Hawaii, Oahu beaches
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Oahu, Hawaii beaches

Visitors to Three Tables, at Pupukea Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore, enjoy the relative solitude away from the tourist throngs at Waikiki Beach. Oahu offers plenty of getaway spots for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and surfing. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Sunbathers get lost in their books at the more than 2-mile-long beach at Kailua Bay, an excellent place for swimming and kayaking on Oahu’s eastern side. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Snorklers get an eyeful of the underwater splendors at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve east of Waikiki. The preserve sets a limit on visitors and educates them about safeguarding the fragile marine life in the bay. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, the scene of monster waves in winter, also attracts cliff divers. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
On the North Shore, Sunset Beach Park’s long, curving stretch of sand and sea is rimmed by palms and ironwood trees, giving it a wonderful South Seas feel. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
The waters of Yokohama Bay, on Oahu’s northwest coast, are ferocious in the winter but calm in the summer. Yokohama has more than 800 wild acres of empty beaches, sand dunes, cliffs and turquoise water. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Though tiny, Sharks Cove in Pupukea Beach Park attracts snorklers and divers to its rocks and craggy reefs. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
On the northwest coast, Makaha Beach Park is another of Oahu’s famed surf breaks, with good swimming in the summer and big waves in the winter. Not as popular with tourists, the area is home to many of the island’s poorest residents. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
The beach at Turtle Bay on the North Shore is small but sweet. A reef keeps the waters calm and safe for kids. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Halona Cove’s waters are pretty but rough, which is why the beach in south Oahu is usually uncrowded. Its sandy shoreline was made famous by the hot kissing scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the 1953 film “From Here to Eternity.” (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
The unmarked Laie Beach Park, on Oahu’s northeast side, is called Pounders by locals because it offers bodysurfers good waves when the surf is up. Nearby, a sheltered beach is often so calm it has been called Bathtub Beach. (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)