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Yep, you've come to the right island if you are interested in spectacular beaches with beautiful, pristine sand and pounding surf.  It just doesn't get any better than Hawai'i for "sand and surf" and O'ahu does it as well as any island.  Here are some notes on our absolute favorite beaches.

Kahana Bay

kahanabay

Surrounded on three sides by the majestic Ko’olau Mountains, Kahana Bay is one of the best-kept secrets of windward O’ahu. Tourists often pass by the bay on the way to other attractions, but few are aware of the scenic treasures that wait inside. If you’re looking for a quiet beach on the island, spend a …

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Waiahole Beach Park

  Embracing nearly 2 1/2 miles of the shore along the pristine and scenic Kāne’ohe Bay, Waiahole Beach Park is an important environmental and cultural asset to the residents of O’ahu’s windward shore. The acquisition preserves a tremendous scenic viewshed, protects native plant and wildlife habitat, and ensures that traditional agricultural practices such as taro cultivation can …

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Kokoloio Beach Park

  Located just a little south of La’ie on the windward side, Kokoloio is another of those little-known gems that most people don’t know about because they don’t appear in many travel books.  But now you know!  It’s a pretty little beach with nice facilties but no lifeguards, so be careful!

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Kāne’ohe Bay

kaneohe

Kāne’ohe Bay is the largest sheltered body of water in the main Hawaiian Islands. This reef-dominated bay constitutes a significant scenic and recreational feature along the island’s windward (northeast). The largest population center on Kāne’ohe Bay is the town of Kāne’ohe. The Bay is approximately 8 mi long and 2.7 mi broad, with a mouth opening of about 4.6 mi and maximum depth of 40 ft in the dredged…

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Malaekahana State Park

Malaekahana State Park

Located one-half mile north of La’ie town, this is a full-blown camping area that happens to have a great beach as well.

Wooded beach park with swimming, bodysurfing, beach-related activities and shore fishing. Picnicking and camping a Kalanai Point Section. Picnicking…

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Mākaha Beach

Located waaaaaaaay to the west, in Wai’anae, Mākaha Beach takes a while to get to, but it’s worth the effort.  Situated on the island’s south shore, it is protected from the large swells that roll in from the northern Pacific Ocean and create the monster surf on the North Shore.  But that’s not to say …

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Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach, on the eastern or windward side of the island, is known for its excellent bodyboarding and bodysurfing opportunities due to shore break that breaks very close to the shore. Consequently, more injuries occur per year at Sandy Beach than any other beach in Hawai’i.  The water is especially dangerous during high surf, when …

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Sunset Beach

sunsetbeach

Sunset Beach is on the North Shore and known for big wave surfing during the winter season. The original Hawaiian name for this place is Paumalū. It is home to the Duke Kahanamoku Classic surfing competition, the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing competition, and is occasionally the site of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational. We have spent many a wonderful day at Sunset Beach, simply reveling in the fact that…

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Ala Moana Beach Park

alamoanabeachpark

I have a special attachment to this beach. First, it is a very popular gathering place for local families, who always seem to be having a wonderful time while there.  Barbecues cooking away, little keiki’s running around the kapuna’s (elders) holding court at the center of the family…all of these are very endearing images and …

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Lanikai Beach

lanikai

Lanikai Beach is located in Lanikai, a suburb of Kailua, on the windward coast of the island. This small 0.5 mile beach has been constantly ranked among the best beaches in world. Adjacent to Lanikai Beach is a primarily upper-class residential area, because of this it is only accessible through public access paths. There are …

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Makapu’u Beach

Makapu Beach

Makapu’u Beach is my favorite beach in the entire world, period. I first saw the beach in the summer of 1969.  I remember it like yesterday.  As soon as I got there I jumped into the surf and started swimming towards deeper water. Inexperienced in the ways of large surf, I got into trouble …

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Waikīkī Beach

Waikiki Beach

I’m not sure what more can be said about the most famous beach in the world.  The beach and its environs are everything you would expect, from having seen them on travel posters, in coffee table books on the TV and in movies.  It’s beautiful, it’s a little garish, the surf is usually very “user friendly,” …

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Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is one of O’ahu’s greatest treasures. An old volcanic cone that is now open to the ocean, it is an undewater park open to the public. Hanauma is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District (the first of several established in the State of Hawaiʻi). Reflecting changes in attitude…

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Too many beaches to count.

If you really want to "get away from it all" and see barely another person the whole day, go the "west end" of the North Shore.  As you come down the long, down-hill stretch from the center of the island, instead of going right to Haleiwa, go left towards Mokuleia.  This is probably the least known area of the island and I apologize to the locals in advance if I am "giving it away" with this entry.  If you drive to the west on Farrington Hwy (State Hwy 930), you will come beach after beach after beach all of which are beautiful with hardly a soul on them.  I don't think they've all even been named yet, they are so lightly used.  But look for names like Mokuleia beach Park, Pu'Uiki Beach Park and Aweoweo Beach Park. 

Believe me, the beaches go on for mile after mile, untrammeled, wide-open and oh, so inviting.  If you don't like the crowds on Waikiki, head for Mokuleia!  (And while you're there, drive around and take a look at Dillingham Air Field, still a very active airport.  The airport was built to receive B-17 bombers flying to the islands during WWII, and has a nine-thousand foot runway.  While you're there, look up the guy who gives rides in his Navy open cockpit Stearman trainer; it's a great way to see the island (I've done it too!)

My favorite beach is the beach right at Fort DeRussey. It looks to Diamond Head and out to sea as well.

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Posted by on Jun 22nd, 2010

 

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