Home to some of the most exquisite beaches and biggest waves on Earth, Oahu holds a certain magic for visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. Between famous spots like Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor, Oahu and its beaches have much to offer for the interested traveler. Below, we’ve put together a guide to the best beaches in Oahu. Read on to find out more!
Explore the Best Beaches in Oahu
To start narrowing down which beaches you want to visit, you may want to figure out which shores of Oahu you desire to see most.
The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its powerful winter waves, interspersed with calm snorkeling and swimming waters, as well as marine wildlife watching. Beaches along the North Shore include Turtle Bay (or Kawela Bay), Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay.
The windward coast of Oahu, or the eastern side, is ideal for water-based sports like bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming, and kayaking. Lanikai Beach is a top-rated beach for its great swimming and kayaking conditions, with two miniature islands known as the Mokuluas (or Moks) within kayaking distance. Kailua Beach is next door to Lanikai and is a very family-friendly destination.
Along the South Shore, you’ll find several of the most iconic beaches in not only Oahu, but all of Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches across the globe, with ideal conditions for beginning surfers and canoers and stunning views of Diamond Head (or Leahi). Ala Moana Beach Park, also known as Magic Island, is a lovely swimming locale with a reef and manmade peninsula sheltering the area. The marine sanctuary of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve offers beautiful wildlife watching and snorkeling, as well as sweeping views of two dormant volcanoes.
The leeward or western coast holds Makaha Beach, which is excellent for visitors with surfing experience. Just be cautious of the sloping sand and backwash that catches visitors off-guard if they’re not careful. Ko’olina Resort and Marina is a nice family-friendly spot with manmade lagoons, while Yokohama Bay has fantastic hiking on Kaena Point close by, as well as crystal-clear waters and soft sands.
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Contact our reservation specialists to learn more information about these gorgeous Oahu beaches and other fantastic attractions and activities that you’ll enjoy in Hawaii when you book your lodgings in one of our picturesque vacation rental properties today!