Makaha Beach Park
Makaha Beach Park
4.5
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A popular beach for surfing.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles220 reviews
Excellent
124
Very good
77
Average
16
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Norma B
Kenai, AK27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
I want to write a review about the Makaha Valley area. When planning our trip to that location I couldn’t find any current 2020-2021 information. Most everything I read said it was not a good area to vacation for first time Oahu visitors. I also had visions of having to run a gauntlet of homeless people just to get to the beach.

We stayed at Makaha Valley plantation for two weeks. We traveled all over the island from that location. We planned our trips according to traffic and the longest it took us to get from Honolulu to Makaha was one hour 15 minutes during the busiest time of the day.

I was very thankful that we had stayed on the dry side of the island. While we were there they had torrential rains throughout the Hawaiian islands and the North Shore area while more scenic, was flooded.

All the locals treated us very well. The exception was one drunk boy hitting the side of our van with his fist. He was angry with his girlfriend. That took place on a Friday evening at Makaha Beach as we were leaving.

There were several great dining options. We really loved the Countryside Café for breakfast and lunch. For a nice dinner experience Beach House 604 was great. We were told that #1 Chinese BBQ was excellent but didn’t get by there to try their food.

I would recommend the Makaha area to anyone looking for a quiet alternative to Honolulu.
Written March 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LJT
Winnipeg, Canada113 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Stopped here after doing a hike in the area. Lots of beaches along this stretch of the highway, but this one was large and not very busy - just a handful of people/groups spread out down the long sandy beach, most either surfing or watching the surfers. Water was a bit choppy, but in spots was calm enough to swim. Very relaxed vibe here, more locals than we saw other places.
Written March 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike H
Phoenix, AZ2,077 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Growing up Makaha was synonymous with surfing and big waves. While we were here there was surfing but the waves were not that big. But it was nice to be able to say yes I have been to Makaha and watched the surfing. Good photo ops and I can imagine if the waves were bigger how much better they would be.
Written March 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roblaw
Lethbridge, Canada262 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
If you have a car, you have to get up to Makaha Beach.. beautiful beach, incredible snorkeling.. but, be prepared to see the difficult part of paradise on the way.

Hawaii, like much of the U.S., struggles with homelessness, and much of the homeless have been pushed from Waikiki up northwest.. and on the way to Makaha, you will see hundreds of tents on beaches where displaced people are making their way.. not soo much the paradise you see on postcards.. however, get yourself to Makaha beach.. great surf if you're into that, and the snorkeling was wonderful. We were there in January and the waves are strong and break big and hard, so you have to be careful.. but, move towards a red bouy, swim out (it's a bit of a trek) and you will not be disappointed.. I counted sea turtles, beautiful coral.. much superior to the Hanauma experience..

BIG CAVEAT! Do not bring valuables.. the economy is difficult for many, particularly in this area, and this translates into a high chance of theft.. we travelled up, left our top down, nothing in the jeep.. keep a credit card, debit card, and driver's licence in my board shorts pocket.. leaving towel, sunscreen, cheep sunglasses, t-shirt and hat on the beach.. and had a great time!
Written March 21, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hipfan
Calgary16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Compared to one of the Waikiki beaches, Makaha is secluded! While on Oahu, I had the pleasure of jogging to this beach daily and it absolutely looks like a piece of paradise!

Note to all readers: this is FAR from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu...if you're going to this beach, it's usually frequented by locals and surfers; after all, this is the beach that plays host to Buffalo's Big Board Surfing Classic every March. During the winter months (December - March), there can be some absolutely killer waves (15+ feet) that will totally sweep away the novice swimmer. Also, you're likely to see Sea Turtles around this area due to the lack of people.

Warning: because there's not a lot of tourists around here, take extreme caution with your car: lock all car doors and avoid bringing valuables to the beach. It's relatively safe, but because there isn't the crowds, it's much easier for a thief to break in and not be noticed.

Would I recommend this beach? YES.
Would I recommend that someone drive the 40+ mins from Waikiki to bring their famly here? NO.
Because....this is truly a raw beach: sand and waves. It doesn't feature the amenities of more populated ones and unless they're looing for exactly that, they're likely to be disappointed.
Written October 22, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

takeahike66
San Francisco, CA184 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Solo
This is a fairly large beach area, and is a local surfing area during the high surf season. During the summer months, this is an ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving. You will see both snorkeling and diver boats about 200-250 yards off shores. This is a local beach, but for visitors who don’t want to take a tour boat to see the attractions, Makaha has easy access to the beach and water.
The two primary attractions for snorkers and divers at Makaha Beach are the ‘Turtle Cleaning Station’ and the ‘The cavern’. This is asnorkeler view of Makaha. To get to the ‘Turtle Station’ or ‘the Cavern’, you must be a real good swimmer and feel comfortable in deep water (20-30ft). Do not attempt if there are swells or heavy current. I went on a weekday (Friday afternoon), and there were less than 20 people on the beach, and maybe 6 or seven people in the water. I saw only one other snorkeler in the water. I wear a snorkel vest (bright yellow) which aid in floatation.
Location of the ‘Turtle cleaning Station’: From an overview map of Makaha Beach, you can see a large deep channel running out from the center of the beach to the ocean with flat lava reef on side. Looking out from the center lifeguard station, out about 150 yards to the left, there is a white buoy. Start out swimming to the white buoy marker from the life guard station. The first 50 yards from shore will be deep and sandy, then you will reach the lava reef, where the depth maybe around 15-20 feet deep. As you continue toward the buoy, you will reach the edge of the lava reef. Follow the edge of the reef on out for about 200 yds off shore. Continue to look for a large Mushroom dome (20 ft diameter) about 15-20 yds to the right of the edge of the reef. There you should see many turtles around this dome, being cleaned by fish. On this occasion, I saw two giant turtles, way over 6 feet in width, and several smaller turtles, which before I would have considered large (3 ft).
The ‘Cavern’ is located about 30-50 yds pass the ‘Turtle Station’.
On the way back in to the shore, a 3-ft turtle was seen just a few feet from the shore next to a swimmer.
Rinsing station and rest rooms are located across the street. There is a rinsing station next to the picnic table on the beach just behind the lifeguard station on the parking strip next to the highway.
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Westside_Haoli
Waianae2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I love the people of Hawai'i, more so the small community of Wai'anae where you'll find Makaha Beach Park. The area is considered to have one of the highest concentration of native Hawaiians in the world, it is also a bedroom community, with most battling traffic in the morning and evening to and from work in Honolulu five days a week. Suffice to say when it comes to play, they play hard. You'll get a knucklehead every now and then that makes the place look bad, so travel safe and keep all valuables out of your car.

If you want to experience a legendary surf spot and beautiful beach, you'll be at the beginning of the road. Snorkeling should best be saved for Makua or Keawaula Bay (Yokohama Bay) 10 minutes away.
Written April 26, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cherryl C
Fallbrook, CA17 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
I would travel a bit further down.....there are many beaches for surfing and a nice little beach in Makaha between the Hawaiin Princess and the shorter towers next door....
Written January 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pupit
Santa Barbara, CA52 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
Spent an afternoon quietly enjoying the beach, we were un obtrusive and respectful, but obviously white and not Hawaiian.. sorry not super tan!! Sad to find a note on our car indicating Locals Only were welcome at this beach. Left a bad taste in my mouth. Didn't feel good about spending money on "their Island" or supporting their local economy. I also live in a tourist community and recognize the contribution and welcome visitors to my city- maybe anyone but Hawaiians now!
Written September 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nitz5
Livermore, CA7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Solo
I lived in Hawaii in the early 70's - (token haole boy) used to camp out at Makaha, dive off the shelf for puka shells - punched em, strung em, & sold em in Waikiki - At the time, there were only about 5 of us doing this - myself, (Skip) Dave White, Dave Graham, Bob Schmidt, Russell Ouimet, & don't forget our best bud, local Ernie Udo! We used to camp under the trees for days at a time, and I went back in the winter of 2011, for the first time in 37 years, to find it's EXACTLY the same! When I eventually move back, that's the paradise I'm going for! Only two places that are paradise - (Lake Tahoe in the summer / West shore (the best shore!) of Oahu)
Written November 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Makaha Beach Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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