Waimea, Lanikai, Papailoa, and Makua Beach are some of BYU-Hawaii students’ favorite beaches on Oahu.
Saren Eastwood, a junior studying peacebuilding from Washington, said, “Waimea is God’s given playground. It has a perfect rock to jump off, which is also the perfect height to do flips. The water is crystal clear and often it has turtles around. The waves are so big and fun. Also, people from all over the world go to Waimea, so I’ve met strangers from everywhere.”
According to GoHawaii.com, Waimea Bay is one of the top beaches on the North Shore and was one of the first places where surfers used to ride large waves in the 50s, but it is also great for swimming and snorkeling.
Bethany Donaldson, a freshman studying elementary education from Arizona, said, “Waimea has plenty of rocks to climb on with good views. I like going in the water and just going with the flow of the ocean waves. It’s like you’re sitting in a giant laundry machine. It’s wild.”
Ellie Lindsey, a freshman studying biology from Utah, said, “Lanikai is great because the kayaking is hard but so rewarding when you get to the island. One of the islands even has a small place to do some cliff jumping, and we saw a seal and lots of birds when we went. It is beautiful.”
According to TheCrazyTourist.com, the best beach on Oahu is Lanikai Beach. Located in Kailua, it is one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii and safe for free swimming. People can kayak to two nearby small islands, which feature bird sanctuaries.
Jane Brown, a sophomore studying nursing from Utah, said, “Lanikai is my favorite too. It has the softest sand, and I love laying in the sand. It doesn’t feel like a very touristy beach either and the ocean is turquoise blue. The islands in the distance are such a plus to look at.”
Morgyn Woodruff, junior studying business from Michigan, said Papailoa Beach is her favorite “because there is not a lot of people there usually and turtles congregate there. It’s beautiful because it’s the ‘secret’ turtle beach. No one realizes that’s where the turtles really are. To top it off, it’s a decent surf place.”
HawaiiLiving.com says Papailoa Beach is located exclusively on Papailoa Road and is not very often attended by people.
Makua Beach is the favorite beach of Tyler Morris, a freshman studying psychology from California. Morris said, “The water is so clear. It is a great place to go snorkeling and possibly see dolphins. I’ve seen a stingray even. It gives a great chance to see all the sea life.”