The Hawaiian Islands are world famous for their turquoise waters and pristine sand beaches. Even though, there are more than 100 beaches all around Oahu coastline, there is one particular coastline that beats it all. Oahu’s East Side, also called Windward Coast, have some of my favorite beaches on the island. Here you will find white sand beaches and turquoise water that stretches 10 miles from Makapu’u Beach to Kaneohe.
Here are the 5 best beaches on East side Oahu.
Hanauma Bay (or curved bay) is one of the really popular tourist destinations on Oahu. The bay is a former volcanic crater and it became a protected marine life conservation area back in 1967. If you don’t like crowds this is not the beach for you, but with that being said, Hanauma Bay is pretty amazing and known to be one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Especially for beginners. The bay is known for an abundance of marine life, including over 400 species of fish!
Price to enter: $8 – Hanauma Bay is open year-round, except for Tuesdays.
WHERE: 7455 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, Hawaii
Waimanalo Beach is often being overlooked by first-time visitors. Waimanalo beach is much like Lanikai that will be explained further down. It has powdery white sand and clear blue water, but opposite to Lanikai, this beach is not overcrowded. The ocean combined with the mountains in the background makes this beach picture perfect and a visit worth.
WHERE: 41 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795
Makapu’u Beach Park is located near Oahu’s most southeastern point. Most tourists decide to venture out this direction because of the famous Makapuh’u Lighthouse trail. Unfortunately, they rarely stick around to enjoy one of Oahu’s most beautiful beaches.
If you come from the South, Makapu’u beach will almost seem like a hidden gem as it shows up out of nowhere nestled in a cove-like bay. The beach is backed by huge cliffs which gives it a very dramatic look. From the beach you’ll also have great views of Rabbit Island. The island is operated as a seabird sanctuary and it is against the law for people to visit it.
When you visit you will more than likely see local body boarders surf the dangerous shorebreak. If you decide to take a dip at Makapu’u beach yourself, be aware of the rip currents and the dangerous shore break.
WHERE: 41-095 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795
Lounge at Lanikai beach for white sand and crystal clear, and the bluest of blue waters! Lanikai Beach means “heavenly sea” and is without a doubt one of my favorite beaches on Oahu. The beach has often been ranked one of the world’s top beaches and for a good reason. It is gorgeous. Lanikai Beach is a very family friendly beach and doesn’t have any big waves or dangerous shorebreaks. The beach does get busy and a little crowded, but you’ll always have a good time at Lanikai beach.
Above the beach, is the very popular hike called “The pillbox Trail”. It is a short 30-minute hike from bottom to top. The hike is known to be an amazing spot for especially the sunrise.
Note that there is no public parking at Lanikai Beach Park. In the weekdays you can try and find parking in the neighborhood. If not, you can always park at Kailua Beach Park. It is a 10 minute walk.
WHERE: Mokulua Dr, Kailua, HI 96734
Kailua Beach Park
WHERE: 526 Kawailoa Rd, Kailua, HI 96734
Kailua Beach Park is the next door neighbor to Lanikai Beach. Some like Kailua Beach better because it is larger and has bathroom facilities, beach showers as well as picnic tables. If you are more into being a little adventures rather than be laying on a beach, a lot of people also decide to venture out to the Mokulua Islands. The kayaks can be rented in downtown Kailua and along the beach.