Makapuu Beach, on Oahu’s southeastern coast, is an island gem known for its dark blue waters with waves perfect for boogie boarding, sea cliffs, tidal pools, and historic lighthouse. There are a few panoramic lookout points along the coast featuring views of Manana (Rabbit) Island and the sea bird sanctuary, Kaohikaipu Islet.


  • With its large ocean swells and restriction on surf boards, Makapuu is one of Oahu’s best spots for boogie boarding and body surfing.
  • Enjoy the amazing views of Rabbit Island located off the coast.
  • During low tide you can visit the tidepools to see crabs, opihi, and other sea creatures.
  • Humpback whales can often be seen past the shoreline from December to March.


Hawaiian mythology tells the tale of Makapuu, a friendly woman with 8 eyes, who the area was named after. In 1909, the US Coast Guard built the Makapuu Lighthouse after a ship was grounded in the coral gardens off shore. The cliffs near the lighthouse is a popular nighttime fishing spot for deep sea fisherman.

Tips when Visiting Makapuu Beach

  • Arrive early to secure a parking spot as parking is limited, especially on weekends and school holidays.
  • Read and follow all warning signs on the beach.
  • Speak with a lifeguard before you plan on entering the water as the ocean conditions can be very rough and dangerous.
  • There are restrooms and showers available.

Frequently Asked Questions

On most days, Makapuu Beach is not a good beach for swimming since it often has high surf, strong shore breaks, and a powerful current. Only proficient boogie boarders and body surfers should enter the water, and should always speak to a lifeguard before hand.

No, there are no vendors located at Makapuu, and you will need to bring your own umbrellas and chairs.

No. there are no restaurants or food vendors at Makapuu. You can stop ahead of time at Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai to pick up food and beverages before heading to Makapuu Beach.

No, you cannot drink alcohol at any beach on Oahu.

How to Get to Makapuu Beach

The easiest way to get to Makapuu Beach is by car. Located on Kalanianaole Highway, Makapuu Beach Park is approximately 30 minutes away from Waikiki, and on hour away from Ko Olina.

You can also go to Sandy Beach on the Honolulu City Bus from Waikiki by taking the #23 Hawaii Kai – Sea Life Park route to Sea Life Park located across the street from Makapuu Beach.