In the vibrant heart of Waikiki, Kuhio Beach beckons visitors from around the globe with its pristine sands, glistening turquoise waters, and iconic banyan trees. This celebrated destination is more than just a beautiful stretch of coastline, it is a place imbued with cultural significance and a rich history. In this article, we will journey together through the unique allure of Kuhio Beach, uncovering the fascinating tales it holds, and discovering why it remains an unmissable stop for any Hawaiian adventure.


  • Named after Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, the beach is steeped in Hawaiian history and culture.
  • The beach offers a multitude of activities for all ages, including swimming, surfing, standup paddling, and snorkeling.
  • The iconic Kuhio Beach torch lighting and hula shows are major attractions, giving visitors a taste of authentic Hawaiian culture.
  • The beach’s central location means easy access to nearby attractions, restaurants, and accommodations in Waikiki.


Wave Crashing on Breakwater Wall at Kuhio Beach Lagoon - View of Lagoon, Beach and Hotel Skyline - Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
© Shutterstock

Kuhio Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand that boasts a rich history. The beach was named in honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, a beloved Hawaiian royal figure and statesman. This highly popular beach is affectionately known as “Kuhio Ponds”. The moniker stems from the unique feature of the beach, a pair of concrete walls that stretch 40 years into the deep blue ocean. These walls effectively divide the beach into two segments, creating a distinctive landscape that adds to the allure of Kuhio Beach. This ingenious architectural design not only serves aesthetic purposes but also enhances safety by forming calm, enclosed swimming areas, making it a hit among families and individuals who prefer a peaceful dip in the ocean.

In July 1918, a significant event further cemented the place of Kuhio Beach in the heart of the public. Prince Kuhio made a pivotal decision that would forever change the landscape of the beach. He boldly removed a high board fence, thereby opening a previously sequestered section of the beach to the public. This act of inclusivity allowed locals and tourists alike to enjoy an extended stretch of the beach’s pristine sands and tranquil waters. Following Prince Kuhio’s death in 1922, his cherished property was generously donated to the city. It was then that the groundwork was laid for the creation of the renowned Kuhio Beach Park. After years of thoughtful planning and development, the park was officially dedicated in 1940.

Its evolution is intertwined with the development of Waikiki as a tourist hotspot. Once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty, Kuhio Beach and its surroundings underwent substantial transformations during the 20th century to accommodate the influx of tourists. Since then, Kuhio Beach Park, with its picturesque views and various recreational opportunities, has served as a vivid reminder of Prince Kuhio’s dedication to his people and his enduring love for the natural beauty of his homeland. Today, it stands as a testament to Hawaii’s fascinating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Things to Do

Try WaterSports and Beach Activities

Waikiki Hawaii
© Shutterstock

Kuhio Beach presents a plethora of water sports and beach activities for adventure enthusiasts, ensuring an unforgettable coastal experience. Its calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming. Whether you’re an expert swimmer or a beginner, you will find it enjoyable and refreshing. The beach is also known for its diverse marine life. Grab your snorkel gear and explore the stunning underwater world at your own pace. If you choose a more thrilling activity, bodysurfing could be an excellent choice. Feel the adrenaline rush as you ride the waves using only your body! Last but not least, Kuhio Beach is a dream come true for surfers. The beach is renowned for its consistent surf, which is ideal for both experienced surfers and novices looking to learn the sport.

Enjoy Land-Based Explorations

Palm Trees on the Beach
© Shutterstock

For those who prefer to stay on land, the beach offers an array of enjoyable explorations. Meandering paths offer opportunities for strolls or brisk walks, with plenty of benches to take a rest and soak in the tranquil scenery. Take in the picturesque views as the radiant sun sets over the calm ocean, or engage in a game of beach volleyball on the sands. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby lush greenery is perfect for spotting local flora and fauna. A day at Kuhio Beach ensures a mix of relaxation and adventure for all.

Witness Torch-lighting Ceremonies and Hula Shows

Hawaii sunset with fire torches. Hawaiian icon, lights burning at dusk at beach resort or restaurants for outdoor lighting and decoration, cozy atmosphere.
© Shutterstock

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture with the hula shows and torch-lighting ceremonies held at Kuhio Beach. These events are a spectacle to behold and are free for the public. The hula show is a harmonious dance performance that often tells a story, accompanied by live Hawaiian music. Witness the dancers moving gracefully, clad in traditional Hawaiian attire, under a setting sun for a truly magical experience. The torch-lighting ceremony, typically held at dusk, is a unique Hawaiian tradition. Watch as the torchbearer lights each torch along the beach path, illuminating the night with a warm, inviting glow. These activities provide an authentic insight into Hawaii’s rich culture, making your visit to Kuhio Beach even more memorable.

Nearby Attractions

Waikiki, Hawaii
© Shutterstock

Kuhio Beach is not just a soothing retreat, but also a gateway to a myriad of nearby attractions. Eager explorers can venture to the bustling Waikiki neighborhood, renowned for its vibrant nightlife, exotic restaurants, and upscale shopping. History buffs will be drawn to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, a solemn reminder of the past that shaped our world. Nature lovers can bask in the captivating beauty of Hanauma Bay, a preserve known for its stunning coral reefs and diverse marine life. This beach is also famed for its stunning views of the Diamond Head Crater. At the end of the day, don’t miss the chance to hike up the Diamond Head trail. The panoramic view of Honolulu at the top is truly an unforgettable sight.

Local Cuisine and Dining Opportunities

Best Beachside Eateries

Kuhio Beach boasts a variety of beachside eateries that tantalize the taste buds with both local and international flavors. The Hula Grill stands out for its authentic Hawaiian cuisine, offering a wide array of seafood dishes that include island fish and chips and the popular ahi steak. For a lighter option, try Tiki’s Grill & Bar which serves a delightful array of salads and sandwiches along with their signature tropical cocktails. Don’t miss out on CJ’s New York Style Deli for their scrumptious cheesecake, making it a perfect spot for satisfying your sweet tooth after a fun day at the beach. Each of these places not only offers delectable food but also stunning views of Kuhio Beach, making your dining experience unforgettable.

Specialty Foods to Try

Hawaii, and particularly the area around Kuhio Beach, is renowned for its diverse, flavorful, and unique local cuisine. Be sure to try the signature dish, “poke,” a raw fish salad served as an appetizer. Another must-try is “loco moco,” a comfort food consisting of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy. Don’t leave without sampling “malasadas,” Portuguese donuts without a hole, often filled with custard or tropical jams. To quench your thirst, nothing beats a glass of refreshing “Pineapple Iced Tea,” a local favorite. These culinary delights offer an authentic taste of Hawaii and are sure to satisfy your palate.

Accommodation Options Near Kuhio Beach

With its stunning coastline, Kuhio Beach is surrounded by a treasure trove of luxury resorts. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a standout, offering oceanfront rooms and a collection of international dining options. The ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is another popular option, boasting a rooftop pool and bar with panoramic views of the Pacific. Yet another gem in the area is the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, replete with a full-service spa and a private beach area. Each of these resorts provides unmatched hospitality, ensuring guests enjoy their visit to Kuhio Beach to the fullest

Tips for Visiting

  • Kuhio Beach is a family-friendly destination. However, it’s advisable to keep an eye on children at all times due to the busy nature of the beach and the occasional strong surf.
  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The Hawaiian sun can be intense, and sunburn can spoil your vacation. Reapply frequently, especially after swimming.
  • Respect the ocean. If you’re not a strong swimmer or unfamiliar with the ocean, stay close to the shore.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. These are for your safety and the preservation of the beach.
  • Try to visit during the weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds.
  • Lastly, remember the golden rule of all beachgoers: “Leave only footprints, take only memories.” Please pick up your trash and respect the natural beauty of Kuhio Beach.

Best Time to Visit

want from your Hawaiian holiday. If you’re looking to surf, the winter months (November – February) offer the biggest waves. For beachgoers seeking calm waters, summer (May – September) is ideal. The beach tends to be less crowded in the early morning and late afternoon, making these times perfect for peaceful beach walks or relaxing sunbathing sessions. No matter when you visit, remember that the Hawaiian sun can be strong, so don’t forget to apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Absolutely, Kuhio Beach is perfect for families. Its calm waters make a safe swimming environment for children. Plus, the nearby picnic areas and open spaces are great for family gatherings.

Yes, Kuhio Beach is lined with local vendors offering surfboard and other water sports equipment rentals.

Yes, several restaurants and eateries are situated near Kuhio Beach, offering everything from fast food to fine dining.

Though Kuhio Beach is beautiful all year round, the best time to visit would be during summer, when the weather is warm and perfect for outdoor activities.

Yes, for your safety, Kuhio Beach provides lifeguard services throughout the day.

Kuhio Beach is known for its nightly Hawaiian hula shows and torch-lighting ceremony, an experience you won’t want to miss.

How To Get There

By Car

To reach Kuhio Beach by car from Honolulu, take the I-H1 E from S Beretania St and Punchbowl St. Continue on I-H1 E. Take exit 25A from I-H1 E onto HI-72 S/Kalanianaole Hwy. Follow this road until you reach Monsarrat Ave which you turn left onto. Follow Monsarrat Ave which will lead you to Kuhio Beach.

By Bus

If you’re traveling by bus, you can take Bus Route 23 from Alapai Transit Center. The bus will take you straight to Kapiolani Park, which is just a short walk away from Kuhio Beach. Make sure to check the local bus schedule for the most accurate timings.

Don't Miss Out on the Opportunity to Experience the Magic of Kuhio Beach!

Its rich blend of natural beauty, exciting activities, and luxurious accommodation makes it a must-visit destination. We can’t wait for you to join us and create unforgettable memories on Kuhio Beach. Aloha!