Family Travel: Kid-friendly Oahu Beaches, Flickr: puuikibeach

North Shore, Oahu

Oahu boasts 112 miles of pristine beaches.  Navigating your family to the most appropriate one can be a tricky art.  Here’s a handy guide to choosing the Oahu Beach that is just right for your family’s favorite activities.

Best Family Beach (all around): Kailua Beach offers plenty of parking, restrooms, rentals, and very calm beaches.  You’ll want to stay at this beach all day, so pack up some snacks and enjoy Hawaii’s coastline at its best.

Best Beach for Surfing: Waimea Bay is the home of surf history. The waves in winter are for experts only, but summer months offer calmer waves, although the surf might still be too strong for very little ones.  Bring your already confident surfer to this shore and enjoy the impressive surf.

Most Peaceful Beach: Lanikai Beach is the location of President Obama’s vacation spot.  Calm waters and beautiful stretches of sand make this a very serene beach (although restrooms and picnic facilities are not readily available in this residential neighborhood, so plan ahead).


Best Beach for People Watching:

Waikiki.  Millions of visitors, great views, plenty of refreshment opportunities and a very calm break make this an obvious tourist stop.  Expect crowds and people-watch away. 

Best Beach for Swimming: Ala Moana Beach Park is protected by a reef and features incredibly calm waters allowing for almost pool-like swimming. 

Best Beach for Snorkeling: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.  Although you have to pay a fee to enter this preserve, the snorkeling here is just amazing.  Arrive early as visitors are limited to a certain capacity each day.


Best Beach to Spot Wildlife: Yokohama Bay offers great dolphin-watching opportunities.  Take the hike to Kaena Point for more great views.


Best Man-Made Beach: The lagoon made for the Aulani Resort is worth the price investment.  Stay at the resort and take advantage of their famous family-friendly and magical experiences.


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photo: puuikibeach

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