Tonggs Beach – A Hidden Oceanfront Walkway in Waikiki

This small, secluded beach is favored by locals for its excellent surf spots and as a peaceful retreat away from the crowded spots in Waikiki.

Aerial view of Tonggs Beach in Waikiki Hawaii

There aren’t many places that allow you to get face-to-face with the ocean without actually getting wet.

Tonggs Beach is one of them.

Situated on the eastern end of Waikiki, Tonggs Beach consists of a seawall that’s used as a pedestrian walkway to get in and out of the water.

We went to Tonggs Beach to see if it was worth visiting. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to discover this hidden gem on Waikiki’s gold coast!

How to Get to Tonggs Beach

The entrance to Tonggs Beach is located near 3025 Kalakaua Ave.

The beach access path is a public walkway that goes from the street to the seawall.

Pathway from Kalakaua Ave to Tonggs Beach Walkway
The entrance to the Tonggs Beach walkway is easy to find from Kalakaua Ave.

Exploring Tonggs Beach

After walking down the access path to the seawall, you can either go left or right:

  • The left side of the seawall goes towards Makalei Beach. There is a concrete staircase that goes down into a good spot for swimming but not much else.
  • The right side of the seawall goes towards Kaimana Beach. There is a metal staircase on this route that is used by swimmers and surfers to get in/out of the water at Kaluahole Beach.

Tonggs Beach itself used to be right at the base of the walkway – the beach has been completely erased by sea level rise.

The area that most people refer to as “Tonggs” is actually around Kaluahole Beach – that’s where we spent most of our time when visiting the area.

Be careful when walking along the seawall! The walkway is quite narrow, so you’ll need to scoot by when walking past other people.

Girl standing in the walkway at Tonggs Beach seawall
Chloe showing us how narrow the walkway at Tonggs is!

Remember what I said about being face-to-face with the ocean? The walkway butts up right against the sea.

School of reef fish at walkway to Tonggs Beach
The ocean goes up right against the walkway at Tonggs. But the neat part is that you can see fish in the ocean without actually getting wet!

The waves on the seawall actually crash into the walkway and splash high up into the air.

There are a few points on the walkway that get splashed by the ocean. So if the walkway is wet, don’t linger there for too long, or else you’ll get drenched by the ocean as we did!

Ocean seawall walkway at Tonggs Beach Waikiki gold coast
A unique view of Honolulu from the seawall walkway at Tonggs Beach

Eventually, you’ll reach a metal staircase at Tonggs that goes from the walkway down into the water – providing a point of access for surfers and swimmers.

Metal staircase going into the water at Tonggs Beach
The main staircase that goes into the water at Tonggs Beach

At this point, you might be wondering: Where’s the beach, anyway?

Well, the beach that used to be there now consists of a narrow strip of sand that is almost always covered by the ocean.

Trey stands on the narrow strip of stand at Tonggs Beach
Trey is standing at Tonggs Beach to show its true size!

The beach offers a nice place to walk through if you want to get your feet wet. The water directly in front of the sand is rocky so it’s not the best spot for swimming – the ladder nearby is a much better area for taking a dip in the water.

Tonggs Beach – Our Verdict

We can say that without a doubt, going to Tonggs Beach was a unique experience. There’s really no other place like Tonggs on Oahu – or even in Hawaii.

But if you’re looking for a good place to take a swim, there’s much better spots nearby.

One of our all-time favorite spots for a swim in Waikiki (or even the entire island) is right next door at Kaimana Beach.

However, if you’re looking to venture a little off-the-beaten-path, then Tonggs Beach is a low-key area that doesn’t see much traffic. So it’s a great place to visit, especially if you don’t want to jump in the water.

Trey Lewis is an outdoor enthusiast. Whether its hiking knife-edge ridges or just fishing by the river, Trey isn't afraid to get dirty in search of the next adventure.

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