As you may or may not know, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Oahu at the end of 2018, just a few days before Christmas! It was truly one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been, and I cannot wait to go back someday! But for now, I’ll settle for reliving my vacation by telling you all about it. 🙂 I contemplated making a huge, all-encompassing blog post touching on every aspect of our trip, but decided I would rather break it down into a few different posts. This way, I can get more detailed instead of just hitting the high points and worrying about keeping it “short enough.”
Hehe. Or maybe I just like being long-winded. Either way, it is what it is. So here I am with the first of several Hawaii/Oahu posts – my 5 favorite beaches on the island! Disclosure: I went in the winter, right before Christmas, so that may have had an effect on the crowds. But I’m also suggesting these places in comparison to, for example, Waikiki Beach (probably the most popular beach on the island).
If you don’t have time right this second and wanna save this info for later, feel free to pin the image below!
If you’re like me and enjoy activities that keep expenses low, I’ve also got a whole post dedicated to free (or almost free) things to do on Oahu!
If you wanna take a drive up to the North Shore, you’re gonna want to take a trip to this gorgeous spot! We actually intended to visit Laniakea Beach (aka the beach where all the sea turtles hang out), but stumbled upon this one on our way. And WOW we were not disappointed. There were so many people at Laniakea that traffic was insane! So we decided to just stay put. Parking was free right across the road from Chuns Reef and there were like, 5 people within sight. It felt almost like we had the whole beach to ourselves!
Swimsuit top is old, but bottoms are linked in the Sandy Beach Park pics below!
Makapu’u Beach Park
One of my absolute favorites (obviously). You can either park in the parking lot down the hill past the bathrooms or across the road in the gravel lot like we did. I had to change in the car, so we parked in the empty gravel lot to avoid any unwanted eyes. Lol. It wasn’t a far walk down at all, and since it was a little cloudy, the beach wasn’t the teeniest bit crowded. The few people who were there were scattered wayyy out, so it was super relaxing and quiet. The waves were breaking so close to shore that it wasn’t really safe to swim (even though people were doing it anyway). But Shawn was Shawn and went to get in the water while I just chilled.
My favorite thing was the lighthouse in all the pictures we took! There’s a trail that you can walk to get *almost* to it, but apparently you can’t actually get to it. It just takes you kinda close so you can get a better look. But honestly, I was perfectly happy with my view. 😉
Same song, different verse – top is old, bottoms linked in the Halona Beach Cove pics!
Sandy Beach Park
Man. We almost didn’t make it here. We were so determined to find a beach to hammock and had already tried THREE DIFFERENT BEACHES with no luck. Finally, it was just an hour or so until sundown so we gave up and “settled.” It ended up being one of my favorite beaches from the whole trip! It was awesome because there’s the “sandy beach” part, but then there’s this cool black rock area (lava rock?? I am not a scientist??? Someone please tell me what this stuff is.)!! There were a ton of crabs as we got closer to the water, so I’d recommend wearing shoes and watching where you step!
Halona Beach Cove
While on the map, this one’s a little “harder” to get to. There are signs saying not to go down the little rocky pathway by the road, but I guess I was just feeling rebellious! Me and like 25 of my closest friends. Lol. In order to find the cove, you park in the Halona Blow Hole parking lot and walk back towards the road. One you get to it, turn to your left and you’ll see a little break between the railing and the trees. And those couple of signs. Just go through there and follow the path all the way down to the beach! I would recommend wearing shoes with some traction and going slowly, though. The rocks are no joke!
In the first couple of pictures, I did a little photoshop magic and took out the people swimming in the water. The third and fourth pictures are more accurate representations of how many people were actually there (not that many)!
Rando Swing Beach
Okay, so looking back I guess this could have been someone’s property? But like, I don’t feel like it was because there weren’t any signs and it was just a big ol’ open beach. Not a soul on it. On the literal side of the road, this beach doesn’t have a name (or at least, I couldn’t find one). But pretty much if you drive up and down it, you’ll find many different varieties of swings! And dog owners playing fetch. That’s about it. Doesn’t that sound like paradise to you?
In order to simplify things a little, I’ll put it this way. If you’re driving like you’re coming from Kaaawa, up the coast towards the North Shore, you will pass Shrimp Shack on the left. This is the address for Shrimp Shack. *I cannot vouch for the deliciousness of the food there. I’m literally only using it because it was the closest address on Apple Maps to the swing/beach I found.*
53-356 Kam Hwy
Hauula, HI 96717
NOW. Be on the lookout for swings on the right side of the road! Find one that speaks to you, pull over, and be a kid again.
On the other end of the spectrum, just in case…
If you ARE okay with a lot of people everywhere you look, Waikiki is for you! It has a ton of food and entertainment at your fingertips, so be sure and check it out on your trip (after you actually relax at the aforementioned beaches. 😉 ) I can’t recommend Gilligan’s Beach Shack enough! Seriously, order the coconut shrimp and thank me later.
There you have it! The best beaches on Oahu, in my opinion. Oh, and I know flying to Hawaii can get super pricey, but it doesn’t have to! Check out my post about how to get the best flight prices for your next trip. Be sure to leave any questions you might have for me in the comments! That’d be just beachy. 😉