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Ala Wai Canal, Honolulu

(3.6/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
The Ala Wai Canal is an artificial waterway in Honolulu, Hawaii which serves as the northern boundary of the tourist district of Waikīkī. It was created in 1928 for the purpose of draining the rice paddies and swamps which would eventually become the tourist resort area of Waikiki. It also serves as a primary drainage corridor for the rivers and streams that run through central and east Honolulu.The canal runs from just northwest of Kapahulu Avenue along the length of Waikīkī, then turns southwest to empty into the Pacific Ocean. Bridges cross the canal at McCully Street, Kalākaua Avenue, and Ala Moana Boulevard. Ala Wai Boulevard runs parallel to the west side of the canal in Waikiki.HistoryBefore the canal existed, Waikiki consisted of wetlands which were fed by streams running from the Makiki, Palolo, and Manoa valleys to the sea. In the early 1900s, Lucius Pinkham, then President of the Territorial Board of Health, developed the idea of constructing a drainage canal to drain the wetlands, which he considered "unsanitary." Although the canal proposal was approved by the Board of Health, final approval did not occur until Pinkham became Governor of Hawaii.Construction of the canal, by Walter F. Dillingham's Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, began in 1921 and was completed in 1928. When the city was permitting for new buildings in Waikiki they required builders to build above sea level. Dillingham then sold the dirt he had dredged to create the canal so they could build up the newly created land. The canal is still routinely dredged, most recently in 2003.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Worth having a look at. Lovely walks down along the Canal and I loved watching the row boats. It's just a really nice spot to wander along during the day.  more »
  • The Ala Wai Canal is man-made and there are plenty of places to walk, hike, ride or skateboard. There are rental kayaks available as well, and it is a calm place to be on the water. A lot of people do...  more »
  • We enjoyed the view from our hotel room on the Canal every morning. You can see the beautiful houses on the slope in the background and has great views of the mountains. You meet many cyclists and joggers who is walking along the Canal. You can watch the many fish in the water and canoe in their race to the boom drivers.
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