At a glance, one may be turned away by the fence and gate guarding the pier and may mistook the place as being one of private property.
The good news is, the place is actually open to public on weekdays, within the specified hours as stated on the board hanging on the gate.
Take note that only the pier is open to public to explore the sandy beaches and the sea, and not the office located at the end of the long pier stretched out towards the sea direction; which is the Makai Ocean Engineering Office
Strong winds may send chills down the bone when one is there during the winter season, but the serene surroundings of the pier may just be the remedy to calm one's nerves.
Though swimming nor diving is allowed here, the beautiful and natural sight of the wide sea set against the backdrop of the blue skies; or on the other side, the rocky mountains create a simple and tranquil setting for one to enjoy and relax at the same time.
Note: The wind may be particularly strong during the winter months; December to April so do have a warm jacket or sweater on hand if you are traveling during this time.
I felt like I was about to be blown off the pier by the strong winds; though cool and breezy, I could not bear to be out for long as it was quite cold without my sweater.
I put on a brave front for a photo like this; without my sweater because it seemed weird to be pictured in Hawaii with a sweater when one is expected to be in swimwear or tank tops most of the time.
Spotted a group of people swimming near the shores; and they seemed to be dressed in diving gear which led us to assume that they were probably from a diving school and that their training is in session.
As the sign states that there is no swimming or diving allowed, I am guessing these people have their permissions granted by the research office.
Some of the sea life washed up on the shores; perhaps the wave brought them up all the way to the pier?
The waves must have been pretty high then!
There are places to park your car just right outside; but I was told that one should not leave their cars parked for too long and also no valuable should be kept inside the car to avoid unwanted attention.
Makai Research Pier, is a good place to relax and enjoy the view and tranquility of the surrounding while one is taking a drive along the Windward area.
It is not one of much popularity compared to the other tourist spots; such as the beaches and bays but that makes this place even more interesting to explore and I like it for its peace and low population of tourists here which makes it a hidden gem; and a place worth checking out for those who are looking for places off the beaten path like these.