And when you've had enough of Honolulu head out east on the Kalanianaole Highway to explore other best beaches in Oahu, Hawaii, or head straight up to the North Shore, or look for non-beachy things to do.
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One of Oahu's many little secret beaches, in the south just east of Diamond Head.
If you have rented your own transport an interesting option is to take off in search of one of Oahu's secret beaches used only by residents. Basically drive along the coast road east of Honolulu as close to the shore as possible and when you see an unmarked turning towards the ocean, take it. It may go nowhere, but one time in three it will lead to a nice little strip of sand backed by trees and bereft of tourists.
Hungry coral somewhere near Diamond Head.
However, a couple of warnings. Beware flesh-eating coral if you're surfing and rips (evil currents) if you're swimming as there will be no lifeguards on duty.
Also beware local residents if you've grabbed the only shade in the area or park your booty in front of their beach gate! Hawaiian locals outside the tourism industry detest tourists and aren't afraid to show their feelings. Locals refer to tourists disparagingly as Howlies. Haole in Hawaiian language, means foreigner, especially white Caucasian.
On these off-the-beaten-track beaches you will, of course, have to bring all comforts and supplies with you, especially water, towels, hats and snacks.
Bay Nature Preserve, south east Oahu.
Hanauma Bay, situated in a volcanic crater, is one of the
Hawaii's most beautiful bays, with terrific, safe swimming, snorkelling and scuba
diving for both amateurs and experienced divers onto a flourishing coral reef. More information.
Beach, center east Oahu.
Lanikai along Mokulua Drive, is commonly thought by Oahu's residents to be Hawaii's best
beach for swimming. It's a mile long, with clean,
golden sand and is usually surf-free. More information.
Kayaking off Lanikai
Photo by Tor Johnson (HTA)
Sailing a traditional craft on the northeast of Oahu.
Big water is mostly over on the northeast side of Oahu in winter, such as the North Shore's Banzai Pipeline, seen here in summer low surf season. North Shore Pictures