Oahu: Top 5 Toddler-Friendly Beaches
Powdery, white sand at Lanikai Beach
1. Lanikai Beach - located on Oahu's windward side in Kailua town, this is one of our favorite beaches on the island. Dig your toes into the fine white sand and stare into the endless turquoise blue waters. Ahh.. so this is what paradise feels like. Off-shore reef keep the waters calm year-round, perfect for little kiddos. Street parking only (and no public restrooms!). Plan ahead as parking is restricted on most long weekends and on the bike lane side of the road.
The world-famous Waikiki beach.
2. Waikiki Beach - located right by downtown Honolulu, Waikiki is easily the most popular and recognizable beach on Oahu (with Diamond Head in the background). There are more tourists on this beach than anywhere else, but we lived in Waikiki for six months so it still remains a favorite. Take the little one to the beach area called "the ponds" which is a walled off section that protects swimmers from crashing waves. The ponds are located just after the bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku. Parking tip: you can get validated parking (up to 4 hours) if you dine at any of the resort restaurants (like Hula Grill - their breakfast is amazing!) or you can park at Ross Dress for Less and get free parking with any purchase!
One of four man-made lagoons in Ko Olina, on Oahu's west side.
3. Ko Olina Lagoon - our favorite lagoon to visit, is lagoon #3 facing the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. Located on the leeward or west side of the island, the protected coves of Ko Olina enjoy calm waters year-round. We like that there's also a large grassy area to help keep your beach items sand-free! Parking can be challenging, but stop in the late afternoon and witness a spectacular sunset from this side of the island!
Pupukea in the North Shore is a great snorkeling spot!
4. Pupukea Beach - this is the very first beach that Foggy dipped his tiny one-month old feet into (he slept through it all zzz). The North Shore is closest to where we live so we're here pretty much every weekend. The tide pools are teeming with sea life - fish, sea urchin, and tiny crabs. The cove is protected and the water is shallow enough for the little one to wade in. Life tip: stop at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in Haleiwa and enjoy a plate of garlic shrimp (soo good!) paired with plantation tea from ‘Okina next door.
A monk seal taking his afternoon nap at Turtle Bay.
5. Turtle Bay, North Shore - Kuilima Cove in Turtle Bay is another cove that is protected from the high surf in North Shore. Lots of people come here to snorkel as the area is frequented by green sea turtles and monk seals (!!) Parking is free and always easy and there's an open-air restaurant - Roy's that is located right on the beach (hello, happy hour!).