Best Oahu Beaches
East Oahu Beaches
What's not to love about a day at the beach? Kahana Beach offers you plenty of space, shade, and picnic tables. If you desire some seclusion, stop here during the weekdays - it's usually deserted! Yet, local families travel here for a good time during the weekend.
Overview of Kahana Bay Beach Park
Kahana Bay is a breathtaking cove with clear water and white sand. It's located on the east side of O'ahu, across from Ahupua'a State Park. The beach is nestled under the Ko'olau Mountains. Due to its location, the coast experiences some protection from rough sea waves. The cove's protection from open ocean winds makes it feel like you're in a private oasis, with only the sound of waves lapping at the shoreline!
We recommend visiting during the summer. The winter months bring much rain, which causes muddy conditions around the bay.
Directions to Kahana Bay Beach
From Waikiki, it typically takes about an hour car ride to get here via HI-61 and HI-83 W. You can use the parking lot on the ocean side of the road, steps away from the beach. If this lot lacks space, park either alongside the street or in the second lot just north of the dirt one (near the boat ramp).
Amenities at Kahana Bay Beach
Despite its size, Kahana offers some great amenities. Yet, we should warn you that no lifeguard is present at this beach. The amenities present here:
- Outdoor showers
- Restrooms at the north end of the beach
- Picnic tables
- Drinking water
- Boat ramp
- Parking is available in a dirt lot on the road's makai (ocean) side.
— article continued below —
Having Fun at Kahana Beach
The peaceful beach will make you feel as if there are no worries in this world - step into Kahana's Bay! This small beach has almost everything for a great family vacation - beautiful sand underneath one's feet, plenty of shade, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and peaceful surroundings. Like the locals who galvanize here during the weekend, enjoy your time here with a picnic, barbecuing, camping, fishing, and more.
Other unique activities for families include:
Scavenger-hunting for shells: Shells line the shores when the water is clear and calm. You can find a surprising number of colorful shells on this beach. Take time with the children to enjoy these earthly treasures.
Leave an impact: To maintain the beach's beauty, consider joining the local efforts to clean up the coast. You can volunteer at one of the locals' many cleanups held here during the year. It is rewarding and fun! Unfortunately, plastic pollution and trash wash into this beautiful bay due to the beach's location and shape. Yet, even ten minutes of cleaning make all the difference! And the locals will appreciate your efforts, too.
Kahana Bay Beach Activities
Snorkeling: The summer months offer the best time to snorkel because fewer rainy days mean more transparent waters to discover the lovely sea creatures here. Plenty of fish travel to the beach's cove for protection. Thus, take advantage of the summer or clear days for snorkeling.
Enjoy the seclusion: Kahana Bay Beach Park offers visitors a breathtaking view of the towering mountains of the Koolau Mountain Range and then the Pacific Ocean. With few people around during the weekdays and surrounded by nature, it's easy to enjoy the isolation here.
Have fun kayaking: Kahana Bay Beach Park and Kahana River are great places to kayak. Beginners especially enjoy it here due to the lack of strong currents.
Camping: Camping at Kahana Bay Beach Park can be a great way to explore the area - and it's even more convenient now that you can book advanced reservations! With just ten campsites, fees start at $12 per night.
Ancient Huilua Fishpond: Notably, Huilua Fishpond was constructed by the ancient Hawaiians. Its upkeep fell apart around the late 1960s! Regardless of its current condition, fish still swim through the pond. Only six other Hawaiian ponds on Oahu still exist- including Huilua Fishpond. So we recommend checking out at least one of them.
Fishing: Many families enjoy spending their days on the bay and catching fresh fish. The waters of Kahana Bay are teeming with life, and the bay's shallow water makes it possible to cast out your line from shore without having to use a boat or even wading in too far. If you're looking for a fishing experience that is both relaxing and rewarding, this might be the spot.
Surfing in the winter: Enjoy the best waves during the winter months. December offers surfers the cleanest, most consistent, and rideable waves with steady offshore winds.
Nearby Sights and Activities
The Pu'u Maelieli Trail is located near the bay. Due to this place being so remote, there are few attractions besides hiking. The Pu’u Ma’eli'eli Trail offers a variety of beautiful wildflowers.
From the top of a nearby hike called Crouching Lion (Check out our guide on the best trails on Oahu), you can see Kahana Bay. This intermediate trail offers a short but challenging incline that is only 30 minutes long.