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Sunset Beach

Tour Sunset Beach

Long Walks on the Beach and Breathtaking Sunsets at Sunset Beach Oahu

Looking for a good place to visit in the North Shore? Let us tell you all about Sunset Beach.

With its beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that Hawaii is one of the best places to catch the most breathtaking sunsets. And, honestly, what better place to do it than in a spot named for it? The Sunset Beach Oahu is known for a lot of things, most especially for the views at twilight, so it should certainly be on your Hawaii trip itinerary.

About Sunset Beach

Traditionally known as Paumalū, Sunset Beach is located on the North Shore, just outside the Haleiwa Town and past Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline. It offers a 2-mile stretch of beach and is one of the few extensive stretches of sand that you can drive next to along the Kamehameha Highway. This makes it very accessible and easy to find. If you don’t want to miss it, keep your eyes peeled for the Turtle Bay Resort because if you reached that spot, it means you need to turn back.

Best known as a world-famous surfing spot, expect a great buzz of activity around here during the winter months. With surf swells that can reach from 15 to 30 feet in size, it has become home to many internationally-renowned surfing competitions like the historic Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship and the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surfing competition which is now known as The Eddie. It’s still where one of the stops of the famous Vans Triple Crown Surfing Contest is held annually, as well as the Pipe Masters and the WSL Championship Tour.

Such events make Sunset Beach an exciting destination for those who love the thrill of surfing, may it be through riding the waves on their own or by watching pros conquer massive swells with grace and elegance. However, due to the strong current and the presence of coral formations in the area, it’s not recommended for inexperienced surfers. It’s more suited for those who are already ready to take on rougher waters.

Swimming is not always recommended during the winter months. If the winds are strong, the current will also be very likely to be strong. It will create an unsafe condition for splashing about in the water, so assess the weather first before going in. 

During the summer months, however, the surf flattens in this area. As a result, it has become a summer destination for families. It proves to be an excellent spot for relaxing, beachcombing, and swimming. 

Snorkeling is also a very popular activity in the area during the summer months. The area features jagged pinnacle reefs that are home to colorful fish and are teeming with Hawaiian marine life, so it offers quite a stunning underwater view. If you’re also interested in stand up paddleboarding, this would be a better time to do it.

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Important Tidbits For Your Trip

Thinking of going to Sunset Beach? Here are a few things that you should know about the area first:

Sunset Rip

Being a world-famous surfing spot, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the waters can get really choppy at Sunset Beach. Its strong rip current known as the Sunset Rip is not just responsible for creating the massive swells that big-wave surfers love but it also makes the water quite rough. 

Even if it seems calm, strong currents in the nearshore waters can still be noticeable. You can enter the water in one spot then find yourself pushed further down the beach.

This is why, as mentioned before, swimming during the winter months isn’t highly recommended. During the summer months, however, the water is calmer. There are also lifeguards on duty from 9 am to 5 pm, so it’s safer to play in during certain seasons.

Bring Binoculars

If you’re heading to Sunset Beach to watch the big-wave surfers have fun in the water, it’s highly recommended that you bring some binoculars to see the action happen. The water breaks quite far from the shore, so it’s not always that easy to view the surfers do their magic. With these tools, you’ll have an easier time viewing the action while you also enjoy the lively energy of the surf-watching crowd.

Even if it seems calm, strong currents in the nearshore waters can still be noticeable. You can enter the water in one spot then find yourself pushed further down the beach.

This is why, as mentioned before, swimming during the winter months isn’t highly recommended. During the summer months, however, the water is calmer. There are also lifeguards on duty from 9 am to 5 pm, so it’s safer to play in during certain seasons.

Schedule Your Visit Accordingly

As there are different kinds of activities held in Sunset Beach at different times of the year, it would be wise to schedule your visit according to what you want to enjoy. If you’re an experienced surfer and want to ride the world-famous massive swells of Sunset Beach, then go during the winter months. 

Just be on the lookout for bad weather as typhoons can further make the swells bigger. It might not be safe to go on the water on such occasions, especially with the coral formations in the area, so plan accordingly.

Aside from the date of your visit, plan the time you get to and leave Sunset Beach. It’s highly recommended to get there early so you can also explore the nearby areas. There are quite a few good places to grab breakfast on the way, so you don’t have to worry about starving.

Make sure to watch the sun kiss the ocean at Sunset Beach as well. It would be a pity to miss out on what this spot is named after, so try to delay leaving until it’s about to get dark. This will also help you let the traffic pass, making it a wiser decision to stay back to watch the sun set here.

Safety Precautions

Unfortunately, there are cases of theft and car break-ins in the area, so be very mindful of your belongings. Don’t leave anything valuable in the car and keep your important stuff with you all the time.

Where To Park

It’s highly recommended that you park across the street at the Sunset Beach Support Park. There are more available spots there, saving you from having to duke it out with other visitors for beachside parking. Besides, the restrooms and showers are located there anyway, so it can be more convenient for you.

Where To Eat

There are lots of places that offer amazing bites in the area. Ted’s Bakery is highly recommended as it’s pretty much a neighborhood icon. There are also some food trucks available in the area as well as restaurants nearby.

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