Oahu

O‘ahu’s Leeward Beaches

If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind an hour’s drive across the island, the beaches of leeward O‘ahu offer wide swaths of white sand under clear, sunny skies. As the trade winds blow across the island from east to west, the leeward coast’s waters remain calm and protected. Here are beach highlights, amenities, and the best activities for each.

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O‘ahu Leeward Surf Spots

Much of the surf on the leeward side breaks over sharp and shallow reef, making it best suited for expert surfers. Scaling rocks and reef to enter and exit the water can be a challenge for newcomers, and the locals are quite territorial when it comes to their surf breaks. Still, with the right attitude, there’s definitely a wave to be had on the leeward coast.

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Maui Sweepstakes

Moon Maui Sweepstakes

Featured Hawaii Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Kyle Ellison

Kyle Ellison began researching the island of Maui when he first moved there at the tender age of five. Back then, the island still had three sugar mills, Wailea didn’t exist, and early mornings were punctuated by the sound of bombs falling on Kaho‘olawe. The island has changed considerably since then, but Kyle’s love of Maui has remained.

A Maui resident, surfer, and diver, Kyle has led groups of divers as a divemaster at Molokini, led scuba tours on the island of Lana’i, hosted hundreds of hikers on Maui, and proposed to his wife off the island of Moloka’i while diving with hammerhead sharks. Kyle’s son can usually be found splashing in the water at Baldwin Beach.

As a freelance writer, Kyle’s work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Travel + Leisure, Maui No Ka ‘Oi, Ka’anapali Magazine, AOL Travel, Escape, Journey Viator, Gadling, Afar, and the Huffington Post, and on the Travel Channel. His travels have taken him to 65 countries and 49 U.S. states. He also helped found a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for students in Cambodia.

To follow Kyle on his travels, visit him on Instagram @kylethevagabond.