Hawaii is a renowned global tourist destination for beach vacations. It has an expansive stretch of over 110 miles of coastline coupled with unique and luxurious vegetation. Oahu is a popular destination for surfers and sunbathers. If you are planning to go for a beach vacation, there are plenty of stunning beaches in Oahu that you can visit and experience the magical world.

Whether you are traveling as a family, friends, or corporate, Oahu has a wide variety of beach destinations for any category. Beaches in the south of Oahu region are ideal for family vacations while the windy north of Oahu is the best spot for surfing tourists.

Check out our list of the best beaches in Oahu for an in-depth understanding.

1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki beach is a top-rated tourist destination, with over 4 million tourists every year. It’s located on the south shore of Oahu, Hawaii, and it gives tourists a unique opportunity to see Diamond Head.

Among the popular activities that visitors engage in when they tour Waikiki beach include; Snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The signature Royal Hawaiian Hotel is also located at Waikiki beach.

Besides, there are other luxury and 5-star hotels and restaurants around this fantastic tourist destination that you can visit and enjoy delightful meals and hospitality.

2. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai beach is another popular tourist destination in Oahu, Hawaii. Located at Kailua town, which is Oahu’s windward side, it boasts an offshore reef that keeps the water smooth and calm for the whole year. Therefore, it’s one of the most tranquil beaches in Oahu that you can visit and enjoy swimming.

If you are a bird lover, two small islands host bird sanctuaries just next to Lanikai beach that you can visit via kayak and enjoy birdwatching. You can also engage in water sports such as snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, and swimming.

Lanikai Beach has almost a half-mile of fine white sand, which is ideal for visitors who love sunbathing. The only travel tip that you should note when planning for a vacation in Lanikai beach is the minimal parking space. Therefore, it’s advisable to come early to avoid any inconvenience.

3. Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach is a 30-acre broad public that is only half an hour’s drive from Honolulu. It’s also located on the Oahu’s Windward side, and it offers a myriad of popular beach activities. The park has plenty of public amenities, including; picnic tables, restrooms, food stands, and beach volleyball courts.

Most water activities that are popular on this sandy beach include; snorkeling, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, and sailing. There are several equipment shops around the beach where you can hire essential sporting gears at affordable rates.

Kayak is also available in case you wish to visit nearby islands. During the weekdays, there is less congestion, and you can enjoy your cool private moments with family or friends.

Kailua Beach Park is also surrounded by several food stands and restaurants where you can enjoy tasty local dishes.

4. Sunset Beach

Sunset beach is located on the north shore of Oahu, and it’s one of the most popular destinations for surfing. It attracts both local and foreign tourists, especially during the summer season, who come to swim and snorkel.

During winter, the beach is not very conducive to novice swimmers due to the very high waves.

It boasts of the famous North Shore Swell, also referred to as the Banzai Pipeline. Sunset beach is a popular spot for hosting surfing competitions, and you are likely to spot famous professional surfers and celebrities here.

5. Sandy Beach

Popular water activities at Sandy beach include; boogie boarding and bodysurfing. The different breaks that happen at the right side of the shore, coupled with consistent barrels along the beach, make it easy to tumble in the surf with no need to swim out.

However, sand beach is also famous for neck injuries. Many inexperienced surfers get caught up and dragged into the sand, and locals have now nicknamed it “broke-neck beach.” Swimming is also not recommended here because of the frequent high tides, which as very dangerous.

When at Sandy Beach, you can also go for a hiking adventure at nearby Kiko Head Crater Trail. It’s a 1.8 miles trail consisting of 1,048 steps from bottom to top, and the experience is just breathtaking.

Best Beaches in Oahu FAQ

What is the most beautiful beach in Oahu?

All the above mentioned best beaches in Oahu are beautiful, and they are popular tourist destinations. Other beautiful beaches in Oahu include:

  • Waimea Bay
  • Kahana Bay Beach Park
  • Pokai Bay
  • Makaha Beach Park

Why is Waikiki beach so famous?

Waikiki is famous for its breathtaking beaches and hotels, which are just next to the beaches. It’s located South Shore of Honolulu, and it was once a playing ground for the Hawaiian community, and it was popularly referred to as the “sprouting waters.”

Moana Surfuder hotel was the first one to be built on its shores in 1901.

Where is the clearest waters in Oahu?

Lanikai beach has the clearest waters compared to other beaches in Oahu.

Is there any black sand beach in Oahu?

The term black sand beach in Hawaii is used to refer to beaches that have high dominance of black volcanic glass grains. Currently, there are not black sand beaches on Oahu.