Oahu Best Beaches
If there’s one thing that the alluring Hawaiian Islands are known for– other than being one of the world’s top vacation destinations, of course– it’s the beautiful beaches that can be found on each island.
If you’re a sand-between-your-toes, salt-in-your-hair type of person, then Oahu’s beaches won’t disappoint. Whether you’re up for some surfing, paddle boarding, family-friendly snorkeling spots, or simply a gorgeous spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view, Oahu has the perfect beach for you.
And while each beach listed here may attract different types of travelers, there’s one thing they all have in common: They are some of the most beautiful beaches on Oahu. So grab your reef-safe sunscreen and let's check them out:
If you want unbelievable views, miles and miles of soft white sand, crystal clear waters and amazing sunsets, then Lanikai Beach should be on your Oahu Must-See Beaches list. The name speaks for itself, as Lanikai translates to "Heavenly Sea," and it’s recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The water is calm so the swimming here is spectacular and there are also two mini islands nearby that you can get to by kayak.
The famous Sunset Beach features over a dozen different reef breaks, and thanks to its location along Oahu’s fabled North Shore, it has been considered to be one of the biggest surf destinations since the 1960s. California surf journalist Drew Campion once noted, “Sunset Beach is the standard by which other waves are measured, and the best surfers here are the best surfers, period." And with over 2 miles of soft sand, it’s the ideal spot for lounging and taking in one of its famous sunsets.
This legendary North Shore beach is known for its mammoth waves during the winter season and it’s one of the first surf spots in the world for daredevil surfers! If your surfing skills are really on point, you’ll want to visit from November through February when the waves are at their peak. During the summer, the swells here recede so beachgoers can enjoy swimming and snorkeling safely. Whether you’re here for the adrenaline rush or simply looking for a little R&R, Waimea Bay Beach is simply stunning
Also known as Kawela Bay, this North Shore slice of sand is a popular surf site. And while swimming conditions here aren’t ideal due to the rocky bottom, the views are gorgeous year round. However, note that the exquisite views here can be a bit "overwhelming," so to speak, so you may want to head to over to the nearby Turtle Bay Resort for a little pampering when needed.
Kualoa Regional Park Beach
Located across from Kualoa Ranch is a fantastic beach park with the most breathtaking views down Oahu’s East Coast. This remote beach boasts the best of Hawaii's natural landscape, with lush greenery and a sandy shoreline thrown into one; and it's also a great place for wetland bird spotting.
The best-known beach in the South Shore area is also one of the most popular beaches in the world. Waikiki Beach is a surfing, canoeing, and paddle boarding hot spot thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break. And lined with hotels, bars, and restaurants, it’s one of the most convenient places for vacationers from around the world. Hit the Waikiki Beach Walk in the evening time to enjoy the island's liveliest nightlife.
This is the last sandy stretch on the Leeward Coast and it’s a superb place for dolphin spotting. Surf is good here, the waters are beautiful, and there’s a scenic hiking trail from Kaena Point located close by. Yokohama Bay is one of Oahu’s most remote beaches and features pristine sand, azure waters, and a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki area.
About the Author
Sam Butterworth is blog editor at Hawaiian Shirts Online.