I’ve been trying to get out and see as many beaches as possible since I moved from Guam to Hawaii. Oahu is a beautiful island, and it will take a long time for me to explore it all.
One of the most famous beaches is in a town called Kailua; it’s called Lanikai Beach. Off the coast of the beach, there are two islands you can kayak to. They are a bird sanctuary, and tours are offered. However, it’s a little dangerous to swim to them (since it’s past the wave break.)
I only went as far as where the waves break. It seemed wise since I’d been warned about currents and rip tides.
So far, this is the beach with the most coral. It’s shallow for hundreds of feet out, and the corals are beautiful. (Though you can see evidence of bleaching- same as everywhere.)
Unfortunately, Lanikai is very sandy. This means the water quality isn’t often as good as it would be in a rockier place. The day I went, the visibility was only about 15 feet, and I wasn’t thrilled with it.
I saw three turtles. Two sped away pretty quickly. Maybe it was too early (it was shortly after sunrise.) But one let me swim with it and take some pictures, which was cool.
There are showers nearby at the Kaulia Beach Park, but I went to Lanukai Beach specifically and there are no amenities there. I suppose you could drive over to Kaulia Park after you swim, since it is only about a half mile away.
There is no parking lot, but your GPS will take you to a neighborhood that has street parking available. There are no lockers. If you don’t have a car key that is separate from the key fob, I suggest getting a keypad door lock for your car. Snorkeling in Hawaii is great, but it’s not a good place to hide your key somewhere on your car.