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Best Beaches Of The West Coast; Oahu, Hawaii

Updated on September 27, 2010
Paradise, otherwise known as Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii
Paradise, otherwise known as Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii

Aloha!

Here I am somewhere along the north shore
Here I am somewhere along the north shore
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
rain forest/ north shore
rain forest/ north shore
The Hilton Hawaian Village
The Hilton Hawaian Village
Beautiful nightlife
Beautiful nightlife

My personal photo album

My snorkeling view from the water in Hanauma Bay
My snorkeling view from the water in Hanauma Bay
Me, snorkeling
Me, snorkeling
View from my hotel room
View from my hotel room
View of entertainment at The Hawaiian Hilton Village while sipping a delicious chocolate martini.
View of entertainment at The Hawaiian Hilton Village while sipping a delicious chocolate martini.
Walking down Waikiki's shopping area
Walking down Waikiki's shopping area

Ideal Vacation

I am a beach baby, born in San Diego, California, I am definitely attracted to beach scenery. Let's just say it is my quick fix for everything; having a bad day, need to relax with calm surroundings, ideal vacation destination. I can hear the calm waves reaching out to me, calling my name. You need to look no further than the beach. It may not be the meaning of life, but it certainly is The Life!

I want to share with you my favorite beaches located off the West coast. My second favorite stretch of beach is featured in another hub "Best Beaches Off The West Coast; The Oregon Coast" http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Beaches-On-The-West-Coast-The-Oregon-Coast      I love both of these beaches, but they are distinctly different.

Oahu, Hawaii- The beach, the palm trees- it's not everyday you get to jump into a paradise screen-saver. My trip was in the month of August and it was hot, humid, but not uncomfortable at all. Many people do their research and find what month is ideal for them.

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is 44 miles long and 30 miles across with exapnsive beaches and views enough to take your breath away. Actually, it seems to give you a renewed breath, like breathing for the first time.

First impression- Instantly I wanted to give up my life on the "main land" and move to Oahu to become a professional beach bum. So tempting! My 9-5 job, decidious fir trees, and suburbs could kiss my bikini wearing beach butt goodbye. I forgot about life back home and was transported to paradise. If you come for the beaches, that's what you'll get. Whatever tourist activities you choose, you will be on, in, near, or overlooking the beach.

The biggest attraction for me was the time zone- 3 hours behind my Pacific time zone. Yay! Also, the natives have a different interpretation of time. You can arrive somewhere an hour late, but to them, you're not really "late". It's very flexible and they take surf breaks in the middle of a work day. For those that know me, I operate on Hawaiian time. Late? Me? Not in Hawaii!

Activities I suggest include:

  • Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay http://www.hawaiiweb.com/html/hanauma_bay_beach.html- Hanauma Bay is not too far from Waikiki Beach. It is basically the crater of an old volcano that flooded with water and became a hot tourist spot in 1967 for beginner to intermediate level snorkeling adventures. Of course there is sun bathing on the beach, snorkeling rentals right on the beach, a diverse population of marine life in the shallow waters, a deeper area outside of the cove for divers, and hiking trails overlooking the bay.
  • Island Adventure- If you have a car available to you (if not, there are tours available) do a trip around the entire island. This can be done in one day. As you get out of the Waikiki Beach tourist area, the scenery changes drastically. You may get caught in a warm downpour of rain as you go through the rain forest area, meet some surfers as the waves get much larger venturing north, see some turtles and other wildlife, and meet some of the natives as you progress to the north shore.
  • Waimea Bay- This beach is part of the north shore region of the island and has incredible, unspoiled beaches. I watched surfers here and even had a chance to see turtles crawling the beach. The botanical gardern is worth a visit as well. Don't forget to try shaved ice, a flavored ice treat. Just a warning, this area is not as tourist friendly so they won't find your tourist charm as appealing here, but the scenery should not be missed.
  • Diamond Head is a gorgeous, fairly short (.075 mile) hike, but definitely expect some rough terrain and a beautiful panoramic view of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.
  • Waikiki Beach- sun tanning, relaxing, and shopping.

Shop- Yes, Waikiki Beach is a great place to shop for souvenirs and island clothing. Also Honolulu, nearby, is the only commercial city in Hawaii and the center of the hustle and bustle.

Beach- I was pleasantly surprised the beach itself really isn't crowded. Also, I was expecting it to be tainted with bathing suit models, but it wasn't anything like that. It was speckled with average people, enjoying their vacations.

Food- There are incredible restaurants along Waikiki Beach and don't forget to try a pupu (pronounced poo poo) platter, a Hawaiian appetizer. Most of the cuisine is a combination Chinese and island food, using local pineapple and Ono fish. Of course you could be more daring than me and have a Spam and eggs breakfast at McDonald's. I couldn't force myself to do it. Spam strange meat combination mixed with ham and became popular around World War II because fresh meat was scarce on the islands.

Lodging- I would encourage picking a great hotel- they're all fairly expensive so choose one that offers entertainment like luaus. I stayed at The Hilton Hawaiian Village and it was perfect. During my last two days I was worn out from all the tourist activities so I stayed around the hotel and beach. The hotel itself is right on the beach- super convenient. I laid back and had a wonderful chocolate martini while watching the entertainment. http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/resort_activities/

  • Pearl Harbor- It is located in a lagoon off of Oahu, the spot at which the Japanese attacked our U.S base there and began World War II. This is a chilling historical monument and tourist attraction.You can walk right over the USS Arizona Navy ship.The whole ordeal has been captured in movies, most popular is "Pearl Harbor" starring Ben Affleck. The history is fascinating and I could easily dedicate an entire article on it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor
  • Other activities- I didn't personally experience these, but Oahu offers great cruise excursions, tours, helicopter rides, surfing, Byodo-In Buddhist Temple, and fantastic golfing.

Waikiki Beach

Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay
Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach
Surf board "parking"
Surf board "parking"
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Luau
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Luau
Over 40 golf courses to choose from on Oahu
Over 40 golf courses to choose from on Oahu

View of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu from Diamond Head

map of activities near Waikiki Beach

A
Pearl Harbour Honolulu:
Pearl Harbour, HI, USA

get directions

B
Diamond Head :
Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St Louis, Honolulu, HI, USA

get directions

C
Waikiki Beach and shopping:
Waikīkī Beach, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

get directions

D
Hanauma Bay:
Hanauma Bay, Honolulu, HI, USA

get directions

Waimea Bay, north shore

North Shore

Sunset at Waimea Bay
Sunset at Waimea Bay
Surfing Waimea Bay
Surfing Waimea Bay
Driving to Waimea Bay
Driving to Waimea Bay
Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle

Waimea Bay north shore beaches; distance in relation to Waikiki Beach

A
Waikiki Beach:
Waikīkī Beach, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

get directions

B
Byodo-In Buddhist Temple:
47 Kahekili Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA

get directions

C
Waimea Bay :
Waimea Bay, Hawaii, USA

get directions

"Leeward side" of island. Valley of The Temples

How to enjoy Oahu, Hawaii

Split your Hawaiian vacation time wisely. Spend the first 3 days doing tourist type activities. I highly recommend the day trip around the entire island- totally worth it. Dedicate another 3 days to relaxing and sticking around the beach, Waikiki Beach and shopping area. By doing this, you really get a sense of the culture, food, and time to relax. Sometimes we forget to relax on vacation and it would be a crime if you went to Hawaii and didn't veg out on the beach.

While I was there, I didn't miss too much. I had tons of adrenaline and energy going. I woke up at 5am to the best scenery off the west coast. I had dinner about 10pm with friends, that lasted until about 1am. The pineapple and papaya are ridiculously perfect and much different than what you'll find in your store. I lived off fruit and fish while I was there, meals fit for a queen and best of all, I didn' t lose sight of the coastline views the entire time.

Vacation Vote

What is your ideal vacation destination?

See results

Comments

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    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      christoph~ I know I shouldn't be so picky. Your cult would have you any way you serve it. lol.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      7 years ago from St. Louis

      Oh. You want me au natural. Understandable.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      It was an honor taking you on a trip to Hawaii Christoph. But please, next time don't wear the Speedo ;))

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      7 years ago from St. Louis

      I have never lived near the ocean but have always loved it, sort of like I belonged there. And visiting Hawaii has been a life-long dream. Thanks for taking me there tonight!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      dink96~ glad you enjoyed and hope you have a great trip with your husband. It IS paradise.

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Wonderfully informative hub! My husband and I are taking our first trip to Hawaii next year. This is one for my research file. Thank you. I can't wait.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      justom~ Tom, more bikini pics? Aren't you flattering!

      fred allen~ I know just how you feel. We were tight with money this summer and had only 1 visit to the beach. Ugh! We live so close to the Oregon Coast, but it gets expensive to make several trips. Thankfully we live close to rivers too so I had a few of those trips and kept my sanity. Thanks for the comment.

      Tom H~ When I went to Hawaii, I had no kids so no need for buying a house really and nothing better to spend my money on. You should really go someday because then you can report back to me about the geology aspects. I really wish I had done more venturing into volcanoes or see some lava on active volcanoes. I think the other Hawaiian islands have more of this. I'd like to visit Maui and swim with the dolphins.

      Sharks? I'm pretty sure there are some out further in the ocean. There aren't supposed to be any close to shore. I think there are "people" who monitor that to make sure no sharks are around. Although one night the water was so warm I decided to go wading in it at night and something big scurried across my legs so that was enough for me to stay on shore. I later learned sharks usually come out at night.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Dahoglund~ you bring up a good point about the quiz. I too like spontaneous back road exploration.

      Char M~ thank you.

      Simone Smith~ Valley of The Temples isn't extremely well-known to tourists unless they are specifically looking for it. I was lucky enough to have a friend and local show me around the island.

      Shane belceto~ You're welcome and thank you for the visit here. Hope you enjoyed your mini vacation!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow- how could I have missed the valley of the temples!! What a beautiful place! Great guide. I'll definitely refer to it when making future Hawaii travel plans!

    • Char M profile image

      Char M 

      7 years ago from Pacific Coast

      Gorgeous. I really hope to visit here someday.

    • Shane Belceto profile image

      Shane Belceto 

      7 years ago from WA USA

      The pictures truly inhance this HUB and equally further my desire to visit. Thank YOU for the little get away to start my week.

      ~Expect Miracles

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      7 years ago from home

      Iz,

      Great hub my wife and I wnted to go to Hawaii on our honeymoon but we used the $$ for a house downpayment-

      It looks WAY F-ing awesome being a geologist- I wanna see the lavas and volcanoes as well as the fish n turtles eic-

      Did ypou see any sharks?I wanna see a shark in the ocean one day- hopefully i'll be in a boat- my heart clicking will probably be picked up even farther in the ocean....

      Great hub..

      TH

    • fred allen profile image

      fred allen 

      7 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      Awesome pics! I'm quite the beach bum too. Every day off I'm either at the waterpark or the beach. Now that summer is over the waterpark is closed, so if I'm off and it's nice out, I'm on the right hand coast! You got me all fidgety now, I'm havin trouble staying in my office.

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      7 years ago from 41042

      Sounds great, a really well done hub with great photos but I'm going to go out on a limb here. I'd like to see more photos of you in that bikini :-) Peace!! Tom

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I think I would like to see Pearl Harbor sometime.The quiz didn't fit my preferences which is to explore back roads and places not everyone goes.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks drbj- pictures don't do it justice.

      Robwrite. You would like the Buddhist temple. It has the largest wooden Buddha statue in the world. It's truly like going to another counry there. The culture is so different and scenery out of this world. Oddly enough, it's not a great place to live. There is significant crime, but mostly the gap in living accomodations. I picked up a real estate magazine there and it had shack and mansions for sale, not much in between like our suburbs.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 

      7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      I've never been to Hawaii and I'd love to go someday. Excellent hub and excellent pictures.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Picturesque and enchanting hub and amazing photos, izettl. Thank you.

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