Beaches / Coastlines, Oahu
If you're driving along the coast of Oahu you will definitely come across the large cone shaped island jutting out of the ocean. Stop and take a pic and enjoy a refreshing coconut drink.
The area where we found it is most visible seems to be a great picnic area where we saw plenty of families enjoying a beautiful day. I'm not sure the name of the area.
The beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel is known as Royal Manoa Beach, but it is really two beaches - Kahaloa Beach and Ulokou Beach. Public access is off of Kalakaua Avenue.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort offers a colorful Polynesian Show at 7:00 p.m. each Friday evening. People begin lining up for this event early--if you want a close up view you'll pay $20 per person. Otherwise, you can see it from the exterior of the pool area.
We arrived later than we wanted, just as the procession was forming at the entrance to the hotel. After a brief presentation, the dancers led us to the pool area where the show began.
Both men and women demonstrated Polynesian style dancing, including a fire dance and of course, the hula--from Tahiti. The Hawaiians express their dancing primarily by their hands and graceful body movements (pic #2).
After the show we gathered at the beach for fireworks, which began about 8:00 p.m. (pic#3) Although the display lasted a short ten minutes, the lights looked beautiful over the ocean!
This is a great event for your first look at this culture...and it's free if you don't mind being a bit further away from the action (pic 2)!
This is a great place for snorkeling. Often the parking lot is full by 9:30 in the morning, and they will not let you in. The city has taken this over, and created a great visitors center. Everyone is required to view a movie prior to entering. Get your drinks and snacks at the top before entering the admission building.
Hours: 6a.m. to 6p.m.
Cost: $1.00 per car to park and $5.00 per person to enter
Just beyond the blowhole is Sandy Beach. This is a beautiful beach, but fairly dangerous since there is a nasty shorebreak here. Locals who know how to body surf love this beach. Stay on the shore and watch or find another beach. We do go here to fly kites. If you are lucky, you will see some really impressive kites here on a windy day.
This is my favorite beach in the state. The sand is like velvet. The water is an incredible blue. The Koolau Mountains are off to the side. There is shade and nice facilities.
If you have a military ID, you can enter any time. If not, Bellows opens on the weekends and is worth the trip out here!
On the left of the parking lot is the Halona Blowhole. When the waves and tide are right, water is forced through a lava tube and shoots up and out the hole. One never knows when that will happen. Do NOT climb over the walls. People have died doing that when a rogue wave came in.
As we drove around Oahu, there were many places to stop and gaze at beauty all around. There were big, people filled beaches, and some secluded, hard to reach spots.
The more popular spots have parking lots so you can pull your vehicle off the traffic infested road.
If you are looking to get some snorkeling done while on Oahu, everyone will tell you to go to Hanuama Bay. Its not the only great place to snorkel, but if you dont have your own snorkel gear, and you have never snorkled before, this is a great place to start.
Hanauma Bay is a nature researve park and is protectd by Hawaii. The cove is beautiful with all the different colors in the water because of the different drop offs.
Admission is 5 dollars for non-residents of Hawaii, and free if u live in Hawaii. You can rent all your snorkling needs on the beach, and there is a information booth for any questions you may have before entering in the water.
Please if u choose to visit Hanauma Bay, do not stand on the reef. This kills the reef since it is living, and some times unables it to re-grow again. Its just so fustrating when u see this since there are signs everywhere warning you not to stand on the reef, and not to mention a video you watch before you are aloud to enter the park, that tells you about it as well.
PARK HOURS: : Winter - 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Summer - 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CLOSED TUESDAYS.
Sunset Beach might be the perfect place to capture the sun descending at the end of the day, however, we were walking its shoreline mid-day, where we found calm waves, a beach with a few palm trees and no crowds.
Our grandson used the time to do a little exploring, while we breathed in its beauty. During winter months this beach and others at the North Shore host a large number of surfers. The waves are mighty huge during this time of the year. This day, you would never know it.
Always one to be on the lookout for shells, I found none here. In fact, I only found a few tiny shells, bits of seaglass and small black chunks of lava at one of Waikiki's beaches--which I returned to the sea before departing the island*.
*A legend says that Pele, the goddess of fire, brings a curse upon anyone who leaves these lovely islands with lava in their pockets. Supposedly, some tourists have done so, regretted their impulse and returned the lava asap! Hmmmm...
imagine a hard days work... you and your loved one want to take a swim just to wash off the swaet and dust... you drive along the North Shore in search of a private spot for you two.... and you spo a beach, a pearol in South Pacific where you park, take a swim in the warm waters, (do a little khm khm) and watch the sunset together... later on a beer and a nice dinner and what more would a girl want?
This is an excellent site for a first time snorkeller! Although the reefs themselves are not of the most interesting variety, they are very close to shore and the marine life around them are plentiful and very colorful
Sure, it's touristy. Sure it's crowded. Sure, it's overbuilt. But how can you beat taking a swim with Diamond Head looming in the distance. The water is calm, safe and blue. The people are from everywhere on earth, but there's a smattering of local surfer dudes whose conversation is fun to eavesdrop on. And, if you ever get thirsty, you can join Moe for a Mai Tai at the Royal Hawaiian (see my nightlife tip) or Duke's.
By the way, this photo of Diamond Head was taken in January (the Waikiki wet season), while the one on the Oahu intro page was taken in September, accounting for the difference in verdure.
There are three different beaches in Waikiki that create a looong beach more than 3 kilometers. Gray’s beach, Central Waikiki beach and Kuhio beach try to fit the thousands of tourists that come -non stop- from their hotels to swim, surf or just for sunbath. This isn’t the perfect beach but it is nice enough with not much of waves comparing to north shore. The water temperature seemed good and there are a lot of facilities like lifeguards, showers (the water is too salty), restrooms, picnic tables etc
Waikiki beach is also a nice place to learn surf but watch out the safety of other people around you. Most of the people prefer body boarders though. There many companies around there that rent surfboards, water bikes etc
Some tourists book a room at one of the hotels that face the beach and stay in that are all the days! Of course, there are many cafes and restaurants along the beach too so for them there’s no need to walk further than a few meters. So, even if you can’t get excited with this famous resort area (we didn’t) just take your beach mat and relax but don’t stop under the sun for too long because instead of a great tan you may turned into a pink creature :)
We spend only some moments here every day (early in the morning it is still quiet enough to enjoy it) but for us it was also very funny looking the desperate attempts of people trying to balance their bodies over the surf board. During sunset it was also nice with many people walk to hit the nightlife. If you are one of these people that get bored in beach and want some history you can see some statues here and there like the statue of Duke Kahanamoku(1890-1968), the father of modern surfing and the most famous local athlete! Another statue is the one of Prince Kuhio Kalaniana’ole (1871-1922) that participated in 1895 in a rebellion against the Republic of Hawaii’i, he failed, captured and got into prison for a year. Later he toured around the world, from Europe to Africa and finally to USA where he got elected for the congress. I guess he would have nice tips/pics from all this trips :)
On the east side of Oahu, is the isolated town of Hawaii Kai. Its name basically meaning "Small home by the sea".
Within this small stretch of coastline, you can find one of Oahu's most beautiful scenic drives along Kalanianaole Highway. The drive will take you past National State Park and Reserve,Hanauma Bay. Where you can find some of the best snorkling on the island. Shadowing over Hanauma Bay is Koko Head Crater, One of three volcanos on the island.
Continueing on you drive along towering cliffs droping to the sea, with views of the islands, Molokai, Maui, and Lanai on Clear days. Soon you come to Halona Blowhole, a popular island attraction. Looking down from Halona point, you overlook Sandy beach. A favorite beach to the locals, known for its back breaking shore breaks.
Pass Sandy beach, you will find Makapuu Point, and up top, Makapuu Light house. A great hike, with great views of the eastern and Windward side of the island. Makapuu point over looks Makapuu beach, another favorite beach of locals, and the gateway into the town of Waimanalo.