Sand Island Beach Park

Sand Island Beach Park, Oahu

Sand Island Beach Park (see more photos, view panorama) may not be the typical picture-perfect tropical beach, but it has other charms that make it a good place to visit.The small island is located right offshore from Honolulu Harbor on Oahu. It is accessible via the Sand Island Access Road.

From here you can enjoy unique views of Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and the Honolulu International Airport. Besides the many low-flying airplanes of which you'll get up-close views, you'll also see many incoming freight and passenger ships and often times even big cruise ships that anchor right there in the harbor.

Sand Island used to be an important location for coastal defense in World War II. The deserted lookout towers and bunkers that are still here today are remnants of this time. They make for an almost surreal contrast to the grassy areas, swinging palm trees and the blue waters of the Pacific.

The long, sandy beach is never crowded and the beach park is a good place for picnics. Camping is also possible here Fridays through Mondays, but only with a permit. More info on how to get a permit is here.

The swimming conditions are fair, due to rocks in the water and the fact that Sand Island is near a busy harbor and underground sewer canals. Swimming is also limited to certain areas and not allowed in the harbor shipping lanes. However, fishing is good and you'll see many local fishermen trying their luck. Surfing is also possible; the waves are best in the summer months.

No lifeguards are stationed on Sand Island. As for amenities, picnic tables and restrooms are available. Keep in mind that it's not safe to go on top of the lookout towers or bunkers. They are closed to the public. Never swim in the harbor lanes and follow all warning signs.

Sand Island Beach Park Overview

  • Great views of busy Honolulu Harbor
  • Nice park for family picnics, grassy and shady areas
  • Camping is allowed with a permit
  • Long, sandy beach, but the swimming conditions aren't the best
  • Historical bunkers and lookout towers

Location:
400 Sand Island Pky, Honolulu HI 96819


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Reviews and Comments:
 
Dear Heather - Sand Island used to be a relocation camp for the Japanese Americans during WWII. They lives on Sand Island for few years and that is why you saw glasses, broken pottery, metal pieces.
Kimmy O'Hara, Wed Jan 30, 2013
 
As a recent visitor to Oahu, We stopped at Sand Island because of it's location and past history and because I had a hunch there might be some Sea Glass. WOW!....I'm curious to how all the large rocks on shore are embedded with glass and broken pottery, metal pieces. and where did all this come from or how it got there? any info would be enlightening...Mahalo, Heather
Heather , Aug 01, 2010