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“Slice of paradise”

Kahana Bay Beach Park
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Ranked #199 of 542 things to do in Oahu
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Owner description: A jungle-style park with many streams.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

Soft white sand, calm waters, lack of crowds - what else do you need for a perfect day on the beach?

2  Thank YuliaNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 27 of 36 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2013

When visiting Hawaii, I'm not what you'd call a "beach" person. I tend to want to visit places and see things as opposed to suntanning or swimming but this time, I made a point of finding a beach that wasn't swamped with people, had nice sand and a pleasant swimming experience. This beach is it!

Being on the windward side means you've got early morning direct sun but by lunchtime, the sun is behind you and there's a gentle breeze. Both times I visited, I was one of maybe 5-6 people. The beach is more rustic probably because it isn't frequented by the masses but that's the appeal.

There are no washrooms on site which is probably the only downside to this beautiful beach.

1  Thank KosiceKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Kahana Bay is not one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii nor is it ideal for swimming. But it is a great out of the way spot that is quiet and peaceful- 2 things not easy to find on this island- and it was the perfect spot for a weekend of camping and relaxation. The beach is a stones throw from the gorgeous and crowded beaches of the north shore but it feels a world away. Though the beach is littered with branches and coconut shells, it is still quite picturesque. The beach is long and flat and is protected on both sides but huge green mountains. I've visited this beach a handful of times when the campgrounds were closed and hardly ever encountered another soul. The campgrounds are open 5 days a week but there are only 10 campsites that are reasonably spread apart so even when all the sites were full it was still a quiet and relaxing place to be. We booked site #6 which is the most private. We set up our tent right at the back of the beach, under the trees for shade, and fell asleep to the sound of the waves each night. The only downside to camping here is they only have outdoor beach showers and the "comfort station" was not all that clean or comfortable. But the porta-potties were clean and adequate for the weekend so we made due just fine.

There are some local bums that hang around this park and one asked if they could share our campsite. We kindly declined and were not bothered otherwise during our stay. But as with all spots on the island, don't leave valuables in your car.

Across Kam highway there is a state park with 2 hiking trails. The Kapa‘ele‘ele Trail is just over a mile long. When you reach the stream, turn to your left and follow the trail up for some amazing views of Kahana Bay. That was the highlight of this trail for me. We also hiked the Nakoa Trail which is a 3.5 mile loop from the parking area. I was a little disappointed in the trail overall, the valley views were not quite as amazing as expected, but we did see some bunkers that the military used for training during WWII. We didn't hike up to the pools. When hiking this park be sure to put on a lot of bug spray and carry it with you as it is heavily infested with mosquitoes.

Overall we had a great weekend camping trip at Kahana Bay and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something off the beaten path on this crowded island. If you are coming or going in the direction of the North Shore, be sure to stop and Fumi's shrimp shack near Kahuku for some garlic butter shrimp. I'm a native NYer and am generally disappointed with the food here but Fumi's is a huge exception and definitely shouldn't be missed.

4  Thank shutterbug317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Trailhead is in the rear of the park past the small group of houses that locals still live in that pre-date the state park. Car parking is before entry to the local community. The locals were friendly and our car was undamaged upon return from our hike. Our 7 and 8 year old kids zoomed around the entire 2.5 mile loop trail with ease. It was a bit more of a slog for my wife and I. We did it in tennis shoes. Trail shoes would have been better. BRING BUG SPRAY!!!! There is a great swimming hole halfway around the loop with a "shoot the rapids" sort of feature that was fun for all. Head DOWNHILL through the mosquito-laden bamboo forest to get to this swimming hole. Finishing the loop counterclockwise and you get to the river with the rope swing into the swimming hole. Check the hole first for boulders and debris that may have washed over the dam. If the hole is clear of dangerous hidden items, test the rope. It is a very thick manila rope, but you never know. If is is strong, swing away. Cowabunga!. Oh...BIG HINT: if you go around the loop clockwise you would get to the rope swing and river within two minutes of easy hiking. Also, the hike up and around clockwise to the second swimming hole and "shoot the rapids" area would have been far easier, too. The other part of the loop (the western leg -- see map at hawaii state park internet site) has lots of switchbacks, tree roots, tree trunks and tree branches to maneuver around, and was far muddier. Inexperienced hikers might want to skip that leg of the loop entirely. Trail markings are easy to spot but infrequent. Bring water. Wear decent shoes. Long pants also recommended, with swimsuit underneath. We only saw two other people on this trail and we were there swimming over half the day. Warning: even the "easier" (clockwise first half) leg of this trail might be nasty after a heavy rain. Check the weather report on the day you plan to hike. It seems, however, that someone (thankfully) helps manage the trail by laying down palm fronds to make it less of a mud slog. Mahalos!

11  Thank SnorkelGang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Took a drive up HI1 to this little beach. Super quiet, not many visitors frequent this beach which makes it a perfect "get away" from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki or Waimea Bay. When my husband and I visited this beach, it was almost empty of people and it felt like we had our own little private beach. Drive about 15 minutes north and get a bite at Shrimp Shack after you've had your fill of soaking up the sun.

6  Thank Spideybriefs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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