8 Beaches to Visit on Oahu

jana meerman lanikai beach (3)

I visited Hawaii for the first time during the Christmas break in 2014. Safe to say it won't be the last! Here's 8 beaches on Oahu you simply must see while you're there:


Lanikai Beach, Kailua

I was so excited to visit beautiful Lanikai Beach! Given that this is my first time visiting a tropical destination, it was absolutely breathtaking to experience turquoise waters, pure white sand and breezy palm trees in real life.

jana meerman lanikai beach (3)
jana meerman lanikai beach (3)
jana meerman lanikai beach (3)

Sunset Beach, North Shore

We took advantage of cheap transfer bus fares (buy one ticket and get a free second transfer ticket) and took the bus around the northern coast of Oahu in search of the beautiful Sunset Beach on the North Shore. The main beach was unfortunately blocked off with yellow caution tape, but we found a tree that was beautifully shaped for some neat photos.

jana meerman oahu (6)
jana meerman oahu (6)
jana meerman oahu (6)

Waimea Bay, North Shore

Hopping back on the bus from Sunset Beach took us to Waimea Bay to catch the afternoon sun. Probably the least touristy of all the beaches we visited, it was quiet and relaxing.

jana meerman waimea bay (6)

Banzai Pipeline, North Shore

While this beach is particularly incredible year-round, especially well-known for its fantastic surf, getting to experience the Surfing World Cup here was unreal. We woke up at 3am in order to nab a good spot and piled onto the beach with the other onlookers in time for sunrise and the start of the event where world champion surfers took on the waves to compete for three world titles!

jana meerman oahu (8)
jana meerman oahu (8)

Kailua Beach, Kailua

Kailua Beach is Lanikai's lesser-known neighbour that has more of park vibe than tropical beach front. The sand is more filled with shells and pebbles, but when it began to rain, the overcast clouds created a stunning, moody backdrop.

jana meerman kailua beach (8)

Sandys Beach, East Coast

On the eastern side of Oahu lies the beautiful Sandys Beach, probably my absolute favourite of all the beaches that we had a chance to visit. Between sporadic bursts of warm rain we wandered in and among the rocks and watched the sunset and I felt completely in awe of the beauty sprawled peacefully out before us.

jana meerman sandy's beach (1)
jana meerman sandy's beach (1)
jana meerman sandy's beach (1)
jana meerman sandy's beach (1)

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu

It's fascinating seeing the 'tourist' side of Hawaii in the form of the Waikiki Beach strip with jam-packed all-inclusive resorts and beaches but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see Hawaii for what it really is.It was still fun to resort-hop the length of the Waikiki strip, wandering through the expensive resorts and hanging out on the Hilton's hammocks.

jana meerman waikiki (1)
jana meerman waikiki (1)
jana meerman waikiki (1)

Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, Honolulu

Owned by one of the beachfront resorts, the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is popular with children seeking water-sport thrills. The most stunning sunset of the entire trip seemed to light the nearby Ala Wai Yacht Harbour on fire.

jana meerman waikiki (1)
jana meerman waikiki (1)
jana meerman waikiki (1)
jana meerman waikiki (1)
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