Without question, the most popular beach on the windward side of Oahu is Kailua Beach, and with good reason. This large expanse of white sand beach is simply "drop-dead" gorgeous and is the perfect location for water sports and beach activities. The laid-back town of Kailua is known for its casual style and this attitude carries over to Kailua Beach itself. Mornings on the beach are filled with people walking their dogs, joggers on the go, stand-up paddlers making a run to Flat Island just off the coast, kayakers "digging in" for a healthy workout, meditators sitting quietly under a tree and practitioners of Tai Che Chuan.
With spectacular views of the sunrise over Flat Island and the twin Mokulua Islands Kailua Beach is quite picturesque. The beach conditions here are usually quite remarkable as well. Being somewhat sheltered from the offshore islands and reefs the area surrounding Kailua Beach is usually fairly calm making it easy to swim, kayak and stand-up paddle (SUP). There is usually enough wind as well to make windsurfing popular here as well as kite surfing. In fact, this is probably the single best kite surfing beach on Oahu. Numerous water activity shops offer classes in all these disciplines and rent gear as well and it is no surprise that the town of Kailua on Oahu's windward side is considered to be one of the fittest areas one could live in the state.
Weekends can be quite busy here and three day weekends are unbelievably busy. Kailua Beach is a spot that is well used by the local population and hardly a weekend will go by when you won't see a family celebrating a child's "one-year" birthday luau (this is a big event in Hawaii) or families getting together for almost any occasion. There are plenty of spaces to spread out on the grass in the park behind the beach with ample amounts of shade and picnic tables and plenty of bathrooms, shower rooms, and changing facilities. Under normal conditions there is usually plenty of parking but weekends can tax the parking infrastructure.
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this location. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.
One of the few beaches that has the look and feel of old Oahu is Kahana Beach on Oahu's windward coastline. The fact that this beach is located in a section of the island that is normally simply a gateway for island visitors to pass by on their way to visit what are presumably more spectacular attractions is the saving grace of Kahana Beach Park.
Shark's Cove on the North Shore of Oahu is not really a beach, but rather a snorkel and diving spot; and what a snorkel spot it is! This small cove is ringed in rocks and coral providing very little in the way of sand to lay out on, but if you are looking for a great place to snorkel, Shark's Cove is, at many times of the year, an excellent option.
A listing of all Oahu Beaches can be found on these pages. Check for the Oahu Beach that will be perfect for you!
It's a good thing you're going to the beach on Oahu! Not only does Oahu have some of the most beautiful beaches in the state, have some of the best snorkeling to be seen in the state, have some of the best surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddling locations in the state and some of the largest waves for you to watch in the state, but Oahu beaches have more lifeguard locations and more lifeguards all toll than any other island in the State of Hawaii.
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