A craving for Hank's Haute Dogs lead to a Saturday afternoon at Kakaako Waterfront Park. With Hank's packed with an early lunch crowd, I drove to the park a couple of blocks away to enjoy the eatery's Chicago Dog. More about Hank's later. Surprisingly uncrowded, the park provided a quiet respite from busy Honolulu.
At over 30 acres, the park lacks a sandy beach and this probably explains the smaller weekend crowds compared to nearby Ala Moana Beach. Visiting the park today it's difficult to imagine that twenty years ago this site was a massive landfill. Officially opened in 1992, Kakaako Waterfront Park is a rolling landscape with a 20-foot wide promenade stretching along the entire length of the park's ocean side.
The park includes a community amphitheater where Daughtry played a concert last fall, the Ehime Maru Memorial and water access to Point Panic, a popular spot for surfers and board riders. A central mound provides an ideal photographic point and 360-degree panoramic view.
The completion of the Kakaako Makai Gateway Park along Ala Moana Boulevard serves as a proper entry to the waterfront park. There is a free parking lot and metered stalls along side streets.
The park is located between Downtown Honolulu and the Ala Moana/Waikiki area. Park hours is 6am-10pm daily. The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), created by the State of Hawaii legislature in 1976 to revitalize urban areas of the state, manages the park. Visit hcdaweb.org to more info about the park, permit information and the HCDA. Click HERE for the park fact sheet.
See part 2 of this post for additional photographs.