Top Oahu Beaches

Beaches on The Gathering Place 

Oahu has some of the best beaches in Hawaii, and we've decided to rate our top five right here. Since Oahu is one of the older islands in the chain and is well developed, it has a plethora of beaches available to visitors.

There are beaches full of drama with crashing waves while others are calm and tranquil. Some Oahu beaches are nice all year round while others fade away in the winter months, leaving nothing but rocks behind. But which beaches are the very best on Oahu? Which are worth a visit and which can be skipped? Our ratings consider several key things: sand quality, waves, year-round consistency, crowds and popularity, accessibility, and each beach's surroundings as a whole. So without further ado, let's take a look at Oahu's best beaches.

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Lanikai Beach

East Oahu

This little treasure has plenty of soft sand and seclusion for a morning of peaceful sun worshipping or swimming. This beach used to be about a mile long but development has caused erosion, making it about a half-mile. But a great half mile! The two lovely offshore islands make it a picture postcard spot. The wind is also good here for sailing and windsurfing. There is even some good snorkeling to be had. Visit Lanikai Beach.

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Kailua Beach Park

East Oahu

This 2.5 mile stretch of gorgeous sand is one of Oahu's most beautiful beaches. It boasts excellent swimming and wind surfing as well as kayaking. It has a very nice, fine sandy beach for strolling and general lounging about. This is a world-class wind surfing destination and there are several shops in Kailua that offer rental gear and can arrange for lessons. Kailua rarely experiences the high surf of the North Shore.

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Waikiki Beach

South Oahu

Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. The two mile stretch of white sand coast is fronted by hotels and tourist facilities. The area is excellent for swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, catamaran and outrigger canoe rides. It's likely that if you are staying in Honolulu, you'll be staying near Waikiki. Even if you are not into crowds (and there will be A LOT of tourists here) it's worth a visit just to say you walked on Waikiki.

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Waimanalo Beach

East Oahu

This beach is ideal for swimming, body surfing, and boogie boarding. Waimanalo has plenty of soft sand and is well suited for a nice beach stroll. It can get crowded on the weekends, but is definitely worth a visit if you can squeeze it in. Visit Waimanalo Beach.

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Sunset Beach

North Oahu

Sunset Beach is the ideal North Shore paradise with two miles of white sand stretching 200-300 feet wide. During the summer months the ocean is fairly calm, making Sunset idea for swimming and snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach. You can also peer into a few tide pools to observe some of the wonders of nature. Visit Sunset Beach.

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