“Jaw dropping” is indeed the best way to describe this windward side beach park. It appears out of nowhere as you round the bend of Kalaniana’ole Highway and descend from Makapu’u Lookout – another top attraction. In fact, the color of the water here may very well be the most perfect on the island, perhaps because it stands in such stark contrast to the dark volcanic rocks that bookend either side of the sand that makes up the designated beach.
This is certainly a spot where you admire the ocean safely from the sand, as the shore-breaking waves pound the ground hard. The latter is what attracts brave locals who body surf (and surf) the spot. The horizon is equally impressive, with Rabbit Island in front of your vision and begging to be photographed. If you scramble up the rocks on the north side of the beach you’ll find a heiau – an off limits (kapu) sacred place of worship that you can enjoy from a distance through your camera lens.
While Makapuu Beach feels far removed from modern civilization Sea Life Park is across the highway, so you can work in an aquarium-esque experience for your day at Makapu’u, or at least have a place to grab food and refreshments. You can also catch the bus to/from Waikiki at Sea Life Park, so Makapu’u Beach is one of the more conveniently located natural attractions on Oahu.