Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay

Unwind and Relax: Must-Visit Beaches on Oahu's North Shore

Karyna Cabral

If you're looking for a perfect day trip away from the bustling city of Waikiki, North Shore is perfect for you. About a 40-minute drive from Honolulu, the Kamehameha highway snakes along Oahu’s North Shore almost bringing you back in time into the town of Haleiwa. Here you can find many delicious food spots and beautiful stretches of beaches along the coast. 

RELATED: Shaka Guide's Legendary North Shore Loop Itinerary

Ehukai Beach Park/Banzai Pipeline

A crowd on a beach observing a surfer riding a wave.

Ehukai Beach is the most popular that the North Shore has to offer and is home to one of the world's most sought-after barrel waves, Banzai Pipeline. Although this is not a beach that is safe to swim in, during the winter months when the swell is high people line up to watch pro surfers from all over the world take on these massive waves!

Sunset Beach

Oahu Wave. A sign with bold letters indicating the closure of the beach due to hazardous conditions.

 Not too far from Ehukai Beach is Sunset Beach. As you can tell this is a great spot to catch the famous North Shore sunsets! This is another great place to enjoy the surfers catching amazing waves. During the spring time the waters are calmer and easier to get in but during June - September visitors are asked to stay out of the water to avoid being stung by limu which washes up to the shore.

Waimea Bay

A beautiful sunset over a calm ocean with vibrant orange and pink hues reflecting on the water.

Waimea Bay is another fan favorite of North Shore. This beach has the best of both worlds, in the winter huge 30ft waves while in the summer time, the waters are calm and perfect to swim in. You will even find local cliff jumpers and an array of colorful fish that swim below the rock formation. Parking here can be pretty scarce so make sure you get there early!

Haleiwa Alii

Located at the bottom of Haleiwa just west of the small boat harbor, this is a popular location for locals and tourists alike. There is a 19-acre park that is perfect for frisbee, soccer games, birthday parties, you name it!  While the town of Haleiwa has many unique places to eat there are also many locations to rent out paddle boards and kayaks as well.

RELATED: Haleiwa Travel Guide

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Waialee is just west of Turtle Bay. This is the perfect spot for a peaceful tide-pool exploration. The rocky lava shelf blocks off the surf which creates a calm swimming area. This beach is definitely a change of pace from other beaches on the North Shore and has a lot less foot traffic. 

Kuilima Cove

A breathtaking ocean view from a building perched above the majestic waves.Image from Flickr by 

This is another great North Shore snorkeling spot with calm waters, volcanic rock, and coral flats that create a safe haven for colorful fish and sometimes you can even spot some endangered monk seals hanging out on shore. This beach is part of the Turtle Bay Resort but Kuilima Cove is open to the public. You will find everything you need here from renting out snorkeling gear from the Sand Bar Shop to grabbing lunch at Roy’s Beach House.

Laniakea Beach

Also known as turtle beach this little stretch of sand is super popular and I bet you can guess why! Each year sea turtles come here to rest on the shore. They are also swimming around in the water which you can snorkel in. But remember that sea turtles are protected and you must stay at least 2 meters away. 

Pupukea Beach Park

rocky shore

Translated to “white shell” in the native Hawaiian this beach is tucked right off Kamehameha Highway.  This beach cove is quiet and calm, a great place for snorkeling, and has access to Shark’s Cove and Three Tables. 

Shark’s Cove

A scenic rocky shoreline with people enjoying a swim in the ocean on a sunny day.Image from Flickr by 

Despite the name, you will not find any sharks here. This is a crystal-clear tide pool that is perfect for snorkeling. This is a safe spot for kids and families to visit. Although there is not much sand, there is a large grassy area for picnics and many food trucks across the road! This is a great place to stop for a bite or catch the sunset on your way home. 

RELATED: Shark's Cove: Your Guide to Snorkeling on Oahu's North Shore

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Three Tables

Just down the road from Sharks Cove is a trio of coral reef formations that give it this name, Three Tables. This is a quick and easy swim from the shore to the water. There is an array of different sea life here and it’s super close to Shark’s Cove! 

Map of Oahu's North Shore Beaches

Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's Legendary North Shore Loop Tour!

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our Legendary North Shore Loop Itinerary and Know Before You Go article.

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Best beaches on Oahu's North Shore: pristine sands, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views. Experience the beauty of Oahu's waves.


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