North Shore Oahu
August 15, 2019
| by
Maria Mancuso

Oahu Things to do: 6 Top Oahu Beaches

Oahu has 125 beautiful beaches. This Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘6 Top Oahu Beaches’ introduces just a few of the best beaches you are sure to enjoy.

The beaches on Oahu are some of the most beautiful in all of Hawaii and the world.  The beaches of Oahu offer a variety of options for swimmers, surfers and beach lovers. From calm and easy waters to the giant waves of the North Shore, you are sure to find beach that is perfect for you.  

This Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Oahu Things to do: 6 Top Oahu Beaches,’ presents just a few of the best beaches on the island, but the best information can only come from an ‘in person’ visit to each of these Oahu beaches – we know, it’s a tough assignment.

North Shore Oahu
Typically, from the months of October to April are the times you can expect to see the biggest waves at Waimea Bay, some reaching 25+ feet.

1.    Waimea Bay Beach
Location: North Shore
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 37 Miles

Another of the Big Wave Beaches on Oahu!  Typically, from the months of October to April are the times you can expect to see the biggest waves at Waimea Bay, some reaching 25+ feet. In the summer months Waimea Bay is ideal for swimming and enjoying the soft sandy beach.  For the more adventurous visitors you can have a leap off  ‘Da Rock’ – which is a 30-foot (depending on the tide) leap off the famous rock in Waimea Bay.  

If you’re not up for the leap, it is enjoyable to watch those who are.  If you have rented a car and need parking, it is advisable to arrive in the mornings if possible, to avoid the crowded parking lots.

2.  Sandy Beach
Location: Honolulu
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 12 Miles

Sandy Beach is 1,200 feet of soft golden sand, with waves along a close shorebreak which makes this beach perfect for body surfing and surfing. Located on the southeast side of Oahu just a short drive from Waikiki. Sandy Beach is not for the beginner or novice swimmer.  But if you are an experienced swimmer and are aware of the shore breaks you will enjoy this very popular Oahu Beach. Sandy Beach is located close to Koko Crater Botanical Garden which are worth the visit.  

Also, if you are interested in a nice (moderately difficult) hike, you will not be far from Koko Head Crater Trail.  This is a unique hike up a railroad track that ascends the side of a small mountain. If you are an early riser, you can see beautiful sunrises from Sandy Beach as well.

3.  Ala Moana Beach 
Location: Honolulu
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 1.3 Miles

Located between Waikiki and Honolulu this half-mile long stretch of man made beach paradise is perfect when you want to get away from the crowds of Waikiki Beach and the other very popular Oahu Beaches. The Ala Moana Beach is located in the Ala Moana Beach Park which has a large grassy area, park benches, grills for cooking, etc. Ala Moana Beach features calm waters due to its outer reef which make this beach ideal for easy swimming, Kayaking and paddle boarding.

Ala Moana Beach Park is located across the street from Oahu’s largest shopping mall, Ala Moana Shopping Center, so you are close to a number of great restaurants and shopping after an early day at the beach.

 

Makapuu Light House

4. Makapuu Beach Park
Location: Waimanalo Beach
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 15 Miles

This is a great beach to visit as do an ‘drive around the island’ tour. Makapuu Point Lookout is a popular spot to stop off and take in one of the most beautiful scenic views on the windward side of Oahu.  The Makapuu Beach Park is just down the hillside that leads up to the Makapuu Lighthouse. The hike to the Makapuu Lighthouse is also a great activity to fit in during your visit to the windward side of Oahu. 

If you do choose to swim at Makapuu Beach, be careful of the strong currents in both winter and summer months.

5. Kahana Bay Beach Park
Location: Kaawa
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 27 Miles

One of the best kept secrets, and least visited of the ‘Top Oahu Beaches’ - Kahana Bay Beach Park has beautiful salt and pepper sand and calm waters with jagged cliffs in the background and that look down on the crescent shore below. Kahana Bay Beach is located off the Kamehameha Highway and across from the Ahupua’a O’Kahana State Park.  The sandy beach of Kahana Bay Beach is ideal for sunbathing and picnics under the shade of the Ironwood trees if you like. 

On the south end of the bay where is an ancient Hawaiian fishpond called the ‘Huilua’ just where the stream enters the ocean.  Since we are all about helping you make the most of your time on the island, consider checking out the Crouching Lion Hike nearby.  This hike includes trails that will give you an amazing view of the Kahana Bay below.

Ko Olina Lagoons Oahu
The Ko Olina Lagoons are four, shallow and very beautiful lagoons that are ideal for casual swimming, beginner swimmers and children.

6. Ko Olina Lagoons
Location: Kapolei
Distance from Ambassador Hotel Waikiki: 27 Miles

Ko Olina Beach and Lagoons are located in the Ko Olina Resort on the Leeward side of Oahu.  Ko Olina Resort is home to a renowned golf course, marina, the four Seasons Resort and the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. The Ko Olina Lagoons are four, shallow and very beautiful lagoons that are ideal for casual swimming, beginner swimmers and children.  The easy slope of the soft sand into the crystal-clear water makes for a picture-perfect day of relaxing.  You can spend time walking the beautiful resort grounds and when you are hungry you can stop by the Aulani Resort, the Four Seasons or one of the other great restaurants in the resort.  

Also, if you would like to make a longer, but rewarding day of it, consider attending the amazing luau at Paradise Cove just north of the Lagoons and Ko Olina Resort.  Reservations are encouraged.

Oahu has over 125 registered beaches, this Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Oahu Things to do: 6 Top Oahu Beaches,’ just scratches the surface of the many amazing beaches that border our island.  

Be sure to visit our Oahu Travel Blog and Oahu Visitors Guide for more articles on things to do, see and experience during your next visit to Oahu.

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