Known to locals as Halona Beach, this picturesque cove featured in the 1953 Hollywood film From Here to Eternity, starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. Their famous kiss in the washing waves has made such a lasting impression that Halona is still commonly called Eternity Beach. With its crashing surf and secluded feel, you can imagine why this spot was chosen as a movie set. These days, the beach attracts people who are looking for a quieter, more scenic alternative to bustling Waikiki Beach.
Follow the path down the rocks to reach the sand. Put down your towel and relax, or jump in for a swim if the water is calm enough. Confident swimmers can enjoy some bodysurfing in the waves, while children can play in the tide pools at the east end of the beach. Fishermen can try their luck at the popular Bamboo Ridge on the west side of the beach. The once abundant bamboo fishing poles have all but gone, but large trophies can still be hauled in today.
Bring your mask and snorkel and see if you can spot green sea turtles gliding beneath the surface. The turtles occasionally pop their heads up to breathe, so you may also see them from the shore. Also keep one eye out to sea during the winter months for the migrating humpback whales.
Another great spot for whale watching is from the Halona Blowhole. Even outside of the whale migration season, when the tide is high enough, you can see water spouting up here; when the waves roll in, impressive plumes of water spray through the natural gap in the rocks.
Eternity Beach is located just over 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of downtown Honolulu. Park for free at the top of the cliffs, following the signposts to the blowhole. Be sure to remove your valuables from sight. If you feel like exploring, continue the scenic drive east to other stunning coves and beaches. Be aware that currents at this stretch of coast can be extremely strong, so avoid swimming when the surf is big.