Secret Beaches of Oahu

There’s more to Oahu than Waikiki. We’ve been slowly discovering some lesser-used beaches.

A hiking path near the lighthouse (not sure of the name, but it faces Sea Life Park and Waimanalo) forks into three roads. One goes up, two go down. We took one that went down.

Here we followed a trail for perhaps 10 or 15 minutes through prairie-like grasses. The only sound was wind whipping through grasses and the distant voices of hikers. We passed a couple of hulking rusted cars, overgrown with weeds.

We found a beach, marred only by a rusted pipe that I told Kaiya to avoid. Later, Elyse tried to step on it, Kaiya eagerly in tow. The older one got a talking-to for not thinking about stepping on rusted pipes with bare feet, even when the pipe is paper-thin.

There were multiple tidepools along the edges. In the middle, a wall of lava rock broke the heavy waves coming in, making the beach quite calm. To the right, a hill led to another lagoon. To the left, above where we were, another path led to what appeared to be a popular Teen Hangout. Kids dove or jumped off this piece of wood into the water. It looked deep– in one pic, there’s a boy climbing out using a rock, which makes it look shallow.

Yeah, we weren’t the only ones there. But there were a lot fewer people than at other beaches. You have to do some work to get in and out of the area. I suppose it’s more of a locals’ beach than a secret beach.

To get there, take the 72 (also known as the Kalanianaole Highway; say it 10 times fast!) past Koko Head and Hana’uma Bay. Don’t drive off the cliff. Take it past the Hawaii Kai golf course on your left. Make the next right; there’s a sign (totally can’t remember what it’s called). You’ll see a road leading into a parking lot.

The beach, I just found out, is called Pele’s Chair.

Today, we’re heading to find a beach in Portlock, a residential neighborhood nearby, home to an $80 million dollar house. Access is tricky to find in these areas, but it’s the law, even if you have to walk between houses to get to the beach.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

One thought on “Secret Beaches of Oahu

  1. This is the Makapu’u light house trail. The log where kids jump off is called Allan Davis (A&D’s). I haven’t been to the tidepools yet, but I’m really looking forward to doing that soon! (:

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