What is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of the beach? Sun, waves, and a good time. On the other hand, not all beaches are built the same. Some of them have powdery-soft, snow-white sand that feels like silk when you walk on it, while others have water that is so crystal clear that it seems surreal.
The location of your home or the availability of beaches in the area may determine which beach is best for you. Here are the six best ones of Oahu, Hawaii’s island you should consider visiting if you’re planning a beach vacation escape.
These beaches provide something for everyone; whether you’re searching for a peaceful place to unwind or you want to ride some waves, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Lanikai Beach, located on the Windward Coast of Oahu, is considered to be the island’s best beach because it possesses all of the qualities that are required for an ideal day at the beach. It is secluded yet easily accessible, the water is warm, clear, and calm (due to an offshore reef), and the sand is white and fine.
A private area surrounds the beach, which keeps the crowd at bay but can sometimes make parking difficult. In addition, beachgoers can participate in a wide variety of water activities in Lanikai, including those that occur both above and below the ocean’s surface. Water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, and snorkeling are available. Kayakers can kayak out to little islands approximately one mile offshore and find them deserted.
In Kailua, the Paradise Palms Bed & Breakfast may be reached by car around ten minutes from Lanikai. It is a locally owned facility with a helpful and friendly staff who are more than happy to recommend fun things to see and do in the area.
There are only two rooms available at this little bed & breakfast. This hotel caters exclusively to adults and has a strict five-night stay requirement because of its high demand. You will receive boogie boards, umbrellas, and beach chairs, beach towels, and more as part of your stay.
2. Pokai Bay Beach
Those looking for a calm family beach shouldn’t miss Pokai Bay on the west coast of the island. It’s popular among both tourists and locals, but not as busy as other beaches, such as Waikiki Beach or Kailua.
The area is surrounded by a reef which ensures that the waters are very calm, even in winter when the waves are usually big around Oahu. Therefore, Pokai Bay is suitable for inexperienced swimmers as well as children.
The water also provides amazing snorkeling opportunities – sea turtles and sea lions often frequent the bay. If you’re lucky, you can even spot dolphins. Other activities you can engage in are paddleboarding and fishing.
Facilities include bathrooms with showers, a playground for children, and plenty of shaded picnic areas. There are also great food places nearby.
Traveling with a four-legged friend? Dogs on leashes are welcome as well.
3. Waimanalo Bay Beach
On the Windward side of the island, often known as the east coast, a huge beach extends for four miles. The fact that it is windward indicates that it is exposed to the wind, in contrast to the beaches just on the west coast, which is shielded from the wind by the island itself.
Waimanalo Beach is a great example of a classic Hawaiian beach since it is long and level, has plenty of picnic spaces, and has adequate facilities. Even though the waves aren’t very big, this spot is popular with bodyboarders and bodysurfers.
While there are a few quaint inns nearby, larger accommodations such as the Prince Waikiki can be reached in under half an hour by car. Located on Ala Wai Harbor, this sleek, contemporary hotel features views of the water from some of its rooms and suites. Waikiki Beach can be reached via a complimentary shuttle service.
In addition to that, this hotel is a participant in the Malama Hawaii sustainable effort. If you demonstrate that you have made an effort to learn about or contribute to the local environment, they will reduce the cost of your stay.
4. Kailua Beach
Kailua Beach is an excellent choice for a family vacation because of its calm waters and wide, sandy shores. This beach can be found on the leeward side of the island of Oahu. It is also an excellent location for a picnic, and many things can be done there to keep children entertained, such as constructing sandcastles or playing in the water near the shore.
Kailua Beach is regarded as one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. It is well-known for its powdery white sand and the gentle waves that roll in from the ocean, making it ideal for surfing, sunbathing, and swimming.
Additionally, the beach may be found in a stunning location since verdant hills and mountains are encircled on all sides. As a result of its length and width, this beach is fantastic for swimming, laying out in the sun, and paddling boards.
5. Waikiki Beach
Even though it is the heart of tourism and visitors to Hawaii, Waikiki Beach as a whole still manages to provide visitors with the most authentic experience possible at a Hawaiian beach.
You have two miles of beaches that have beautiful, fluffy white sand and tall palm trees that sway softly in the breeze bordering them. The water is clean, warm, and bright blue. The waves are much more manageable because large portions of the beach have been cordoned off for swimming and are sheltered by jetties.
Each of the eight beaches along Waikiki Beach—Kahanamoku Beach, Royal Hawaiian Beach, Fort DeRussy, Kuhio Beach, Gray’s Beach, Queens Beach, and San Souci Beach—provides visitors with a unique beach experience. Other beaches in the area include Kaimana Beach and San Souci Beach.
The beach is bordered on either side by opulent resorts and hotels, and the street in front of these establishments, Kalakaua Avenue, is lined with shops and high-end businesses.
The Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk’S Embassy Suites is located on the opposite side of the beach from the beach and is part of a major commercial and residential development. It is entirely comprised of suites and comes with a plethora of complimentary services, such as a breakfast buffet and an evening reception by the pool, making it an excellent value.
6. Sunset Beach
This famed surfing beach is located on the North Shore and is two miles long. The conditions on this beach change considerably throughout the year due to its location.
In the winter, some waves are enormous, making it extremely hazardous for anyone other than the greatest swimmers and expert surfers. On the other hand, Sunset Beach is quite tranquil and mild in the summer, making it an excellent time for families to swim and dive along the coastline. In addition to the waves, it is known for its crystal clear waters and beaches covered in white sand.
The Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore has both clean and comfortable lodgings and is located about a 20-minute drive from the beach. The hotel’s value is enhanced by the availability of free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, which guests staying in higher rooms may take advantage of. There is a pool in the form of a resort, as well as a fitness center.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is conveniently located next door to the hotel, providing guests with an opportunity to vacation from the beach. This is one of the most popular tourist places on the island, and it is a living museum with a Polynesian theme that caters to families.
7. Hanauma Bay Beach
Hanauma Bay is an idyllic bay that seems like a large aquarium since it was constructed in the cone of a volcano that is now dormant. The park is a popular snorkeling destination (visitors must watch an environment and safety preservation lecture before entrance), and the experience is reminiscent of snorkeling in a massive aquarium.
A favorite spot for beachgoing and snorkeling, this Hawaii state park is only 30 minutes from the heart of Honolulu. The bay’s relative safety has attracted a wide variety of marine organisms. The sights they encounter will amaze snorkelers, even novices. You can do that with little effort by floating on the surface and peering underneath. Coral reefs flourish in the warm, clear water, attracting diverse marine life.
Very tight regulations (such as a ban on sunscreen) are in place to protect the park for future generations. The number of attendees is restricted to maintain order. There is a fee to enter the park (justifiable given the unique opportunity to snorkel in such a pristine environment) and another fee for using a small shuttle to get you to and from the hill from the parking lot. There are lifeguards, public facilities, showers, and a snack bar at the Hanauma Bay beach.
Staying at The Kahala Hotel & Resort puts you around five miles from Hanauma Bay, whereas staying at any of the Waikiki hotels puts you within a day’s trip’s distance.
Located on a beach in the middle of the Kahala neighborhood, this massive 5-star resort has everything you might want from a vacation. It’s a great alternative for those who like to avoid the hustle and bustle of central Waikiki but want to be close to the beach. The resort is also part of the Malama Hawaii program.
Why visit Oahu Islands?
Oahu is a popular destination since it has so much to offer. Oahu is home to several of Hawaii’s most significant historic sites and fantastic hiking opportunities, among many other attractions. In case you still need convincing, here is a list of the top reasons to visit Oahu on your Hawaii vacation.
1. Watch a torch-lighting ceremony
Oahu is filled with venues where you may learn about and participate in unique and well-preserved Hawaiian customs. If you go to Kuhio Beach Park in Waikiki, you can watch a hula performance and a ceremony where a torch is lit for free. You may spend a romantic evening out with someone special while still having a good time by seeing the show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at sunset.
2. The USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor
If you were unaware, Pearl Harbor is located on the island of Oahu, and a trip there to see the sites will transport you back to the 1940s. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the Pearl Harbor Historical Park to gain insight into the events of World War II. We highly recommend checking out the two museums in addition to the other free national monuments. You might also take a tour of Pearl Harbor if you’re interested in learning more.
3. Home of Hawaii’s Royal History
Amazing Iolani Palace, the formal state residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, was located only on Oahu. This Honolulu landmark was once the royal palace of Hawaii. Visit Oahu to see the remnants of Hawaii’s royal past and be awed by the island’s European-style buildings.
Oahu is a wonderful place, especially due to the variety of things to do here. The island features luxurious hotels, restaurants, shops, and nightlife in addition to its many water and land-based activities. If you have over five days to spend in Hawaii, you should spend some time island hopping and then head to Oahu. You won’t regret it.