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The Best Beaches in Honolulu

The Best Beaches in Honolulu

Picture of Sarah Lantz
Updated: 9 February 2017
Want to enjoy Honolulu without feeling like every other tourist hitting Waikiki Beach and doing the expected in Hawaii? Dread the crowds? Want to explore somewhere new? Try these alternative and less visited beaches that are just as beautiful and pleasant.

Magic Island

Man-made Magic Island may not sound so magical, but once you lay eyes on the blue lagoon, clearer than the waters of the densely populated and adjacent Ala Moana Beach Park, you might think otherwise. Go stand up paddle boarding, bring your kids to swim in the shallow waters sheltered from the open ocean, and walk along the beach at sunset for some spectacular views.

Magic Island, Honolulu, HI USA

Kapiolani Park

At the edge of Waikiki Beach is a beautiful, tree-covered, and shaded oasis and retreat from the masses callled Kapiolani Park. This park is also the home of the Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo. Have a peaceful picnic beneath the trees and feel like you’re truly on vacation. The Kapiolani beach is just across the road to go for a swim in and has no waves.

Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, HI USA

Kaimana Beach

Keep walking away from Waikiki Beach and to the end of Kapiolani Park where the War Memorial Natatorium is and you’ll discover Kaimana Beach, another quiet resort not too far from the action of Waikiki. A sandy beach complete with the amenities of bathrooms, showers, and a lifeguard, this is a family-friendly beach. Still within walking distance to Kapiolani Park, bring a picnic lunch and make an all-day outing of swimming at the beach and walking through the park.

Kaimana Beach, Honolulu, HI USA

Kailua Beach Park

Want to get out of town? Take a 12 mile drive northeast to Kailua Beach to find exciting waterfront activities. A crescent-shaped, 2.5 mile stretch of glorious bright-blue ocean and sandy beach, Kailua Beach is the place for all sorts of sports from windsurfing to kayaking. Kayak or paddle board out to the protected seabird sanctuaries of Flat Island and the Mokulua Islands.

Kailua Beach Park, 526 Kawailoa Rd Kailua, HI USA +1 808-233-7300

Diamond Head Beach Park

What better way to make a day of the beach than with a hike up to Diamond Head, a striking relic of Honolulu’s volcanic action between 800,000 and 30,000 years ago? The beach itself is soft sand perfect for wading in the water after a long hike. One of Honolulu’s less crowded beaches, Diamond Head is picturesque for its volcanic remains hovering behind the beach and an open ocean to greet the sand.

Diamond Head Beach Park, Honolulu, HI USA +1 808-587-0300

By Sarah Lantz