Hawaii Things We Are Thankful For This Holiday Season: Must-Visit Oahu Beaches
As we enter the final days of 2022, enjoy the holiday season, and look forward to the new year ahead, the entire Shoreline Hotel Waikiki ohana is deeply thankful for the many daily gifts we receive simply from being fortunate to live in these amazing Hawaiian Islands.
There’s more than we can list here, of course. But our list of things we are thankful for begins with a mountain-to-ocean natural world so breathtaking and unique in all the world, with much of it at our leisure to hike, walk, run, swim, scuba, snorkel and explore to our heart’s content. It would also include a resident Hawaii population born of a diversity of global cultures, each perpetuating and bringing life to their histories, food, celebrations, arts and artisans, skills, traditions and more, and sharing these with the entire Hawaii community. Closer to our doorstep, we’re grateful for our guests, who share stories of their Oahu experiences with us every day and ask that we share our own with them.
We’re also thankful for a Hawaii backyard blessed with countless nature-given wonders and places we know and love, where even longtime residents still find new discoveries every time they go — from emerald mountains and rugged coastlines to active volcanoes, lush rainforests, wondrous valleys and, finally, Hawaii’s many fantastic beaches.
Take our home island of Oahu, for example. Though comprised of a mere 112 miles of coastline, it’s an island surprisingly rich with awesome beaches that’ll satisfy pretty much anyone and any beach mood.
Looking for a great city beach for kicking back in the sand or taking a calming dip in the water? There’s one right in the heart of Honolulu. Leave the city and we’ve got country beaches galore, with long stretches of sand for strolling or terrific swimming, bodyboarding and surf spots. One of Earth’s most well-known beaches is even a few blocks from our Shoreline Hotel Waikiki location!
If you’re Oahu bound anytime in 2023, circle the island and check out the fantastic must-visit beaches here.
Duke’s Beach, Kuhio Beach, Queen’s Surf Beach, Sans Souci/Kaimana Beach Park, Fort DeRussy Beach
Did you know that world-famous beach area Waikiki is actually a collective of the five beaches above? The best thing about them all — besides being very walkable from Shoreline Hotel Waikiki — is their relative safety for almost every type of ocean activity. You’ll find shallow and calm waters for the kids, waders and novice swimmers. There are sublime spots to surf, paddle outrigger canoe or learn to do both. And you’ll find multiple spots with fabulous views of Leahi (aka Diamond Head State Monument) to accompany your time on the sand or in the water.
Ala Moana Regional Park/Magic Island
Honolulu’s unofficial city beach draws residents from every area of the south shore metropolis. In addition to a half-mile stretch of sand fronting calm waters perfect for a dip or stand-up paddleboarding, its picnic-area-sprinkled Magic Island peninsula offers a shallow and safe spot for kids to swim. And the entire park is one of the best year-round south-shore spots — besides Waikiki — to catch the sunset.
On the Windward Coast
Waimanalo Beach and Bay Park
Bring a book, maybe two, and some reef-safe sunscreen. You’re going to spend a good part of the day stretching out on this luxuriously long and wide ribbon of sand with views of the cliffs of the south Koolau Range and offshore islets Manana and Kaohikaipu. Light wave action near the shoreline will make bodysurfers and boogieboarders happy. And swimming and frolicking in the surf is good when bay waters are calm.
On the North Shore
Waimea Bay Beach Park
During the winter months, this beach and bay combo is one of the North Shore’s most world-renowned big-wave spots, drawing pro surf contests and pro surfers from around the globe, and crowds eager to watch them shred waves. During summers, however, wave action shifts to mostly calmer waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling and mellow ocean sports. A wide stretch of gold sand leaves lots of space to throw down a towel, catch some rays, savor a bento lunch and enjoy the day.
On the Leeward Coast
Nanakuli Beach Park (aka Depot Beach Park, Kalanianaole Beach Park)
Area residents love this longish, widish stretch of sand on the island’s less-traveled Leeward Coast for its wide-open spaces for families and friends to spread out for beach barbecues. Another bonus is its good surfing and fishing, and mellower summer waters for swimming. We advise grabbing an afternoon spot on the sand, staying for the stunning Leeward Coast sunset and, during winter season, watching for breaching humpback whales offshore.
NOTE: Before heading out to all Oahu and Hawaii beaches, be sure to check out these basic Ocean Safety Tips created specifically for our state’s beaches, shorelines and offshore waters: https://www.gohawaii.com/trip-planning/travel-smart/ocean-safety-in-hawaii