The Least Crowded Beaches In Oahu: A Shore-To-Shore Roundup

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, you’re probably planning a trip to the best beaches on Oahu at some point – and so is everyone else!?

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What’s the least crowded beach in Oahu?

We’ve compiled a list of the best secluded and most beautiful beaches on Oahu Island. All of these beaches are on Oahu Island, one of the more popular Hawaiian islands. Our top choices for the best beaches include:

  • Lanikai Beach
  • Waimanalo Beach Park
  • Kaimana Beach
  • Mokuleia Beach

If you want to visit the best, least crowded beaches in Oahu, there are hidden gems that most crowds haven’t found yet – try one of these if you plan to visit more of the best beaches in Hawaii in the near future.

Least Crowded Beach in Oahu

It’s worth checking your chosen island beach, but remember that most have free parking, or you can find street parking close by. There are also beach lifeguards at most public island beaches on Oahu as well.

North Shore Beaches

Lanikai Beach

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Lanikai Beach might not offer big waves like on the other best beaches in Hawaii on the north shore, but luckily that’s not the only sport to practice at the beach.

You can windsurf, canoe, kayak, sail, or just soak up the sun under the palm trees on this north shore secret.

It may be slightly more crowded like Waikiki Beach or Kuhio Beach than other choices here, but Lanikai Beach is still far enough from Turtle Bay Resort that you won’t feel like you’re on top of your neighbors.

Other attractions you can get to from the Lanikai Beach park include a kayak trip to the two islands of Mokulua.

Waialua Beach

Waialua Beach lets you venture to the best beaches on the north shore of this Hawaii island on your Oahu beach park vacation, but it’s not where most tourists end up.

Most of the folks you’ll find at this favorite beach are locals or a few knowledgeable tourists.

Another big plus about Waialua Beach is that there are no hotels. A few vacation rental houses here and there dot the beaches, leaving more space for sunbathing and splashing with the family.

Additionally, Waialua Beach is close enough to the busier town of Haleiwa that you can spend the day at the beach, and still enjoy lots of shopping and dining afterward.

Malaekahana Beach

One of the best beaches on the north shore that features a private beach campground is Malaekahana Beach.

It’s close to pine trees and woods, and the state park guarantees that some areas of the secluded beach will be untouched by all but the savviest travelers.

This Oahu beach shore is a bit rockier here, but as long as you bring the right shoes you should be able to conquer the best beaches like a pro. You can also reserve a campsite for a truly remote getaway.

Pupukea Beach

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If body surfing at Hawaii’s beautiful beaches on an Oahu vacation isn’t your thing, Pupukea Beach may satisfy your craving for a snorkeling adventure. Try to avoid this area in the winter, since the surf will be high; but try it in the summer for calm water and perfect alcoves to practice snorkeling.

There are plenty of rocks close to shore that you can swim by, and there’s also enough sand to relax once you’ve been in the water.

East Shore Beaches

Waimanalo Beach Park

Waimanalo Beach is one of the best beaches of the eastern shore of the island of Oahu; it’s close to Lanikai Beach, Waikiki Beach, and Kailua Beach, and is much more laid-back than the tourist-laden Waikiki Beach. 

Many call it the “secret beach of Oahu.”

The beaches are both wide and long, with fine sugary sand, palm trees, and pristine blue waters. The beach is located on a 38-acre park, protected from harsh waves and currents. The picturesque backgrounds, flanked by grasses and ironwood trees, is also ideal for Hawaii beach destination weddings and photo sessions.

If you want to avoid the crowds at Waikiki Beach or Kailua Beach, try hitting this secluded beach on Waimanalo Bay during the week when most of the locals aren’t at the beach.

Makapu’u Beach

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Makapu’u Beach is also on the windward coast; in fact, it’s the easternmost point on the island of Oahu. This beach is famous for bodysurfing in peak season, and for the Makapuu Lighthouse.

It also happens to be Waimanalo Beach’s next-door neighbor to the south, and is still close enough to Kailua Beach and Waikiki Beach, so if one beach of these best beaches is more crowded you can always try the other beach instead.

The water is a little rougher than at the other best beaches on Oahu, but this beach is perfect for bodyboarding when the surf is choppy.

That being said, the beach does tend to be a bit calmer like Waikiki Beach during the summer.

Kualoa Beach Regional Park

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Kualoa Beach is perfect for families with young children. Kualoa Regional Park is a great beach on the eastern shore, which naturally has quieter surf, and the water at this beach is not too deep for litter swimmers.

You get a perfect view of Mokoli’i Island jutting up out of the bay, and crystal-clear turquoise blue waters match the lush greenery behind you perfectly.

These best beaches on Oahu are also close enough to several other attractions for those who want to try something different after a day in the sun, and there are lots of great restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat and take it back to your beach chairs to enjoy in the sand.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach is on the eastern side of the island, and is one of the best beaches in Hawaii for bodysurfers.

You may compete for space in the water at Sandy Beach, but the beach itself will be dotted with only a few sunbathers.

Sandy Beach is also far enough away from civilization that there aren’t many restaurants in the area. Pack a bag or a takeout from local food trucks accordingly, and enjoy this best-kept secret for water sports enthusiasts.

South Shore Beaches

Kaimana Beach

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Kaimana Beach is a Hawaii beach close to both the popular Waikiki Beach and the remote Diamond Head Beach. This beach option is becoming more popular, but there’s still plenty of room to move around versus some of the more packed options.

It is close to the Hawaii War Memorial and offers a free public parking lot, so you might want to get to this Oahu beach early to secure a spot.

That being said, this is the perfect option for those who don’t want to feel completely isolated at the best beaches on Oahu. 

You’re close enough to the hotels, but far enough away to take a sunny beach walk without stepping on your neighbors.

Eternity Beach and Halona Cove Beach

Among the southeast collection of Oahu beaches, Eternity Beach gets its name from one of the most famous beach movies, From Here to Eternity, that filmed there in the 1950s.

It might be an extra hike from the other best beaches and the public parking lot, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and a quieter day in the sand. Just be prepared for the walk to and from this beautiful beach park if you’re planning on visiting.

Halona Cove Beach sits just above Eternity Beach, and is where you’ll find beach access for either location. Both secluded beaches are perfect for those who want both an adventure and an iconic beach scene recognized the world over.

Diamond Head Beach

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The south side of the island boasts a hidden gem in Diamond Head Beach. If you’re willing to try more secluded beaches, you can get away from the high-rise hotels and take in the stunning natural vistas.

There are glorious views from lookout points, a quick hike away from the main beaches. You might even see some sunbathing monk seals on the furthest corners of the beach.

Diamond Head is an excellent choice if you want a quiet beach day but don’t want to venture too far from civilization. They also offer tennis courts.

West Shore Beaches

Mokuleia Beach

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Mokuleia is on the way to the west side of Oahu, toward more beaches at Kaena Point State Park.

The Hawaii coastline almost disappears into the mountains, offering a serene getaway with calm waters and nearly empty beaches for those hoping to escape the hustle and bustle.

You can find parking close by but it’s a bit rougher, which just lends to the “private beach” feeling of the area. Sunbathing, paddle boarding, and beach walks are perfect activities here for a relaxing day under the sun.

If you want to tour another area featured on television, Mokuleia beaches are where they filmed several episodes of the show Lost. Additionally, you can explore the local marine life and see the bird sanctuary.

Yokohama Beach

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Yokohama is one of the western Oahu beaches, with glittering white sand and plenty of waves in the winter if you want to surf.

It’s also at the very end of the road on that side of this magic island, which is far enough off the beaten path to beat most of the foot traffic to the beaches. Many who park here do so to hike up to Kaena Point, so you won’t be competing with the walking trails here.

With mountain views coming up on either side of the beach, and very little greenery opposite the water, you’ll find a little slice of paradise at Yokohama.

Key Takeaways

  • There are plenty of secluded beaches on Oahu that are far away from the crowds.
  • If you’re looking for white sands and clear waters, you can find them at these beaches.
  • There’s also great options for surfing, snorkeling, and many other popular beach sports.
  • Also consider what’s close to shopping and dining when your beach day is done.