For many of Oahu's runners, happy hour takes on a whole new meaning. Every weekday evening and weekend morning, you can find thousands of runners out enjoying the beauty of Honolulu and working on their fitness. Honolulu is home to some of the most beautiful running routes, and the climate of Hawaii makes it ideal for year-round training. Here are the top five running routes of Honolulu.
Located just east of Waikiki, off of Kalakaua Ave., Kapiolani Park is the athletic hub of Honolulu and home to the start and finish of most of the local running races.
On any given day you can see people participating in yoga classes, soccer practice, fitness camps, or pick-up frisbee games. But perhaps the most popular activity is running around the park.
The perimeter of Kapiolani park is sidewalk-lined and frequented by runners all hours of the day and night. If you want a shorter route, run the perimeter of the main park. For a longer route, continue your run around Diamond Head.
Water fountains are scattered around the park, about every quarter mile near restrooms, which is an added bonus. Parking can be quite limited during the weekend, so arrive early!
Adjacent to Kapiolani park is Diamond Head Road. Many runners will continue beyond Kapiolani park and run the loop around Diamond Head. This route, which is part of the Honolulu Marathon course, takes you up a hill which opens to sweeping views of the East side of Honolulu. When you get to Fort Ruger park, take a left to continue on Diamond Head road and back down the hill to Kapiolani Park. Look for the water fountains by the lookout, Fort Ruger Park, and by Kapiolani Community College.
Ala Moana Park and Magic Island
Just west of Waikiki by Ala Moana Center lies Ala Moana Park. This park contains a beach and grassy area and is flooded by Oahu athletes evenings and weekends. A network of sidewalks allows you to run along the beach, throughout the main park, and throughout Magic Island.
If you want a short run, run around Magic Island where you can see views of Ala Moana beach and Waikiki Beach. If you want a longer run, continue around the perimeter of Ala Moana Park. Look for water fountains located every few hundred meters.
Kakaako Waterfront Park
Just west of Ala Moana Park lies the Kakaako Waterfront Park. This park offers the same waterfront views as Ala Moana Park but is a lot quieter. From here you can watch cruise ships coming into port or the occasional bodysurfer catching a wave. The cobblestone pathway parallels the water and turns into an asphalt path that leads to gentle hills on the park's interior. Water fountains are located every few hundred meters on the waterfront side of the park.
Ala Wai River and Park
Just North of Waikiki lies the Ala Wai River and park. A sidewalk parallels the river on the Ala Wai Boulevard side and is very popular among local runners. From here you can watch paddlers in their outrigger canoes while you work up a sweat.
If you want to make a loop run, continue East along the Ala Wai until you hit Kapahulu Avenue, then make a left to run along the golf course. Continue left on Date Street, run through Ala Wai Park, and then make a left on McCully Street to cross the Ala Wai and complete your loop. Water fountains are scarce, so you may want to carry a water bottle.