Scenery view of a beach with the sunset. Scenery view of a beach with the sunset.

Aloha Vibes: Ala Moana Regional Park Bliss

Ala Moana Regional Park is a public park on Oahu, Hawaii island. It has recreational activities and events for all ages, including kids and the aged. It is famous among swimmers, surfers, and boarders for its walking paths, beaches, calm waters, and jogging trails.

It was initially known as Moana Park, but the parks board changed the name to Ala Moana Beach Park. It also holds a lot of cultural significance. This park is registered as one of the historic places where the Honolulu department holds cultural events. The celebrations are mainly held to celebrate Hawaiian traditions.

1. Why Is Ala Moana Regional Park famous?

The location of the park and the gatherings held here make this place very popular among the residents. Since Ala Moana Regional Park is situated in the middle of the city, it is easily accessible for all residents.

The beach park and its vicinity are all clean, with a proper garbage dump area, which increases its popularity.

The urban feel that the beach offers also makes it the most popular park in the entire city. Unlike other parks in the town, Ala Moana Regional Park has many exclusive features like visitor picnic tables, tennis courts, lush green space for kids to play, shady palm trees where people can rest and enjoy the scenic beauty, food concessions, and much more.

And most importantly, a half-crescent beach Island named Magic Island, a well-known site, is also situated in Ala Moana Beach Park.

Ala Moana Regional Park Walk 2/26/2019

2. Exquisite Features of Ala Moana Beach Park

Following are the features of Ala Moana Beach Park that make it so popular among visitors and residents:

2.1. Beaches

The presence of beaches makes Ala Moana Beach Park highly attractive, especially amongst people looking for swimming and sunbathing. The beaches are well maintained and offer mesmerizing scenic views to the tourists. There are also grassy areas provided for the people to sit and relax.

2.2. Magic Island 

Magic Island is popular because of the activities that take place on it. It offers mesmerizing sunset views and picnic options with families or friends. Less crowd makes Magic Island highly desirable to the people who prefer privacy. It is well-maintained and allows you to click some beautiful pictures. There is also a lagoon at the end of Magic Island, which also adds another feather to Magic Island.

2.3. Sports Pavillion 

The park offers various sports facilities like tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and open spaces where people can play and relax. Walking and jogging trails are also provided for the ease of customers. Some parks also have swings and slides so kids can enjoy and play with their families.

2.4. Yacht Harbour 

Ala Wai Boat Harbor is near the regional park, which provides excellent boating facilities. In addition to boating facilities provided, it offers scenic beauty that makes it a must-visit destination for boating and sailing enthusiasts

2.5. Ala Moana Shopping Center 

Ala Moana Shopping Center 
By Mac Glassford// Unsplash// Copyright 2023

The shopping center is located adjacent to Ala Moana Beach Park, which is just a drive away from the park and is one of the largest open-air shopping malls in the world. It consists of extensive retail sections like luxurious stores, fashion accessories, dining facilities, multi-cuisine restaurants, and local events that display the art and culture of the state.

2.6. Events 

There are many events held in the park, either weekly or monthly. There are marathons, sunset days, fairs, and a lot more. Other events include Floral Parade, historical events, etc.

All these features make Ala Moana Regional Park very famous and popular.

3. History of Ala Moana Beach Park

Moana Park has a long history that resulted in today’s famous park. It has undergone various changes till now. You would be surprised to know that Moana Park was used as a staging area and military battery during World War II.

The history of Ala Moana Regional Park begins with Ala Moana Regional Beach. It was once swampy marshland and not the park we know nowadays. It was used as a garbage dump with a few coconut palms. Ala Moana Parks Board was designated to hand over the land to the US government, but only under the condition that they would convert it into a park.

This is how the famous Ala Moana Regional Park came into existence. Initially, the park included services, namely the banyan court, sports pavilion, lawn bowling green, and tennis courts. Further improvement included the construction of two ponds, a canal bridge, and drainage canals. The west end of the channel was sealed off by the Hawaiian Dredging Company in 1955 with a landfill now known as the Kewalo Basin Park. Kewalo Basin Park was originally dredged for boat traffic and is now in Ala Moana Regional Park.

The deep swimming area fronting the beach is a former boat channel now available to tourists. The boat channel was dredged through coral reefs and Kiawe trees in the late 1920s to link Kewalo Basin with Ala Wai Harbor. The extension plan involved reclaimed land to develop Ala Moana Beach Park by the Honolulu Department of the City. 

Family enjoying their time in the beach
By Peggy-Marco// Pixabay// Copyright 2023

Ala Moana Park was officially opened as a public park to residents with a beach park, coconut palms, and expansive lawns where people can spend quality time with family, friends, and acquaintances. A Pavilion named McCoy Pavilion is constructed on the diamond head side of the courtyard. It hosts notable events like the Annual Greek Festival and the Highland Games.

Magic Island, an integral part of Ala Moana Beach Park, is a man-made peninsula created in the 20th century. Initially, it was not designed as a part of a resort hotel complex. Then, over time, it was converted into the park now famous as Magic Island. It is covered by a shallow reef offshore.

4. Improvement Plans

The park authorities have decided to make the following changes as this park is popular among residents and visitors. These changes were initiated for the people’s welfare and to promote tourists to the parks. These improvement strategies have already been incorporated and are expected to be completed soon. A few of them are already completed. 

4.1. Widening of the Pathways

The pathways were widened to promote pedestrian access in the park.

4.2. Renovation of the Parking Lot

The parks board was designated to repair and renovate the parking lot. The improvement plans included constructing a new drop-off zone and installing new park road gates, benches, and trash cans. Additional features such as a volleyball ground, bike path, and playground for the people were initiated, and the bathrooms were restored. This was done to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the Ala Moana regional park.

4.3. Planting of New Trees

In the past few years, more than 300 plants, which include plants like Loulu palms, Lonomea, Beach Heliotrope, Shower trees, etc., have been planted in Moana Beach Park to make it greener than before. The healthier ones replaced the diseased plants. A few trees will be relocated to maintain the structural integrity of the canal.

4.4. LED Light Conversion Program

With the approval of this program, Ala Moana Regional Park has become the first of its kind in the whole city. The motive behind this program was to replace the existing lights of the park with LED lights to save energy. They plan to replace 570 high-pressure sodium and metal halides with LED lights, which will assist in energy conservation.

4.5. Repairing of the Canal Bridge

Various physical features like the canal bridge, Hawaiian Pond banks, dredged coral fill, Japanese ponds, and Eva Bridge were repaired to avoid accidents. The damaged canal bridges were repaired and replaced to broaden the park roadways. The width of the roads is expected to be twice the width of the existing roads. The Hawaiian Pond’s muddy, deteriorated banks at Ala Moana Regional Park will be repaired and renovated.

4.6. Increased Aesthetic Beauty

The park’s board is designated to add decorative elements like railings, stunning lights, and art-deco architectural facilities to make the park more visually attractive.

5. Things to Try at the Ala Moana Beach Park

When visiting the beach park, there are certain activities that you can’t miss. These include a hoverboard Tour of West Waikiki, a professional photo tour of Honolulu Island, a Trolley ride, etc. There are both guided and as well as private tours available. All these tours have the features that make them unique. Other things include boat rides, water, summer activities, etc.

A few details of these tours are mentioned below.

5.1. Waikiki Trolley Hop-on Hop-off All-Line Pass

It offers free cancellation services, easy ride options, and wheelchair facilities. You can board the trolley at any time when in the place. You can explore all the areas of the park using a trolley. In areas like coastal regions, mountains, cafes, and restaurants, you can explore everything with the help of the trolley.

You can also visit Diamond Head, Pink Line, and areas with historic significance on your tour. If you are going on your first trip to Ala Moana Regional Park, you should not miss this trolley visit; you will enjoy this ride.

5.2. Grand Circle Island Self-Guided Audio Tour of Oahu

An inside view of a jeep going on a road.
By Thom Holmes// Unsplash// Copyright 2023

This tour is unique as it uses an app to guide you throughout your journey. All you need is to download the app, use it as your audio guide, and use maps to visit the whole city. And for this, you do not need any specific requirements.

And the best part is that you can do it all from your vehicle. Once you have downloaded the app, you can use it as your guide and go anywhere you wish. To access this app, you need a unique password you will get when you download the app. After this, you can visit the whole area using the app.

5.3. Private Photo Tour

This is another interesting tour where you can view the magnificent places of Hawaii and get your favorite moments clicked by professionals. As this is a private tour, you can go with your family and capture precious moments in various places, offering scenic views like Diamond Head State Monument, Beach Park, Bay Nature Preserve, sunsets, and much more.

a woman taking a picture with a camera.
By Matt Hardy// Pixabay// Copyright 2023

It is the latest tour started by a professional photographer. The duration of the tour lasts for 500 minutes, and you can click ten pictures. They offer pick-up and drop facilities too for the ease of the visitors.

Conclusion

Ala Moana Regional Park is one of the must-visit places when going to Hawaii. It has so many exquisite features that make it one of the popular attractions for tourists and residents. It has beautiful parks and boating trails that people of all ages enjoy.

There are also various tours available that you can board to get a detailed tour of the place. Eat, dine, and play at Aa Moana Regional Park, and live every moment. Also, do not forget to take as many pictures as possible to keep this trip forever memorable.

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