North Shore Beach Guide: The Top 6 North Shore Beaches to Check Out on Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In a recent survey conducted by The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, about three and a half million visitors make their way to the North Shore at some point in their stay. Below is a list of our favorite beaches on the north side, we hope you have the chance to check them out!

Ali`i Beach Park has some of the best surfing waves on the North Shore and was dubbed “Ali’I Beach” in the early 1900’s. It’s surf break hovers over a shallow reef which provides clean, yet dangerous, conditions. There is a lifeguard on duty and public restrooms, which welcomes lots of families throughout the year.

Haleʻiwa Beach Park is definitely family-friendly. With a nice area to picnic and play, and a space to wade in the water, Hale`iwa Beach Park is long, safe and sandy. It sits close enough to Ali`i Beach to see seasoned surfers and big waves without binoculars and a nasty current.

Laniakea Beach, otherwise known as Turtle Beach, is a popular stopping place for tourists. There are no parking stalls designated for this beach, however most visitors park along the adjacent highway. If traveling with children, beware of the oncoming traffic. In recent years, the everyday crowd has grown, most often to see a glimpse of the handful of turtles that visit the beach daily.

Waimea Bay Beach Park is the most popular of North Shore breaks. During the winter the waves can reach thirty feet. If visiting the beach park during one of these swells, be sure to stay clear of the water, but take the time to enjoy the breathtaking, awe-inspiring site. Though there is a parking lot at Waimea, it is almost always full, be prepared to walk a little bit before setting up your beach gear.

Banzai, Pipeline is located directly across from Sunset Beach Elementary School. “Pipe”, as the locals call it, is the longest continuous stretch of wide beach on Oahu and is home to some of the best surfing in the world. Parking is limited and lifeguards are on site.

Sunset Beach, known for its beautiful Hawaiian sunsets, may be the most famous of the North Shore beaches. Pack some water, food and sunscreen and plan to stay for a while – you won’t regret it.

If you aren’t already in Hawai`i, we hope that you plan the time to pay us a visit. We may be a little biased here at North Shore Explorers, but we’re pretty sure the North Shore holds the most beautiful beaches on O`ahu. Whether you live on the island and need a little help navigating your way around or are coming in from the mainland and need a lot of help planning a vacation, give us a call! Let us help you explore, it’s what we do!


The North Shore Explorer Team

Top Scenic Oahu Lookouts

The North Shore is within reach to some of the more beautiful Oahu lookouts. Below are a handful to put on your to-see list for your next island excursion:

Diamond Head Lookout

Diamond Head is easily the most popular landmark on the island. Tourists and locals alike make their way to the east end of Waikiki to snap selfies at the summit of the trail. Shade is hard to come by on this hike, but the end view is breathtaking. From atop this peak you can glimpse the entirety of the south shore, to Pearl Harbor, Kahala and everything in between.

Nu’uanu Pali Lookout

For great views of the Oahu’s windward coast head to the Nu’uanu Pali lookout. From this 1,200-foot pali (Hawaiian for “cliff”) you can find spectacular views of the lush green Ko’olau Mountains and clear blue sea surrounding the towns of Kaneohe and Kailua.



Makapu’u Lookout

Makapu’u lookout is readily accessible from roadside. Along the Kalanianaole Highway near the island’s south eastern tip this view casts your eyes across the beautiful Makapu’u beach, Kaohikaipu and the famous Rabbit Island (the island resembles the head of a rabbit).



Hanauma Bay Lookout

As Oahu’s premier snorkeling location, Hanauma Bay is home to more than 450 species of fish, many of which reside solely in Hawaiian waters. Before you take the plunge and search under the water take a chance to catch the views above the bay. Hanauma has two lookouts: one located behind their restaurant on the east side, and the other right next to their entrance.


Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park

Pu’u Ualaka’a, also known as Mt. Tantalus, offers unparalleled views of Honolulu. Visit Pu’u Ualaka’a during the day to enjoy a picnic, or come during the evening to watch the sunset and take in the breathtaking Honolulu city lights.