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September 04, 2019 2 min read

Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, is located on the coast of the island of Oahu and features miles of breathtaking beaches. Beachgoers can chose from a variety of beaches, ranging from those that are highly developed, such as Waikiki Beach, to those that are unspoiled and raw, like the beach beneath Diamond Head. Below are some more details about these top beaches in Honolulu so you can choose which ones you want to check out when you visit, and pin on your wall map of Hawaii upon return.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach ParkSandy Beach is located in a residential neighborhood, about 40 minutes out from downtown Honolulu. This wide, curving beach offers soft sand and plenty of food trucks. It is great for surfing, bodysurfing and bodyboarding, but the strong riptides and large waves can be dangerous for swimmers. Picnic tables are available off the beach for beachside eating.

Magic Island

Magic Island LagoonMagic Island is a man-made peninsula, located between Ala Moana Beach Park and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, near Waikiki. This beach is gently curved at the end of a peninsula, forming a small bay that is protected by a man-made reef. The sand is smooth and flat and the reef makes the waves smooth and calm. You can find another beach that is unprotected on the other side from the yacht harbor. The interior peninsula features a large park with areas for hiking and barbecuing. This beach is popular for kayaking and SUPs (stand-up paddle-boards) as well.

Kailua Beach

Kailua BeachKailua Beach is a quick 30-minute drive from Honolulu. Here you can enjoy a natural Hawaiian beach experience with three miles of white, soft sand and aqua-blue water. The surf is calm and good for wading and swimming. The beach itself is part of a 35-acre park that also features basketball and volleyball courts, as well as hiking and other recreational activities. Lifeguards and restrooms (some that have outdoor showers) are in abundance here. Kayakers and SUPs can find good access here too. The small town of Kailua has great local places to shop and eat.

Ko Olina

Ko Olina BeachAnother man-made and well maintained beach, Ko Olina, is only 30 minutes away from Honolulu. Here you can find a plethora of large resorts. The beach, filled with smooth, white sand and light blue water, is publicly accessible and has outdoor showers, lifeguards and restrooms.  Here you can expect to catch a calm surf at this family-friendly beach.

Diamond Head Beach Park

Diamond Head Beach ParkDiamond Head is predominately known for hiking and its views but the beach located in the front of it is deserted and peaceful. Diamond Head is an ancient volcano that looks like a mountain and towers above Waikiki Beach. Diamond Head Beach Park area is past the end of Waikiki and the Kapiolani Park area. Expect to see breathtaking views as well as tide-pools, gigantic waves (that are popular with surfers) and the Diamond Head lighthouse. There is a lack of lifeguards here, so swimming is at your own risk.

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