Welcome, fellow beach lovers!
If you’re like me, the idea of finding a peaceful, secluded beach on Oahu feels like an impossible dream. I’ve been there – feeling overwhelmed by crowded shores and desperate to escape the masses for a quiet oasis. But fear not! With extensive research and personal exploration, my boyfriend and I have cracked the code to finding the quietest beaches in Oahu.
We’ve spent countless hours basking in the sun (tough life, right?), chatting with locals, and venturing off the beaten path to uncover those quiet spots where we can truly unwind. We know that sinking your toes into soft sand without being surrounded by hundreds of others is what you crave – so let us guide you to these top seven beaches in Oahu that’ll make your vacation unforgettable.
Now, I’m no expert cartographer or anything but trust me when I say we’ve got these locations mapped out down to each palm tree. So don’t worry about getting lost or arriving only to find a lackluster shoreline; our carefully curated list will take care of all those concerns.
Warning: This article might lead you straight into vacation-mode daydreaming, resulting in an insatiable urge for piña coladas and palm trees.
Ready? Let’s embark on this sandy journey together and explore some of Oahu’s most serene stretches of coastline!
People looking for privacy will love relaxing on Waimanalo beach on the island’s East side, which boasts a three-mile stretch of shore and powdery soft white sands. As most beaches on this side of the island remain crowded with tourists, such as the Kailua and Lanikai beaches, you can find secluded shores all week long at Waimanalo beach.
Beachgoers can enjoy swimming, snorkeling when the waves are calm, and even kiteboarding on windy days at Waimanalo beach.
My boyfriend and I love coming to Waimanalo beach around noon, sunbathing on the quiet shores, and ending the beach day with a meal from the nearby Hawaii Kai neighborhood or Waimanalo town.
How to get here
Located right next to the Makapu’u beach on the windward coast, you can drive here straight from Waikiki. The 45-minute drive from Waikiki on H-1 takes you past the Makapu’u Lighthouse to Waimanalo town.
Here’s why Waimanalo beach is one of the best quiet beaches in Oahu:
- You can enjoy the beach’s amenities like restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and free parking without waiting in lines.
- The long stretch of shore is perfect for taking a long walk and enjoying the stunning East Oahu scenery.
- Despite the lack of crowds, lifeguards are stationed here so you can swim peacefully.
Halona Beach Cove
A stunning beach on the island’s windward side is Halona beach cove, which is famously known as Eternity beach since it was the filming site of the movie ‘From Here to Eternity.’ Although this beach is close to the famed Halona blowhole, it remains less crowded because of the steep hiking trail that leads to it from the blowhole’s parking area.
But don’t let that deter you because the trek is well worth the stretch of white sand and beautiful blue waters waiting at Halona beach.
In addition, this beach is a favorite spot for Hawaiian green sea turtles, so you can spot them lounging on the sands and even snorkel with them in the ultra-clear waters of this beach.
How to get here
Take the H-1 Hwy south, which turns into Hwy 72, and continues through residences, past Hawaii Kai, and around Koko Crater. After you pass Hanauma Bay, the single-lane road winds around a cliff for a few miles until it reaches the Halona Blowhole parking lot. Halona Beach is on a rocky, downhill path on the right side of the parking lot.
Here’s why Halona beach cove is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- The waves here can get rough, which keeps most tourists away, and you can enjoy sunbathing on the powder-soft sands.
- Halona beach boasts stunning views of windward Oahu, which is why it was also the filming location of 50 First Dates.
- You can swim uninterrupted with sea turtles in the waters.
Oahu’s North shore has some nearly empty beaches which offer gorgeous views, and the Mokuleia beach is the best one. The hard-to-find location past more well-known beaches on the North shore is what makes Mokuleia beach quiet and secluded, perfect for taking a walk, sunbathing, and even surfing.
In addition, a shallow coral reef in this beach’s waters makes it the perfect spot for snorkelers and fishers to test their skills and explore marine life.
My boyfriend and I usually come to Mokuleia after a day of adventure on North Oahu and relax by watching the waves breaking on the shore.
How to get here
Drive to Haleiwa from Waikiki, which takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour, then move west of Haleiwa town center, and take Farrington Highway towards Ka’ena Point. Mokuleia beach will be on your right, directly across from the Dillingham Airfield.
Here’s why Mokuleia beach is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- This beach is good for families as children can run on the empty stretch of shore.
- Although there are few amenities, you can spend a beautiful night under the stars on the beach’s campgrounds.
- The beach’s quaint location made it the filming site of the TV show Lost.
Another wondrous beach of East Oahu is Makapu’u beach, located just below the infamous Makapu’u Lighthouse Lookout Point. A paved trail from the lighthouse leads to this beach which most tourists are unaware of, keeping this gorgeous patch of beach secluded.
Makapu’u beach is also famous among locals for its incredible surfing waters, and local surf clubs have been hosting tournaments here for decades.
The beach is relatively small, but its beautiful blue waters, the Makapu’u lighthouse above it, towering cliffs behind it, and views of a bird sanctuary out at sea make it an unmissable spot whether you’re looking for a quiet beach or not.
How to get here
Makapu’u beach is nestled between the Waimanalo and Sandy beaches on the East shore. You’ll have to take the H-1 Hwy from Waikiki, go around Koko Head Crater, past Sandy beach, and towards the Makapu’u Point parking lot. Park your cars here and follow the paved trail down to the beach.
Here’s why Makapu’u beach is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- You can enjoy boogie boarding and surfing on its strong waves, which allow plenty of room to move around.
- The mountainside gives it a cozy and intimate beach hideaway feel.
- There are great amenities like showers, restrooms, free parking, and even a lifeguard on duty.
Head to West Oahu on the shores of Yokohama Bay which feels like you’ve stepped onto a stranded island. This gorgeous white-sand beach is far from the crowded beaches in Oahu, promising near-empty shores and no humans for miles.
The Yokohama Bay is also known amongst locals in Oahu as Keawaula beach and is infamous for its rough winter swells, which match those of the North shore beaches.
My boyfriend and I like to visit Yokohama Bay during the summer months when the waves are much calmer and offer terrific snorkeling conditions. The Bay is also great for sunbathing, having a picnic, or for experienced surfers to test their skills on the waves.
How to get here
Yokohama Bay is the last stop on West Oahu before Keana Point. The drive here is straightforward from Waikiki, where you’ll take the H-1 Hwy and head north. Stay on it until it turns into Farrington Hwy, which continues on the coastal road, ending at Yokohama Bay.
Here’s why Yokohama Bay is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- The beach gives stunning views of the Waianae mountains across the road.
- On a clear day, this beach gives the best sunset views in West Oahu.
- Despite the empty shores, there are facilities like bathrooms, showers, parking, and a lifeguard on duty.
A sister beach to Yokohama Bay on Oahu’s western shore is Makua beach, which offers pretty much the same secluded shores as its neighbor, but much better water conditions. The beach is also known for its breathtaking scenery, with the Makua Valley on its backside and tall cliffs surrounding it.
During winter, this is a favorite beach for locals to go surfing on the strong waves, and you can enjoy watching this exciting sport from the beach.
However, it’s the summer months, we love going to Makua beach when the waters become calm, and the underwater visibility allows you to see the ocean floor. We’ve spotted turtles in the waters and even encountered a pod of dolphins once, so it’s an unmissable snorkeling spot on a clear day.
How to get here
You’ll take the same route as Yokohama Bay, from the H-1 Hwy to Farrington Hwy, until it reaches Waianae and nearby small towns. From there, drive five miles until you see signs for Makua beach and a gate on your left which is the entrance.
Here’s why Makua beach is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- The beach serves as a terrific campground with many camping spots nestled among the bushes.
- There are tide pools and a beach cave on the shore, which offer a relaxing natural bath.
- This is a great beach for families to visit during summer, as children can swim in the shallow waves.
If you’ve noticed a pattern here, the best quiet beaches in Oahu are the ones in plain sight, but people can’t be bothered to trek to them. That’s also how you can reach Kahuku beach on the North shore by crossing the lush Kahuku golf course grounds.
This sandy stretch of shore is worth interrupting a few golf rounds, as you’ll access a stunning secluded beach with only the occasional fisher in sight.
Although the waters here are unsafe for swimming because of a shallow, rocky bottom, it’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, reading a book, or enjoying a picnic with unspoiled natural views of Oahu.
How to get here
You’ll drive from Waikiki to the North shore for roughly an hour before reaching the Kahuku Golf Course. Park your cars in the course’s lot and make the walk of shame (just kidding) across the golf grounds to the beach on its other end.
Here’s why Kahuku beach is the best quiet beach in Oahu:
- You can try boogie boarding and even practice fishing alongside locals on the beach.
- This beach is a great place to see marine wildlife, such as green sea turtles and even monk seals.
- The beach doesn’t have any facilities, but you can use the golf course’s parking lot and restrooms.
What is the least crowded beach on Oahu?
For a complete lack of crowds on the beach, head to Yokohama Bay and Makua beach in Oahu on its West shore. These beaches are on the island’s last edges, where most people don’t drive to, keeping the shores empty and unspoiled.
Are there quiet beaches on Oahu?
Yes! Despite being famed as an overcrowded island, Oahu has tons of quiet beaches which have near-empty sands and secluded waters. For example, Waimanalo and Eternity beaches on the East shore, Kahuku and Mokuleia beaches on the North shore, and Yokohama Bay on the West shore, are calm and quiet all year.
What beach do locals go to in Oahu?
Locals frequent the Makapu’u, Yokohama, and Makua beaches for their terrific surfing conditions during winter and for their tourist-free shores.
Winding Up The Best Quiet Beaches in Oahu
If you’ve made it this far in the article, you know Oahu has many quiet beaches on each of its shores, offering ample privacy and nature as your only companion.
It’s also important to know the beaches I’ve mentioned in this article are easily accessible as long as you have a rental car and can make a short trek (only for a few.)
My boyfriend and I have the most fun time on Oahu’s beaches, and the quiet ones are a real treat after days spent among tourist crowds in Waikiki.
Looking for the best quiet beach for your family in Oahu? Visit Mokuleia beach on the North shore.
Want to snorkel with marine life on Oahu’s beaches? Head to Halona beach cove and Makua beach.
Looking to try surfing on Oahu’s beaches? Head to Yokohama Bay on the West shore, where surfing competitions get held yearly.
You’re guaranteed all the fun and none of the crowds on Oahu’s best quiet beaches!
Last Updated on April 3, 2023 by Brigitte