Best Beaches In & Near Honolulu

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Map featuring Honolulu beaches. Click on pins to view beach details
  • 1. Lanikai Beach

    Lanikai Beach
    © Tomasfoto

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Situated on the windward coast of Oahu in Hawaii is Lanikai beach, which translates as "heavenly sea". With its fine white sand and brilliant aqua blue water this name seems quite fitting. Lanikai is fringed with palm trees and with water temperatures rarely dipping below 75° F (24° C) there is no mistaking you are in the tropics. Unlike many of Oahu's other great beaches, Lanikai is not designated a… read more »

  • 2. Waikīkī Beach

    Waikīkī Beach
    © skeeze

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    The calm blue waters and two miles of pristine white sands attract millions of visitors to Waikiki Beach each year. Tourists flock to the shores for the mellow ocean and year-round, nice temperatures.

    Waikiki Beach offers something for everyone. Swimming, surfing, dining, shopping, and live events are just a few of the highlights. 

    On one side of the shore, you have the beautiful ocean while the other side is overlooked by high-rises… read more »

  • 3. Waimānalo Beach

    Waimānalo Beach

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Waimānalo Beach, on the windward side of the island of Oahu has several claims to fame; firstly it is were Magnum, P.I. resided in the 80's TV series. Second, and perhaps more importantly it is the longest stretch of sandy shore on Oahu at well over 5 miles (9km). This expanse of unbroken white sand is sandwiched between the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean and the welcome shade of… read more »

  • 4. Hanauma Bay

    Hanauma Bay
    © Banzai Hiroaki / CC BY

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    The sandy beach of Hanauma Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Given the wealth of beautiful beaches in Hawaii, what makes this one so special?

    Well, firstly it is a bit of a stunner. The crescent of golden sand looks out onto the near circular bay formed from two sunken volcanic craters. When the bay formed it would have been completely enclosed… read more »

  • 5. Ko Olina

    Ko Olina
    © Michelle Maria

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Ko Olina is a gorgeous 2 miles stretch of coastline with a series of sandy coves and several natural and manmade lagoons. The name "Ko Olina" means "fulfillment of joy" and was originally a fishing camp for native Hawaiian rulers.

    Just a short distance from Honolulu and the North Shore, Ko Olina is a popular and beautiful beach to visit on the drier western side of Oahu. Non-resident guests are… read more »

  • 6. Diamond Head Beach

    Diamond Head Beach
    Daniel Ramirez

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Just 2 miles southeast of famous Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head Beach is popular with beach lovers, surfers and windsurfers due to the ever-present white-crested swell that rolls in relentlessly. The surf breaks are about a quarter mile out to sea and there are multiple good spots to choose from.

    Quieter than many beaches on Oahu, Diamond Head Beach is accessed from car parks on the clifftop via a couple… read more »

  • 7. Waimea Bay

    Waimea Bay
    Anthony Quintano

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Beautiful Waimea Beach is set at the heart of the North Shore and catches all  the rolling swells that attract big wave riders and pro surfers from around the world. Divided by the outflow of the Waimea River which is ideal for tubing, the golden sands are punctuated by rocks at the south end of this pretty cove, including the huge Waimea Rock which is popular for scrambling up… read more »

  • 8. Ehukai Beach Park (Pipeline)

    Ehukai Beach Park (Pipeline)
    Aussie Aussalt

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    No visit to the North Shore would be complete without checking out Ehukai beach, or Banzai Pipeline as it is known to surfers around the world. Set at the heart of the "7 mile miracle" this is possibly the most famous surf spot on the planet and a veritable Mecca for surfers. However, Pipeline is a wave for the experts only; incredibly powerful and breaking over a shallow coral… read more »

  • 9. Makapuu Beach Park

    Makapuu Beach Park
    Daniel Ramirez

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Situated on the southeastern tip of Oahu, Makapu'u Beach is in the shadow of Makapu'u Point and the dramatic Lookout Point. The word Makapu'u means "bulging eye" and is thought to refer to a natural feature in the nearby Keanaokeakuapōloli Cave.

    Located about a mile east of Waimanalo Beach, the gently undulating beach has masses of golden sands in a cove-like setting bordered with palm trees and greenery. The steep… read more »

  • 10. Kailua Beach

    Kailua Beach
    Daniel Ramirez

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    The turquoise blue waters of this beach are quite a sight to behold. And the soft white sand just melts under your feet as you walk to the water. The beach is surrounded by green mountains and lined with trees. Stretching along Oahu's west coast for two and a half miles you will never feel crowded in and it is the ideal place for walking and taking in the view.… read more »

  • 11. Sandy Beach

    Sandy Beach
    JD Lasica

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 0.5 hrs

    Situated on the southeastern tip of Oahu island, Sandy Beach is a beautiful and remote spot that is far from the well-trodden tourist path.

    Thirty minutes by car from Waikiki, it is just beyond the Halona Blowhole and makes a dramatic first impression for those driving along the single track road on the lava cliffs from Koko Head Crater. There is plenty of free parking at this sheltered inlet… read more »

  • 12. Sunset Beach

    Sunset Beach

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Stunning sunsets and top surfing are some of the highlights that make Sunset Beach in northwest Oahu so popular. It's easy to reach from the Kamehameha Highway which skirts along the edge of the sandy beach providing tempting views.

    In winter, it's a top place to catch big-wave surfers riding the swell, while in summer the flat waters take on a completely different alter ego. It is popular with families… read more »

  • 13. Laniakea Beach

    Laniakea Beach
    Daniel Ramirez

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Laniakea Beach, Oahu is commonly known as Turtle Beach, and when you visit it and see the sand scattered with rocks and turtles you'll understand why!

    The long narrow beach is popular so you need to arrive early to secure a coveted parking place. You then have to walk across the busy highway to reach this natural beauty spot.

    The golden sandy beach is lapped with white-foam surfing waves as… read more »

  • 14. Mākua Beach

    Mākua Beach
    © backyardproduction

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Situated at the northern end of Oahu's west coast between Ka'ena Point State Park and Makua Kea'au Forest Reserve, Makua Beach is one of the island's most undeveloped and natural. The golden sand extends for approximately 800 metres (half a mile). Backed by atmospheric mountains, Makua is sometimes called Tunnels Beach.

    Its ribbon of light sand is met by verdant foliage to one side, and startlingly clear waters on the other,… read more »

  • 15. Three Tables

    Three Tables
    Alison and Fil

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Set on Oahu's North Shore, this pretty little beach is surrounded by some of the best known surf spots on the planet. In fact the famously huge waves of Waimea Bay break only around 100 yards away from Three Tables. But that's not why people come here.

    Three Tables beach is perhaps best known as a snorkeling spot and for good reason. The name of the beach comes from… read more »

  • 16. Shark's Cove

    Shark's Cove

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Set on Oahu's North Shore, home to some of the most legendary surf spots on the planet, is this popular little beach. Unlike neighbouring beaches, Shark's Cove is not about the surf - this is one for the snorkelers. In fact it was rated as one of the best shore dives in the world by Scuba Diving Magazine back in 2005.

    Sharks Cove is part of Pupukea Beach Park. It… read more »

  • 17. Polo Beach

    Polo Beach

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Located near the western corner of Oahu's North Shore, not far from Haleiwa, is this lovely little pristine stretch of sand. Despite not being that far from anywhere Polo beach has a wonderfully secluded feel to it with its backdrop of ironwood trees. Often as not the beach here will be empty but don't be surprised to see horses being ridden on the beach - after all it is… read more »

  • 18. Yokohama Bay

    Yokohama Bay
    Thomas Woodtli

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Head to the northern tip of Oahu and you'll reach Yokohama Bay, also known as Keawa'ula Beach at Ka'ena Point. The remote route to the beach takes about 90 minutes to reach by car from Waikiki.

    Incidentally, "Keawa'ula" means "Red Bay" and it earned the name due to the squid that regularly spawned in the bay, apparently in such numbers that the bay waters turned red for a time.

    It's one… read more »

  • 19. Mokuleia Beach Park

    Mokuleia Beach Park
    Daniel Ramirez

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 1 hr

    Mokule'ia is a lovely stretch of white sand located towards the western end of Oahu's North Shore. Being a fair way down the coast from Haleiwa means the beach here is generally pretty quiet. Set about halfway between the town and Ka'ena Point (Oahu's most westerly point) this is your last chance of  beach with any amenities.

    There always something to do at Mokule'ia whatever the conditions. In the summer months,… read more »

  • 20. Donkey Beach

    Donkey Beach

    Travel time from Honolulu: approx 3 hrs

    Donkey Beach, also known as Paliku Beach, is a relatively secluded beach on the east coast of Kauai. A stretch of unspoilt golden sand backed by fields and a few trees this is a lovely spot to throw down a towel and soak up the tropical sun.

    The beach here isn't the best for swimming and snorkeling though as the waves can be powerful and the currents strong. In fact it… read more »