Beach Hopping in Honolulu, Best Beaches

beach hopping in Honolulu Hawaii by lifetime traveller. Hawaii beach

Aloha! Planning an exciting trip to beautiful Honolulu? The beaches have got to be one of the top must-see items on your list. Get ready to dive into the crystal clear water and stretch out on the sand. So, here is your help in beach hopping in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Beachfront condos and hotels are at a premium in Honolulu and you can survey the ocean views from your room when you are not out on the beach. Some of the more obscure beaches on the island are fantastic places to explore and have fewer tourists.

Beach Hopping in Honolulu. Honolulu, hawaii, pacific-3685172.jpg
Honolulu, Hawaii Beach
Image Credit:

When you head out to explore the gorgeous Honolulu shores, don’t drag along heavy bags and backpacks. Find a luggage storage service to drop your things so you are not weighed down as you beach hop across the island. 

Not all beaches in Honolulu are created equally; there are certain beaches where surfing is ideal while at others, sunbathing is more the norm. Rent a boogie board or paddleboard at another beach and enjoy a leisurely time on the water. 

Magic Island Lagoon

First on our beach hopping in Honolulu has magic. This man-made island is actually not a true island. However, a peninsula that sits adjacent to Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and was built in 1964 as a tourist resort. With Ala Moana Beach Park also adjacent to Magic Island, it has become a very popular beach.

The beach runs along the end of the peninsula, just off the beach is a man-made reef that you do not want to miss. The sand of Magic Island is smooth and pristine with gentle waves rolling over the reef and lapping at the beach. 

You can also visit a beach on the other side of the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor that is not protected and is great for surfing and watching the waves roll in. Kayaking is popular at this beach and there are plenty of spots to picnic and relax in the sun. 

Sandy Beach

Secondly, on the beach hopping in Honolulu, Hawaii is in Sandy Beach. Located on the South Shore of O’ahu at the base of the Koko Crater, Sandy Beach is best known for the great conditions for bodysurfing and body-boarding. It is the only sandy beach along Hanauma Bay and is a popular destination.

The beach was not accessible by car until 1931 when the coastal road that ran along Hanauma Bay was completed. Once it was accessible by car, locals and tourists started visiting, and eventually, it became the most popular body-boarding beach in Hawaii. 

There are a few bodysurfing sites along Sandy Beach that are more suitable for novice bodysurfers such as Half Point, located in front of the comfort station, and Full Point located on the eastern end of Sandy Beach. 

Kailua Beach

Only about 30 minutes from Honolulu, the soft, white sand of Kailua Beach will beckon you to stretch out and enjoy the tranquility as you look out over the aqua-colored water. Kailua Beach is part of the 35-acre Kailua Beach Park.

When you tire of swimming and lazing at the beach, you can enjoy hiking, a spirited volleyball or basketball game, picnicking, or other recreational activities. Stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, and kayaking are popular activities at Kailua Beach. 

Kahanamoku Beach

One of the more popular beaches in Honolulu, Kahanamoku Beach is a part of Waikiki Beach. Kahanamoku Beach is the widest part of Waikiki Beach and was named after the father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku. 

There is a man-made lagoon on one side of the white, sandy beach. It is perfect for stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, and wading. The beach can become crowded during the day but visit in the evening and catch an amazing sunset. 

Kahanamoku Beach is in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. It is usually filled with tourists from the resort from late morning through early evening.

Waialae Beach

Located only about 30 minutes from downtown Honolulu, Waialae Beach is a smaller beach that is really a beachfront park that offers magnificent views of the water and is in the Kahala area of the island. 

The rocky beach is not ideal for sunbathing but is great for enjoying a picnic and watching the windsurfers off in the distance. There is a small strip of sandy beach near the top of Waialae Beach near the treeline.

Because the beach gets a lot of wind, you will see a lot of windsurfers on the water taking advantage of the windy conditions. The surf coming onto the beach is calmer because of a natural reef just offshore. 

Hanauma Bay

Formed inside a volcano cone, Hanauma Bay is a naturally-formed bay that is one of the best places in Honolulu for snorkeling. Whether you are a first-time snorkeler or a pro at suiting up and heading underwater, Hanauma Bay is the place to go. 

The vast marine life makes snorkeling at the bay, an experience you will not soon forget. The bay is an underwater park and protected conservation area for the local marine life, so you cannot fish at Hanauma Bay. 

You can sit on the beach and soak up the sun or rent snorkeling gear and check out the underwater sanctuary. There is an admission fee to get into the beach. Moreover, you will also want to ride the pay-shuttle from the parking area to the beach. 

Ko Olina

Ko Olina is a beach resort development that is man-made and is only about 30 minutes from Honolulu. The resort is filled with several breathtaking beaches, restaurants, and shops. The beach has lifeguards on duty and also outdoor showers. 

The beach is smooth, soft sand that is perfect for lounging or building sandcastles. The surf along the beach is calm and perfect for families to enjoy the crystal clear, light blue water. The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club is located at the center of the beach. 

No matter how many beaches you hit when you are visiting Honolulu, the main thing is that you get out into the sunshine. And enjoy the beauty that surrounds you, of course. Hawaii, especially Honolulu has some of the prettiest beaches in the United States.

So, enjoy the beach hopping in Honolulu. Enjoy swimming! Enjoy your trip.

Share this post!

Share us your thoughts

Scroll to Top