O‘ahu has a coast­line fringed with golden beaches.

In 2018, coastal sci­en­tist Dr. Stephen P. Leather­man (bet­ter known as Dr. Beach) ranked Ka­palua Bay on Maui as the best beach in the na­tion. This year’s honor goes to O‘ahu’s Kailua Beach Park, with Duke Ka­han­moku Beach com­ing in at #5. Here are our other

WhereTraveler Oahu - - CONTENTS - BY GINA J. BAILEY

1. KAILUA BEACH PARK

Its #1 rank­ing among the na­tion’s top beaches is well de­served. It has the largest white-sand par­cel found on O‘ahu and is ideal for walk­ing at low tide. Take in the cool sea breeze as kayak­ers, kite surfers, pad­dle board­ers and swim­mers revel in the clear wa­ter. The beach park is pop­u­lar among fam­i­lies.

RE­STROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES AND BEACH SHOW­ERS LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

2. HANAUMA BAY STATE PARK

Not a “beach park” per se, but a Na­ture Preserve, this un­der­wa­ter ecosys­tem gives snorkel­ers a chance to min­gle with hun­dreds of col­or­ful finned friends, in­clud­ing but­ter­fly fish, puf­fer fish and eels.

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3. DUKE KAHANAMOKU BEACH

Ranked #5 in the na­tion by Dr. Beach, this cres­cent-shaped beach is named af­ter leg­endary Olympian and “the Fa­ther of Modern Surf­ing,” Duke Kahanamoku. Pro­tected by a sea­wall, the wa­ters are per­fect for swim­ming and stand-up board pad­dling. It is lo­cated on the west end of Waikīkī Beach.

RE­STROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES AND BEACH SHOW­ERS SPORTS AC­TIV­ITY RENTALS

4. MĀLAEKAHAN­A

Lo­cated in Lā‘ie, this State Recre­ation Area boasts a wooded beach park that’s fronted by a stretch of golden gran­ules. There are 37 de­vel­oped camp sites, which re­quire ad­vance per­mits.

RE­STROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES AND BEACH SHOW­ERS CAMP GROUNDS AND PIC­NIC TA­BLES

5. ALA MOANA RE­GIONAL PARK

Nick­named “the Peo­ple’s Park,” this beach is a fa­vorite among lo­cal res­i­dents. The area of­fers a large wave-free la­goon, ideal for keiki (kids), swim­ming and stand-up pad­dling. Magic Is­land is at the Di­a­mond Head end of the beach, of­fer­ing 76 acres of shady spots for pic­nics, park­ing and walk­ing trails. Out­side the pro­tec­tive reef, surfers de­light with the many breaks.

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6. KO OLINA BEACH PARK

On the south­west cor­ner of O‘ahu, these fam­ily-friendly la­goons are sculpted into the coast like four cir­cu­lar pools. Pri­vately de­vel­oped, but open to the pub­lic, these smooth-sand beaches with their pris­tine wa­ters are a safe de­light for chil­dren. Pleas­ant walk­ways con­nect the la­goons with sur­round­ing lux­ury re­sorts, which of­fer many places to eat and ex­plore.

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7. NORTH SHORE BEACH PARKS

Stretch­ing across what is known as the “Seven Mile Mir­a­cle,” the North Shore en­com­passes world fa­mous surf­ing spots, in­clud­ing Hale‘iwa Beach Park, Waimea Bay (pic­tured be­low), Ban­zai Pipe­line and Sun­set Beach. Dur­ing the win­ter months (Novem­ber through Fe­bru­ary) pro­fes­sional surfers from around the world ar­rive to com­pete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surf­ing.

RE­STROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

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