Top 5 best beaches on Oahu!
I’ve called this island home for almost four years now, and while there are many things I love about Hawaii (mainly the people and culture!) I can’t deny that the beaches here are easily the best part about living on a tropical island! I get asked all the time about traveling to Oahu, but the main thing everyone asks is about which beaches are the best! If you’re planning a trip and want more info on where to stay, what to pack, where to hike, my favorite spots to eat, and SO much more - snag my Ultimate Oahu Travel Guide and start planning!
I might be a little biased but I think Oahu has some of the best beaches in the entire world. Between the huge waves of the North Shore, the powdery white sand of the east side, and the bustling beaches of Waikiki, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re still not sure which island you want to visit, I wrote this to help you decide!
Okay now onto the best beaches on Oahu. These are my personal favorites for different reasons. I hope you have a blast on your trip and enjoy this island paradise!
1. Waimanalo Beach Park
Lot’s of people go to Lanikai beach, and while it’s definitely beautiful, it’s actually not a very large beach and VERY crowded. If you want the same experience of powdery soft sand and a little more room to accommodate all the beach goers, then I recommend heading over to Waimanalo Beach Park! On a sunny day the water is the most beautiful turquoise and the waves never get too big so it’s perfect for kids and those who want to hop in even in the winter! And if you go on a weekday, you have a pretty good chance of having most of the beach to yourself which is a huge win on Oahu. This beach is located on the south east end of the island.
2. Kawela Bay
Owned by Turtle Bay, Kawela Bay might be recognizable from some of your favorite movies. The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Book, and lots more were filmed here. The actual beach is decent but it’s the surrounding area that make this magical. Hundreds of coconut trees, lots of walking paths, a huge and beautiful banyan tree, and lots of activities that you can book through Turtle Bay make this place so special. This beach is located on the North Shore of the island west of Turtle Bay resort.
3. Hukilau Beach Park
This beach is definitely underrated and is one of my favorites to go to on a weekly basis! You can almost always swim here, and on a sunny day it’s absolutely gorgeous. The sand is powdery white and it’s a large enough beach for lots of families to gather. The beach goes on forever and is perfect for a long walk in the sand. This beach is in Laie, near the North Shore, up in the north eastern corner of the island.
4. Secret Island
Okay, this isn’t actually it’s own island, but it feels like you’re on one! Secret Island is owned and operated by Kualoa Ranch. You can book a tour with them to go on a catamaran ride, kayak, play volleyball, or any other number of fun activities on the beach. If you’re not keen on a tour, just show up after 3pm and you’ll get it all to yourself. This secluded spot has an incredible view of the mountains and a fun little swimming spot. This is one of my favorite beaches because of how magical it feels over there. This spot is located on the east side of Oahu.
5. Log Cabins
The entire North Shore has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with the best surf in the world. However, the waves are not for the faint of heart, so don’t expect to be hopping in if you come in the winter time. I love Log Cabins and Ehukai Beach Park (pictured above) to watch the waves, swim in the summer, and just soak up the good vibes that the North Shore has to offer. I chose Log Cabins for number 5 because it is less crowded but still very accessible. The North Shore really is the 7 mile miracle.
I hope you enjoyed this little guide to some of my favorite beaches! Don’t forget to add your own favorites + questions down below. If you’re looking for all the info you need to plan an epic trip to Oahu, check out my travel guide and plan your dream vacation!