Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oahu, Hawaii: Beaches

We visited many beaches on Oahu but there are so many more beautiful beaches that we couldn't get to.  Here is our experience along with some other recommendations that I hope to visit next time.

Waikiki:  We stayed in this area so the beach was right out side of our resort.  

Waikiki beach outside of our hotel.  
Not very clear water

Lots of rocks.  Actually, this picture doesn't look bad.  Because of the murky water I wasn't able to get a good picture of the water that was waist deep.  The rocks there are huge and more like coral (can cut you).  I highly recommend water shoes!  We also wouldn't have enjoyed this beach without our inflatables...

Lanikai:  A local told us about this beach that has been recognized as being in the top 5 in the world.  It is located in an area that is not visited by tourist and it was really hard to find access to it.  We were told that the locals like to keep it that way.  I am soooo glad that we found it!  It has the most beautiful powder like sand, clear water, great views, and perfect for swimming!  However, there are no restrooms or changing rooms so be prepared.

While driving down a one-way street we noticed this (from the road it was really hard to see).  It is the entrance to the beach.  Otherwise it is hidden by houses and rocks.  

Finally - the beach!

Clear water!  This was taken at a spot above my waist.

Sun starting to go down but still so beautiful!

Side note:  While on the beach I noticed this mountain.  People (look like trees in this picture) are hiking the peak all the way to the left of the picture where there is some kind of resting point.  It looked very interesting for those that like to hike.  After getting home I discovered that this is the "Lanikai Pillboxes Hike".  Here is a very photographic look of the views and the trail.  I have since discovered so much about this hike and would highly recommend it to those who love outdoor adventures.

Kailua Beach Park:  This is another beach that we were told about.  It has been recognized for being in the top 10 in the world.  It is right next to Lanikai.  We did stop to quickly check it out but we were on a mission to find the "better beach" so we did not swim at Kailua.  It was beautiful and it is a lot more friendly in the sense that there are public restrooms, picnic tables, playground, and a parking lot.  It was very busy so the parking was full.  Sorry - no pictures of this beach.

Sandy Beach - simple name for a simply beautiful beach.  Great for surfing!  You can't miss it!  It is right off the highway with lots of parking and restrooms.  There were "no swim" warnings due to the waves.  It seemed crazy since just a few minutes and few miles north we had been swimming in super calm and beautiful water.  But, look at these pictures and you will quickly see that this is a great surfing beach.  

My kiddos were not happy that I would not let them in the water but there were plenty of people ignoring the signs....

It was late in the day but worth the stop!

It's at a distance but see the warning sign????  No swimming!

North Shore:  North Shore is very well know for the beaches, big waves for surfing, art and shaved ice.  Yes, it's all true.  However that isn't what draws us there.  We have never spent time on this sandy beach.  Nor have we explored the little shops.  Instead, we rediscovered a rocky beach area that we visited on our honeymoon.  There were a lot of large rocks in this area that allowed us to get some great pictures with the big waves in the back ground.  But, during this recent trip, we found a portion of our little place to be occupied by makeshift homes for a few homeless people....  We did find another section right next to it that had a small sandy area and room to play.  A local resident walking the beach pointed out a  family of ten sea turtles playing in the waves right next to us.  It was hard to capture in pictures but they were having so much fun rolling in the waves and eating the green "slime" on the rocks.  There were public restrooms near by but they were gross!!!

I love finding safe places to explore rocks to see what the waves have washed onto them.

A tiny little crab.

Greenback Sea Turtle

Other beaches worth checking out:
  • Makapuu Beach
  • Waimea Bay
  • Ala Moana Beach Park
  • Halona Blowhole:  probably not a place to swim but I do wish we would have stopped to check this out.  We drove by it but it was getting late and we had just gotten back in the car from another beach adventure.
  • Hanauma Bay:  I'm still not sure how we missed visiting this place.  We did pass it but again - it was late.  This is a beautiful place a perfect for snorkeling adventures!  I highly recommend visiting this beach - and not making the same mistake we did.
Inflatables can be fun.  Some stores sell them pre-inflated (ABC Stores) or you can ask your hotel if they have a place to inflate them.  We purchased some cheap summer clearance inflatables at home with the plan to inflate them then leave them on the island when our vacation was over.  They actually didn't cost much to buy them on the island so we really didn't need to bring our own.  Our resort had an air hose (free of charge) in one of the convenient stores near the beach.  We would have never found it without asking.  But, while we were inflating ours, there were a lot of other people happy to see there was one.

To see more, visit my post on Oahu.

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