Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon (aka: The Hilton Lagoon), Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
Posted by Jody on November 7, 2011
The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon, is named for the “Father of Modern Surfing.” Located at the far west end of Waikiki Beach (on the Hilton Hawaiian Village property), the public is welcome to enjoy this great big sandy “pool” in its beautifully landscaped, park-like setting. Frolicking children and families can spend the day splashing and playing in the inviting calm, clear water of this five acre saltwater lagoon.
The man made Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon has its origins in the 1950’s as part of Henry J. Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village complex. In 1961 the property became a Hilton resort and in 2006 the lagoon was closed for a massive $15,000,000 renovation project. Our family has actually enjoyed the “Hilton Lagoon” both before and after its incredible transformation! According to the Hilton Hawaiian Village the 2006-2007 renovation included: “a state-of-the-art water circulation system featuring seven saltwater wells 195-250 feet below the surface of the ocean. The wells draw in about 15,000 gallons of water per minute from the ocean, helping to turn over the water about five times a day. The lagoon’s depth has gone from about 12 feet to approximately five feet, and more than 35,000 tons of sand have been used to replenish the beach and bottom of the lagoon.” The unprecedented project added lovely Hawaiian landscaping and a boardwalk which skirts the lagoon. The boardwalk is quite popular with morning joggers. Newly placed benches are a great spot for those who just want to sip their coffee and enjoy a sunrise.
The calm, cool water of the lagoon is perfect for swimming, wading, and tame water sports such as stand-up paddling. You can conveniently rent stand-up paddle surfboards, waterbees, kayaks, and aqua cycles lagoon-side. Don’t get your heart set on building sandcastles in the sand surrounding the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, though. It’s rather hard and quite coarse. No problem! You can easily cross over the boardwalk to the more beachy sand of Waikiki’s Kahanamoku Beach.
*The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is the setting of a free fireworks display, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, which takes place every Friday evening. It’s one great show!*
For more on the beaches of Waikiki check out Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach.