Hawaii, with all its glory and natural beauty, consists of eight islands; Maui, Lanai, Niihau, Kauai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Hawai'i (the Big Island), and the most visited Oahu. Oahu is known for the state capital city, Honolulu, as well as the state's leading tourism and economic source.
The island has the scenic North Shore that's world widely popular for its surf and snorkeling. Then you have the famous Waikiki on the southern part of the island for shopping and sunbathing. Basically, from top to bottom, there's always something to do on Oahu. When you think of tropical paradise, beaches come to mind with ambient nature as the soundtrack. Let's go over some of the best Oahu beaches.
It's no wonder that Waikiki is one of the most famous tropical destinations on the planet. It offers beautiful beaches, water activities, dining, hotels, and shopping. Waikiki consists of six beaches with Waikiki Beach the most popular among Queen's Beach, Kuhio Beach, Gray's Beach, Fort DeRussy Beach and Kahanamoku Beach. Waikiki Beach is almost entirely human-made having most of its sands outsourced from Manhattan Beach, California. Waikiki also has public attractions such as including Kapi'olani Park and Kūhiō Beach Park. It undeniably has to be on the list among the best Oahu beaches.
Next up is North Shore, Oahu. It has popular beach destinations and among them includes Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay. Sunset Beach is known for the incredible waves during the winter that attracts surfers worldwide. It's a clean and gentle waved sandy beach with clear aqua-colored water and minimal rocks. Waimea Bay offers also offers a well-kept beach with sandy access. Enjoy the surf, bodyboard, or cliff jumping in this calm and clear blueish turquoise water. The Turtle Bay Resort has traditional Hawaiian aesthetic cottages also in North Shore.
Those listed above are usually the beaches that come to mind when thinking of the best Oahu beaches. However, one could argue the real hidden and often less crowded gems would be the Hawaii State Parks. Oahu has several recreation areas. There are several options, such as Malaekahana and Sand Island State Recreation Area. There are also several parks to choose from such as Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana and Kaʻena Point State Parks. This list wouldn’t be complete without the breathtaking Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline.
Malaekahana State Recreation Area is a quiet and beautiful hidden escape in Laie, North Shore Oahu. The area has a less packed and more personal atmosphere with lots of places to stay in the shade. They also have a well-groomed and clean campsite with a picnic area and fire pits nearby. You can beach or surf the beautiful waves in this quiet, soft-sanded gem. There aren't many crowds, and there's a lovely stretch of beach to walk along. It's indeed a fact many tourists miss out on this piece of a hidden paradise.
Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park has been called, "Hawaii's rainforest" and is another hiker's dream. The Kapaeleele Loop trail and the Na Koa trail. The Kapeleele Loop trail offers excellent views and is just about one mile and about half of the trail is in the shade. The trail starts with beautiful Jasmine plants. Once you are sincere in Kahana Valley, the hiker will spot tiny waterfalls. For experienced hikers, The Na Koa trail is approximately four and a half miles through tropical forest terrain. The trail is also densely covered with huge Pandanus Palm hanging over the trail.
Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline has excellent views of the Oahu coastline and the Makapuʻu Lighthouse. The shoreline is a hiker's pure paradise. Take a short hike to a small secluded beach or watch waves crash into rocks. There is another trail up to the Makapu'u lighthouse where there are breathtaking views all around. Watch sea turtles swimming in the waters and if you're lucky you'll witness whales breaching there! You even can hike down to the tidal pools for a swim.