Being an island and all, there is no shortage of beaches on Oahu. There are more than one could possibly visit in a week’s vacation but here’s a recap of the ones I did.
I’m a bit a lot impartial to Ko Olina since that was, after all, the site of our first hotel. But I think even if I hadn’t stayed there I would still want to gush about it. Why here, when there’s how many other gorgeous beaches on Oahu? Well, the answer is simple-man made lagoons. While ocean waves can be incredibly cool to watch and admire from a distance, if you’re not a surfer looking for that 20-foot tall “killer,” waves can also be dangerous and difficult to actually swim in. At Ko Olina the lagoon set up equates to totally calm waters which is lovely when all you want to do is relax and not be worried about getting knocked down. And when you’re in need of some wave action, get in your car and just drive; you’re bound to find some. There were a lot of snorkelers in the water as well. I didn’t but just from standing in the surf I could see schools of fish going by-sadly, nothing of the large or exotic variety but neat all the same. Ko Olina is located on the “leeward” side of Oahu.
This is perhaps one of the most famous stretches of beach in the world, possibly surpassing Copacabana and in my opinion, definitely Miami Beach. Although it was slight “culture shock” coming from the relatively undeveloped and less crowded Ko Olina to Waikiki Beach, one of Oahu’s most populated areas (it’s a neighborhood of the state capital of Honolulu), the gorgeousness of the area could not be disputed. While Ko Olina seemed to have more tourists frolicking in its waters, at Waikiki there was definitely an even ratio of tourists to locals. This was also where I really laid eyes on that famous Hawaiian surfing culture-i.e. surfers just resting on their boards waiting for that awesome wave to come in on. While the sand was not as “white” as in Ko Olina, I did find the water to be clearer at Waikiki. And for possibly the neatest thing of all, on our last morning in Waikiki, we went out to the beach and while we were in the water, a school of what appeared to be “mini” swordfish would swim around us. They weren’t swordfish, as they were a fraction of the size of the actual ones, but they definitely resembled the real thing in terms of the pointy tip at their faces.
We unfortunately didn’t have the chance to swim here, it was only a picture taking break while on our Circle Island tour (a tour that literally circles around most of Oahu). Sunset Beach is located on Oahu’s famed North Shore and has a striking beauty to it. If you envision a perfect beach without any development, Sunset Beach would be it. The North Shore is famous for its massive waves during the winter months, although since we were visiting in October, the waves were relatively “calm” still they were crashing down pretty hard. The North Shore is definitely more of a “locals” favorite due to the lack of development and their obviously wanting to keep it that way.
Okay, technically this isn’t a full-on beach but since it was the location for a beloved movie of mine, I wanted to include it. Halona Cove was the site of that love scene “heard ’round the world”, the one in From Here to Eternity where the characters Milton Warden and Karen Holmes are kissing so passionately in the Hawaiian surf. It’s really just a small pit of sand that is adjacent to a famous blowhole. Swimming can be dangerous as the surf is often rough here, but seeing the actual beach area was just as I imagined it would be. Even though the movie was in black and white, it still seemed so vivid and all the more striking in person. While we were there, there were actually people swimming. I was more impressed by the fact that it seemed slightly tricky to get down to the beach from the road level…yet, clearly they had.
So while there are tons more beaches to explore on Oahu, you can’t go wrong with visiting these four.
P.S. And for another spectacular Oahu beach that I blogged about earlier, click here.