Explore Bellows Beach on Oahu: A Guide to This Hidden Gem in Waimanalo

by | Mar 13, 2024

Ever wondered what makes Bellows Beach on Oahu’s windward coast a hidden gem that’s worth exploring?

Nestled on the island’s windward coast, this beach isn’t just another stretch of white sand along the Pacific; it’s a paradise for families, adventure seekers, and nature lovers alike.

This blog post will guide you through everything this serene location has to offer—from its sparkling white sands and clear turquoise waters to the a ton of activities and amenities available.

Get ready to uncover the secrets of Bellows Beach in Waimanalo, Oahu, and discover why it’s the perfect spot for your next family vacation or day out in nature. Now, let’s take a closer look at what makes this beach so special.

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🏨 Accommodations: We recommend Expedia

✈️ Flights: For the cheapest flights, we use Skyscanner

🚗 Rental Car: We recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental

🌋 Attractions: We recommend Get Your Guide

🌺 Luaus and Tours: We recommend Hawaii Tours

📱 Mobile Tour App: Our favorite is Shaka Guide

Can Anyone Go to Bellows Beach?

Yes, Bellows Beach in Oahu, Hawaii, is accessible to the general public from noon on Fridays to midnight on Sundays and on federal holidays. This schedule allows for weekend visits, although it’s important to note that access is restricted outside these times.

For entry during the week, individuals must possess a military ID,  as the beach is located on a military installation.

The exclusive military portion of Bellows Beach is reserved for active duty, retired, and reserve military personnel, disabled veterans holding a VA Health Identification Card, and military contractors who have a CAC Card, ensuring a dedicated space for those connected to the military services.

Key Takeaways of Bellows Beach on Oahu

  • The beach is open to the general public on weekends and holidays.
  • Bellows Beach in Waimanalo, Oahu, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and activities. Its white sands and clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports.
  • The beach has plenty of amenities, including pavilions, basketball courts, BBQ grills, and lodging units at Bellows Air Force Station. It’s ideal for families.
  • You can enjoy camping experiences close to nature with views of the coastline.
  • Nearby attractions such as Halona Beach Cove and Makapu’u Beach Park offer more adventure opportunities with stunning scenery for snorkeling, bodyboarding, picnicking or just chilling out.

Recommended Tours Nearby

Overview of Bellows Beach, Waimanalo, Oahu

bellows beach on oahu

Nestled on the windward side of Oahu, just a stone’s throw from the quaint town of Waimanalo, Bellows Beach is a serene paradise.

This beautiful beach, part of Bellows Field Beach Park, offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational activities.

With its crystal-clear waters and soft sandy shores framed by lush ironwood trees, it’s a breathtaking oasis away from Honolulu’s hustle.

Bellows Beach is known for more than its picturesque landscapes—it’s also rich in amenities and features that cater to every kind of beachgoer.

Due to military training exercises nearby, this spot is open to the public mainly on weekends.

The large camping area nestled among the trees invites families and adventurers alike to immerse themselves in nature’s embrace.

Given its popularity with locals and limited access times, planning your visit ahead can ensure you get to enjoy every bit of tranquility this beach has to offer without missing out.

Features of Bellows Beach

bellows beach sandy shores

“Bellows Field beach park” by Plant pests and diseases is marked with CC0 1.0.

Bellows Beach rolls out the welcome mat with easy beach access, making it a snap to get from your car to the sand. The calm waters and handy amenities ensure your day at the beach is as chill as a Hawaiian breeze.

Beach Access

Getting to Bellows Beach is a breeze. You’ll find it along Kalanianaole Highway, Route 72, near Waimanalo, on the windward coast of Oahu.

Look for the signs pointing you in the right direction—it’s hard to miss! The entrance welcomes everyone with its easy-to-spot landmarks.

And here’s a tip: arrive early, as parking spots can fill up quickly, especially during sunny weekends and holidays.

Once you’re here, you’re in for a treat. The beach stretches out with white sand and turquoise waters awaiting your footsteps. Access paths are well-marked and lead directly from parking areas to the beachfront.

Keep an eye out for safety signs too—they’ll let you know if parts of the beach are closed off for military training exercises. With everything so clear and straightforward, all that’s left is to kick off your shoes and feel the soft sand between your toes.

Swimming Conditions

Bellows Beach shines as a paradise for swimmers of all ages, thanks to its calm, clear waters. The gentle waves make it perfect for beach activities ranging from snorkeling to paddling.

It’s like the ocean itself is inviting you in for a refreshing dip or an exciting underwater adventure among the vibrant sea life.

Safety is top-notch here, and swimming conditions are friendly for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to float peacefully on your back or get your heart pumping with some serious paddling, Bellows has you covered.

Its crystal-clear waters ensure that both kids and adults have a safe and enjoyable time splashing around under the Hawaii sun.

However, never be too trusting with the ocean. Always be aware and never turn your back towards the water.


Bellows Beach in Waimanalo, Oahu, offers a range of amenities that make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Here’s what you can expect at this ideal spot for family vacations or a relaxing day by the Pacific.

  1. Multiple Pavilions: Perfect places for large groups and families to gather under the shade. These spots offer a break from the sun while you enjoy a meal or just relax.
  2. Restaurants Nearby: Craving something tasty? A short drive away, Waimanalo town offers diverse dining options to satisfy any appetite.
  3. Basketball Courts: Got some energy to burn? The beach park features courts where you can shoot hoops with friends or join in on a pickup game.
  4. Paintball Arenas: For those looking for an adrenaline rush, nearby paintball arenas provide thrilling action-packed experiences.
  5. Playgrounds: Ideal for families with children, playgrounds keep the little ones entertained with safe and fun equipment.
  6. BBQ Grills and Picnic Tables: Nothing says a day at the beach like a good barbeque. Use the grills available to cook up some delicious food; picnic tables are spread out for your convenience.
  7. Beach Volleyball Areas: Join in on a game or start your own at one of the available beach volleyball areas—a great way to meet new people and have fun.
  8. Restroom Facilities: Clean and accessible restrooms ensure your day at the beach is not only fun but also comfortable.
  9. Lodging Units at Bellows AFS: For an extended stay, Bellows Air Force Station provides lodging units with air conditioning for both military and civilian guests.
  10. Cultural Classes and Outdoor Programs: Embrace Hawaii’s rich culture through classes and programs available for vacationers wanting to learn more during their stay.

Each amenity makes Bellows Beach not just a must-visit destination but also ensures your time there is as engaging or relaxing as you wish it to be.

Whether you’re into sports, looking for kid-friendly options, or just want to connect with nature while enjoying modern comforts, this beach has got you covered.

The Uniqueness of Bellows Beach

169th Civil Engineer Squadron trains at Bellows Air Force Station

“169th Civil Engineer Squadron trains at Bellows Air Force Station” by S.C. Air National Guard is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Bellows Beach stands out for its mix of natural beauty and exclusive access, making it a must-visit for those with military ties—peek into this unique spot to see why it’s so special.

Military ID Checks

If you’re visiting during the week, you’ll need to show a military ID at the entrance of Bellows Beach. This rule keeps the beach safe and clean for everyone.

So, make sure you have your valid identification ready. Following military rules is key here.

These ID checks remind us that Bellows Beach is special. They help protect the beauty of this place while letting people enjoy it all year round.

Camping Experiences

Camping at Bellows Beach in Waimanalo, Oahu is a must-try for anyone who loves the outdoors. This spot offers campers a special chance to get close to nature and soak in the incredible views of the coastline.

Set up your tent near the lapping waves and wake up to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean every morning. The lush tropical setting against the backdrop of the Koolau Mountains makes each moment spent here truly unforgettable.

Campers also enjoy exclusive access to some beach sections on weekends, making it feel like you have your own private piece of paradise. Facilities include barbecue spots where families can cook meals together while enjoying the turquoise ocean views.

With clear days and nights, bird watching becomes a favorite pastime for many visitors, adding an extra layer of adventure to the camping experience.

Plus, being in close proximity to attractions like Sea Life Park means there’s never a dull moment during your stay at Bellows Beach.

Activities to Enjoy at Bellows Beach

snorkeling in hawaii in summertime

At Bellows Beach, every day brings a new adventure, from riding the waves to spotting rare birds. Keep reading to discover more!

Water Sports

Bellows Beach in Waimanalo, Oahu is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Its calm and shallow waters are perfect for beginners and families looking to have fun.

Here’s what you can enjoy:

  1. Swimming – The gentle waves make it ideal for swimming. You can splash around or practice your strokes with ease.
  2. Snorkeling – Grab a mask and explore underwater. You’ll see colorful fish and maybe even some sea turtles near the reef.
  3. Bodyboarding – Catch the waves on a bodyboard. It’s thrilling and easier to learn than surfing.
  4. Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) – Paddle peacefully across the water. It’s a great way to relax and get a full-body workout.
  5. Kite Surfing – For those seeking adventure, kite surfing offers an adrenaline rush. Keep an eye on the wind conditions to find the perfect day.
  6. Equipment Rentals – Don’t worry if you didn’t bring gear. Nearby shops rent out snorkels, fins, bodyboards, and more.

Each activity offers a unique way to experience Bellows Beach’s aquamarine beauty while staying active in the sun.


Birdwatching at Bellows Beach turns every visit into an adventure. The park is a haven for tropical birds, making it a prime spot for those who love to observe these colorful creatures in their natural habitat.

From Friday through Sunday and on federal holidays, you get the chance to spot not just birds but also Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles. This blend of wildlife enriches your experience, offering more than just sunbathing or swimming.

Grab your binoculars because each visit can reveal new sightings amidst the lush vegetation. You might catch glimpses of unique bird species that call this place home, adding a special touch to your beach day.

Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or trying it for the first time, this activity adds an exciting layer to exploring Waimanalo Bay’s splendor.

Family Picnics

Bellows Beach is the spot for family picnics with its wide, sandy shores and calm waters.

You’ll find yourself enjoying stunning ocean views and the natural beauty that surrounds you.

This beach is more than just white sand; it’s a place where families come to relax away from the hustle and bustle.

Pack your favorite foods, grab some beach toys, and get ready for a day full of fun and relaxation at Bellows Beach.

Nearby Windward Coast Attractions to Explore

Halona Beach Cove in Hawaii

Pictured: Halona Beach Cove

Don’t miss out on the adventure beyond Bellows. Check out Halona Beach Cove and Makapu’u Beach Park for more fun under the sun.

Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove offers a hidden paradise for visitors to Hawaii looking for adventure.

Surrounded by lush tropical greenery and the towering Koolau Mountains, this secluded white sandy beach is perfect for snorkeling, bodyboarding, and even cliff jumping if you’re feeling brave.

The cove’s crystal-clear waters invite you to explore its vibrant marine life up close.

Just a short drive along Kalanianaole Highway (Route 72), near attraction-rich areas like Lanikai and Kailua beaches, this spot feels worlds away from the busy vibes of Waikiki.

To make the most of your visit, bring your water shoes and gear.

Whether you’re aiming for a serene swim or an adrenaline-packed afternoon, Halona Beach Cove promises stunning views and unforgettable experiences in one compact package.

Get ready to capture plenty of photos – this place looks like it’s straight out of a movie scene!

Makapuu Beach Park

Makapuu Beach Park is a jewel in Windward Oahu. This spot offers breathtaking views of the Pacific, making it perfect for those looking to relax and take in the scenery.

You can enjoy picnic facilities here, ideal for spending time with family or friends.

This place is more than just sandy beaches; it’s home to Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and tropical birds. Getting here is easy — you can hop on a bus or drive from downtown Honolulu in about 45 minutes.

Whether you’re into nature watching or just want a beautiful spot to chill out, Makapuu Beach Park has got something special for everyone.

Bellows Beach on Oahu Wrap-Up

Wrapping up our journey through Bellows Beach on Oahu, we’ve discovered a truly unique destination that blends natural beauty with a wide array of activities and amenities.

From its inviting white sands and clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, to the comfortable lodging and exciting water sports available, Bellows Beach provides an ideal spot for both relaxation and adventure.

Whether you’re camping under the stars, watching tropical birds, or exploring nearby attractions, this beach has something for everyone.

If you’re eager to learn more about the wonders of Hawaii, don’t forget to check out our other posts on exploring the Hawaiian Islands.

From secret beaches to cultural treasures, we’ve got plenty of guides to help you plan your next unforgettable getaway.

And finally, Bellows Beach on Oahu reminds us that paradise isn’t just a place—it’s an experience.

So why wait? Start planning your visit to this breathtaking beach today, and see for yourself why it’s cherished by locals and travelers alike.

Whether it’s your first time or you’re returning for more, the beauty and tranquility of Bellows Beach await to offer you a slice of Hawaiian paradise.

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FAQs for Bellows Beach

1. Where is Bellows Beach located?

Bellows Beach stretches out in Windward Oahu, right where the ocean meets the sky. It’s a place where you can kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes as soon as you turn right near the entrance.

2. What makes Bellows Beach special for families?

This beach is a family-friendly paradise! With gentle waves perfect for body boarding and swimming holes that seem made just for laughter and splashes, it’s a spot where memories are waiting to be made.

3. Can I stay overnight at Bellows Beach?

Sure thing! Right by the beach, there are cozy beachfront lodging units that let you wake up with the ocean whispering right outside your window. Just remember, these spots get snapped up fast, especially during winter months!

4. Are there any times when I can’t visit Bellows Beach?

There’s this restricted area part of the beach that’s not always open to visitors. So, it’s smart to plan your visit accordingly to make sure you’re not greeted by closed gates instead of open waves.

5. What else can I do at Bellows Beach besides swim?

If tinkering around with a surfboard or catching currents isn’t your jam, how about joining in on a beach cleanup? It’s a great way to give back while soaking up all that beauty Waimanalo Bay has to offer.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy is the owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel and is a recognized authority on responsible travel to Hawaii. Combining years of on-ground experience with insights from the top-rated podcast, Hawaii’s Best, he connects with a broad online community, offering a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.