The Ala Moana Beach Park

The Ala Moana Beach Park is just but one of the numerous beach parks owned and maintained by the City and County of Honolulu. The 76-acre park is only a few minutes west of Waikiki on Ala Moana Boulevard and is a favorite among the local residents. It is usually filled with people during weekends who spend hours at the park swimming, surfing, fishing, playing outdoor games, and having family picnics. They would pitch their tents and set up barbeque grills, and the children would bring their bicyles and ride around the paved walkways around the park. The smell of barbequed steaks and hot dogs would fill the air that it makes one hungry as you pass by the smoking portable grills.

The beach park has plenty of shaded areas, picnic tables, a white sand beach, shower and toilet facilities. There are coconut trees and a number of other shaded trees that have been planted within the park. The park is well maintained by the City and the grass that covers most of the park grounds is trimmed every week. Within the park is a large open parking space where visitors can park their vehicles. There are no parking meters within the park since parking is provided free for the park visitors. And it is open daily from 4:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm. Although camping overnight is not allowed within the park, there are times a few people who manage to pitch their small tents and stay even after the park is closed.

During weekdays, people come to the park early in the morning or just before sunset to jog or just walk around. The Ala Moana Beach Park is just a 10-minute drive from our apartment and this is where my wife Nena and I usually do our early 30-minute morning walk around the park. About halfway through my walk around the park, I stop to do some warm up exercises which somehow loosens my shoulder and back muscles. I am not much of an athlete and not involved in any other form of sport and walking is the only form of exercise that I try to do daily. I usually am at the park just before 7:00 o'clock in the morning and often I would get to watch the sun as it rises from the east and over Hawaii's familiar landmark, Diamond Head. Nena joins me whenever she has her off duty from the hospital the night before. There are also times that we go to the park to watch the beautiful sunset and the different sailboats that go out to sea from the marina nearby.

For a number of days, I brought along my digital camera and took some pictures of what I would often see at the park. Out of the many photographs I took, I compiled and selected photographs which would show some of the different activities going on at the beach park. You get to see not only the people who come to the park to exercise and jog or walk. If you take time to look around, you will find some people feeding the pigeons and other birds, swimmers taking their early morning dip at the beach, and others who enjoy fishing for sardines or some larger fish in the deeper waters. On certain days, you also see some scuba divers doing their first diving lessons. There are even times that couples get married at the beach park.

Canoe racing is a favorite sport among the local young men and women and you get to see them on certain days practicing for these races. They would come early in the morning with their respective paddles and form teams to man their canoes and race out to sea. Their canoes are kept in racks which have been provided for by the City just at the entrance to the park. You will also find people who come to the park and sit on a bench enjoying the early morning ocean breeze or watch the surfers and the waves that hit the shoreline. Early in the evening, people come to watch the beautiful sunset. It is also at the park where you get to watch some airplanes taking off from the Honolulu International Airport which is only a few miles away.

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The Ala Moana Beach Park is indeed one of the most widely used parks in Honolulu and I am glad that the park is just close to where we live. I have for a number of years now been a regular user of the park. And should you one of these days find time to be in Honolulu, take time to visit the Ala Moana Beach Park. Come not only to see it but make good use of our beautiful park as well.

junylaputt@yahoo.com