O’ahu, Hawaii is an expansive island and a dream vacation destination for many families. This guide will introduce you to the best beaches in the area so you and your family can make the most of your trip!
Located on O’ahu’s south shore, the two-mile Waikiki Beach is a world-famous destination beloved for its beauty, from the clear waters to the white sand.
Lay down your towel in any spot on the beach and enjoy the gentle sun while your kids play in the sand or swim in the shallow waters.
You can also rent jet skis or go snorkeling.
There are world-class hotels nearby if you’re looking for lodging!
Waimanalo Bay Beach Bay Park
Waimanalo is a white-sand beach that offers scenic views and serenity.
There are plenty of facilities to enhance your comfort, including parking on-site, picnic tables, bathrooms, showers, and a shaded grassy area perfect for family bonding.
Be careful as you walk along the beach, as jellyfish may linger in the water. Since the waters of this beach are crystal-clear, avoiding jellies isn’t too challenging.
Pokai Bay Beach
Pokai Bay Beach is a slice of paradise in O’ahu.
Its shoreline boasts clean and calm waters and soft sand to lay on when sunbathing.
It is a perfect place to snorkel, go fishing, do some kayaking, and or maybe go swimming in the shallow and sheltered waters that allow you to see the small fish on the ocean’s edge.
The Pokai Bay Restaurant nearby serves mouthwatering cheeseburgers when you get hungry!
Makaha Beach Reserve
Your trip to O’ahu is not complete without visiting the Makaha Beach Reserve.
The beach is on the western side of O’ahu and offers bodysurfing, swimming, and floating. That said, avoid swimming deep in the ocean if the waves are not calm.
Washrooms, showers, a parking lot, and lifeguards are available.
This beach gets very crowded, especially on the weekends. Getting there early is the secret to beating the crowds.
Ala Moana Beach
Ala Moana Beach and its tall palm trees and calm waters create a tropical atmosphere.
The beach also has a reef that protects the half-mile beach.
Throughout the beach, you’ll find tennis courts, grassy areas for picnics, jogging and running paths, and shady spots aplenty.
Halona Beach Cove
Halona Beach Cove is famous for being a filming destination for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the television show Lost.
Also known as Eternity Beach, Halona Cove Cove is secluded so you can enjoy quiet time as your kids play in the sand.
Dramatic cliffs surround this beach, and from them, you can enjoy panoramic views of surrounding mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Bellows Field Beach Park
Located in Waimanalo, O’ahu, Bellows Field Beach is a family destination.
Since the beach is located on a military base, it is open only from Friday to Sunday, so you need to plan accordingly.
The waves of this beach are gentle thanks to the reef that shelters it, and the waters are warm to boot.
Be on the lookout for jellyfish; they also like warm water.
There is on-site parking, showers, and public restrooms too.
Known for the most beautiful turquoise waters, Yokohama Beach is another excellent family destination in O’ahu.
The large sandy coastline offers enough space for your kiddos to play as you sunbathe or take a walk.
You will appreciate the calm ocean during the summer. That said, I would suggest you check with the lifeguards before entering the water because sometimes the ocean can be unpredictable.
Baby Makapu’u Beach
Located on O’ahu’s Southeast side, Baby Makapu’u Beach is a famous beach.
The combination of impressive mountains, white sand, and lava rock tidepools is very striking.
The beach is suitable for a plethora of activities, including boogie boarding, body surfing, and snorkeling.
Parking may not be available when the beach is crowded, and there are no bathroom facilities.
The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is an attraction you should explore once you are done with the beach. This moderate summit trail offers the most stunning views of Koko Head, Makapu’u Beach, and neighboring islands.
You’ll discover exciting points as you walk along this trail, including giant tide pools, Makapu’u Point, and the famous Makapu’u Lighthouse.
End your day at the Smokey Ranch Barbeque, as you’ll have certainly worked up an appetite by then!
Sherwood Beach Park
Discover Sherwood Beach Park, O’ahu’s most treasured gem, and make lasting vacation memories with your family.
This beach boasts miles of very soft sand and turquoise blue waters.
There are lifeguards on this spot, although the waters are calm.
Due to its proximity to the forest, the beach offers a different experience as you relax, enjoy a quiet picnic, and catch up with your family on a lazy summer afternoon.
Magic Island Lagoon
The tranquillity that Magic Island Lagoon offers is unmatchable. This beach is located in Ala Moana State Park.
Unlike many of Oahu’s beaches, the waters are shallow.
Other activities your family can participate in include fishing, surfing, bodyboarding, and scuba diving.
You can also spend time at the picnic tables under the shady trees and enjoy your lunch. Restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and parking are available.
Ko Olina Lagoons Beaches
Expect an exciting time at Ko Olina Lagoons. This set of four beaches has calm waters thanks to the rock levies that prevent water from reaching the shore.
Here is an overview of the four lagoon beaches.
This is the busiest and largest beach among the four lagoon beaches. Kohola features an extensive beach and grassy area ideal for picnicking.
It is also the location of two major resorts; Aulani Disney Resort & Spa and The Four Seasons Resort. Most of the beachgoers come from those resorts.
If you love snorkeling, this is an ideal place for you. It is also one of the best places for your kiddos to spend their beach day.
This is the least crowded beach because it’s far away from the resorts. Ulua Lagoon has plenty of sand and some nearby grassy areas. You can also access showers and restrooms and a large parking area.
The Nai’a Lagoon hosts the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, the only resort on the beach.
There is plenty of colorful fish here. You may also be lucky to spot sea turtles in calm waters.
All the above Ko Olina beaches are open from morning to evening, but you should plan to come early during the peak season because they may be crowded.
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park
There is no dull moment at Waimanalo Bay Beach, located on the windward side of O’ahu. You will love its scenic neighborhood views, crystal blue water, and white sand.
Parking is plentiful, and there are volleyball courts, restrooms, picnic tables, and lifeguards on duty. The beauty and serenity of this sun-kissed beach are something you will cherish.