Life’s a Beach on Oahu

A relatively hidden shoreline is not far from Waikiki.

Waikiki Beach’s wholesome bunny waves make surfing a breeze for beginners, and it’s fun to splash here with or without a board.

But O’ahu has a whole shoreline of beaches. For example, a half hour away on the island’s windward side in the town of Kailua is its eponymous beach. Just offshore are the bird sanctuaries of Mokulua Islands. Even quieter, though, and a short walk away, is the reef-protected, white-sand Lanikai.

Surfers stand along the shoreline at Waikiki Beach.

Relax, swim, snorkel. Or, for a real adventure, sign on for a four-hour guided kayak trip with Kailua Sailboards. They’ll bring you to Mokulua and, after a half-day paddle, you can cool off at the shave ice place that Obama himself visited: Island Snow. A more substantial meal can be had at Prima, where Chef Kevin Lee has divided his menu into two categories: “pizza” and “not pizza.” All ingredients are sourced locally.