Oahu’s Best Beaches For Children
The beautiful island of Oahu is a great place to take your kids. Especially if you and your loved ones like spending time at the beach.
Oahu may be the most populated Hawaiian island, but it also has some of the region’s most beautiful and diverse beaches. It’s jam-packed with fun for the whole family, whether you’re looking for quiet white-sand lagoons, places to snorkel, or safe tide pools for the children.
Let’s take a look at some of the best child-friendly beaches in Oahu, where you can go swimming, build sandcastles, play ball, look for seashells, and soak up some rays with the kids.
What We'll Cover
It’s no surprise that Waikiki Beach is among Honolulu’s most popular destinations. With the calmest waters in the area, Waikiki’s fine white sand is ideal for a day of camping and watching the youngsters play in the surf, gather shells, and build sandcastles. Adults and teenagers alike can try their hand at canoeing or take surfing lessons.
The moniker Waikiki means “spouting waters” in Hawaiian, because waterways once divided the coastal area from the rest of Oahu. Located on Oahu’s south coast, Waikiki Beach is a great place for you and your kids to people-watch because it attracts tourists from all over the world.
Ko Olina Lagoons
Ko Olina Resort is located on the island’s western coast, consisting of four separate white-sand lagoons named Kohola, Honu, Naia, and Ulua. Connecting some of the world’s best resorts, including Disney’s Aulani, is a paved promenade that runs alongside a series of man made lagoons.
While Ko Olina isn’t exactly the first place you imagine when you hear “natural beauty,” the area is lush and verdant, with plenty of options for family picnics and swimming. With pristine white sand, rental facilities, lifeguards, and rock breakwater that protects from the big open ocean, the Ko Olina lagoons are ideal places for children to swim.
This huge, protected beach is ideal for snorkeling beginners and families with young children because of its constant quiet waters and abundant marine life, including some species found nowhere else on Earth. Little ones who are just starting to swim will find this to be a perfect place to learn.
Hanauma Bay is a wildlife sanctuary and conservation area. Because of this, you can expect to come face to face with many tropical sea creatures of various sizes and colors. All in all, Hanauma Bay is a fantastic option, renowned for its abundance of species and taste of natural beauty. If you want to give your kids a glimpse of what Oahu’s ocean has to offer, this is the place to go.
Despite being a hidden gem among tourists, Lanikai Beach is widely regarded by Oahu natives as not only among the best, but also the safest beaches for children.
Lanikai Beach is a little more challenging to locate because it is situated in a residential area. Find a parking spot along the road, then walk toward a massive pillar bearing the word “Lanikai.” There is a public pathway that leads to the beach in between the houses. Lanikai Beach has a few nearby restaurants, but tourists should know that the beach does not have any facilities, such as restrooms or showers. Nevertheless, you can bring some food and make this a picnic spot.
It’s well known that Kuilima Cove is Oahu’s premier snorkeling spot. It can be found on Oahu’s North Shore, not far from the popular Turtle Bay Resort. Kuilima Cove is among the less well-known beaches, so there is always enough space to park your car and spread your beach towel.
This cove is perfect for both families looking for a place to splash around in the water and adults looking to catch some rays on the beach. Even though the water isn’t as clear as it is at other beaches, Kuilima Cove is still an excellent spot for snorkeling due to the abundance of marine life.
What was once a secret is now a popular attraction. Nonetheless, Kailua Beach remains among Oahu’s top picks for family fun. Like its neighbor, Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach offers sun, sand, and a wide variety of water-based activities. There are places to rent kayaks, so you can paddle out to the tiny islands in the distance.
Even the most hesitant children can enjoy themselves at the water’s edge, as there are few waves. In addition, there is a large tide pool for exploring and finding fascinating marine life, such as starfish and shells.
The Bottom Line
You can’t go wrong at any of Oahu’s beaches. Waikiki Beach and Hanauma Bay are two of the most visited spots in Hawaii, and for good reason. Both provide numerous dining options and interesting sea creatures.
However, spending time at a smaller, less well-known beach might provide a more peaceful environment ideal for family bonding.
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