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Hawaii Destinations - South Shore Oahu

With all of the talk of Oahu’s North Shore and the fabulous beaches that line that part of the island, the attention can be drawn away from its counterpart on the opposite side of the island. Not that the South Shore is any less incredible, the North Shore just tends to be a more sought after destination, offering quite a bit to do and many great locations to see.

But do not underestimate the South Shore of the island. The differences between the two areas are dramatic, though the beauty of each is incredible. Unlike the North Shore’s lush landscapes, the South Shore features more of a dessert environment, receiving far less rain, which creates a desolate environment. The South Shore, aside from the Waikiki area and the town of Hawaii Kai, is largely undeveloped, with many rocky seacliffs, hidden beaches, and natural features that dazzle spectators. One of the most visited attractions is Halona Blowhole, an extinct lava tube that blasts water high into the air. As the ocean crashes, water pressure pushes through the lava tube, spraying the saltwater well over 50 feet into the air. The site is truly remarkable!

The South Shore beaches are not like those of the North Shore. Here, the surf is far more treacherous, creating danger for inexperienced swimmers. Bodysurfing is the top sport on these beaches, with Sandy Beach and Makapu’u Beach offering some of the best conditions for riding the waves.

One of the most famous places on the entire South Shore is Hanauma Bay, the top snorkeling site in Hawaii. The protected bay is home to a variety of tropical fish, and the calm ocean conditions make this the top snorkeling site in all of Hawaii.

A drive along the scenic South Shore offers plenty of places to stop and check out the views. Near Makapu’u Beach is the famed lookout that offers amazing views of Rabbit Island and the coastline, stretching up to Waimanalo and Bellows Air Force Base. Waimanalo Beach is one of the most pristine beaches on the island, and a day spent here will wash all of your cares and worries away.

During your visit to Oahu, make some time to appreciate the incredible South Shore of the island. If you are staying in Waikiki, it is a short drive to find this part of the island, and the beauty of this part of the island should not be missed.

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