Beaches / Coastlines, Oahu
The Ko'olau Montain Range is the backbone of O'ahu with it's green jagged hills stretching from the south shore to the north shore.
Although it is called a mountain range, Ko'olau is actually the western half of a volcano that was destroyed during the prehistoric times. Ko'olau Moutain Rainge is a dramatic backdrop that can be seen while driving along the windward coast. During our drive along the coast we stopped to photograph it from various towns.
There are so many beaches located along the 112 mile coastline of Oahu. The majority of the beaches are as diverse as the island. The beaches are mostly sandy with plenty of activities to please just about anyone.
From snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, surfing or just relaxing on the beach, Oahu's coastline beaches are definitely a great way to spend a day or two.
We always enjoy the beaches along the coastline and my favorite are the beaches on the North Shore.
Laie Point is a beautiful and dramatic place on the northeastern coast of Oahu. It's not far from the BYU Hawaii campus and the Polynesian Cultural Center. It would be easy to just cruise down the road and miss this scenic stop entirely.... but I highly recommend taking the time to go out and see it. I actually thought it was the most beautiful sight on all of Oahu.
Laie Point consists of several large rocks and a series of cliffs that jut out into the Pacific Ocean. The waves smash against the rocks, creating dramatic sea spray and a beautiful photo opportunity. Just off shore there is a big rock with a hole in the center of it and waves will crash through the hole from time to time. It's a very lovely sight. There is a bird sanctuary nearby, so you'll see a lot of birds in the area. You will probably also see some locals out fishing on the rocks.
Oahu has some beautiful beaches to offer. Whether it's the busy beaches of Waikiki, a hidden beach along the coast or a surfer's paradise on the North Shore; the beaches here are great for everyone to enjoy.
Sandy beach is a beautiful place not far away from Waikiki, just 20 minutes by bus.
Clear water, golden sand and beautiful mountains on the surroundings offer a perfect escape from the Waikiki beach crowd.
Hanauma Bay is a naturally created underwater marine life state park. This Bay used to be an active volcano. One of the eruptions blew out the side of the crater letting the water rush in where the lava used to go. Once the volcano cooled and became inactive, marine life flourished. This is an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving to see a large variety of fish and marine life. You can wade knee deep and be surrounded by multiple beautiful fish. Recently the park has stopped allowing visitors to feed the fish.
It is highly recommended to either rent snorkeling gear or take your own with you. It is very easy to stop at any local ABC conveniece store and pick up a relatively inexpensive mask and fins. Definitely take your own towels as none are provided. ABC stores are found on almost any corner and are more common than McDonalds.
Snorkeling can easily been done on your own in the park. It is highly recommended to stay inside the reef as not far on the other side of the reef is the Molokai express. This is an extremely fast moving current of water just beneath the surface that catches unwary swimmers. This water moves faster than the best swimmer can possibly hope to keep up and those caught in the undertow are know to wind up close to Japan. Scuba diving tours available but definitly go with an experienced guide who knows these pitfalls. Walking on the coral is forbidden as it kills the reef and disrupts the marine life. Also there are huge eels that luke within the coral and it is best not to disrupt them
Be prepared for a long hike up and down the paved road into the crater. Alternatively there is a shuttle bus that will drive you for a few dollars. The view from the top of the crater is as spectacular as the view under the water. There is a little know path when followed around the left side of the crater that leads to The Queens Toilet Bowel (see tip under off the beaten path).
Sandy Beach, also know as Sandy Bxxch, is one of my all time favorites and is located on Oahu's south shore. The drive to Sandy Beach from Waikiki is particularly breathtaking for the mile before reaching the area. While I love this beach, only very strong and experienced swimmers should dare enter the water. The lack of reef allows very large waves to break right on shore. If you do not time getting into the water correctly you will be pummeled by the strong shore break and may get caught up in the undertow. There have been many injuries, broken necks and some deaths due to the strong surf. However, for good swimmers the body surfing is amazing. The experienced locals make it look easy so be cautious! For those caught up in the current expect to have lots of sand in every part of your body.
I think that you will be missing a great experience if you do this since Oahu offers everything that you can find on the other islands, and then some. It has the ultimate in mega-beaches, Waikiki Beach, but it also has scores of secluded tropical beaches.
It would have been better if the whales were there, but I didn't go at the correct time of year. This is a whale spotting area though and you don't even have to go half way up for that. The bad thing is if you are still walking it when it gets dark, there is no light anywhere to help you get down. it is an incline all the way up and even though it is paved, the pavement is rough and broken in many places. So, a stroller or wheelchair wouldn't be a great idea here. The lookout point isn't any better than what you could drive to, the same entrance as this except you would go to the left parking area instead of the right one. I went alone at a moderate pace and it took about an hour. Please take water as there is no where here to buy it and there is no bathroom either.
The beautiful thing about driving along Oahu are the many lookout points with amazing views. Renting a car and just driving along the road hugging the coastline with no set agenda is a nice way to find hidden places while exploring the island.
No matter where you stop you will be rewarded with amazing views. So get there is explore :)
Oahu has a lot of "beach parks" that have parking, picnic tables, grassy areas, showers, toilets, the beach, etc. My two favorites are at Ala Moana and Kailua. Ala Moana is protected by a reef and the water is always very calm near the shore -- perfect if you have toddlers or small children. Its also close to shopping and other attractions in the downtown/Waikiki areas.
If you want to get away from your resort for a beach day this is the way to do it. At the larger parks you can usually find a truck or two loaded with kayaks and boards for rent.
I remember this beach for huge waves and large stones of former boiling lava around sandy beach, the light house on the top of the hill and the splashes of water. This beach is really great for taking pictures of water splashes from close
The long boards are not allowed here, however, this is a mecca for boogie board and body surfing. Makapuu was also the site of the first ever championship body surfing competition that began in 1953.
There is a trail to Makapuu lighthose you can hike.
Although there is a parking lot, it is too small, so if it is good windy weather, the lot will be packed. Also you might come to that beach with a picnic basket, because you will find picnic tables, or flat stones where you can spread your “table”.
I was very sorry I couldn’t spend more time on those waves with a boogie board, but we had to make long way around the island.
That island is flat like a cutting board on the middle of the ocean. You cannot see much of it from the beach without binoculars or a photo lens, but you will see the flatness of the island. Many people go on kayaks to the island and explore it with their feet. Some swimmers go to the island by ocean (a quarter of a mile). I believe there are no strong water streams, so it is pretty safe. I watched some of those swimmers. Their swim seemed to be easy.
fairly self explanatory..... jumping off a massive rock into the ocean. i'm not entirely sure of its location..... only that it is on the north shore and that from the road, you'll know when you see it. it may not look so big when you are on the beach but once you are standing on it and ready to jump, it looks much bigger. i did it and you get a massive weggie b/c of the impact. getting to the top wasn't too difficult but some parts of the rock may be slippery so watch yourself.