If you’re staying near Waikiki Beach, a trip to the North Shore can make a single-day car rental worth it. On the North Shore, you will find lots of worthy stops to find a full day of activities in the area, and that includes beaches!
North Shore beaches are known as the place to go on Oahu for high surf during surfing season, which generally speaking, is during the winter months.
There are so many beaches in Oahu to choose from, and the North Shore is among the top areas of Oahu that give you lots of choices.
Okay, so maybe the whole island gives you lots of choices. 😉
But even on the North Shore alone, there are lots of beaches to choose from.
So here is a narrowed down list of North Shore beaches to give a look at!
This is the quick list of some of the best beaches on the North Shore of Oahu to consider visiting:
- Waimea Bay
- Sunset Beach
- Laniakea Beach (aka Turtle Beach)
- Shark’s Cove
Map of North Shore Beaches
It’s an interactive map of Oahu beaches on Google Maps, so go ahead and click to explore! If you’re coming from Pinterest mobile, it might not work as well in the app. So first open up this page in your web browser, then click to explore!
If you'll be snorkeling on your next vacation, consider wearing these types of UV swim shirts, and also see some snorkeling essentials for Hawaii. And for Hawaii vacation ideas, see great short hikes on Oahu with ocean views, and great scenic drives to plan on Maui, and great areas to visit as you circle the Big Island, and great coastal hikes on the quiet island of Lanai!
Waimea Bay during the winter can be a far different scene than Waimea Bay during the summer! Waimea Bay is one of those North Shore beaches that you can see massive waves during surfing season. When the waves are in the calmer months, it makes for a good beach for wading in the water. You still want to be careful though, because the shoreline can drop off quite drastically when you’re in the water.
Sunset Beach is another beach on the North Shore that’s known for surfing in Hawaii when it’s winter. In the summer, the wide stretch of sand can make for a nice area to hang out away from the Waikiki crowds.
- Diamond Head Hike
- Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
- Manoa Falls Trail
- Koko Head Hike
- Lanikai Pillbox Hike
- Puu Maelieli Trail
- Ehukai Pillbox Hike << This hike is near Sunset Beach
Turtle Beach | Laniakea Beach
You’ll definitely want to add Laniakea Beach to your list of beaches to visit on the North Shore if seeing turtles is on your bucket list of things to do on Oahu. Laniakea Beach is also called Turtle Beach, and it is one of the most reliable beaches for turtle sightings on Oahu. So if you’re looking for where to see turtles on Oahu, try this beach! This doesn’t mean that a turtle sighting is guaranteed when you go, as there are plenty of people who have gone to Laniakea Beach and not see a turtle, only to leave disappointed.
At this North Shore beach, there are 3-4 of the same turtles who regularly come to the beach, and the evening before the sun goes down is a good time to catch at least one of them basking in the sun. There are volunteers here who make sure that everyone keeps their distance from the turtles to keep the turtles safe and well for years to come!
Because Sharks Cove is an enclosed lagoon, it’s usually possible to safely snorkel here, especially in the summer months since it’s guarded from the waves. This makes Sharks Cove one of the top snorkeling beaches on the North Shore. Although, it doesn’t mean that it’s completely protected, so be sure to use your good wisdom.
HAPPY NORTH SHORE BEACH TIME!
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- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see more about the best shoes for hiking in Hawaii.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.
Swimwear for snorkeling and beach- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- What to wear hiking
- Snorkeling essentials for Hawaii
- What to wear on a cruise formal night
more Hawaii travel tips:
-- Oahu travel planning map
-- 3 day Oahu itinerary
-- 2 week Oahu itinerary
-- Best short hikes on Oahu with amazing views
- BIG ISLAND:
-- Big Island travel planning map
-- 7 day Big Island itinerary
-- Best beach hikes on the Big Island with amazing views