Located at the Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center, which includes Fort DeRussy Park, the Hale Koa Hotel, and the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, Fort DeRussy Beach Park in Waikiki is a great location to bring the family for a day of sun and fun! Situated between the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa and the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, this beach park boasts one of the nicest and largest beaches in Waikiki. The water is usually very calm, perfect for little swimmers and those new to Hawaiian water sports. It is the only section that is backed by a large, shady lawn and picnic area complete with picnic tables and grills available on a first come, first serve basis. A concrete walkway fronts this section of Waikiki and extends west to Duke Kahanamoku Beach and is perfect for an oceanfront stroll with the family. Between the Hale Koa Hotel and the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii is Fort DeRussy Park, a green, shaded park with plenty of picnic tables and room to spread out. Additionally, there are several beach volleyball courts set up and available for all to use. The sand here is soft, especially when compared to other sections of Waikiki, however, it can be covered with uncomfortable rock and crushed coral at the water entry so having water-shoes is a good idea. This mixture of sand, rock and coral extends well out into the ocean. If you are looking for shade right on the beach or at the waters edge, than you will need your beach umbrella. We also recommend a good beach hat and sunscreen! There are lots of water sport toys and equipment available for rent at two Prime Time Sports Kiosks located right on the beach, which rent among many other things stand up paddle boards and kayaks. If you are apprehensive about giving these activities a try, don’t be! The staff will instruct you on how to use them, and if needed, a lifeguard stand is conveniently nearby! We recommend you pack your own picnic lunch and drinks in a cooler but if you want to purchase it, there are several nearby options. The Beach Cart and Koa Oasis is the closest and is usually located on the concrete walkway near the beach entrance to the Hale Koa Hotel. They usually feature hot dogs, chips, drinks and shave ice. Also, do not let the appearance of lots of military families and the Hale Koa Hotel, which is only available for use only by those associated with the U.S. Armed Forces, discourage you from exploring the hotel grounds and using some of their facilities. Many are available for use by the general public. Among these is Happy’s Snack Bar and the Pool Snack Bar located near the hotel’s oceanfront swimming pool. You do not need a military identification card to purchase here and they serve items such as salads, burgers, nachos, and drinks. Also on the hotel grounds are restroom facilities the closest being right next to Happy’s Snack Bar. Other food options, such as Tropics, located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa, are located a short stroll away, along the concrete walkway towards Duke Kahanamoku Beach. If you are associated with the military, one of the great benefits of going to this beach is the access that you have to other Hale Koa facilities. If you are looking for a change of scenery after a few hours on the beach, you can always head to the Hale Koa swimming pool! Just show the staff your military identification and you will get access to the large oceanfront pool and baby pool. Warning: The Hale Koa Hotel does not allow outside beach chairs or coolers at the pool so a trip to the parking lot to drop your beach gear at the car may be necessary. We learned this one the hard way! Also, we have seen them limit access to the pool when they are very crowded, usually this only occurs on holiday weekends though. Additional restrooms are located across from the pool as well as an outdoor shower. For military identification card holders the best parking option is the Hale Koa Parking Lot located across Kalia Street from the hotel. For others, there are nearby public parking lots or metered side street parking. This is by far one of the best places to go in Waikiki, especially if you are a military family. This is our family’s “go to” spot when we have family in town or when we just want to go to the beach and relax. It is perfect for our family and we highly recommend that you check it out!