Picturesque cliffside cove for body surfers
Word to the wise: Head to this beach early for a incredible sunrise - as this is the most eastern point on the island, you'll be the first to see it.
Noteworthy for: This beach is such a popular bodysurfing spot, surfboards are banned. Bodyboarding is allowed, however.
Marking the easternmost tip of Oahu, Makapuu Beach is a romantic cove surrounded by lava bluffs on one side and tall cliffs on the other. The contrasting black lava, turquoise water, white shores and towering sea cliffs create a strikingly picturesque scene. You can also see the islets of Manana and Kaohikaipu in the distance.
Most locals will tell you that this hidden gem is their favorite beach. Expert bodysurfers and bodyboarders flock here to ride the powerful and consistent surf break, even though rip tides make it unsafe for swimmers.
If you're visiting between December and early May, follow the paved trail to the headland for top humpback whale watching opportunities. Allow one hour to drive to Makapuu Beach from Honolulu, or 90 minutes by bus 22 or 23 from Waikiki.