Known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. I’ve put together this Oahu Travel Guide to give you ideas on for your next Hawaii trip: including the best beaches to visit, places to eat and the best views on the island.

My Oahu Travel Guide:

NORTH SHORE

An hour’s drive from Waikiki, the North Shore is one of my favorite places in the world.  I love it here!  Start your day with a stop in Haleiwa and grab breakfast or lunch in this historic town before you head out on your adventure.  During the summer months, the Country is flat and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.  In winter, the waves get big. In some places up to 25- 40 feet.  There are several surfing competitions during the winter months (November- December) so beaches can get busy, and you can expect even more traffic.

FAVORITE BEACHES:

  • Haleiwa Alii
  • Waialua
  • Mokuleia
  • Kaena Point
  • Waimea Bay
  • Sunset Beach
  • Velzyland

EAT and DRINK:

*Interested in swimming with sharks without a cage?  Check out my blog post about my experience here.

Honu
Haleiwa

WEST SIDE

Pristine, uncrowded and beautiful.

Drive to the end of the road for some of the best beaches on the island and enjoy the view of the majestic Waianae Mountain Range.  (Check the surf forecast or ask a lifeguard to make sure the water isn’t too rough before you go.)  If you are traveling with family, visit Koolina for the Paradise Cove Luau or spend time in the lazy river at the Disney Aulani Resort.

FAVORITE BEACHES:

  • Yokohama Bay
  • Makua Beach
  • Makaha Beach
  • Electric Beach
Makua

EAST SIDE 

Starting from November to May, this is where you want to be if you want to go whale watching.  After Hawaii Kai, Kalanianaole Highway is a scenic road with dreamy views and plenty of lookouts where you can stop and enjoy the view.  There are also several hikes along this route, including the Makapuu Lighthouse trail and Tom-Tom trail.  Rent a kayak in Kailua and head to the Mokulua Islands, or go on a full moon hike on the Lanikai Pillbox trail.

FAVORITE BEACHES:

  • Haunama Bay
  • Makapuu
  • Waimanalo
  • Kailua
East Side of Oahu

SOUTH SHORE – WAIKIKI

Waikiki

Always sunny and rainbow sightings are almost guaranteed, Waikiki is busy, vibrant and your destination for nightlife and high-end shopping.  (Chinatown also has a nightlife scene.)  Take a surf lesson in Waikiki, or board a sunset catamaran cruise with your best friends.  Wake up early, (really early) and walk towards Diamond Head if you want to enjoy the beach without the big crowds.

*The Hilton Hawaiian Village has a fireworks show every Friday at 7:45 pm.

FAVORITE BEACHES:

  • Ala Moana Beach Park
  • Kaimana Beach Park

EAT and DRINK:

STAY:

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My Oahu Travel Guide

About Author

Alejandra Cerball is a journalist, writer, and travel+ lifestyle blogger. Alex enjoys writing about travel, empowering women in business, wellness, and sustainable fashion. Follow on Instagram @alexcerball.

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