The North Shore Beaches of Oahu

If you’re looking for a beach vacation that has it all, look no further than the North Shore of Oahu. This world-famous coastline is home to some of the most beautiful and spectacular beaches on earth. Amazing white sand beaches stretch for miles offering world class surf and the tropical waters and coral reefs offer excellent diving and snorkeling. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best beaches on the north shore, and tell you everything you need to know about enjoying them to the fullest!

First – Beach Safety

Before you go out and explore the beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, you need to keep in mind that Hawaii’s oceans change every day and sometimes even hourly. The ocean can be very treacherous and very dangerous for those who may be inexperienced and aware of the dangers of ocean currents and swells. The number one rule before you enter the ocean anywhere in Hawaii is to check with the lifeguards first. Ask them about current ocean conditions and forecasts to ensure you and your family stay safe. Remember when in doubt…don’t go out!!! Stay safe, and have fun! 

Local Government Weather Resource –

Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the north shore, and for good reason. This stunning bay is home to crystal-clear waters and offers a variety of ocean activities. Waimea features a huge rock known as the “Jump Rock” providing tons of fun plunging into the blue cool water from the Jump Rock. The bay offers great swimming and snorkeling conditions when there are no swells. During the winter surf season, the pristine bay turns into one of the world’s most famous big wave surf breaks. You can watch surfers take off on waves with 40-50 foot faces getting the ride of a lifetime. During the large winter swells extending from October – to April this beach becomes very dangerous with massive shore breaks and strong ocean currents. When the swell is Waimea is strictly for experts only. Even though you may not be able to go into the water you will not be disappointed watching the massive surf as expert surfers challenge their skills on some of the world’s largest waves.  

Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline)

Ehukai Beach is another great spot for surfers and spectators, as it’s home to the famous Banzai Pipeline. This beach is considered one of the best surfing spots in the world and attracts top surfers from all over the globe. Even if you’re not a surfer, Ehukai Beach is still worth a visit for its incredible views.

Swimming at this beach isn’t always the best, especially during the surf season of October through April. Ocean conditions change rapidly during these times, and it’s important to read local reports and speak with the lifeguards at the beach about current conditions.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Shore. Sunset is another one of the many iconic beaches famous for its excellent surf and beautiful Sunsets. This golden sand beach is a great place to relax and soak up the Hawaiian sun. When the surf is small it’s perfect for swimming and enjoying the water. If you do plan on swimming, check with the lifeguards for ocean conditions.

Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park

Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park is a great place to spend the day with family and friends. This beach park has something for everyone offering public amenities such as picnic tables, bathrooms & showers to rinse the saltwater off. Ali’i Beah park is also a great surfing beach that offers small rolling waves on the inside providing excellent conditions for beginners and fast breaking waves on the outside for novice and experts. Any given day you will see that Ali’i beach park is the local community gathering place for families and kids frolicking in the waves and learning to surf. If you are interested in learning to surf we recommend that you take some surf lessons first as it will be safer and a much more pleasurable experience. Surf N Sea offers excellent surf lessons for all levels of surfers. From beginners to novices surf and sea have got you covered. 

Surf N’ Sea’s surfing lessons.

Shark’s Cove Marine Life Preserve

Shark’s Cove Marine Life Preserve is one of the best places on the north shore for snorkeling. This protected cove is home to a variety of tropical fish and sea creatures. The calm waters make it a great place for beginners to try snorkeling for the first time. Be sure to bring your underwater camera, as you’re sure to see some amazing sights!

What can you do on Oahu’s Beautiful Beaches?

If you’re looking for a bit more guidance on enjoying these beaches, take a look:

  • Go snorkeling off the beach or book a snorkeling tour. You can pick up the snorkeling gear yourself, or book a guided tour with the experienced and knowledgeable crew at Surf N Sea – Your one-stop shop ocean sports headquarters!
  • Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or Surfing are great ways to experience Hawaii’s oceans and have a blast while doing so. Surf N Sea offers a huge selection of rental surfboards, Stand-Up Paddleboards, Kayaks,  snorkeling, and diving gear along with instructors to help you enjoy and you can do all of this right in the backyard at Surf N Sea, the only surf shop in Hawaii that is on the Beach!
  • Scuba Diving is a bit more adventurous but well worth it. Go down deep and explore the coral reefs and local wildlife. If its your first time – no worries! Surf N Sea offers tours and lessons to first-time divers, all the way up to veteran experienced scuba divers.

Pick A Few and Enjoy!

With so many great beaches on the north shore, it’s hard to know where to start. But no matter which beach you choose, you’re sure to have a great time. So grab your sunscreen and swimsuit and head down to the North Shore of Oahu for some fun in the sun! The last thing we want to mention is that the North Shore is home to a friendly and welcoming community. It’s very important to remember while visiting you are a guest and we ask that you respect the beaches and people. Please properly dispense trash in waste bins and show your respect aloha to everyone. We guarantee you will have the trip of a lifetime.

We hope this article has given you a little guidance on your trip to Oahu. If you still have questions or concerns about your vacation, feel free to send our helpful staff an email at You can also give us a call at 1 (800) 899-7873. Enjoy your vacation in paradise!