Continuing on my "O'ahu Favorites" journey,
I've come to beaches.
Oh, O'ahu beaches!
O'ahu and Kaua'i have the BEST beaches because
the "younger" islands (those closer to the hot spot, like the Big Island)
have more fresh volcanic activity and are covered in more hardened lava that has yet to break down in to sand.
O'ahu and Kaua'i are old. ;)
That means...LOVELY BEACHES!
Here are my O'ahu favorites (I'll have another string of posts for Kaua'i):
1. Waimanalo Bay
This is where we were married
(actually our ceremony was at Waimanalo Beach Park, which is different than Waimanalo Bay....I happen to like the BAY better for beachin' it)
The water is GORGEOUS!
The most SCENIC O'ahu beach, in my humble opinion.
Lots of parking, bathrooms, a few picnic tables...plenty space to spread out.
Disclaimer: Not a good beach on a windy day, though, or on a high jellyfish warning day.
2. Kalama Beach Park
Everyone FLOCKS to Kailua Beach Park and to Lanikai Beach...
just down the street...
So be it!
Go to Kailua and Lanikai (which doesn't have bathrooms, btw)!
Kalamas is a little known (I know...I probably shouldn't be posting it, then)
GORGEOUS stretch of beach in Kailua.
Disclaimer: Not a lot of parking in the main lot, but there is plenty parking in the surrounding neighborhoods
(just don't park too close to a stop sign, like I did, or expect a parking ticket!).
3. China Man's Hat (Mokoli'i)/Kualoa Park:
China Man's Hat is the island off in the distance...and the park/beach area is called Kualoa Park.
Rarely EVER have I seen it crowded, and it is BEAUTIFUL!
Lots of parking, BBQ grills, picnic tables, grass AND sand, bathrooms...great for a family beach day!
Disclaimer: Not the best beach for swimming.
O'ahu is FAMOUS for the North Shore.
Pipeline...amazing in December/January for surf watching.
If you want to experience the N. Shore beaches (and you should), here is a great website:
However, if you keep driving west past Haleiwa...you hit Mokuleia...beautiful, untouched paradise!
(Also the location where "Lost" was filmed...)
Disclaimer: There are no restaurants/shops nearby. Also can be a "localized" area...just be respectful.
5. Ka Iwi Shoreline
This is my absolute FAVORITE place ON THE ISLAND.
In fact, Ka Iwi has its own post on my blog:
It is a place to EXPLORE! There are tide pools and little dirt trails next to the ocean.
Disclaimer: This is not a beach for swimming or getting in the ocean...period. Parking is tricky: Driving on Kalanianaole heading towards Makapu'u, there is a dirt parking lot just after Kealahou St.
Those are my FAVORITES!
There are more "touristy" beaches on O'ahu...
...ALOT of them...
but I don't recommend them if you want a real Hawai'i experience.