Oahu Beaches: A Guide to the Best Beaches on Oahu | Go Hawaii

Oʻahu Beaches


Beaches of Oʻahu

Oʻahu’s beaches are a true taste of paradise—whether you’re looking for high adventure on the sea, gentle waves for your first surfing lesson, a romantic sunset view or a family-friendly swimming spot. While you might already be familiar with world-famous Waikīkī Beach and the high-octane winter waves of the North Shore, there’s even more to discover along the island’s 112 miles of coastline. Explore Oʻahu’s beaches below by region below.

Please note: Hawaiʻi's ocean and beach conditions are as unique as the islands themselves. Visit HIOCEANSAFETY.COM which constantly monitors the surf, wind, and reports from public safety officials that directly affect the conditions for safety of Hawaiian beaches. Use the hazard signs on HIOCEANSAFETY.COM as well to quickly assess conditions and help you find the appropriate beach for your visit.

North Shore Beaches

Sunset Beach spans from ʻEhukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) to Sunset Point, encompassing a dozen different reef breaks. This two-mile stretch of sand is considered one of the longest rideable surf spots in the world, and it’s also a venue for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November-December).
Waimea Bay Beach Park is notorious for producing monstrous winter waves, so it’s one of the first places surfers began to ride big waves in the ’50s. In the summer, the swells subside for great swimming and snorkeling. With full facilities, this is a popular beach for locals and visitors alike.
ʻEhukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) is known for powerful waves that break over a sharp reef no more than a few feet from the surface. These massive tubes make this one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world and one of the venues for the Triple Crown of Surfing.

Haleʻiwa Aliʻi Beach State Park is popular with surfers with waves that can reach over 25 feet in the winter months. 

Haleʻiwa Beach Park has some of the calmer waters of the North Shore beaches.

Chun's Reef a great beach for all ages and features a freshwater pond which is perfect for keiki (children).

Ke Waena Beach is not as well-known as other North Shore beaches, but is largely popular with surfers and known for big waves during the winter that only professionals should attempt. Summer brings calmer waters for swimming.

Kawela Bay/Turtle Bay is located on Oʻahu’s northeastern tip, past Haleʻiwa and near Kahuku. It’s protected from large waves and surf, making it a great place to snorkel. You might even catch a glimpse of a honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle).

Windward Coast Beaches (Eastside)

Kuaola Regional Park is across from Kuaola Ranch. This beautiful beach park offers spectacular views down the east coast of Oʻahu as well as Mokoliʻi, an islet off the Windward Coast.

Makapuʻu Beach Park is sea cliffs and is very popular with bodyboarders and bodysurfers alike. Around the corner is the Makapuʻu Lighthouse.

South Shore Beaches

Waikīkī Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world, boasting more than four million visitors every year and breathtaking views of Lēʻahi (Lēʻahi Head). The Duke Kahanamoku statue welcomes you to Waikīkī, one of the best places in Hawaiʻi to learn how to surf or paddle a canoe thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break. Waikīkī is actually made up of a few beaches, including Fort DeRussy Beach to the west, Waikīkī Beach (fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Westin Moana Surfrider), Kūhiō Beach (along Kalākaua Avenue) and Queen Surf Beach, home to quieter stretches on the Lēʻahi Head side of Waikīkī.

Waikīkī - Duke's Beach is named in honor of the Olympic swimmer, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku and is one of the smaller beach strips in Waikīkī that makes up a larger beach.

Waikīkī - Kūhiō Beach is nick-named "Kūhiō Ponds" as the beach is divided by two walls. This is a smaller beach strip in Waikīkī that makes up a larger beach.

Waikīkī - Queen's Surf Beach is popular among bodyboarders and surfers and is also a smaller strip of beach that makes up a  larger Waikīkī beach. 

Waikīkī - Sans Souci/Kaimana Beach Park  is shallow and sandy and free of strong currents - perfect for families!

Ala Moana Regional Park is just minutes west from Waikīkī. This half-mile beach is protected by a fringing reef for calm waters. Tables are available for picnics.

Magic Island Lagoon extends out from Ala Moana Regional Park beach, a manmade peninsula with large seawalls and a shallow lagoon, making it a perfect place for keiki (children) to swim.

Leeward Coast Beaches (Westside)

Depot Beach Park is a locals favorite with a wide stretch of white sand. 
Mākaha Beach has the best surfing on Oʻahu’s west coast and is one of the places where big wave surfing was pioneered. Beware of the sloping sand beachhead that can cause backwash and catch unsuspecting visitors off-guard.
Keawaʻula Beach (Yokohama Beach) is the last sandy stretch on the Leeward Coast. Its curvy beach and turquoise waters are a great spot to sunbathe and watch surfers and dolphins. If you’re an avid hiker, nearby Kaʻena Point offers a trail with rewarding ocean views.

Olina Resort and Marina is where you’ll find man-made lagoons created for the Olina Resort, home to the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. With parking, restrooms and showers available, this is a perfect beach for families.

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