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What Oahu Beach Is Best for Your Clients?

June 18, 2014 By: Joe Pike

oahuTravel Agent breaks down the most notable beaches in Oahu, Hawaii, so clients can decide which one meets their needs while jet setting to the Aloha State. 

For the Casual Snorkeler

Kawela Bay/ Turtle Bay on Ohau's Northern Shore is protected from large waves and surf, making it a snorkeling client's dream as it also occasionally offers visitors a chance to see a "honu," or a Hawaiian green sea turtle).

Located on Oahu's South Shore is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a marine sanctuary. It's clear, shallow waters hold a multitude of tropical fish and marine life, making it one of the best places to snorkel on Oahu. This bay lies between two dormant volcanic craters on the southeast tip of Oahu.

For the Surfer

Sunset Beach on Oahu's Northern Shore is a two-mile length of sand and is considered the longest stretch of rideable surf spots in the world. Spanning in distance from Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) to Sunset Point. (This is also a venue for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which is held from November to December.) Agents should recommend this beach for seasoned surfers, but newcomers may have a tough time here as the beach offers about a dozen differen reef breaks. 

Also on the Northern Shore, Waimea Bay is a beach notorious for producing monstrous winter waves and is one of the first places surfers in the 50’s began to ride big waves. Agents should recommend this beach for experienced surfers but first-time surfers and snorkelers are welcomed here in the summer as the swells tend to subside for great swimming and snorkeling. With full facilities, this is a popular beach spot where both locals and tourist mingle. 

The powerful waves at Ehukai Beach, also referred to as the Banzai Pipeline, break over a sharp reef, no more than a few feet from the surface. These massive tubes make this one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world and one of the venues for the VansTriple Crown of Surfing. 

Makaha Beach has the best surfing on Oahu’s west coast and was a place where big wave surfing was pioneered. Beware of the sloping sand beachhead that can cause backwash and catch unsuspecting visitors off guard.

For the Bodyboarder 

Located 35 minutes east of Waikiki, Makapuu Beach, which is on the Windward Coast, sits below the Makapuu Lighthouse on a slope in between the rugged cliffs and jagged lava rocks that contain large tide pools. This is a popular bodyboarding beach for locals and should only be recommended to clients who are experienced bodyboaders. However, newcomers will feel right at home just 20 minutes past Makapuu Beach at Waimanalo Beach. This beach is great for a day trip as it holds ample parking and is host to many local picnics and parties. This four-mile stretch of sand, fronting calm, clear waters is a great place to learn how to bodyboard and bodysurf. 

Sandy Beach, which is located on the South Shore and is a favorite of Oahu-born President Barack Obama, is a stretch of sand 10 minutes past Hanauma Bay near the Halona Blowhole. A popular local beach, this is only recommended for experienced bodyboaders as the massive shore break at this beach can be dangerous.

For Kayaking

Lanikai Beach, located in a residential neighborhood of Kailua on Oahu's South Shore,  features  calm waters, perfect for kayaking. What makes this perhaps the best kayaking site, however, is challenging journey to the nearbu mini islands called the Mokuluas (Moks).

Kailua Beach is just around the corner from Lanikai and is known for its windsurfing, boat ramp and the opportunity to rent sailboards, kayaks or canoes. Ample parking and full facilities make this a popular beach for families.

Across from Kualoa Ranch, Kualoa Regional Park offers spectacular views down the east coast of Oahu as well as Mokolii (Chinaman’s Hat), an islet off the Windward Coast. 

For Canoeing

Got clients looking to learn how to canoe in the Aloha State? Thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break, Waikiki Beach, located on the South Shore,  is one of the best places in Hawaii to learn how to surf or paddle a canoe. 

For Children Swimmers

Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island on the South Shore is just minutes west from Waikiki and is perhaps the best beach for mulitgenerational clients or even smaller families as it is one of the safer places for children to swim. And why is that? Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island is protected by a fringing reef for calm waters. 


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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | June 18, 2014
Allow Travel Agent to play match maker and we pair up some of the best Oahu beaches with your clients' needs.
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