Which Are The Best Beaches in Oahu? 11 Must-Visit

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+Oahu is an island in Honolulu County of Hawaii, the U.S. This island is one of the favorite destinations for tourists visiting the U.S. Oahu is blessed with all the wonderful cultural, recreational, and natural attractions that any visitor would love to explore.

If you are visiting, you must explore some of the best beaches in Oahu. Even if you are not, we are sure that after reading this article about the best beaches in Oahu, you won’t be able to stop yourself from coming to this fascinating place.

Oahu – The Island Paradise

Oahu is the third largest island among the Hawaii islands and is home to around one million people, which is one-third of the total population in the U.S. Thus, it is also known as the Gathering Place.

A visit to Oahu is no less than a delightful treat for tourists. The third largest island in Hawaii has more than 125 beaches, natural beauty galore, several hikes, bustling city life, and famous world-class surf to offer its visitors.

You should add this beautiful place to your bucket list where you can enjoy whale-watching, skydiving, snorkelling, or swimming in the crystal waters.

Best Beaches Oahu

Look at the most popular, beautiful, and best beaches in Oahu. Though almost all the Oahu beaches are worth visiting, some are unique. These world-renowned beaches are worth mentioning.

1. Waikiki Beach

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Sung Shin on Unsplash

Starting the list of Oahu beaches, the most fun and promising beach is Waikiki beach, located at Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815.

Highlights

  • Waikiki beach is a 2-mile stretch of white sand coast with blue turquoise water.
  • It offers tons of events and activities for all ages.
  • There is so much to do on the beach that you can easily spend your whole day watching people and participating in various activities, including swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and more.
  • Waikiki beach displays the beautiful reef patterns outside the protected lagoons at sunset.
  • The breathtaking view of Leahi or Diamond Head beach park is incomparable.
  • The beach provides the facilities of showers, bathrooms, lifeguard stations, clean restrooms, and parking.
  • You will find many great options of beachfront hotels and small shops at your service.

Being one of the world’s most famous beaches, it always remains crowded. You should choose to go there on weekdays if possible.

2. Sunset Beach

Among the best beaches in Oahu, Sunset beach is the most classic beach in the region, situated at 59-93 Hoalua Street, Haleiwa, HI 96712.

Highlights

  • Sunset Beach’s north shore is a vast, beautiful beach that has been a major vacation spot for tourists and locals for decades.
  • It is known for being the longest rideable surf spot in the world.
  • The beach is always rushed with a large number of surfers. You would love to watch their skilled athletes in the massive waves.
  • The beach experience one of the most mesmerizing sunsets in the world. The thing you must not miss at this beach is the spectacular colorful display during the evening as the sun tucks into the horizon.
  • This beach is perfect for swimming, boogie boards, and surfing.
  • The ocean is calm during summer, that time is fit for swimming and snorkelling.
  • There are some shady spots on the beach for you to relax in the sand.
  • The parking lot is directly across the street in front of the beach.
  • The same parking area facilities for public bathrooms and showers have been provided.

3. Lanikai Beach

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Genevieve Perron-Migneron on Unsplash

Lanikai beach is among the best beaches in Oahu and has also been ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. It is situated at Mokulua Drive, Kailua, HI 96734.

Highlights

  • The name Lani Kai means Heavenly Ocean. Similar to its meaning, the beach gives you a heavenly feel, as if you are viewing a paradise.
  • You will be mesmerized by the unbound beauty- powdery, white, soft sand, aqua-blue calm waters, and wonderful sights will make you fall in love with it.
  • The offshore reef keeps the water calm most of the time, offering excellent swimming opportunities in winter also.
  • Besides swimming, get yourself engaged in other activities (water sports), including kayaking, boating, snorkelling, and sunbathing. It is also a pet-friendly beach.
  • You must spend some solitude moments at the time of sunrise on this beach and experience the breathtaking beauty of one of the most beautiful sunrise views in the world.
  • The beach is also a favorite destination of photographers. While clicking clients’ pictures or capturing the beach’s natural beauty, dozens of professional photographers can be spotted there.

Due to the construction of sea walls, some of this fine white sandy beach’s portions have been eroded. But you can go to Kailua beach park, just next to the beach, to enjoy its soft sand.

4. Waimanalo Beach Park

BEST BEACHES OAHU
Photo by Dan V on Unsplash

The white sandy beach of Waimanalo is situated at 41 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795.

Highlights

  • This beach was named America’s Best Beach by coastal expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman.
  • This is a large beach with over 3 miles of pristine beachfront.
  • The atmosphere at the beach is perfect for couples roaming hands in hands along its shores.
  • The luminous ocean, stunning turquoise water, and a vast spread of soft white sand, gentle waves, and beautiful sights are enough to make your mood.
  • The weather is neither too hot nor too cold rather the atmosphere is mostly calm and quiet.
  • The beach has also been a hotspot for some of Hawaii’s most significant archeological treasures. Archaeologists believe it to be the oldest inhabited settlement in Hawaii.
  • The large grove of Ironwood trees provides lots of shade to the beach.
  • You can play paddle boarding or relax with your partner under beach umbrellas. If you want to explore it, there are also two campgrounds nearby; you need to take the permission 2 or 3 days before.
  • The beach provides all amenities: parking, showers, restrooms, and changerooms. Lifeguards are also available there every time.
  • Waimanalo is also great for having some delicious foods. It would help if you tried the Ono steaks. Or Orrimp stacks are just a drive away from the beach.

5. Sandy Beach

Sandy beach is on Oahu’s south shore, situated at 8801 Kalanianaole, Honolulu, HI 96825.

Highlights

  • Sandy beach is near the house where President Obama stays whenever he visits Oahu.
  • It has an expansive sandy shoreline and warm, gentle, and greenish-blue water.
  • Sandy beach is a favorite spot for bodysurfers and bodyboarders because its high waves break very close to the shores and reach eight of 20-30 feet in winter.
  • The beach is also known as the most dangerous beach in Hawaii and is named “broken neck beach” because of the hazardous currents and shore breaks. It is therefore not suitable for kids.
  • Lifeguards are always available; you must be careful to protect yourself and your family.
  • Apart from that, this place also has a large parking area and provides showers and bathrooms.
  • You will also be able to find many food trucks nearby.

6. Hanauma Bay

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Cosmin Serban on Unsplash

Hanauma bay is one of the best beaches in Oahu, known for its marine life. It is situated at 100 Hanauma Bay Road, Honolulu 96825.

Highlights

  • Hanauma bay beach is formed in the cone of an extinct volcano.
  • The beach is now managed by the State of Hawaii Parks and Recreation as a Nature Preserve and Marine Life Conservation District.
  • So, tourists, there must pay attention and learn about some informative things before descending to Hanauma bay to preserve diversity.
  • Hanauma bay beach park offers amazing spectacular concentrations of fish and green sea turtles.
  • This Oahu beach is also a world-known snorkelling spot.
  • Swimming is not safe here because of the long currents. Lifeguards are always there for the safety and security of visitors.
  • Its corals and reef ecosystem surrounding Hawaii’s coastline are heaven to many life forms by providing food to purify the water. It also protects the coast from sediments.
  • The parking lot is a bit small and fills up daily.
  • There are also several hiking spots near this beach.

7. Queen Surf Beach

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Knut Robinson on Unsplash

Queen’s Surf Beach is another beautiful beach in Oahu situated at 2605 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu.

Highlights

  • Queen’s beach is home to the quieter stretches on the Diamond head beach park side of Waikiki beach.
  • It is a small sandy beach in downtown Honolulu known for its beauty and is also very popular among bodyboarders and snorkelers.
  • This beach has also been designated as Marine Life Conservation District as there are many colorful fishes and other marine life in the area.
  • You will also see an outdoor movie screen on the beach where special movie nights are hosted at sunset.

8, Ala Moana beach

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Julie G. on Unsplash

Ala Moana Beach is one of Oahu’s most beautiful and family-friendly beaches. It is situated at 1201 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814.

Highlights

  • This park is very close to Waikiki beach but very crowded. It is a white gold sand beach about a half mile long.
  • You can easily go there, quietly sit or relax, sunbathe, and exercise without any disturbances.
  • The beach’s shoreline is artificial and purposely designed to comfort families and other tourists.
  • This 100-acre beach park offers an array of activities in its vast area including swimming in its warm, calm, and shallow water.
  • Besides, joy brings water sports therein, including surfing, paddle boarding, wading, and snorkelling.
  • There is a tennis court where you can play with your friends or family.
  • You can also go for a bike ride around the extensive biking and walking trails.
  • The park is equipped with amenities of picnic tables, shady trees, concession stands, restrooms, showers, and washrooms.

9. Waimea Bay

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Avdo Hanjalic on Unsplash

Waimea bay beach park is another gem among the best beaches in Oahu, situated at 61-031 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI 96712.

Highlights

  • Waimea bay is a beach with golden sand and peacock-coloured swells.
  • It is a favorite destination of many as the waves are too massive during the winter.
  • If you are in a relaxing mood, enjoy sunbathing and watching people wandering and playing around.
  • One of the biggest attractions on the beach is a 30-foot rock known as “Da Big Rock.”
  • In summer, the water is calm, and you can enjoy snorkelling, swimming, and cliff jumping.
  • If you are lucky, you will also spot dolphins in the early morning, along with other fish, turtles, and monk seals.
  • The beach provides bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, and lifeguard facilities.

10. Kuhio beach

best beaches in Oahu
Photo by Amanda Phung on Unsplash

One of the best beaches in Oahu is Kuhio beach, also known as Kuhio ponds, a part of Waikiki beach. It is situated at Kalakaua avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

Highlights

  • Kuhio beach and Queen’s beach make up Waikiki beach as a whole.
  • Some popular activities in this area are swimming, surfing, catamaran, boogie boarding, and outrigger canoe trips.
  • If you want to escape from the heavy crowd on Waikiki beach, you can go to Kuhio beach which is a great spot for families and children.
  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery around this large and beautiful sandy beach.

11. Kahana Bay

Kahana bay and Kahana bay beach park are on the windward side of Oahu Island, situated at Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717.

Highlights

  • Nestled under the Ko’olau Mountains, Kahana bay is a beautiful cove with clear water and soft white sand. The cove protects the coast from open ocean winds.
  • This is a small beach loved by tourists as well as locals. Its peaceful atmosphere and scenic beauty are worth experiencing.
  • The Kahana bay beach park offers many visitor activities, snorkelling, kayaking, and paddleboarding to fishing, camping, and barbecuing.
  • You will also spot several colorful shells on this beach that children love to collect.
  • People enjoy the breathtaking views of the Koolau Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Don’t miss the Pu’u Maelieli trail with various beautiful flowers near the bay.
  • Being at a remote location, it has minimum facilities to offer.
  • Overall, a lovely beach, especially for those who want to spend some isolated moments in scenic and natural surroundings.

Conclusion

Every beach on Oahu Island is blessed with unique beauty and authentic attractions. We elaborated on some of the best beaches in Oahu. Besides these, other beaches on Oahu Island attract visitors from all around. Make sure you visit Oahu beaches at least once to get a great experience and make the U.S. trip memorable.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Having the clearest blue water in Honolulu and illuminating white sand, Lanikai Beach is also considered to be one of the most picturesque beaches in Hawaii (and definitely one of the best beaches on Oahu!) Swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking are a few of the activities available due to the calm and clear waters
  • The cool season lasts for 3.6 months, from December 13 to April 1, with an average daily high temperature below 81°F. The coldest month of the year in Honolulu is January, with an average low of 68°F and a high of 79°F.
  • The best time to visit Oahu, taking into consideration the weather, demand for accommodations, and how crowded (or not) the island is – are the months of early April, May, September, and early October. Some call these Oahu’s ‘off-season periods’ or the ‘shoulder months.

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