Hawaii might be considered the capital of paradise!  Yes, in opinions of many around the world, the perception of the Hawaiian Islands is ‘paradise.’ And one of the reasons this romance with Hawaii is such, is because of its beaches. So, after numerous times on the island and having family reside here, I put together this top 5 best beaches in Oahu, Hawaii and compare them.

Best Beaches in Oahu

The number of beautiful spots to see and amazing activities to do in Oahu, Hawaii is endless. And you may have a difficult time deciding what fun adventures to do while you are here. One of the most common things to do is head to the beach. And it is to no surprise, that Hawaii offers some of the best beaches in Oahu.

Best beach to watch the sunset Hawaii

Geography of the Island of Oahu

Now, depending upon what your desired beach experience is, I created this list of most spectacular Oahu beaches. You will quickly learn that there is something spectacular for everyone to enjoy. To begin, you might consider the geography of the island first. Because the wind can play a factor in your experience at the beach. The windward side offers some lesser populated beaches, but you must be prepared for trade winds. These powerful winds can blow 15-30 MPH, in some areas; access to the beach may be closed for safety.

Ka'ena Point Beach

Then there is the Wai’anae area which offers stunning coastline and a pathway to Ka’ena Point State Park. There can be more crowds at some of these beaches especially nearby Wai’anae towns. North Shore is of course the hot spot during winter season and can be exciting with big waves and surfers putting on a show. But these beaches can also be quite windy on certain wintertime days.

Hotels Near Ka’ena Point State Park:

You will find quieter calmer waters on the leeward side. Because this side has some land surrounding it. Here are Waikiki, Ala Moana and Hanauma Bay of which you’ll experience less wind but bigger crowds. So, now let’s find what beach might tickle your fancy while visiting the Hawaiian Islands.

West shore Oahu beaches

Best Beaches For Beachcombing and More In Oahu

Hanauma Bay: One of the best spots for snorkeling is at Hanauma Bay. This is why it is considered the snorkel haven of the island. This spot is not a hidden secret; you can expect crowds here because the area is filled with fish. However, the water is not what you might think. There is a murky cloudy look and take notice that the coral has been damaged over time also. The area is positioned perfectly in that it is protected from the wraths of the ocean.  

Lodging Nearby Hanauma Bay

Vacation Rentals near Hawaii Kai: Rental in Hawaii Kai
Large 7 bedroom home rental: Hawaii Kai
Private ocean view home with view: Hale Ohana

Post Card Perfect Hawaii Beaches

Lanikai Beach: Oh the tropical scenic look of this beach is probably been on every postcard. It offers areas for snorkeling and beauty that is a feast for the eyes. Sadly, over the years the real estate surrounding the beach is all privately owned. Additionally, these landowners have seawalls to their property. But this is the very thing that brings on erosion that of which we work so hard to prevent. Parking is now extremely challenging in this area, because a beach that was once one mile long is now less than half of that.

Places to Stay Nearby Lanikai Hawaii

Beach rentals at Lanikai Beach
Quaint gem cottage in Lanikai

Hawaii's paradise, Lanikai Beach Oahu

Kailua Beach Park: Here is another luscious look of a picture perfect tropical paradise. Postcard worthy because it is considered one of the best beaches on the island of Oahu. Also, it is good for body surfing and swimming. The opportunity to take a kayak out in this area is good also. You can rent kayaks on site at this beach park.

Kailua Beach Park on Oahu Hawaii

Bellows Beach: The best secluded beach on Oahu.  This beach is located on Bellows Air Force base and only opens to the public Friday-Sunday. Over the past several years we have been coming here, Bellows has been our main spot to recreate at the beach.

It’s great for boogie boarding, swimming, and relaxing on the sand. However, many changes have occurred in recent years. The thing that makes it unique is its beautiful ironwood trees lining the beach coastline.

But these trees are gradually disappearing and being cut down. Many of the trees are no longer here due to safety risks to power lines, buildings, and people; they claim. In my opinion, these trees really add a unique and underdeveloped feel to this particular beach area. It is sad to see them gone.

Did You Know? The first Japanese prisoner landed here on a reef in a mini submarine during WWII. The officer staggered along the shoreline here.

Best Beachcombing on the North Shore Oahu

North Shore big waves Hawaii

Log Cabins: Its magnificence will captivate you with its wide open sandy beach and massive waves and shore break. The spots are marked with caution about no swimming in these areas due to dangerous shore break. This is why the beach here is great for beachcombing for shells and other sea treasures

Log Cabins area is sort of a low key hidden secret and is not a high traffic beach area. However, it is the ultimate spot for surfers to catch the big waves. Of course, the nearby beaches can be a little busier such as Pupukea Beach Park. This recreational beach area consists of Shark’s Cove and Three Tables.

Lodging around North Shore Oahu Hawaii

North Shore Beach exclusive places to stay.
At North Shore beach front villa.

Shelling on Hawaii’s Best Beaches

One could argue which beaches are the best and most beautiful on Oahu, Hawaii. This is because there are plenty of them. Just as well, the list activities to do at the beach can go on and on.

Shelling can be a bit of a challenge, because there are not very many shells on Hawaii’s beaches. Many shells are in small pieces along the shore. Because of the strong break and waves crashing up on shore. This breaks shells or glass into small pieces as it crashes against the shoreline. One of the rarest shells, however, is right here in Hawaii only. The Sunrise shell has a reputation for its beauty as well as its cultural history.

The Sunrise shells worn by Hawaiian royalty at one time, are extremely rare to find. The Hawaiian royals thought these shells portrayed power and protection to those wearing them. The characteristic of the shell is similar to and are part of the scallop family, known as Langford’s Pecten. Deep sea divers will search for them in deeper waters. Because they are quite valuable and people will pay top dollar for them.

Other Trending Hawaii highlights:

Hawaii is the Ultimate Paradise for Beach Goers

Adventures in Hawaii can be exhilarating and enlightening. The beaches in Hawaii are a natural part of those adventures. So, whether it is simply a lazy day on the sand watching the sunset or seeking sea treasures and shells; spending time at the beach will help you feel calm, cool and relaxed. It’s a great way to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Because that’s what paradise is all about!


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  1. Thank you for sharing how the top 5 beaches in Oahu compare. I love seeing your pictures of the beaches. And, the sea shells are so pretty, the bright red one is so unique.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this wandering journey on the beaches of Oahu. Yeah, the shells are hard to find, but if you look hard enough, there are some pretty ones to see!

  2. Really enjoyed this post. The beaches are so beautiful. It’s also great to learn about the various activities that you can do on each beach, especially the beachcombing – the shells are lovely.

    1. We had a blast searching for shells. It was kind a tough though, because there are not really a lot of shells to find, the waves are so rough that I think shells get crushed. But an overall fun and simple activity to do!

  3. I am going to keep this list handy for my next visit to Oahu. I visited Oahu a few years ago and with all the other activities I had planned I visited a couple of beaches, but did not really take the time to enjoy them.

    1. Oh, we spent all morning at Log Cabins one of the days and it was amazing. We saw 3-4 people, otherwise, the beach was all to ourselves. This is a beach where big wave surfers can be found. We are on the look out for the Sunrise shells which are extremely rare to find. 🙂

  4. Great post! I went to Oahu last year and we only stayed in Waikiki and Ko Olina. I would’ve loved to visit the other beaches but we only had 4 days! Would love to go back!

    1. Only 4 days is not enough to fully adventure in Hawaii! Lol! At least you enjoyed some of Hawaii!

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