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  • Bodyboarding and bodysurfing
  • Picnic at the beach
  • Snorkeling
Sandy Beach Park on the east side of Oahu is well known for two good reasons, the beautiful beach sand and powerful shore breaks. Getting to this beach will have you drive along the ... morelava cliff side of Koko Head crater. The beach is just beyond the popular Halona blow-hole. During the summer period when the beach is often calm, the offshore reef that protects it also provide very good conditions for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The soft sand, the gentle water and the ease of entry into the water attracts families with small children seeking to spend some fantastic moments on the seaside.

Sandy Beach is not almost always gentle. In fact, the locals in Hawaii call it "the beach of broken necks". It is listed as one of the most dangerous beaches in Hawaii. You must always be on the look out for red warning flags and signs posted on the beach warning of the dangers of strong currents, high surf, sharp coral, and dangerous shore breaks. Sandy beach is popular among experience body surfers and body boarders.

In the winter months, there are powerful shore breaks and rip tide currents during high surf. You should avoid swimming in front of Keawaakio Cove even when the water seems calm because of rip tide currents.

Sand Beach Park does not provide scenic views like many other beaches in the surrounding, but it does provide a lot of thrill. One of the things you will notice is that the sand on the beach seems to get everywhere. On your hair, nose, ears, swimwear, even after having taken a shower, you will still be brushing off sand.

The beach has all the facilities of a modern beach including lifeguards. there is not much shade on the beach but a grassy area with some picnic tables can be found which is perfect for relaxing, taking photos or watching the waves.
Type:
Beach, Park
Features:
Bathroom, Lifeguards, Parking, Picnic tables, Showers
Overall:
  • Known for its delicious shrimp vendors, scattered around Kamehameha Highway.
  • Students of Kahuku High, have achieved great things in Sports, Academics, and Arts.
  • This town has been used as a set for various TV series over the years.
Kahuku is a tiny little town, just between Laie and Turtle Bay, and is part of the Ko’olauloa District, on the island of Oahu, in the County of Honolulu. ‘Ka Huku’, meaning “The projection” ... morein the Hawaiian language, is generally thought as a reference to Kahuku point, which is the northernmost tip of the island of Oahu. It had a population of about 2,614 people in the 2010 Census, over an area of 2.3 sq. miles (including water), which gave a population density of 1,100 people per sq. Mile. The zipcode of this area is 96731.


Despite being quite a small town, there are quite a few attractions and things you can do here. Scattered on the sides of the Kamehameha Highway that passes through this town, you’ll find many trucks that sell shrimp. There are shrimp farms very close to this area, and hence these shrimp vendors are seen very often, one of the more famous ones being “Giovanni’s”. Their shrimp dishes are quite well known and delicious. For a cost of 13 USD, you get one of three flavors of shrimp of your choice, namely Scampi (with garlic), lemon and butter, or spicy, as well as two scoops of rice. Kahuku Beach is also popular among fisherman, although it’s not ideal for swimming, since the limestone shelf would make for a pretty bumpy swim. In close proximity of the beach is Kahuku Golf course. The Turtle Bay Resort is also worth visiting, complete with a close-by beach with swimming and snorkeling possible there.


Kahuku is also known for its high school, Kahuku High. The students that are in this school always seem to excel at either academia, or extracurricular activities like sports. It is very well known for it’s Football, and is ranked nationally in the United States. In 2007, it was the High school with the second largest number of active football players from any single high school (Second only to De La Salle High School of Concord, in the state of California). Kahuku students seem to dominate even in sports like Water Polo, Track and Field, Wrestling, Basketball, Volleyball, and Judo.


But besides sports, some students excel even in the Arts. Just some of the awards won by certain students include the photography portfolio category in the Scholastic Arts Category, and some students stood in the top ten lists of various U.S. based quizzes such as History Day and We the People. In fact, till date, the students of this high school have recieved some sort of recognition in over 25 different national contests, more than any other public school in the entire state of Hawaii.


Besides all of this, The alumni of this high school includes some famous personalities. People such as musician Jack Johnson, Member of German Parliament Alexander Bonde, Public figure Earl Anzai, Chef Sam Choy, and famous surfer Pancho Sullivan, are all graduates of this high school.


This town has also been a location for filming. A popular game show of the name “The Diamond Head Game” was filmed nearby Turtle Bay Resort, which at that time was named Kuilima Hotel. A FoxTV show called North Shore was also filmed there much more recently.
Type:
Town
Overall:
  • 2 mile Scenic Hike
  • 500 foot Climb in Elevation
  • Ocean looks Turquoise from Here
Located within the 38-acre Makapuʻu Point State Wayside Park, is the Makapu'u Lookout. The trail leads from the former Coast Guard residential area to the summit on a relatively easy ... moresandy path.
From the summit, visitors can watch for whales from November to April using the provided telescope or their own binoculars. If it is a clear day, it is sometimes possible to see the blowholes on Makapu’u Head’s rocky shore from the summit. On almost any clear day, visitors can see magnificent sea cliffs, Visitors can also often see Makapu’u Beach Park, Rabbit Island, and Kaohikaipu Island.
Visitors to the park can also take another short hike to see the Makapu’u Lighthouse. This path starting near the same trailhead also offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Type:
Hike, Scenic Lookout, Landmark
Features:
Bathroom
  • Great for surfing very powerful waves
  • Beautiful coral reef, nice for snorkeling
  • Swimming
Sunset beach on the north shore of Oahu offers a combination of nice surfing conditions, beautiful sun and soft nice sand at the beach. The sand is golden, and there are palm trees ... morethat line up the beach providing shade. In the summer the water is calm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. A tide pool also can be seen where people often collect shells and observe marine life. The best place to snorkel is in the offshore tide pool around the protected area of the beach.

The winter period is most active. Many surfers converge to Sunset beach which is a world famous beach. Waves can reach 30 feet high, there are very powerful currents. The currents known as Sunset Rip runs on every big swell. Many well known international surfing competitions take place at the beach. Sunset Beach is not the place for beginners. The powerful current sucks back the water with great force that it could potentially hurl inexperienced surfers deep into the ocean.

Sunset Beach is about 2 miles long not very far to two other popular surfing beaches, Ehukai Beach and the Banzai pipeline. The powerful current is such that you may enter the water in a certain area, and just a few minutes later find yourself further down the beach. There are different amenities including lifeguards. Sunset beach is also a very nice place for watching the sunset, which is also the reason the beach was given the name Sunset Beach.
Type:
Beach, Park
Features:
Bathroom, Lifeguards, Parking, Showers
  • Great surfbreak
  • Scenic lookout
  • Surfing
One of Oahu's gems, Makapu'u Beach Park is located on the southeastern tip of the island. It can be reached by going on Kalanianaole Highway passing Sandy beach. Just before reaching ... morethe park you will also pass the trail leading to the Makapu'u light house. An ancient Hawaiian legend tells of Makapu'u being a god that came from Tahiti to live in a cave at Makapu'u. She had eight bright eyes so the Hawaiian gave her the name " bulging eye"

Makapu'u Beach Park is very popular among body boarders and body surfers. During the winter month there are powerful
Shore breaks that gives surfers seeking for some adventure a thrill ride. In the summer, the ocean is a bit calmer but there is waves almost every day. Enjoying the water in Makapu'u either during the summer or the winter requires experience. It is not suitable for leisure swimming. The size of the beach varies throughout the year. In the winter large boulders are exposed in the shore break by high surf eroding the beach.

When there is low tide, you can explore tide pools that are exposed and admire the marine life. You will notice various fish, crabs, opihi and other marine life trapped in the lava. Particularly interesting is to spot the mudfish which is a jumping fish that crawl around and jump from tide pool to tidepool. Just off of Makapu'u are two islands. Manana that looks like a rabbits head, hence its nickname "Rabbit Island". It is comprised of 64 acres and is a protected bird sanctuary. You need to obtain permission from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to go and explore the island. The other island, Black Rock, is a lot smaller. It is also known as Kaohikaipu Island.

The lighthouse is just around the corner. To get to the lighthouse, there is a paved trail that can be accessed from the parking along Kalanianaole Highway. Makapu'u lookout is also just south of the beach park. It provides a nice scenic view of the surroundings and of the two islands. Makapu'u Beach Park attracts lots of visitors all year round and is one of the beaches in Oahu that offers lots of recreation.
Type:
Beach, Park, Surf Break
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water, Food for purchase, Lifeguards, Parking, Showers
  • Very big Hawaiian green sea turtles
  • Paddling to the surf point
  • Snorkeling with turtles
Laniakea Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is found on the North shore of Oahu. The beach attracts visitors who come to watch the turtles basking in the sun. On some rare occasions, ... moreon other beaches of Oahu, turtles can be spotted on the ocean but you have to be lucky. Laniakea Beach almost is most of the time full of turtles. They come to the beach and do not seem to mind the people who are taking pictures of them.

Laniakea Beach has become a bit more crowded in recent year. Lots of tour buses come to the location as they are going to other attractions. Parking can be found right across the beach. The green sea turtle is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act in Hawaii. Care should be taken therefore when admiring them as it is illegal to chase, hunt,handle, harass or injure them in any way. The turtle has probably come to this particular beach since there is a seaweed that grows on its shore which they enjoy eating.

Laniakea Beach is quite small and has a rocky shelf. A strong rip current often forms on the west side of the beach when the surf is up. Laniakea is also an entry point for surfers who use the location to get to the offshore surf sites of Laniakea, Himalayas and Hultin's. Laniakea beach has very nice and is good for sunbathing. Even if the main reason water sport lovers use Laniakea Beach is for surfing, the beach still offers nice opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. The green turtles are quite friendly and often will allow people to swim and snorkel in the water with them. You should almost try and give the turtle at least 10 feet of space when swimming with them and not block their path. You should never ride on it or sit on it.
Type:
Beach
Features:
Parking
  • Turtles on the beach
  • The sound of parrots in the forest
  • Learning how to paddle board
Kawela Bay is located in the western part of the Turtle Bay Resort just about an hour's walk from the Turtle Bay Resort. The area is very secluded, the water is very clear crystal ... moreblue and quite calm. The surrounding landscape is lush with distinctive banyan trees. The beautiful reef in the bay also contributes to the serenity of the area. The bay is inhabited by green sea turtles and endangered monk seal.
Kawela Bay is a nice area for walking along the beach. The bay is curved such that the reef diffuses waves during the winter months, therefore the water in the bay is always very calm. Kawela Bay and most of the coastal features are mostly hidden from travelers along Kamehameha Highway. The beach can be accessed from across the street through the Kahuku land, farm and walking for just a few minutes through some forest. Kawela Bay provides the perfect environment for beginner paddle boarders.
The bay also provides a nice environment for swimming. Its curved shape and the reef surrounding it protects it from strong waves even during the winter season. Swimming is not all that fantastic all along the bay, in some area the ocean bottom is rocky and the water murky. Outside of the bay on the outer reef, a few surf sites can be found, but there, the current can sometimes be very strong. The southern side of the bay provides much better conditions for swimming and snorkeling.
When walking along the bay, you will pass an area where there is a pillbox. The right of the pillbox is a small grassy area that provides the perfect place to relax. In the forest can often be heard the sound of parrots which is worth keeping a lookout for
Kawela Bay has a nice beach perfect for beach-combing and sunbathing. There used to be homes built all along the bay, but in 1986 many of the residents were evicted. The plan was to build a resort in the location, but that had never happened. A few homes can still be seen along the west side of the bay. Generally, Kawela is a very secluded beach with very calm waters offering residents and visitors much to enjoy the beach. There are no facilities or lifeguards on the beach.
Type:
Beach
Features:
Parking, Picnic tables
  • Scenic view of the surrounding
  • Very calm and great for picnic
  • Kayaking and paddle boarding
This beautiful beach is crescent shaped and located on the windward side of Oahu. It is surrounded on three side by the Koolai Mountains which provide a scenic mountain view. Kahana ... moreBay has beautiful soft sand. The tall pine trees and ironwood trees that surround the outskirt provides the perfect shade and a nice spot for picnic and barbecue. Kahana Bay Beach Park can be considered like a tropical paradise. It is a peaceful retreat with waters that are generally calm.

The ocean is good for swimming but at occasion can be a little bit murky because of the runoff of Kahana stream. Caution should be taken when entering the water as some parts of the beach near the shore are rocky. Many different activities are undertaken; kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding just to name a few. during the months of June to September, the beach can be covered with stinging limu (seaweed). You should therefore watch for signs and monitor the ocean condition.

A campground near the beach is open five days a week and contains 10 camp site. Local residents often camp during weekends but to do so, a permit needs to be obtained from the Hawaiian Department of Land and Natural Resources. During weekdays, the beach is almost completely deserted but on weekends it becomes very crowded.

Kahana Bay Beach Park is about 7 miles south of Laie. There are limited facilities that includes: restrooms and showers. An ancient Hawaiian fishpond can be found on the south end of the bay where Kahana stream spills into the ocean which is called Huilua. You can get amazing views of Kahana bay from the Kapa'ele'ele hiking trail. the trail can be followed from the stream on the left. it runs for about 3.5 miles from the parking area. Some bunkers used for training during WWII can also be seen. Overall, Kahana Bay Beach Park offers great scenery and a great place for picnic and barbecue. If hiking the park though, you should have with you some bug spray as it is heavily infested with mosquitoes.
Type:
Beach
Features:
Camping, Parking, Picnic tables, Showers
  • Climbing to the top of the coned shaped outcropping
  • Exploration the caves
  • Enjoying the beach
Chinaman's Hat is a small island about 12.5 acres off the coast of Oahu. The peculiar name has been given because of its shape which looks like a Chinese hat. The island's true name ... moreis Mokoli'i which means "little lizard" in Hawaiian. Mokoli'i used to be part of mainland Oahu, but became separated from the mainland through erosion.

The island is a perfect location for relaxing and enjoying the beach. It attracts a number of visitors, tourists and locals, who come there for curiosity, to explore the surrounding, or who seek some privacy. Chinaman's Hat is only accessible by boat, surfboard, kayak, or by swimming if you have endurance as it is not that far from the mainland.

According the Hawaiian legend, Mokoli'i had been created by Hi'iaka, sister of the Goddess of fire Pele, who hunted a dangerous dragon and placed the fins of the dragon in the ocean as a landmark. The body of the dragon she used in the lowland of the mountain to make a pathway, then ran around the edge of Oahu.

Chinaman's Hat is one of Oahu's best offshore islands. The reef around the island supports abundant marine life. The island can be seen from Oahu's coast. The cone shaped outcropping which also gave it its nickname was formed by a flow of lava. Small secluded beaches can be found on the island. Small caves carved out of lava and the steep volcanic cone is perfect for exploration. It can take about 20 minutes to climb the cone shape and can be very strenuous and quite tricky.
Type:
Beach, Hike, Offshore Island
  • Watching the pipeline
  • Riding the pipeline
  • Braving the wave
The Banzai Pipeline is well known among surfers and found at Ehukai Beach. It literally is a surfing break that takes the shape of a tube. The reef break occurs when ocean waves start ... moreto break as they reach the shallows of a reef. They form caverns on the inside, hence creating giant air bubbles that pop in front of the wave as it lurches upward just before breaking.

Four types of waves are associated with the Banzai Pipeline. The most commonly surfed, the left (meaning that the wave breaks from the left from the perspective of persons watching on shore), the peak occurs when the reef is hit by a north swell (the highest tipping point of the wave when it begins to curl). The peak becomes an A-framed wave as the pipe starts to close out a bit and peeling to the left. The Backdoor pipeline is also quite famous and occurs as the pipe is peeling away to the right simultaneously.

The Banzai Pipeline or simply "Pipeline" or "Pipe" is considered the world's deadliest wave. Many surfers have lost their life trying to ride the wave. The take off zone (the location where the surfer needs to be to catch the wave) is quite small. Many surfers congregate there as it is breaking large. Three reefs activate in progressively deeper waters at Pipeline depending on the increasing size of the approaching ocean swell.

The name Banzai Pipeline derives from the name of the beach (Banzai Beach) and the surf break (Pipeline) which has been combined. The name Pipeline was first used in December 1961 as movie producer Bruce Brown filmed at the location. Mike Diffenderfer, a surfer in the movie production, made the suggestion to name the break 'Pipeline'. The name was used in Brown's movie "Surfing Hollow Days".
Type:
Beach, Surf Break
Features:
Lifeguards