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Windward Coast

Welcome to Oʻahu’s lushest, most verdant coast, where turquoise waters and light-sand beaches share the dramatic backdrop of misty cliffs in the Koʻolau Range. Cruise over the pali (mountains) from Honolulu (only 20 minutes) and you first reach Kailua, a pleasant place with an extraordinary beach.

Many repeat visitors make this laid-back community their island base, whether they intend to kayak, stand-up paddle (SUP), snorkel, dive, drive around the island or just laze on the sand. To the south, more beautiful beaches (and good food) await in Waimanalo. North up the coast, Kamehameha Hwy narrows into a winding two-lane road with a dramatic oceanfront on one side and small rural farms, towns and frequent sheer cliffs on the other.

The coast is the main part of the round-island drive that also circles through the North Shore. Don't be surprised if you want to hit the brakes and stay a while.

Explore Windward Coast

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Windward Coast.

Guidebooks

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