From world-famous Waikiki to the surf spots on the North Shore, Oahu’s beaches are the stuff of legends. Luxurious expanses of white sand and jewel-tone water look like postcards come to life. The island’s most storied beach has a big reputation: Waikiki is everything you’ve heard—including crowded. If you're coveting a more intimate getaway, secluded Kawela and Yokohama Bays offer serenity, while Lanikai’s offshore islets provide an idyllic backdrop for a swim or kayak ride. While you can don a mask and fins at most beaches, at the ultimate spot is Hanauma Bay, a beautiful beach with an off-shore nature preserve that’s renowned as a snorkeler’s paradise. The island’s North Shore is a beach hall of fame, from the surf meccas of Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach to Mokuleia, which starred in the TV show Lost. Every beach in Hawaii is public, so as long as you don’t trespass to reach the sand you have a world of shoreline to explore.
Waikiki Beach is as good as it gets anyplace in the world for people-watching, your first surfing experience, an outrigger canoe ride and a catamaran ride. It is as good as it gets for meeting people from all over the world and having great conversation.
Beaches and More Nearby