If you’re planning a trip to Oahu, Hawaii, you may be trying to figure out which beach is best. Today’s post is sharing 11 of the best Oahu beaches to visiting during your vacation.
When it comes to beach destinations, Oahu, Hawaii, is truly paradise. With its stunning mountain ranges, parks and historical sites, Hawaii has so much to offer, but most people come for the beaches. Oahu’s coastline and warm waters welcome thousands upon thousands of visitors every single month. Today I’m sharing the 11 best Oahu beaches, including details on if they are suitable for families and kids (or just for surfing!), amenities for beachgoers and any potential dangers.
11 Oahu Beaches To Visit During Your Trip
Suitable for Kids: Yes, Waikiki Beach is perfect for kids. Gentle, shallow waters near the shore make it safe for wading and swimming.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can comfortably relax on Waikiki Beach with your beach chair and towel, as it offers plenty of space for sunbathing, but get there early for the best spots, because it does get crowded.
Dangers: While generally safe, keep an eye out for strong currents and jellyfish warnings. Lifeguards are on duty to provide guidance and assistance.
Suitable for Kids: Lanikai Beach is family-friendly, with calm waters suitable for kids. However, it can get crowded, so arrive early to secure a good spot.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: Bring your beach chair and towel to Lanikai Beach. The soft, powdery sand invites you to relax while taking in the beauty of the Mokulua Islands.
Dangers: While Lanikai is usually calm, strong currents may occur during winter months. There are no lifeguards, so be careful.
Suitable for Kids: Hanauma Bay is a snorkeler’s paradise, making it a great experience for kids to explore marine life. It’s best for older children who can snorkel independently, and there is a mandatory video to watch before entering. Worth noting Hanauma Bay charges for entrance as well as parking.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can find designated areas for chairs and towels, but it can get crowded. Arrive early for a prime spot.
Dangers: Be cautious of strong currents near the outer reef. Lifeguards are on duty to ensure safety and provide snorkeling advice.
Kailua Beach Park
Suitable for Kids: Kailua Beach Park offers gentle waves and a kid-friendly atmosphere.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: Bring your beach gear and set up comfortably on the sandy shores of Kailua Beach.
Dangers: Similar to Lanikai, be cautious of strong currents in winter. There are no lifeguards, so exercise care.
Ala Moana Beach Park
Suitable for Kids: Ala Moana Beach Park’s protected lagoon is perfect for kids to swim and play.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can relax with your chairs and towels at Ala Moana Beach Park. Picnic areas and a spacious park add to the amenities.
Dangers: Watch out for strong currents near the edges of the lagoon. Lifeguards are on duty to assist and ensure safety.
Suitable for Kids: Sunset Beach is known for its powerful waves during the winter, making it unsuitable for kids then. In summer, it’s calmer and suitable for families.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: Bring your beach essentials for a day of sun and relaxation during the summer months.
Dangers: Winter months can bring massive waves and strong currents. Pay attention to warnings and consult lifeguards for guidance.
Suitable for Kids: Waimanalo Beach is a great family spot with its gentle waves and wide sandy shores.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can enjoy a comfortable beach day with your chairs and towels at Waimanalo Beach.
Dangers: Keep an eye on children, but generally, the waters are safe. Lifeguards are not present.
Sandy Beach Park
Suitable for Kids: Sandy Beach Park is known for its strong shore break, making it unsuitable for young children. It’s a popular spot for bodyboarding and experienced swimmers, but I would only recommend getting in the water here if you are very familiar with the shore break at this particular part. I.e. you’re from Oahu. It can be very dangerous!
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: While not ideal for sunbathing, you can bring a chair and towel to relax on the sandy shore. Be cautious of rogue waves.
Dangers: Powerful waves and rip currents, especially during the winter, can really catch you off guard. Lifeguards are on duty to assist and enforce safety and they make regular announcements about not lingering on the shoreline.
Suitable for Kids: Makapu’u Beach is better for older kids due to its rougher waters. Be cautious, and stay close if you bring younger children.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can relax on the sandy beach, but it may be windy at times.
Dangers: Strong currents and shore break can be dangerous.
Ko Olina Lagoons
Suitable for Kids: Ko Olina Lagoons are perfect for families with young children. These man-made lagoons offer calm waters and a safe environment for kids.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can comfortably relax on the sandy shores with your beach gear.
Dangers: These lagoons are relatively safe, but always supervise children. I’ve seen a couple lifeguards that were hotel employees, but I don’t think there are routine lifeguards that stay on the beach, though I could be wrong!
Suitable for Kids: Waimea Bay is the perfect spot for the whole family, because the beach is wide and, especially in the summer, offers calm areas for floating.
Sitting with Chairs and Towels: You can comfortably relax on the beach at Waimea Bay with towels, chairs and umbrellas.
Dangers: In the winter months the waves at Waimea Bay are big and powerful, though the beach is always guarded by experienced North Shore lifeguards.