Jan 16, 2018
The Ward Village Run Guide to Honolulu
There's something magical about running through a city.
By the power of your own two feet, you're propelled through the alleys, sidewalks, and parks that serve as the urban arteries for Honolulu. When you run through a city, you're privy to a view and experience that you'll never find in a car, bus, or even on a bike. And with Honolulu's perfect weather, it's always a good time to lace up, soak in the sights, and break a sweat. Below, we've carved out our three favorite running routes in Honolulu. Enjoy.
Ala Moana Beach Park
Distance: 2.25 miles
Starting from Waiea, you'll cross Ala Moana Blvd. and head toward Ala Moana Beach Park where you'll begin your run. Because it's a short route, just over 2 miles, this is the perfect way to start your day. After all, is there a better way to kick off the morning than with a brisk run? Running towards Diamond Head along Ala Moana Blvd. you'll see dripping banyan trees, surfers, and leagues of other runners relishing yet another beautiful morning in paradise. As you make your way through the first mile, you'll want to hang right toward Ala Moana Park Drive and the Waikiki Yacht Club. From here, you'll start your loop and will be privy to a breathtaking view of the beach and coast as you head back toward Ward Village through Ala Moana Beach Park. After roughly another mile, you'll find yourself back at your starting point, refreshed, and ready to start your day.
If you're an avid runner or athlete, this route should take you about 20 minutes to complete.
Ala Wai Canal
Distance: 6 miles
For this run, which sees you heading past Ala Moana and toward Waikiki, we recommend starting your jog during the late afternoon. Although the run lasts about six miles, the terrain is flat and nothing but gorgeous. Beginning at Waiea, you'll head toward Diamond Head, running down Ala Moana Boulevard for about 1 mile. Once you hit the Ala Wai Promenade, you'll make a left and make your way down one of the city's most fabled waterways. On your right, you'll have all of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. On your left, you'll see the Ala Wai Canal, which was created in 1928 to drain the rice paddies and swamps that once defined Waikiki. Once you hit Kalakaua venue, you'll cross a bridge and continue down the Ala Wai until you make your way to Kapahulu Avenue and your halfway point. Once you reach Kapahulu, you'll turn around and begin making your way back to Ward Village.
This run should take you about an hour or so to complete, if you're an active runner.
Distance: 4.25 miles
You'll begin this route at the edge of Kapiolani Park, where Monsarrat Avenue meets Leahi Avenue. Unlike the other routes in this list, a run around Diamond Head will see you heading up an ancient volcano and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the state. To start, you'll head up Monsarrat and will immediately notice the elevation increasing. By the time you make it to Kapiolani Community College, you're sure to be sweating. Moving past the college, Monsarrat Avenue will become Diamond Head Road. Nearby, you'll notice a beautiful cactus garden and, if you're running on a Saturday morning or Tuesday afternoon, you'll see loads of tourists and visitors alike congregating at the bi-weekly farmers' market. A few hundred yards ahead, you'll find a dog park where pooches and puppy parents mingle at dusk to burn off energy. Continuing up Diamond Head Road, you'll hug the edge of the coast and make a right turn, where your route opens up and you'll find yourself staring over the coast and throngs of surfers. Thankfully, the route is literally all downhill from here as you run toward Kapiolani Park and back to your starting point.
At a decent pace, this route should take you about 45- to 50 minutes to complete.
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