10 Best Beaches in Oahu

Updated On June 28, 2023

Now that school is out, and it is summer, many families choose this time of the year to go on vacation.

Some people choose to take their family to the beach for their family vacations.

Hawaii is one of the places most people seem to think about when they think of a beach vacation.

One such place to visit in Hawaii is Oahu.

Oahu has several beaches for locals and tourists to visit.

Some of those beaches are quiet with bare minimal things to do, while others have various tourist attractions.

You should be able to find a beach in Oahu that will suit everyone’s needs, whether you are by yourself, with your significant other, or with the family.

Let’s read on to find the top ten beaches to visit in Oahu for your beach vacation.

10 Best Beaches in Oahu

If you are looking for some of the best beaches to visit in Oahu, keep reading below.

Lanikai Beach
Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

If you want to beat the crowds, the best time to visit Lanikai Beach is during the weekday.

The weekend is when all the locals and tourists like to visit the beach.

The water can be great for swimming, but it is essential to keep an eye on everyone because there are no lifeguards on Lanikai Beach.

Lanikai Beach has beautiful blue, calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming.

From June through September, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings in the water.

Look out for the Portuguese Man of War and stinging seaweed.

It will help if you wear flippers or water shoes to protect you from possible stinging creatures.

Kailua Beach Park
Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park has various things for families to do at the beach.

Some of the activities Kailua Beach Park has to offer include windsurfing, kitesurfing, canoeing, beach volleyball, swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and more.

Along with all the fun activities you can do with your family, the beach has great amenities and facilities as well, including:

  • Public bathrooms
  • Lots of parking lots
  • Beach showers
  • Volleyball courts
  • Picnic tables
  • Lifeguard stands
  • BBQ pits


Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular and famous beaches in the world.

This beach has calm waves to swim in and beautiful white sand to walk on.

The calm nature of the water makes it suitable for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling.

If you want to avoid crowds, it is best to visit during the weekdays when fewer people visit the beach.

With Waikiki Beach being among the popular beaches, there are several hotels, resorts, and dining options to choose from.

Some of these restaurants and hotels close to Waikiki Beach include:

  • Stripsteak Waikiki (Restaurant)
  • Poke Bar (Restaurant)
  • La Mer (Restaurant)
  • Prince Waikiki (Hotel)
  • Hotel La Croix
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel
Waimanalo Beach
Waimanalo Beach

Waimanalo Beach

This beach is made up of three miles of white sand and beautiful turquoise waters.

Since the beach faces the windy side of the island, there are times when it can be pretty windy.

This makes for great windsurfing conditions. Since the waves break close to the shore, there are many opportunities for bodyboarding.

If you like camping, there are two campgrounds that can be reserved through the City and County of Honolulu websites.

Like with some of the other beaches on Oahu, you have to keep a lookout for jellyfish and other stinging creatures so you don’t get stung.

While there are several activities you can do on Waimanalo Beach, snorkeling is not one of them.

The fine particles of the sand easily get stuck in your equipment, and it can make snorkeling unpleasant.

Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

During the summer months, Sunset Beach has calm waters that are great for swimming and snorkeling.

The winter months bring waves that are perfect for surfing.

If you prefer the calmer water to enjoy activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and exploring marine life, the summer months are the best time of the year to visit.

If you prefer the bigger waves for surfing, plan your trip for the winter months.

If you plan to be in the water, it is important to watch out for the stinging seaweed.

Waimea Bay Beach Park
Waimea Bay Beach Park

Waimea Bay Beach Park

Waimea Bay Beach Park is considered one of the most popular places for catching the waves on a surfboard.

The best time to surf the waves at Waimea Bay Beach Park is during the winter months.

This is the time when the waves are the most suitable for great surfing.

The summer months bring a calmer,

low tide perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Other activities you can enjoy at Waimea Bay Beach Park include fishing, rock climbing, and snorkeling.

Kahana Bay Beach Park
Kahana Bay Beach Park

Kahana Bay Beach Park

Kahana Bay Beach Park offers picnic tables you can sit down to eat at, plenty of trees to relax in the shade, and campsites to set up camp near the beach.

On your visit, you can participate in paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing, among other activities.

You can also find plenty of trails to hike around and explore the scenery at Kahana Bay Beach.

Another fun thing to enjoy with the family is finding sea shells along the shore.

Some of the amenities Kahana Bay Beach has to offer include public bathrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables, parking, and boat ramps.

Malaekahana Beach
Malaekahana Beach

Malaekahana Beach

Here at Malaekahana Beach, you can enjoy swimming in the beautiful blue water and sunbathing on the bright white sand.

During the winter months, the waves are just big enough for fun surfing but mild enough for beginners to learn.

If you plan to swim at Malaekahana Beach, it is important to be aware that there are no lifeguards available.

If you want something else to do, you can take a trip to Goat Island, where you can explore sea turtles and sea birds.

You can also travel to nearby Keana Farms, where they have more than one million pounds of produce yearly.

Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park sits between Honolulu and Waikiki and is approximately one mile long.

The white sandy beach is protected by a coral reef, which makes the water on the beach clear and calm for perfect swimming conditions.

If you want to do some shopping, you can visit the Ala Moana Center.

This shopping center is considered the largest mall in Hawaii.

Other activities offered at Ala Moana Beach Park include surfing, paddling, yoga, swimming, volleyball, snorkeling, and more.

Makapu'u Beach Park
Makapu’u Beach Park

Makapu’u Beach Park

Makapu’u Beach Park has an interesting story of where the name came from.

The name comes from a legend of a Tahitian goddess.

She lived in a cave, and she had eight eyes that bulged.

Although her looks weren’t great, the people loved her, so she left a statue for them to remember her.

They loved her and the statue so much that they named the beach after her.

That is where the name Makapu’u came from.

Here, at Makapu’u Beach, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the islands and cliffs that surround the beach.

At this beach, you can explore and enjoy fishing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many beaches are there in Oahu?

There are a total of 125 beaches in Oahu.

This means that there is a large number of beaches that you can choose from to visit on your beach vacation in Oahu.

What beaches are the most family-friendly in Oahu?

A large number of beaches in Oahu are family-friendly.

Some of these family-friendly beaches include Waikiki Beach, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Ala Moana Beach, Kailua Beach, and Lanikai Beach.

These are only a few of the many beaches that are great for the family.

What beaches in Oahu are the most crowded?

A few beaches that are more crowded than others include Waikiki Beach and Sandy Beach.

These beaches are among the more crowded ones, so it is best to visit on the weekdays instead of the weekends to avoid the crowds as much as possible.

What beaches in Oahu are the least crowded?

A few beaches that are considered to be less crowded include Kaimana Beach, Eternity Beach, Waimanalo Beach, and Velzyland Beach.

If you prefer to completely avoid the crowds altogether, you can skip the more popular beaches and visit one of these less crowded beaches instead.

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