North Shore beaches in Oahu offer delightful sunsets, sugar-sand beaches, and blue skies from January to December. When winter arrives at the end of the year, the waves kick up and surfers come in droves to catch these waves. The rest of the year, calm water returns, and the beaches become quiet places for enjoying Hawaii at its best. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach to soak up the sun, a busy surfing beach, or even a nude beach, you’ll find it along the northern shores of Oahu. Its collection of Hawaii beaches offers plenty of variety, but all the beaches are under the same blue skies that somehow seem even bluer in Hawaii.
For those who prefer swimming and sunbathing au natural, there aren’t a lot of choices on Oahu. But you do have part of Mokuleia Beach where swimsuits are optional and nude bathing is accepted. After a long walk from the parking lot, you’ll arrive at the completely secluded stretch of beach. The gay-friendly beach is one of the few nude beaches in Hawaii. It’s just one part of the oceanfront park that’s popular with the locals. Like the other North Shore beaches, Mokuleia has some pretty big swells in the wintertime, with relatively calm waters from spring to fall. When the waters are not choppy, this beach is a popular place for swimming as well as windsurfing. In the wintertime, surfers come to catch meet the challenge of the swelling waves.
Truly one of the world’s most legendary beaches, Waimea is loved by professional surfers and was instrumental to the creation of big-wave surfing. However, you don’t need to know your way around a board to enjoy the North Shore beaches nestled at the mouth of Waimea River. Like Pipeline and Sunset Beach, Waimea shines when winter storms roll in off the Pacific, kicking up 20-foot waves and drawing in the surfers—and spectators—to the shore. When the waters are calmer, you’ll find people at the beach enjoying all kinds of activities, as relaxing as sunbathing or as exhilarating as rock diving. You might recognize these rocky outcrops overlooking the sandy shores from the TV show Lost, which used Hawaii as a stand-in for the mysterious island at the center of the show. From the beach, it’s not far to some of Oahu’s other attractions, including some lovely botanical gardens and Waimea Falls. If you do want to soak in the sun and the views of Waimea Bay, you might want to get an early start on the day. Parking gets tight at one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii.
Ekuhai Beach Park
Ekuhai Beach Park
Between December and February, the waves break over the shallow reef, creating superb surfing conditions. The home of the famed Banzai Pipeline is a haven for winter surfing and a quiet swimming beach the rest of the year. Lifeguards are on duty at Ekuahi to guarantee the safety of all surfers and swimmers. This popular beach is packed with amenities to help visitors enjoy their day at the beach, including free parking, showers, and picnic tables. Of course, there are also the views to enjoy—the iconic Hawaii scene with blue skies, white sands, and turquoise waters that look even more amazing when seen in person.