A Day at the End of the Road—Yokohama Bay on the West Side

by: Evan Fa

Exploring new terrain is an essential aspect of any well rounded vacation. Considering that Oahu has four unique sides of the island to explore, there is tons of terrain to check out. Whether its Makapuu Point on the east side, the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore, or heading to Waikiki on the south shore, there are tons of iconic vistas and beaches. While staying near by on the North Shore of Oahu is definitely a must as it is one of the most majestic coastlines on earth, the west side of Oahu is absolutely worthwhile for all those staying with Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort.

The west side is referred to as the “Leeward Side.” On the leeward side, the common tradewinds blow offshore, from land to sea, the majority of the year. For that reason, and also because of the high mountains on Oahu, the leeward side receives less rain than the east side, referred to as the windward side. So one of the noticeable differences of the leeward side is that its drier, hotter, and more desert like.

As one ventures from the North Shore to the west side, one passes through some of the most beautiful coastline of the island. From the resort area of Koolina to Nanakuli to Waianae to Makaha, Farrington Hwy follows the windy coastline until it reaches the end of the road at Yokohama Bay. There at Yokohama Bay one passes through a few noticeable dips in the road (giving name to the main surf breaks at Yokohama Bay) within the beach park until it reaches a dirt road just prior to the most westerly tip of the island, Kaena Point. From there, one has the option to hike to Kaena Point by foot.

Yokohama Bay, Keawaula Beach being its Hawaiian name, is paradise in the most literal sense. Yokohama Bay used to once be known for its squid population, which would turn the whole bay red during certain times of the year. As Japanese fisherman frequently began fishing there, it later adopted the name now known as Yokohama Bay. History aside, with its long stretch of sandy beach, it is an ideal place to add a layer of shade to one’s tan, take a quick dip in the ocean in arguably the most blue water on the island, or just lounge on the sand with family and friends. Not to mention, the steep mountains butt up right against the shoreline, giving Yokohama its unique feel and picturesque scenery.

Directions: From the Turtle Bay Resort, take Kamehameha Hwy north to Joseph P Leong Hwy until it then becomes Kamehameha Hwy once again. Then merge onto H2 South toward Honolulu and follow it until you take H1 West towards Waianae. The H1 West will then become Farrington Hwy. Drive on Farrington Hwy until it reaches the end of the road at Yokohama Bay.

A few tips while at Yokohama Bay: Make sure to pack water and food as it is a bit isolated from any food establishments and markets, ask the lifeguards in the tower if its suitable for swimming before venturing into the ocean, and make sure to pack the sunscreen.

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