There’s nowhere really like the North Shore of Oahu. Worlds away from the busy and crowded Waikiki, the North Shore only has one resort. The lack of people leads to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island being uncrowded. We stayed in a vacation rental on the North Shore, and it quickly became one of our favorite places we’ve ever been. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite beaches to help you plan your time on the North Shore!
1. Waimea Bay
I’m not going to save the best for last on this list. Waimea Bay is hands down our favorite beach in Oahu. It’s known for its monstrous waves in the winter, but if you visit in the summer-time like we did, the water is smooth and calm. Its a crescent shaped bay that you can see from the high-way, and also features a large rock that people jump from. The small parking lot fills up quickly, with overflow parking on the street. We love Waimea because it never feels overly crowded, even on the weekends. In our opinion, it’s also the most beautiful on the North Shore. Do yourself a huge favor, and make this the number one beach you check out.
2. Sunset Beach
Arguably the most popular beach on the North Shore, this has one of the longest stretches of sand we saw. Living up to its name, this was our favorite beach to watch the sunset from. We even had the pleasure of seeing a Monk Seal relaxing on the beach that night — something we’ve been told is fairly common.
3. Sharks Cove
If you want to snorkel while on the North Shore, this is your best bet. It also has a sandy stretch for sun worshippers to lay out, if fish isn’t your thing. One of my favorite things about this beach is that it’s right across the street from some of the North Shores best food trucks.
4. Turtle Beach
This beach is a little more on the rocky side — but it’s frequent turtle visitors more than makes up for it. We don’t recommend this beach for swimming, but you should definitely check it out and try to see some of its turtle residents up close.
5. Kealia Beach
This is a bit of a drive, and doesn’t have the best swimming, but if you want to live out your private beach dreams, this is the place to do it.
Spending time on the North Shore, especially during the calm summers, is a must-do for your Oahu vacation. Honolulu and Waikiki are nice, but these islands gems are a little more removed from the crowds. We encourage you to look outside of the cities resorts, and find a vacation rental that’s a bit more removed from tourists!