Oahu Family-Friendly Beach Guide

Whether you’re new to the island or venturing out to the beach without your spouse for the first time, here is a guide to some of our favorite family-friendly beach spots. These beaches offer the top things I look for when headed to the beach with my little one: parking, options for shade, showers, and relatively calm waters.

Our beach essentials are reef friendly sunscreen (I love Alba Bontanica), a light beach chair (Tommy Bahama Deluxe Backpack Beachchair), beach toys (my daughters favorite set is the Melissa-Doug-Seaside-Sidekicks-Baking) water and snacks.

Here’s six great, family-friendly beaches:


760 Worchester Ave, Honolulu, HI

Located on the Hickam AFB, this beach offers extremely low tides perfect for the littles who want to wade in the water, sandbars to explore, and space to try out paddle boarding / kayaking with the littles. It is known as “Dog Beach” cause at one time dogs were allowed on the beach but that is no longer the case. This area is also a great spot to watch boats come in and out of Pearl Harbor.

  • Parking: Yes. Available close to the shoreline (wearing shoes is advised when traversing to the shoreline due to thorny bushes that can line the area)
  • Shade: Some shade is available from the tree line and tents/ umbrellas are allowed 
  • Showers/Restrooms: No. There are no showers or bathrooms available. Pro tip: bring a gallon jug of water to wash down your feet) showers are available down the road at Hickam Beach.
  • Tide: Extremely low tides (0.5 ft-2 ft)
  • Nearby Treats: Ani’s Bake Shop (donuts) or Mamaya Japanese Food (bentos)


Ko Olina encompasses 642 acres featuring a string of four jewel-like lagoons connected by more than a mile and a half of seaside pathways. Ko Olina is privately owned with public pedestrian traffic permitted to and from the lagoon beaches. The following is prohibited along the shoreline and on Ko Olina’s beaches: Alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, pets, loud or distracting music, metal-detecting, fires, camping, tents, windbreakers, sun shades, bicycles, skates, skateboards, Frisbees, kites, ball playing, fishing, scuba, personal surfboards, and other watercraft. The four lagoons (Kohola (1), Honu(2), Nai’a (3), and Ulua (4) are nestled between different resorts and residential communities. 

  • Parking: Yes. Daily public parking in designated areas is available from sunrise to sunset on a first-come first-serve basis. As you enter the Lagoons the next to the greeter a board displays how many parking sports are available at each lagoon. (Pro tip The Ulua Lagoon (aka Lagoon 4) has the most parking options. Parking is easier on the weekdays and early on weekends. 
  • Shade: Available under the trees at the grassy areas 
  • Showers/Restrooms: Yes, available at each lagoon 
  • Tide: Extremely low tides (0.5 ft-2 ft)
  • Nearby Treats: Island Vintage Coffee (Liliko Moana Acai Bowl and Vintage Kona Mocha ) and Monkeypod (get the truffle fries and Monkey Pod Mai Tai trust me!)  


41-050 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

Photo courtesy of the Adventure Life

Down the road from the very popular Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail and Makapu’u Beach, Baby Makapu’u provides calm tidepools for the little ones to splash around  and rockier tidepools for big kids to explore. The area is breathtaking with backdrop of Rabbit Island, and paragliders swaying in the air. 

  • Parking: Yes, available in front of tide pools 
  • Shade: No, but umbrellas / tents are allowed 
  • Showers/Restrooms: No, there are no showers or restrooms, but a spigot is available at the corner of the parking lot near the grass for rinsing off 
  • Tide: Extremely low tides (0.5 ft-2 ft)
  • Nearby Treats: Liko’s Tap and Table, Moena Cafe, Moena Sweets  


526 Kawailoa Road, Kailua, HI 96734

Kailua Beach Park is nestled between the beautiful Lanikai Beach and Kalama Beach Park. It my favorite beach to enjoy when brining the littles for the ease of parking, facilities and shade provided by the ironwood trees. For even calmer waters with your little ones position yourself near the area where the stream enters the ocean to the right of the lifeguard station. The shoreline is also dog friendly. 

  • Parking: Yes, designated parking with short walk to shore line 
  • Shade: Areas with tree line provide some shade, tents / umbrellas are allowed 
  • Showers/Restrooms: Yes, designated showers, restroom and changing area available 
  • Tide: Variable
  • Nearby Treats: Kalapawai Market, Over Easy, Bee & Tea, Paniolos Kailua (if you want a Chipotle fix) 


85-37 Waianae Valley Road, Waianae, HI 96792

Photo courtesy of Only in Hawaii

Pōkaʻī Bay offers calm waters for paddle boarding and an abundance of sea life such as sea turtles and fish not far from the shoreline. We always head to the right of the restrooms and set up in the center of the beach for a perfect view of the resident sea turtles. There can be a few “interesting characters” at the park but it truly is a hidden gem for a family beach day. Grills and dogs are allowed at the beach park, which can make a fun filled day. 

  • Parking: Yes, designated parking 
  • Shade: limited shade, tents and umbrellas are allowed and recommended 
  • Showers/Restrooms: Yes, both are available (outdated but get the job done)
  • Tide: Calm waters perfect for little swimmers and paddle boarding 
  • Nearby Treats: Aloha Poke, The Beach House by 604, Countryside Café


204 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Located in the heart of Waikiki the Walls is a popular surf and boogie board spot. To the right of the jetty is a calm area for littles to play, a perfect place to bring a floaty, and a great spot to watch the sunset. 

  • Parking: No, but there is affordable parking at the Honolulu Zoo ($1.50/hr) or metered parking along the street 
  • Shade: No, but umbrellas / tents are allowed 
  • Showers/Restrooms: Showers are available, no immediate restroom access 
  • Tide: Usually calm waters 
  • Nearby Treats: The Deck (great happy hour), Rainbow Drive Inn, Ono Seafood, Diamond Head Market & Grill

Follow me on Instagram: aloha.mama.cat to view all our family adventures or to DM me with any of your island questions. Aloha! 

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