Ala Wai Canal


About Ala Wai Canal


An artificial waterway in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Ala Wai Canal serves as the northern boundary to the world famous tourist district of Waikiki Beach. Created in 1928 to drain rice paddies and fish ponds which would one day become Waikiki, the Ala Wai Canal now serves as the primary drainage corridor for the rivers and streams that run through central and east Oahu.


Before the Ala Wai Canal was built Waikiki Beach was mainly made up of wetlands that were fed by streams from the Makiki, Palolo, and Manoa valleys. Lucius Pinkham had the idea of constructing a canal to drain the wetlands. Final approval for the canal construction didnt come until Pinkham became Governor of Hawaii.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Amenities: Beautiful sidewalks that run the length of the canal, providing an excellent place to exercise, or just take an afternoon walk.
  • Insider Tip: Dont swim in the Ala Wai Canal, or eat anything from it.
  • Fun Fact: The Ala Wai Canal was originally constructed to drain the wetlands that were once where Waikiki Beach is now.
  • What to Expect: A calm water canal that creates the northern border of Waikiki Beach tourist district. The canal has great sidewalks running the entire length.