Best beaches in Oahu

The Island of Oahu have more than 139 beaches, each with own characteristics; so almost every person can find the perfect beach at this island. That is one of the reasons why many tourists choose Oahu as their vacation destiny.

Different beaches were you can practice a great variety of activities are waiting for you at Oahu. Ala Moana Beach Park, the most visited beach by local residents, is located between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This beach is a good place to swim because it’s protected by a shallow outer coral reef. Diamond Head Beach Park is located down the Diamond Head, a famous extinct volcano that has 760 foot (231 m) high.

Many beaches are a perfect example of Oahu’s diversity: calm waters in summer but waves that may reach 20 to 40 foot (6-12 m) during winter. Sunset Beach Park, one of those kind of beaches, is located on the North Shore and is one of the best beaches at Oahu for swimming and snorkelling during the summer, and for surfing in winter. Banzai Pipelines is also well known as an excellent place for practice surf during winter.

If you are looking for the perfect beach, come to The Island of Oahu.

Probably, among 139 different beaches, you will find the beach that suits you. At Oahu beaches you can swim, practice snorkel, scuba diving, kayak, surf and many other water sports. But also there is time to walk by the amazing shore or to get tanned laying at the sun and get relaxed during your stay at the most popular island in Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach is quite possibly the most famous beach in the world, and most certainly in Hawaii. It is actually made up of five smaller beaches, located on Oahu’s south shore. The area is generally filled with tourists looking to sun, swim, and learn to surf on the small waves. But it is still a beautiful area and great for people watching. The newly renovated Waikiki Beach Walk offers many choices for lodging, shopping, dining and playing.

However, Waikiki is far from the only beach worth mentioning on the island. Here is a list of just some of the other beaches you will want to consider.

Windward Shore

The East shore tends to be the calmest on Oahu, and to have the best swimming beaches.

Waimanalo Beach, in the town of the same name, is a local favorite, but most visitors aren’t aware of its existence. Almost two miles long with a wide strip of sand, this beach is one of the best swimming spots on Oahu.

Kailua Beach, in the town of Kailua, is best known for its windsurfing. Lots of sand, with decent waves, there is even an offshore island to which the adventurous can swim.

Leeward Shore

Traveler Alert: There have been reports of several break-ins to rental cars and resentment by locals of tourists on the West shore.

Pokai Bay Beach Park is located south of Makaha, and offers some of the best swimming on the West shore.

North Shore

Traveler Alert: Famous for its surfing, the North shore waves frequently hit 30 feet during the winter. Use extreme caution during this time of year.

Sunset Beach Park has waves that regularly hit 15-20 feet in the winter and some large swells even in the summer. Very limited parking.

Waimea Bay Beach Park is where you will find some of the biggest waves in the world, some of which are over 30 feet tall. This beach is suitable for only the most expert of surfers in the winter.

Ali’i Beach Park, just north of Hale’iwa, in the only North shore beach that is suitable for swimming. Even here, though, care must be taken during the winter months.

South Shore

The South shore is where all of the hotels of Honolulu are located. The beaches are easily accessible, with calm waters, but they are frequently crowded.

Ala Moana Beach Park is near downtown Honolulu, and across from the Ala Moana Shopping Center. This is a popular spot with the locals, with its large picnic areas and tennis courts. There is easy swimming for kids, but this beach park is best for picnics and relaxing.

Hanauma Bay Nature Park is just east of Hawaii Kai. This sunken crater of an extinct volcano is a protected nature reserve. There is a $5 admission fee per person for non-residents 13 years of age and older, and a per car parking fee of $1, but if you enjoy snorkeling, it is well worth the small cost. The water is shallow, calm and clear, filled with colorful tropical fish. But get there early – the park fills up quickly, and the water gets cloudier as it fills with more people.

There is a steep drive down to the water, but there is a tram if you don’t feel like walking. Snorkel gear is available for rent if you don’t have your own.

So, don’t limit yourself to just one beach on Oahu!

Explore the island and enjoy some of the many other beaches. Windward, leeward, north and south – beaches are everywhere on Oahu, not just Waikiki!

Many beaches in Oahu are “bipolar”- that is, their surfs go dangerously up in winter, and become calm in summer. Not Kawela Bay. Protected by a natural reef barrier, this is the only white sand beach in Oahu that is safe for swimming and sunbathing all year round.

Located on the northernmost tip of Oahu between Sunset Beach and Turtle Bay in a community far away from traffic and crowded beach, Kawela Bay is also one of the most secluded beaches in Oahu. Laidback and quiet, the bay is the perfect getaway from crowds and hustle and bustle of urban life. With just two or three people (sometimes, none at all!) sharing the gorgeous beach with you, it’s as though you own the beach to yourself.

But even though it is isolated, the beauty of Kawela Bay is not lost to many movie and TV show producers. The bay has been one of the main scenes of television shows such as “Lost” and “Magnum P.I.” and movies such as “Joe vs the Volcano.

This long and narrow crescent-shaped beach is bordered by a thick row of ironwood trees. Its soft sand beach is wonderful for lying around or walking barefoot on. Plus, you get a treat of giant sea turtles (kona) making their slow walk through the sands.

However, the bay’s outer reef is a surfing destination. Thus, while the beach is generally quiet, it gets some action during World Surfing Championships held at neighboring Sunset Beach during certain weekends of high surf winter season.