Waikiki and became a 5 time Olympic medalist in swimming and broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle during his first competition. He was nicknamed “the father of modern surfing” because he’s credited with surf and surf culture’s popularity worldwide. The 9 foot bronze statue depicts him with outstretched arms, standing in front of his surfboard (although many local surfers will say that he shouldn’t have been placed with his back to the sea). It was created by artist Jan Gordon Fisher and dedicated in 1990, marking the 100 year anniversary of the Duke’s birthday. You’ll often see leis hanging from his outstretched arms, but you’re actually not supposed to hang leis on the statue because it can harm the bronze. 

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  • Bring coins if you plan to park nearby. Parking is limited. There’s some free parking if you drive past Kuhio Beach on Kalakaua Avenue, but if that doesn’t work you’ll have to turn back and find metered parking. Most take coins, but the lot next to the Honolulu Zoo allows credit cards at their payment kiosks. . If all the parking is taken (likely on the weekends) then head to one of the parking garages.

  • The Groin (aka “the wall”) is the seawall that runs perpendicular to the beach. People love to walk up and down it like a walkway, but heads up that they can get slippery from algae, so running is not a good idea. 

  • Keep an eye on the waves if you’re standing on the sea wall. They can come over and knock people down.

  • You can pick up a floatie tube from any ABC store, but if you want a better selection of prints and colors, you may want to pack your own. 

  • It’s usually less crowded here than the rest of Waikiki Beach, but still come early if you want to get a prime spot.

  • If you’re facing The Groin (aka the pier / walkway), the beach to the left is called Queen’s Beach. This is a great spot for boogie boarding.

  • Kuhio Beach has 2 popular surf breaks — Queen’s (on the east side) and Canoes (on the west side). Canoes is a great beginner surf spot.

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  • This is a great beach for kids because the water is nice and calm.

  • Kids love the free hula show and torch lighting. [Currently UNAVAILABLE]



  • Kuhio Beach is nicknamed “Kuhio Ponds” because the two concrete walls create a very calm area that’s perfect for kids. 

  • Kuhio beach was originally part of the home of Prince Kūhiō, hawaii’s last prince. In 1918, he removed the tall fence surrounding his home and opened up this section of the beach to the public. It was turned over to the state after his death in 1922 and in 1940 it was named Kuhio Beach Park. 

  • After Duke Kahanamoku died in 1968, his ashes were scattered at sea off Waikiki Beach. 

  • The wall was built to control sand erosion, but ended up turning the enclosed areas into calmer swimming spots. 

  • The Kapahulu Groin is actually an extension of a storm drain that runs under Kapahulu Avenue. 

Last Updated 9 / 9 / 21

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