Fort DeRussy Beach Park (Waikiki)

South Shore (Honolulu)

Fort DeRussy Beach Park is a beach park in Waikiki near the Hale Koa hotel. The beach features white sand, gentle waves, and clear water, and is ideal for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and walking. While there’s no free parking near this beach, it’s accessible from many other parts of Waikiki, and there’s ample paid parking nearby. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset, enjoy the Hilton’s friday night fireworks, or just go for a swim in the beautiful blue waters.

Blue water at Fort DeRussy Beach Park

About Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Fort DeRussy Beach Park is at the edge of Waikiki, adjacent to the Ala Wai boat harbor. It’s a big, sandy stretch of beach near hotels including the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Hale Koa, Castle Waikiki Shore, and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

One of the best parts about Hawaii is that all beaches are open to the public, no exceptions. This means that you don’t need to spring for a luxury room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to enjoy Fort DeRussy Beach Park—you can just drive or walk there and enjoy the blue, blue waters and expansive sandy beaches for free. The beach typically features gentle waves and a sandy bottom that’s good for swimming. It’s also near many other attractions in Waikiki, including other beaches, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Location: South Shore (Honolulu)

Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, paved walkway along the beach, nearby snack shacks and restaurants

Free parking: No free parking, but there is paid parking in several adjacent parking lots.

Recommended activities: Swimming, sunbathing, sunset watching, fireworks

Activities at Fort DeRussy Beach Park

This expansive beach features picture-perfect water, gentle waves, and plenty of space to spread out and soak up the sun. Whether you’re staying in a hotel near the beach or just looking for a good place to spend a beach day, Fort DeRussy is a great pick. The calm waters mean that it’s great for families and comfortable even if you’re not a super strong swimmer. It’s also a great spot for a morning walk.

Fort DeRussy Beach Park is great no matter the time of day, but it’s an especially perfect spot to watch the sunset (bonus points if this includes a drink from Hale Koa Pool Snack Bar or the Koa Oasis Booze Shack, and a steak plate from the nearby Steak Shack). If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat afterwards, the Banyan Waikiki Shore location for banana-based ice cream and shave ice.

This beach is also the best place to catch the Hilton’s weekly fireworks show every Friday night. The fireworks are launched just off shore, which means that beach goers have front row seats. Each week hundreds of people flock to the beach, bringing blankets, chairs, and snacks to set up and enjoy the view. During the summer, fireworks go off at around 8:00pm. During the winter, when the sun sets slightly earlier, fireworks go off around 7:45pm. The show lasts about five minutes, but is completely free and a fun way to spend your Friday night. You can even watch the fireworks while taking a dip in the water!

Sunset at Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Parking at Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Unfortunately, there’s no free parking at this beach. Visitors can park either in the expansive parking lot across the street from the beach at 2141 Kalia Road, or can park in the Ala Wai boat harbor parking lot. Both options can be pricey. But if you don’t mind a walk, you can also park elsewhere in Waikiki (or leave your rental car at your Waikiki hotel if you’re visiting) and then walk on down to the beach.

Fort DeRussy Beach Park history

The park is named after General René Edward De Russy, who served in the War of 1812. This beach was one of a number of forts and batteries located on Oahu. Today, the beach is no longer an active fort, but still sits adjacent to the Hale Koa hotel, which is reserved for military members, veterans and their families, and next to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii at Fort DeRussy.

Things to do near Fort DeRussy Beach Park

There are plenty of things to do near this park, as it’s in the heart of Waikiki. You can explore other nearby beaches, like the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon or the main drag at Waikiki Beach. You can also rent surfboards or paddle boards, sign up for a snorkeling trip, go on a sunset catamaran cruise, or enjoy just about any of the many restaurants and shops that Waikiki has to offer.

View of Diamond Head from Fort DeRussy Beach

FAQs about Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Are dogs allowed at Fort DeRussy Beach Park?

Dogs are allowed at Fort DeRussy Beach Park, but must be on a leash at all times. There are a lot of other people at the beach, so your pet should be well-behaved and comfortable with crowds.

What are Fort DeRussy Beach Park hours?

Fort DeRussy Beach Park is open from 5am to 11pm every day. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a morning beach walk, a sunset swim, or a mid-day sunbathe, you’ll be able to enjoy this beach all day long.

How far is Fort DeRussy from Waikiki Beach?

Fort DeRussy Beach is technically part of the long string of beaches that make up Waikiki’s shoreline. That said, it’s on the far end of Waikiki, near the Ala Wai boat harbor and adjacent to Ala Moana across the harbor.

Can you snorkel at Fort DeRussy Beach Park?

It’s possible to snorkel at Fort DeRussy Beach Park, as the water is relatively calm and shallow. Since the reef is further out, there may not be as many sea creatures to spot, but we’ve seen fish and turtles there before. 

Is Fort DeRussy still in Waikiki?

Yes, Fort DeRussy is still in Waikiki—it’s at the western end of Waikiki near the harbor. It’s a little more secluded from the main drag by the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider, but still plenty busy with both tourists and locals.

Maggie W.

On a mission to explore every beach on Oahu.

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