IN A NUT SHELL:
- Plenty of Shade
- Beautiful views
- Good for tree climbing and exploring
- No playground
- Less than ideal swimming conditions
- Water fountains
- Picnic Tables
- Covered Pavilion
- Parking Lot
The Kawaikui Beach Park is a neighborhood park located off Kalanianaole Highway just past the Aina Haina Shopping Center. It’s often used by surfers and body boarders to access the Tunas, Turtles, and Manantan’s surf breaks. While visiting the park, we also saw a fisherman, who was happy to show my daughter one of his catches. The park features a large grassy area with plenty of shade for picnics. It also offers gorgeous views facing east towards Kokohead and Hanauma Bay.
The beach of this park does not yield itself to swimming or water play, as the ground is rather rocky and the strip of sand is probably only 10 to 15 feet from the water. Other online reviews have mentioned a “fishy” smell but it was barely noticeable unless one reaches the edge of the water. Even then, I would not describe the smell as “fishy” as much as I would describe it as “beachy.” In fact, it is the same smell you smell at any mainland beach, a mixture of sand, saltwater, and marine life. Although I would not chose this beach for water play with keiki, my daughter still enjoyed examining the rocks and tossing them into to water.
While the park does not have a playground, it still provides plenty of opportunities for play, and sometimes children need to use their imagination to come up with their own fun. Some of the trees have low branches perfect for climbing. There are fun birds to chase (my toddler’s favorite park activity) and little anoles (geckos) jumping around in the bushes that are always fun to point out. However, the creative nine-year-old in me loved the little nature-made “hiding places” around the fort. On the left was a little ledge, dangerous for younger children or when the tide comes in, where the branches hung down over a small strip of sand. An older child’s imagination could run wild here. Through out the park, there are places where the bushes open up to provide a clearing that feels like a fort. It’s perfect for older kids who aren’t bothered by a little dirt or some ants, but be careful. A good “hide-out” for kids is probably good spot for campers, or a teenager’s “love nest” so use your own judgement.