Hawaiian Electric Beach Park is located on the West Side (aka Wessai) of Oahu in Kapolei. It’s a small patch of sloping sand and certainly rough around the edges, but you’re not really coming here to bask in the sun and read a magazine from the comforts of your towel. This beach is all about what’s in the ocean in front of it, or should we say across Farrington Highway. On the other side of that road is the Hawaiian Electric power plant, which outflows clean warm water through an underground conduit and into the sea. This has a double-edged effect. For one, the water is significantly warmer than all other spots on the island, providing for a very comfortable swimming and snorkeling experience. Secondly, the warm water attracts a more diverse sect of tropical fish to a place that is already teeming with colorful and lively species. The deeper you swim from the shore the larger and more varied the sea life gets. We’re talking colorful coral, eels, spotted rays, octopus, hoards of sea turtles, and even dolphins.
The prospect of deep water snorkeling here may seem a little intimidating at first, but there are a number of snorkeling boat tours that drop off dozens of island visitors into the stew with you. Between the sea life and fellow humans you won’t feel alone in the dark blue. It’s an incredible place to explore for people of all ages and snorkeling skill levels.
While a day at Electric Beach is worthwhile if coming from the North Shore or Waikiki, there are also plenty of places to stay in the area over in the Ko Olina resort community – a stark juxtaposition from the homeless encampments found just a little north of Electric Beach. You can even walk to this snorkelers hot spot from the likes of the Four Seasons or Disney Aulani. That said, we recommend staying at Gecko’z South Seas Bungalows – the best vacation rental in Ko Olina, and the most authentic Polynesian accommodation on Oahu.
Sea turtles are everywhere, including in the shallows on the way out