Best Beaches on the Wai’anae Coast of Oahu

If you’re not in the mood for the crowds on Waikiki Beach, you can find peace and beauty on Oahu’s Wai’anae Coast. Just hop on H-1, past Honolulu, Pearl City, Kapolei, and Ko’Olina, and look towards the Pacific Ocean to find some of Hawaii’s most pristine stretches of sand.

One of my favorite beaches on the Wai’anae Coast is Makaha Beach Park. As a matter of fact, I was just there this afternoon. Makaha boasts a nice wide beach that’s usually free of crowds. I spotted just two couples on the entire beach today. During the summer, the water’s gentle and calm. There’s no reef, just sand underfoot as you wade into the ocean. This afternoon, I observed two sea turtles gliding by, minding their own business. Turn away from the water and you’ll see some spectacular mountains. Makaha Beach Park is located across the street from Kili Road and Highway 93 in Makaha.

Ohiki-lolo Beach is the least known beach on Oahu’s Wai’anae Coast. Which works out just fine for me, because I go to the beach to unwind, and large crowds just aren’t my thing. I’d prefer to have a large length of sand and the ocean all to myself. Ohiki-lolo Beach is located just a few miles from the end of the road in Wai’anae. Speaking of turtles, you’ll see plenty of them at this beach. Just make sure the water’s calm before you attempt entry. Travel tip: Don’t leave anything of value in your car here. That goes for all of Hawaii, but particularly here.

If you’re looking for a safe, fun place to swim, make your way over to Poka’i Beach Park. Located in Wai’anae, just turn towards the ocean where Wai’anae Valley Road meets Highway 93. Protective breakwater makes this area one of the safest places to swim on the Wai’anae Coast. Even when the surf’s high elsewhere, Poka’i is a safe bet. If you have small children, bring them here to introduce them to the water. Of course, you may find other parents doing the same.

A great beach that’s hardly used is Papaoneone Beach in Makaha. You can find this beach on most maps. It’s surrounded by houses, yet mostly untouched. Bring your snorkel gear during the summer months when the water’s calm. This beach also exhibits some of best waves on the Wai’anae Coast. Some locals refer to this beach as Turtle Beach, because you’ll probably run into a few. Just don’t confuse it with the Turtle Beach located up North Shore.

Speaking of the North Shore, if you are headed to Oahu, be sure to check out my article entitled Best Beaches on the North Shore of Oahu. Aloha!

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