The biggest surprise about Oahu is how many beautiful beaches there are and how often many are utterly uncrowded if you want to explore outside of Waikiki. Whether you are trying to discover magical, secluded beaches, or searching for beaches that are bustling with activity, you should consider the island’s geography.
First is world famous Waikiki Beach which is a short stroll from our properties. Waikiki Beach is less than one mile in length and is one of the most user friendly beaches in the world. A beach where just about anyone can take a surfing lesson and ride their first wave. Waikiki is the essence of carefree with more restaurants than most decent sized towns and limitless shopping. A sunset walk along Waikiki Beach is always a dreamy experience as the sounds of waves reaching the shore line along with music often spilling over from the various resorts that line the beach. Waikiki Beach is a special place and some visitors chose to stay within Waikiki for their entire stay.
As with all Oahu Beaches, as beautiful and enticing the ocean may appear but rip currents and rogue waves do occur. Only swim at beaches with life guards and do check with life guards before entering the water. They can advise you on any hazards such as rocky or reef areas. You will find many life guards at Waikiki Beach. You will also find sea walls separating a near shore swimming area from the rest of the ocean. A sea wall is in place a Kuhio Beach in Waikiki so if you are apprehensive about entering the ocean or have young children, Kuhio Beach is the ideal beach for you under most conditions.
North Shore Beaches
Next is the iconic North Shore beaches which can be a wonderful playground in the summer with calm clear waters and beautiful vistas. However in the winter, proceed with caution, as large ocean waves pound the shorelines and are a spectacle to see and feel. Large ocean waves are a big danger. Remember all the water coming in must get back out so be extremely cautious even along the water’s edge.
Third is the windward or eastern side of the island that has the most underutilized beaches on the island however if the trade winds are blowing, the windward beaches can get windy. Keep in mind a light breeze might just be enough to keep you cool while enjoying the sunshine. However winds greater than 20 mph can make for an uncomfortable beach day.
Waianae Coast Beaches
Finally, Waianae or the western side of the island has lots of beaches that are sheltered from the trade winds with the Waianae Mountains blocking their path. The beaches tend to be more crowded with local families sometimes camping at the beaches especially on the weekends. But if you keep driving to the western most end of the island, you will discover Makaha and Kaena Point State Park offering a remote and natural coastline.