Waimea Bay for beach, surf, snorkel and outdoor adventure fun (2023 updated)

Waimea Bay in the north shore of Oahu is a fantastic place to enjoy a beach day here and it is also a family friendly and a relatively safe beach swim at during the late spring to early fall timeframe when the water is calm on the beach. It’s a perfect spot to visit If you are touring the North Shore or looking for a fantastic beach to enjoy in the area.

For a perfect beach day, get to Waimea Bay Beach Park and get there early since the parking lot fills up early each morning.

Waimea Bay for beach, surf, snorkel and outdoor adventure fun on the North Shore

Where is Waimea Bay Beach Park located?

Located on the North Shore of Oahu on the coastal road from Haleiwa direct to Waimea Beach which is about 34.4 miles from Honolulu on the H1 to H2 highway to the North Shore. From Haleiwa, take the coastal road (Hwy 99 turns into Hwy 83) to Waimea Bay Beach Park on the left-hand side facing Waimea Arboretum and Botanical garden on the right side of the road.

You can easily drive from downtown Honolulu or Waikiki or if you have more time and on budget, then get a day pass on the Bus to visit the North Shore area.

Where is Waimea Bay Beach Park located?

Can you swim at Waimea Bay?

Yes, you can swim or surf at the beach but this actually depends on the time of year that you visit the area. Late spring to early fall is when the water is relatively calm in the beach area and perfect for families to visit and enjoy a day on the beach.

During the winter season, the waves and swells get bigger and more dangerous for swimming conditions on the beach and it is more for hangout and enjoying the beach area without doing some swimming or snorkeling during that time frame. The big waves draw out the real surfers drawn to the 40+ foot waves that can churn up in the bay which is extremely dangerous.

Can you swim at Waimea Bay?

What can you do at Waimea Bay?

Plenty of fun activities to keep you busy and enjoying a beach day here, some of the fun things include:

Jumping off the Rocks at Waimea Bay

Jumping off the Rocks

One of the favorite activities is the huge rock on the far-left part of the beach area. Locals love to climb the rock and jump down from different heights into the beautiful waters and sandy bottoms. You can climb and jump for some cheap thrills here.

Underwater tunnels at the Rock

There are some tunnels at the rock that are fun to explore for swimmers that are good at holding their breaths, although some of the tunnels are less than a few minutes to swim into the caves and out especially the one closest to the shore that you can swim through.

Fantastic Snorkeling at Waimea Bay

Fantastic Snorkeling at Waimea Bay

The rocky areas of the bay are fantastic to snorkel around and see marine life and tropical fish in the area especially with the very clear waters in the bay to see through.

Look for green sea turtles

If you love to snorkel, you just might find some green sea turtles that love to hang out in the rocky areas and also the beach parts. They also gravitate to the huge rock on the left side of the beach. Do be aware that you have to legally stay a distance of 10 feet to the turtles because their systems are not used to human viruses and conditions.

Gorgeous lush Waimea Valley as a background

Gorgeous lush Waimea Valley as a background

The area behind Waimea bay is lush with rivers and waterfalls that you can explore and actually swim in. If you visit the Waimea Arboretum and botanical garden, you can visit the various gardens, take a docent tour and even swim in the lovely pool area facing Waimea Falls.

Rock Climbing at Waimea Bay

Locals in the area love to challenge themselves with also rock climbing in the area and there is a natural rock-climbing wall on the back end of the beach that is a local hangout for those wanting to climb a 20-foot rock wall.

Fishing on Waimea Bay

Fishing on Waimea Bay

Everyone fishes on Waimea Bay which is not a marine preserve area so all the locals are out with their fishing poles hoping to catch something good for dinner. Just make sure to stay clear off the many fishermen along the shoreline areas where they are all casting their lines.

Spectacular sunsets on Waimea Bay

The North shore beaches are legendary for the wonderful sunsets here and Waimea Bay is also a favorite spot to hang out late and enjoy a nice sunset experience on the beach especially when most of the visitors have left the area. You can even capture locals still jumping off the rocks and cliffs at sunset making for some spectacular photography possibilities on the bay.

Nice picnic grounds and bbq pits at Waimea Bay

Nice picnic grounds and bbq pits

If you are looking for a nice spot to have a picnic and enjoy the beach at the same time, there are a variety of picnic areas in the grassy parts and also closer to the beach area to enjoy a picnic and tables for your time on the beach.

Winter time big waves at Waimea Bay

Winter season is still active with the big waves that come into Waimea bay and it becomes more of a spectator beach to watch surfing daredevils’ risk everything for the Big Waves. There is also a big surfing competition called the Quicksilver “Eddie Would Go” surfing competition which occurs in winter when the swells get to over 40+ feet for the surfing event. Typically, this event can happen between Dec 1st to late February time frame. This is a must see if you love watching big waves and surfing competitions at the same time.

If you are a good surfer, learn more about ocean safety in Hawaii’s ocean here for more details and being safe in the bay.

Food trucks at Waimea Bay

Above the bay and a short walk down the road and you will spot a variety of food trucks selling delicious shave ice, garlic shrimp and other local favorite dishes for take out or outdoor seating and enjoying the views of the bay from above.

Amenities at Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay is very cool and covers the whole range of amenities for a beach park, but the parking lot does fill up quickly so you have to get their early or late or else park on the main road.

Restrooms and showering stations

Life guard stations

Picnic tables and BBQ pits

Parking area

Check out these other places to visit on Oahu

Check out these other places to visit on Oahu

Visit the North Shore of Oahu and places to explore

Top beaches to explore in the North Shore

Explore and hike Waimea Valley

Waimea Falls experience

Free or cheap things to do in Oahu

A Diamond Head Hike in Honolulu

Family friendly beaches in Oahu

Top things to do in Honolulu

Top things to do in Waikiki now

Horseback Riding in Hawaii

Have you visited Waimea Bay?

Have you visited Waimea Bay?

Enjoyed your visit here or any other tips to share? Please share on the comments below.

Thanks for checking out this post on visiting Waimea BayHope the post was informative and a must read article – if so please do share it with any of the social media buttons around the page.

We love shares - Mahalo!



  1. Banzai Pipeline Oahu - This Hawaii Life - […] Waimea Falls directly opposite from Waimea Bay and follow the road to the main parking lot […]
  2. Waimea Falls - Oahu Travel Now - […] out this visit to Waimea Bay here for more information and […]
  3. Turtle Beach - Laniakea Beach - Oahu Travel Now - […] out this post on visiting Waimea Bay and what to do […]
  4. Sunset Beach Oahu - Oahu Travel Now - […] out our post here to visiting Waimea Bay here for more information and […]
  5. Visit Waimea Bay - Oahu Travel Now - […] snorkeling activity around Waimea Bay is calm and easy during the summer months when the water is relatively calm and save.…
  6. Oahu snorkeling - This Hawaii Life - […] of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District, the snorkeling activity around Waimea Bay is calm and easy during the…
  7. Family activities Oahu - Oahu Travel Now - […] Waimea Bay […]
  8. Haleiwa - This Hawaii Life - […] day at Waimea Bay for swim, surf and snorkeling […]
  9. Explore and Hike Waimea Valley in Oahu - This Hawaii Life - […] Enjoy a day on the beach at Waimea Bay […]
  10. The best time to visit the North Shore of Oahu - This Hawaii Life - […] Enjoy a day on the beach at Waimea Bay […]
  11. Waimea Falls - This Hawaii Life - […] Enjoy a day on the beach at Waimea Bay […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.