Beaches So far

Waikiki– Near Hale Koa= Touristy but an ok beach.  We generally stay away from there because of traffic and parking.

Sandy Beach- This beach is actually pretty rocky, and the day we went the lifeguards were advising people not to get in the water because the waves were hitting hard.  So we took their advice and moved on to another beach.  We haven’t been back.  This is nicknamed “breakneck beach” so the name is decieving

Waimanalo Beach Park- is the beach that the lifeguard at sandy’s this directed us toward.  I really liked this beach.  It was sandy and there were no a lot of people there.  We met a nice family and the kids played together. 

Waimanalo Beach on Dwellable

Bellows Beach- We have gone here a few times.  The military only section doesn’t have much parking and it isn’t all that different from the public section.  The thing I like about this beach is the soft sand and that it stays shallow for quite a while. 

Hanauma Bay- This beach is a tourist draw for sure but it’s fanstastic snorkeling.  I would say the biggest caveat is the ammount of people.  But it has a nice sand beach where the kids can play and it’s protected from the surf by the reef.

Ko’olina Lagoons- Nice and calm here.  This was a great spot when we first came because there are large rocks/reefs blocking the surf.  Good snorkeling too.  But it fills fast.  They will turn you around if there is no more parking which makes for a wasted trip.

Pililaau Army Recreation Center- You will need military ID to enter here.  Nice sand beach, surf board, body board and stand-up paddle board rentals available. 

Haleiwa Ali’i Beach- This beach gets rocky not far from shore.  I don’t like my feet touching slimy rocks so not my fav.  But you can see turtles here frequently and it would be a good snorkel spot. This is also the beach where the famous “Bay Watch” was filmed.

Dillingham/Mokuleia- There is a strip of beach that runs for several miles here.  There is everything from sandy to rocky.  This area is park for Kaena Point State Park and it popular with the locals.  It’s beautiful but the surf can get large in the winter time so watch for that.  You can also snorkel here but it’s not really known for that.  The rocky areas would be good fishing spots.  At the end of the road it turns dirt and you can go up there with a 4wd vehicle.  We did this one day in my husband’s Jeep.  Using a GPS you can find something called “hidden beach” which is a small patch of sand but it quickly gets rocky.  But the 4 wheeling was fun just for the ride. 

“Turtle Beach” Laniakea- We’ve never actually gotten in the water here as the beach has many slippery rocks right on the shore.  This is a great spot to see the Hawaiian Sea turtles that often turn up on the beaches.  If there is a turtle on the beach there will be a parimeter around the turtle and people watching to make sure no one touches the turtle or gets too close.  Some time I want to go there and snorkel which you can do at one spot on the north end of the beach because it’s sandy. 

Waimea Bay- This is a HUGE tourist draw but it is a really sandy beach and super nice.  It is a rather steep drop off after a walk down to the shore.  Once you get in the water it get’s deep quickly.  You are over your head in about 5-6 steps.  There is a rock on the south end of the beach where you will see people jumping off a large rock that they climb up.  I, however, am not that brave.  I have only been 2 times because of the crowd.  We tend to like other less popular places.

Three Tables– Right around the corner on Kam HWY coming from S to N is a catholic church and shortly after that there is a small strip of parking on the left.  This is Three Tables beach.  It’s pretty good for families that want to snorkel but have young kids.  There is a sandy area for the kids but about 30ft off shore it starts to get rocky and you can see lots of fish.  We have been here several times.

Sharks Cove– Not a family beach but amazing snorkeling!  My husband and I checked this out just the other day and it’s awesome.  I would recomend going early because parking is a nightmare.  The formal name for this park is Pupukea beack park.  But as I said the parking is insane and it gets crowded.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like bumping in to other snorkelers all the time. 

Ehukai Beach aka “banzai pipeline”- I went to this beach a couple weeks ago and didn’t get in the water.  Even in the summer months when the waves are small they hit the shore hard.  I am a strong swimmer and I’m sure I would have been fine but I was looking for something more relaxing. 

Sunset Beach- This is a really nice beach.  Soft sand and plenty of it so that even if there are a lot of people you don’t have to be close together.  No shade though so that’s a drawback.  This beach is funny.  At the north end the waves seem to be larger and hitting the shore harder.  That’s where I see the surfers.  But the just south of that there is an area where the waves don’t hit the shore nearly as hard.  There is some snorkeling here but I have never tried it out because I usually go there with my family.

Kawela Bay- This is sort of a hidden treasure.  You have to park across the street from a farm stand called “Kahukuland Farms”.  From there you have to hike in.  The water is flat as can be and it’s pretty scenery.  I went there to snorkel according to some things I read online.  Well they lied because it was super murkey and I couldn’t see a thing.

Hukilau Beach- stopped here one day but didn’t go in.  looks like a nice beach but more local than anything.

Laie Beach Park- Again I stopped and looked.  Looks nice.

Kokololio- I don’t know what it is about this beach but it is just gorgeous.  I stopped one day while I was exploring and when I saw the beach it just called my name.  Powder fine sand and crystal clear water.  It was just heaven on earth the just float in the waves and relax.

Kailua Beach Park- Didn’t get in the water here because we were looking for snorkeling and it was too far out.  Because it faces into Kaneohe bay there are swim buoy’s and the reef was all the way out at the border.  The sand is perfectly white and it looks like a great family beach!

Lanikai Beach- great beach!  It’s in a neighborhood and a little tricky to find.  Bring a GPS.  Same white sands as Kailua beach and the snorkeling is good too.  It’s street parking and there are paths that are “public access to the beach” otherwise it’s residential.

Unknown Beach- over on the west shore there is a beach that is after H1 turns into farrington HWY just past the electric plant.  It doesn’t have a name that I have ever seen.  It’s just a small parking lot that is sand and there is a nice beach there. 

Yokohama- This beach is beautiful but I didn’t get a chance to get in.  A friend that was with me was concerned about the steep drop down to the shore.  I want to go back some time but it’s a trek from where we live. 

Nimitz Beach-  this is at the far end of barber’s point coast guard station.  It’s out of the way and not that easy to find.  This beach is not a real good swimming beach because it’s rocky but there is one little spot of sand where you can get in.  The day we went I wasn’t pleased with the C130 on the runway across the street that was idling and making tons of noise.  The rocks could be fun to catch little hermit crabs and such.

White Plains- This is navy property and it comes before nimitz beach on the same road.  There are signs posted that it’s navy property but the access is not restricted.  It’s a popular surf spot in the winter.  It offers nice white sand beaches but it crowded.  The other caveat at this beach is that it’s gets rocky pretty close to shore.  I was stubbing my toes so I didn’t like that.  But it is a good beach for body boarding or surfing.  We will probably try this one again when the surf is less in the winter months.

Turtle Bay Resort-  this was one of the very first beaches we visited and we weren’t impressed.  It’s small and you have to park far away because the resort guests get to park in the closer spots.  The snorkeling isn’t very good either.  We went here expecting to see turtles, not knowing that turtle bay doesn’t acutally have turtles.  Needless to say it was a bust. 

Turtle Bay Beach- this is down the same trail as Kawela Bay and is shallow and rocky.  It can be rough but there were turtles in the water that my husband was able to get pictures of.  It’s actually on the south side of the turtle bay resort. 

Wow that’s a lot of beaches!

Waimanalo Beach on Dwellable

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jane
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 12:59:39

    Hey there-
    I’ve been looking for blog posts about Waimanalo Beach to feature on our site and I came across your post 🙂
    If you’re interested, you can drop me a line at Jane (at) Dwellable (.com)


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