Guide: Oahu East Side Beaches

by Amy Anne
Ultimate Guide to Oahu East Shore Beaches

The Oahu east side beaches are some of the deepest and most expansive beaches on the island. As a result, these beaches are popular for larger groups of people. If you’re looking for calm picturesque beaches from a Hawaii vacation brochure, the east side has what you need!

Oahu East Side Beaches - Lanikai Beach

Overview

Lanikai Beach is by far one of my favorite Oahu east side beaches. The sand is fine, the water is calm, it just feels like paradise. Sitting on the beach you have an amazing view of the turquoise waters and Mokulua Islands (The Mokes) in the distance. There are no restrooms or other amenities and not a lot of food choices nearby. This is a beach for relaxing and enjoying life on island time. 

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Getting in the Water: Very easy, sandy with no coral
  • Showers: No
  • Parking: Free in neighborhood – avoid holiday weekends

Waimanalo Beach

Overview

From the highway this beach may be deceiving as it is often lined with tents. But don’t be fooled, Waimanalo Beach is beautiful and a must visit when on the east side. The long sandy beach is perfect to spend the entire day with friends and family. It’s a dog friendly beach too!

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Very easy, sandy with no coral
  • Showers: Yes
  • Parking: Free parking lots

Sherwood Beach

Overview

Sherwood beach was possibly named for the pine forest along the coast? This is one of the camping beaches on the island. With large spaces, picnic tables, running water, and restrooms, this beach is great for spending the day, or two!

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Very easy, sandy with no coral
  • Showers: Yes
  • Parking: Lots of free parking in various lots

Kailua Beach

Overview

Kailua Beach is probably the most expansive of all the Oahu east side beaches. You can literally walk for 20-30 minutes before having to turn around. The calm turquoise waters call out to you and make packing up to go home so hard! Kailua Beach can get busy, but because it’s so large, if you just walk a little ways from the parking, you’re bound to find your own little piece of paradise!

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Very easy, sandy with no coral
  • Showers: Yes
  • Parking: Free parking in various lots

Oahu East Side Beaches - Bellows Field Beach Park

Overview

The Bellows Field Beach Park is located on the grounds of an active military station: Bellows Air Force Station. As a result, this beach is only open to the public on the weekends. Arguably one of the best beaches on the island, the sand is fine, there is very little coral in the area, and waves are fun but rarely dangerous. The beach is extremely long and you’re almost guaranteed to find a nice spot, but be prepared to walk from the parking area.

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Getting in the Water: Very Easy
  • Showers: No
  • Parking: Free parking in lot

Secret Island - Kualoa RanchOverview

Secret Island is not so much secret as it is private. You can only access Secret Island when booking paid tours, such as the Kualoa Ranch Secret Island Tour. Once on the beach, you will have access to water toys like kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUPs). There is also a small hut that sells snacks and drinks.

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Easy, sandy with no coral
  • Showers: Yes
  • Parking: No, access to the island is by tour bus only

Kaiona Beach Park

Overview

Kaiona Beach Park is a popular spot for locals. The grassy park area is great for volleyball, barbeques, birthday parties, and other picnic activities. There is a large coral reef right off the beach making this a great location for snorkeling!

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Sandy, with coral
  • Showers: Yes
  • Parking: Free parking on highway and small lot

Oahu East Side Beaches - Makapu'u Beach

Overview

Makapu’u Beach is separated into two sides. This beach is a popular spot for surfers and boogie boarders due to the regular surf swells. The beach area is small and I recommend only coming here if you are a strong swimmer. The beach is right across the street from Sea Life Park and is a great spot to stop after hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.

Beach Amenities

  • Sand Type: Fine
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Getting in the Water: Sandy, but can have strong current
  • Showers: No
  • Parking: Free parking in lot and on highway

Things to Do Near Oahu East Side Beaches

Recommended Food & Drinks on the East Side

Check Out Oahu's Other Amazing Beaches!

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