Best Baby Beaches
Oahu beaches are beautiful and fun, especially when you and the fam are safe. "Never take your eyes off the water" was something a friend told me soon after I moved here and sat on a surfboard. Today, now with kids, this is even more important when it comes to keeping an eye out for incoming waves and the little ones playing in the sand. Safer beaches to me are ones I have brought my crawling babies to and sat and played without getting tossed in a wave. A few things to keep in mind when heading out to the beach.
- Surfs-up on different shores - something to keep in mind when you are chasing or avoiding waves
- Northshore gets monster waves in the winter
- Southshore gets all the wave action in the summer
- Track the cyclical movement of Jellyfish to avoid stings Box Jellyfish Calendar
- Keep up with Active Alerts at Hawaii Beach Safety
As always, sun protection like suit coverage, sunblock, hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, as well as hydration are key to having a good time and ensuring everyone is comfortable. And while floaties are always good to keep on the kids around water nothing is safer than a watchful eye. Almost all on our list have lifeguards on duty but for the one's without I've noted below.
AND NOW THE FUN STUFF - OUR FAVORITE BEACHES....
Kuhio Beach (Waikiki)
A stretch of beach along Kalakaua Avenue that's enclosed with a breakwater wall which keeps the waves gently lapping at the shoreline. Located right in the heart of Waikiki it gets crowded quickly. I spent most of my maternity leave with both kids at this beach :) If you're not walking down, park in the free city spots at Kapiolani Park or metered parking at the zoo or street parking ideally along Ohua or Paoakalani.
Ala Moana Beach Park (Town)
Closer to Ala Moana Shopping Center, away from the packed tourist beaches in Waikiki, you'll find "The People's Park". Ala Moana Beach is a local favorite for it's calm water and spacious sandy shoreline. Park in the main parking lot and walk right out from the bathrooms and any spot from there is a prime one. I find the sand is softest in this area.
Magic Island Lagoon attached to Ala Moana Beach Park
Magic Island, which shares parking with Ala Moana Beach park, has a lagoon. So if you're up for a bit of a walk through the paved paths overlooking the boat harbor it's a great place for beachtime too. Sand is a little grainier than the beach park but still fun. Just gotta mention that not only is boat watching great here but it's also an ideal place for Friday night fireworks set off by the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Love this spot!
Baby Makapuu (East side)
Absolutely my favorite beach. It's a setting where nature dominates and absolutely takes your breath away. There are tidepools that vary in size and fit as many as four diapered babies to many many more kids and their aunties :) We take little nets and wade in looking for crabs and fish that are always too fast for us. Most of the time a great spot except for when there's a high surf advisory on north or east facing shores - check active beach alerts before going. (Featured Photo)
***This locations does NOT have a lifeguard stand***
Sharks Cove (Northshore)
Up on the northshore - Pupukea side - is Shark's Cove which is a cross between Hanauma Bay (for the snokelling opportunity) and Baby Makapuu (for tidepool adventures). Another spot I enjoyed even before kids but when my sisters would visit. Some tidepools are only a few inches deep while others are deep enough to need fins. The rocks are a bit of a maze to enter and exit the water but that's what makes it all fun. Our boys love coming here with nets and reef shoes help keep it fun too but still fun without anyway.
***This location does NOT have a lifeguard stand***
Other beaches that are just as great for kids but we don't visit as frequently due to proximity, crowds or parking.
- Ko Olina Lagoon 4 series of lagoons near premier hotels on the westwide of island away from congested town traffic and crowds
- Lanikai Beach internationally ranked for fine white sand and turquoise blue water; located in an exclusive upscale neighborhood that's getting harder and harder to access
- Hanauma Bay (Closed on Tuesdays) Iconic for snorkeling; the far extending reef keeps the water calm. Free for locals, military and under 13 rs old otherwise there is a park entry free.