Waimea Bay for beach, surf, snorkel and outdoor adventure fun on the North Shore
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Check out these other places to visit on Oahu
Visit the North Shore of Oahu and places to explore
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