With 112 miles of shoreline, crystal aqua waters, white sand beaches and endless rays of sun, the beaches of Oahu offer enhancing experiences in paradise. From the pounding waves of the North Shore to the gentle breaks off Waikiki - from isolated coves to nature preserves - the beaches of Oahu offer stunning waterscapes and breathtaking beach for exhilarating activities such as swimming, snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, boogie boarding and kayaking. Snorkel with schools of tropical fish at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Surf the waves of ancient Hawaiian chiefs along Waikiki Beach. Watch the world's top professional surfers carve up the North Shore's massive waves. Whether you want to hang ten or hang out, Oahu is Hawaiian heaven.
South, East & West Shore Beaches
- Waikiki Beaches. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Waikiki Beach is an amazing destination for surfing the waves, swimming in emerald waters, soaking up rays, exploring the magnificent shoreline, and savoring sunsets. The popular two mile stretch of white sand is excellent for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, and catamaran and canoe rides. A favorite surf spot with a royal history, Waikiki is home to excellent surf schools and the statue of Hawaiian hero Duke Kahanamoku - "Father of modern surfing.” Learn the ancient sport of Hawaiian chiefs and glide along the Waikiki waves. The Waikiki area has a diversity of gorgeous beaches to explore, including Kuhio Beach, Duke Kahanamoku Beach, San Souci Beach and Queens Surf Beach. Sheltered by a rock wall, Kuhio Beach is a golden stretch of sand that provides a tranquil surfing and swimming spot. At the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, Queens Surf Beach is a peaceful destination for riding waves, swimming, and enjoying a picnic on a grassy spot. Walk down the Kapahulu Pier and enjoy breathtaking views of Waikiki’s shoreline.
- Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island. Called "The Path to the Sea", this beautiful 76-acre park - west of Waikiki Beach - features a half-mile of spectacular white sand and coral reef beaches, gentle surf protected by a fringed reef, and emerald waters for swimming, surfing, and body boarding. With tree shaded picnic facilities, pavilions, and grassy areas, Ala Moana Beach Park is an idyllic spot relaxing under the Waikiki sunshine. At day’s end, the sky becomes a gorgeous blend of orange and blue as the sun sets below the horizon disappearing with a green flash. A peninsula that extends from Ala Moana, Magic Island has massive seawalls that protect a shallow lagoon. [Top]
- Hanauma Bay State Park. Outlining crescent-shaped Hanauma Bay - a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park - Hanauma Bay State Park is a beautiful cove with a myriad of marine life and tropical fish, and a rich coral reef for scuba diving and snorkeling. Divers and swimmers enjoy the beauty of this bay as the reef extends throughout the cove into deeper water, as well as the bay floor, which is the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded when the walls collapsed and the ocean rushed in. Voted Best Beach in America for 2004, the park’s sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, body boarding and picnicking. Explore scenic hiking trails that extend along the coastline and ridge overlooking the bay, savor the breathtaking lookouts or visit the Marine Educational Center.
- Halona Beach Cove. Best known as the site of the famous love scene in the 1953 movie, From Here to Eternity, Halona Beach Cove, or "The Peering Place", is a secluded, rocky cove with a small sandy beach that is ideal for swimming when the surf is calm. Situated to the right of the Halona Blowhole, the protected cove offers rocky shoreline to climb and explore and the Halona Blowhole Overlook.
- Kaimana Beach. Located near the World War I Memorial Natatorium, Kaimana Beach is a charming family beach with soft white sand beach and calm waters for swimming and kayaking. You can paddle into open water through a small channel that leads out from the beach.
- Kaena Point State Park. An 853-acre nature preserve that wraps around the 9-mile northwestern point of Oahu, Kaena Point State Park is far away from civilization. This pristine stretch of land features a sandy beach, rocky shoreline, beautiful hiking trails and a natural landscape for seabirds, rare native plants and desert flora. Hike along a challenging trail to the point and enjoy the serenity of nature and breathtaking views of the island coastlines. According to Hawaiian folklore, Kaena Point was the "jumping off" place for souls leaving this life. [Top]
- Kalama Beach. Situated on Kailua Bay between Lanikai and Kailua Beach Park, Kalama Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. With calmer ocean waters due to the protection of the bay, Kalama is an incredible spot for swimming, surfing and body boarding. The beach also offers grassy and shaded picnic areas for family outings. Historical accounts say that King Kamehameha and King Kalakaua once surfed off this sandy beach.
- Hukilau Beach Park. Named for the ancient Hawaiian fishing method of casting large nets into the ocean, Hukilau Beach is a beautiful sandy beach loved for its surf and a relaxing atmosphere. Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hukilau is a beautiful beach for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking, sunbathing and embracing the enchanting Hawaii scenery.
- Ko Olina Lagoons. With four beautiful lagoons along the ocean, a beautiful sand beach, and grassy picnic areas, Ko Olina is an idyllic place for family activities on the sunny West Coast. Enjoy body boarding and swimming in the calm waters or sunbathing and building sandcastles on the wide, sandy beaches. Relax in the shady picnic areas beneath swaying palm trees with a sweeping view of the majestic Waianae Mountain Range.
- Sandy’s Beach/Halona Blowhole. Located at the southeastern tip of Oahu, next the famous Halona Blowhole, Sandy Beach is a beach lover’s dream with white sands kissing the azure waters, gently sloping shorelines, pounding shorebreak, cool tradewind breezes and bright sunshine. During the summer months, when the surf is calm, Sandy’s Beach is a popular spot for swimmers, boogie boarders and bodysurfers catching that perfect wave and braving the challenging break. When the surf is high and the break and rip tide are treacherous, experienced bodysurfers find the waves at Sandy’s are sublime. The Halona Blowhole spits water high into the air as waves crash against rugged lava cliffs. [Top]
- Makapuu Beach. Located below Makapuu Point, a towering 600 foot sea cliff on Hawaii's eastern tip, Makapuu Beach is a popular strand for bodysurfing and tidepooling, but large waves and riptides can make swimming hazardous. Nestled on a slope between the rugged cliffs and jagged lava rocks, the beach contains large tidepools filled with marine creatures. Explore this very picturesque beach and enjoy views of Rabbit Island just offshore. The historic U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse sits atop Makapuu Point overlooking the beach and Sea Life Park, Oahu’s world-famous marine attraction.
- Waimanalo Bay Beach Park. Located on the Eastern side of Oahu in a peaceful, rural town, Waimanalo Beach is the perfect place to catch the day’s first light. Enjoy the warm Hawaiian sun as it rises to awaken the islands for a magical day in paradise. The beautiful 4-mile expanse of white beach plays host to picnics, parties, and games, while the calm, clear waters invite days of swimming, surfing, bodyboarding and frolicking in the waves. Located in the 75-acre Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area, the sandy, sloping beach is a wonderful area for swimming and water play, and the Ironwood trees framing the beach provide great shade.
- Kailua Beach Park. One of Oahu's most beautiful beaches, Kailua Beach offers fine sand beach that’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing, sailboarding and body boarding. With cool Northeasterly tradewinds and the calm waters of Kailua Bay, Kailua is a world-class wind surfing and kite boarding destination. The beach offers windsurfing lessons and rental gear, as well as lifeguards and scenic picnic areas. Beautiful offshore islands create a stellar backdrop to this tropical paradise. With a mile long stretch of sandy beach and picturesque views of the horizon, Kailua is rated in the top ten beaches in America. [Top]
- Lanikai Beach. Rated the #1 beach in the United States by Conde Nast and regularly featured in travel publications, Lanikai is a magnificent beach with sparkling white sand, crystal clear blue water, abundant marine life, and gorgeous tropical scenery. Nestled within a tranquil residential area of beach houses, this fantastic beach with palms trees swaying in the tropical breeze is an idyllic spot for playing in the surf or lounging on the soft sands. Two beautiful offshore islands - the Mokuluas - add to the tropical atmosphere.
- Kualoa Regional Park. With the Kualoa Mountains in the background, this stunningly beautiful, peaceful beach offers gorgeous views of the east coast of Oahu and a grass picnic area. The sand and coral beach and calm waters are wonderful for swimming, fishing, hunting for beautiful shells or enjoying a relaxing day in paradise. Chinaman’s Hat, an islet off the coast, is visible from the beach and easily accessible by kayaks or sailboats. This area was sacred to the ancient Hawaiians as whalebones washed up on the beach and were made into valuable tools and jewelry.
- Makaha Beach. The ultimate surfing spot on the Oahu’s west coast, Makaha is the wave ripping grounds for the surf fanatic and a pleasant beach to sit and watch surfers try to tame the ocean waves. Depending on the season, Makaha produces a wide range of wave heights, from a gentle 2 feet to a dangerous 10 feet. The sloping sand beachhead can cause backwash and catch an unsuspecting beachgoer off guard. [Top]
North Shore Beaches.
Stretching for 20 miles along the Oahu coastline, the breathtaking North Shore beaches are a utopia for big wave surfing and refreshing in the turquoise waters. Home of the world’s premier surfing competitions, including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the top surfers in the world brave the massive winter waves of this legendary surf mecca. Enjoy sunbathing or strolling along the wide sandy beaches that make the North Shore an enchanting destination for adventure.
- Ehukai Beach Park/Banzai Pipeline. Home of the famous Banzai Pipeline - the massive “tube” that forms from the curling wave - Ehukai or "reddish tinged water" is a magical North Shore beach and a utopia for experienced surfers. With its pounding surf and 10-foot waves that break over a shallow reef, Ehukai is one of the most spectacular and dangerous beaches in the world. Stand in awe as the pros challenge the Banzai Pipeline during the Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters.
- Waimea Beach/Waimea Bay. The birthplace of big wave surfing, Waimea Beach is notorious for its monstrous waves and one of the most dangerous shore breaks in the world, attracting big-wave surfers hoping to catch “the big one.” Waimea is the venue for the Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Invitational - a popular big-wave competition that pays homage to legendary surfer Eddie Aikau - but only when the epic Waimea waves are at least 20 feet high. Waimea’s waters calm down during the summer months, allowing for excellent snorkeling, swimming, and fishing.
- Chuns Reef. Located just east of Waimea Bay, this pristine sandy and rocky beach is the quintessential surfing spot for the experienced surfer. During the winter months, surfers enjoy big waves and powerful swells. During the calmer summer months, Chuns Reef is a spectacular place to swim, snorkel, enjoy the views or watch the sea turtles near the shoreline. The wide sand beach offers an idyllic retreat for sunbathing, lounging and exploring. [Top]
- Kawela Bay/Turtle Bay. Situated on the northeastern tip of Oahu, Kawela Bay offers gentle waves and soft sand beach. Since the bay is protected from large surf, this beautiful beach is a popular swimming and fishing spot. Take a stroll or run or enjoy shell hunting on the long stretch of beach. Located off the eastern point of Kawela Bay, Turtle Bay offers excellent snorkeling with little current and a broad sloping beach for basking in the warm Hawaiian sun.
- Sunset Beach. Northernmost beach on the North Shore, Sunset Beach is an awesome surf spot. One of the longest sand beaches in Oahu - two miles in length and 200-300 feet wide - Sunset features beautiful white sand and crystal clear water. During winter, this beach has awesome surfing waves - between 15 and 20 feet high - making it perfect for international surfing competitions. The long wave breaks at Sunset host the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, the second contest in the Vans Triple Crown. Subdivided by wave breaks, Sunset Beach offers a dozen unique surf spots and is longest stretch of rideable surf in the world. The wide sandy beach is a delightful place to swim, snorkel, explore the tidepools, savor colorful sunsets, collect shells and observe wonders of nature.
- Three Tables. Located east of Waimea Bay and next to Sharks Cove, this beautiful sand beach is a popular dive site named for three table-like sections of reef that can be seen and explored during low tide. During the summer months when the ocean is calmer, this beach is an awesome spot for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and wading in the tidepools. Go for a dive and discover the unique lava tubes, ledges, and sea arches just beyond the reefs. This beach is part of the Pupukea Beach Marine Sanctuary, which preserves and protects the sea creatures, flora and fauna found in this area.
- Alii Beach Park. Called "Royal" Beach by the locals, Alii Beach is a wonderful North Shore destination with wide golden sand beach and miles of Pacific Ocean for swimming, surfing, body boarding and catching some rays. With some of the largest, tastiest waves and strongest breakwaters on Oahu’s North Shore, Alii is a popular surfing spot and the perfect place to hang ten. Enjoy safe family swimming in the small protected bay area on the South side of the beach, where the waves are gentler. Enjoy a variety of watersports in Waialua Bay stop by out the Haleiwa Surf Center. Visit www.checkitouthawaii.com. [Top]