10 Best Beaches to Experience In and Around Honolulu

It's safe to say that most visitors to Honolulu choose this destination with visions of relaxing on long white sand beaches with crystal clear blue water. Luckily for those ocean goers, the coast of Oahu is riddled with the kind of beaches featured on travel agency posters and brochures. From beaches that offer a calm paradise in the summer, to others with world class surfing in the winter, and even more that are great for cocktails and people watching, Honolulu has a wide spectrum of sun, sand, and surf.

For beach goers looking for true paradise by the ocean, head out to the North Shore picturesque, white sandy beaches. At Waimea Bay treats visitors to a pristine calm bay in the summer, contrasted by monstrous surf in the winter. A jump rock and river add to the fun. Down the road at Sunset Beach, visitors will find... You guessed it, a wonderful place to watch the sunset. In addition, in the winter it's a perfect place to watch pro surfers dominate mind blowing waves, and in the summer it's generally calm.

On the east side, gems like Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach Park are ideal beaches for ocean activities. These two locations are perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, boogie boarding, and wind surfing. In the heart of Honolulu is Kuhio Beach Park, a good spot for a break from the busy streets of Waikiki.

When exploring Oahu, remember that a wonderful beach is never more than ten minutes away.

Malaekahana State Recreation Area and Goat Island


Relatively secluded, this strip of windward coastline plays host to overnight campers as well as to day visitors. Waters stretching alongside a white-sand beach make for incredible swimming, and you'll also find restrooms, showers, and picnic...  Read More



Created from a collapsed volcano crater, this bay is protected and calm, ideal for snorkeling, as you'll see from the crowds around you. The snorkeling is truly amazing, since the preserve protects the wildlife and creates a favorite place for...  Read More



Set along Oahu's windward (east) coast, this beautiful beach is ideal for swimming and for windsurfing. It affords amazing views of the area and isn't as crowded as some other island beaches. A stream bisects the park and adds another dimension...  Read More



One of Waikiki's first outdoor areas to be refurbished, Kuhio was once the favorite beach of former Olympic athlete and Honolulu sheriff, Duke Kahanamoku. Nowadays, the beach is a wonderful place to catch some rays, especially since its...  Read More



Home to the world famous surf spot known as the Banzai Pipeline, Ehukai Beach Park is one of the most coveted places to visit on Oahu. Also home to surf spots called Gums, and Ehukai, the beach is made of fine what sand that goes on for miles....  Read More



Set on Oahu's windward coast, this gorgeous white sand beach offers incredible waters and the picturesque presence of two small, offshore islands. About a mile long, the beach varies in width, although its entire stretch provides soft sands and...  Read More



Absolutely gorgeous, boasting what could possibly be the best sunset on the North Shore, as well as some of the craziest waves in winter and some of the best swimming in summer - that's how you can describe Ke Iki Beach. There are no showers,...  Read More

Mother's Beach
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Located to the east of Sunset Beach, Mother's Beach is a section of white sand that offers calmer swimming than the rest of the area. It's a hot spot for parents and children, and on any given sunny day you'll find children building sand...  Read More



This North Shore beach is a favorite with folks who follow the surfing circuit. During the summer, its two miles of white-sand shores are relatively safe, and you'll find swimmers and snorkelers frolicking among milder waves. Come winter,...  Read More



Deceptively beautiful, this scenic cove � home to some of the planet's most unforgiving surf � can mean death to naive swimmers. That is, in winter, anyway, when the waves churn up and some of surfing's best talents take to the sea...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade