Oahu, Hawaii, is a famous tourist destination for its delicious food, tropical weather, and diverse culture. It’s also famous for its long stretches of beaches from hundreds of islands around the state, offering different scenic views and water activities.

Out of all these beautiful Hawaiian islands, Oahu receives the most visitors by a significant margin, averaging half a million tourists a year. It’s the third-largest island in Hawaii, with 112 miles of gorgeous coastlines, providing various beaches, resorts, and water sports to enjoy. 

With over 125 beautiful beaches available for tourists, it might be challenging to pick the best ones to visit. Don’t worry, we got you covered. 

Below, you can find some of the top Oahu beaches to consider, listed in no particular order:

oahu hawaii

1. Waikiki Beach

It is known to be the epicenter of Hawaiian tourism for a reason. It boasts two miles of beautiful white sand beaches, surrounded by tall palm trees and clear water. It is famous because it offers various water adventures, including surfing, submarine tours, and snorkeling. 

Moreover, there are also eight different beaches along Waikiki Beach. These are Kahanamoku Beach, Gray’s Beach, Fort DeRussy, Royal Hawaiian Beach, Kuhio Beach, Queens Beach, San Souci Beach, and Kaimana Beach. These destinations offer unique experiences that will make a visitor’s stay worthwhile. 

It is also a few drives away from various historical sites, like Pearl Harbor. Plus, it’s home to some of the best resorts in Oahu, Hawaii.

Lanikai Beach

2. Lanikai Beach 

Dubbed the “most beautiful” beach in all of Oahu today, Lanikai Beach is a destination you shouldn’t miss when visiting Hawaii. Not only that, but it’s also considered one of the best in the world. 

It offers the quintessential Hawaiian beach experience, offering miles of soft white sand and quiet waters. Every year, millions come to this gorgeous beach to swim, sunbathe, and participate in various water adventures and sports. 

This beach also offers a romantic ambiance perfect for couples visiting. They can enjoy mesmerizing walks on fine sand, with a view of the calm ocean. It is also one of the best places where visitors can spot sunrise, with numerous resorts in Oahu, Hawaii, offering stunning views.

Aside from lounging and swimming, some of the best activities on Lanikai Beach include kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Visitors can also try the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, a trail behind the beautiful neighborhood. 

Moreover, visitors can also spot several sea creatures at the beach. However, the law requires people to give them at least ten feet of space. 

Kailua Beach Park

3. Kailua Beach Park

It is another destination considered not just one of the best Oahu beaches but in the country too. It offers a stunning combination of white, powdery sand, majestic blue waters, and tall ironwood trees, allowing visitors to lounge and bask in nature’s beauty. 

The best part about Kailua, aside from its beautiful beach, is its 35-acre park with various outdoor sports and recreation facilities available. That means visitors can dine and shop in one of their many local restaurants and stores after a fun day swimming or kayaking. 

Besides swimming in the calm waters and enjoying the stunning views, visitors can enjoy picnics, kitesurfing, and playing volleyball. Kailua also hosts one of the most stunning Fourth of July fireworks displays. 

Additionally, it is home to some of the most beautiful places to stay in Oahu, Hawaii, offering numerous guesthouses, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts all over town. 

Waimanalo Beach Park

4. Waimanalo Beach Park

It is a significant historical and cultural area in Hawaii, with archeological discoveries relating to early Polynesians in the area. It was believed that these artifacts tell the stories of how Oahu was the first landing place in Hawaii for Polynesian voyagers. 

Now, Waimanalo is an underrated but beautiful destination in Oahu. It’s ideal for tourists seeking the best beaches in Oahu, perfect for a peaceful beach experience. It has gorgeous water stretching for miles, with a white sandy beach and calming weather to complement it. It’s also a perfect spot for picnics and camping. 

It faces the eastern windward side of the island. There are times when it will be breezy on the beach, especially in the afternoons. That ocean air is perfect for those looking for relief during the summer months. 

Moreover, it is also an excellent spot for bodyboarding. Its water conditions are ideal for beginners, so it’s perfect for parents teaching their kids how to ride the waves. 

Sunset Beach

5. Sunset Beach

Among the best Oahu beaches on the island, it is the perfect beach destination for families, couples, beach bums, and thrill-seekers alike. It offers a stunning stretch of water, white sandy beaches, and various activities and amenities.

At Sunset Beach, visitors can enjoy adventures like snorkeling, sunset watching, surfing, and hiking. Visitors can also enjoy relaxing picnics by the beach with a calming view of the ocean. There are also various local food trucks nearby that introduce Oahu through different delightful dishes. 

It is also located near various iconic destinations in Oahu. One of which is the famous Banzai Pipeline surf reef break. Known globally for its perfect barrelling waves, the Banzai Pipeline is ideal for surfers looking to elevate their surfing experience. 

Meanwhile, it is also home to some of the best hotels in Oahu, Hawaii. It’s a perfect option for visitors looking for an extensive stay to enjoy Oahu in many ways.

oahu hawaii

Honorable Mentions

As mentioned above, Oahu is home to many beautiful beaches. The five mentioned above are some of the best examples of these destinations. However, never limit yourself to this list. There are other choices to go for. For instance, you have Waimea Bay Beach Park, Kahana Bay Beach Park, Malaekahana Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, and Makapu’u Beach Park. 

These and more offer the best beaches for swimming, picnicking, and various water adventures, making them excellent options for things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. They’re also home to different iconic restaurants and resorts.

Enjoy the Havens of Hawaii

Oahu offers some of the most beautiful destinations for all types of beachgoers worldwide. Not only that, but it’s also home to many historical and cultural places that let visitors know Hawaii more.

For more adventure tips in Hawaii and beyond, check out Active Planet Travels. Visit Oahu, Hawaii, today and enjoy the many havens in the country. Got a story you want to share? Let’s chat!