North Shore Beaches Oahu | The Perfection of Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay in Summer

Waimea Bay is known as the birth place of big wave surfing. Massive barrels fill the bay in winter months as crowds gather to watch surfers slide easily down the smooth faces. It’s spectacular to witness, but my favorite time to visit Waimea is in the summer.

Summer is for snorkeling in the clear, blue water. There isn’t as much coral as neighboring beaches like Shark’s Cove, but you can still find fish and even turtles. Honestly, I would be content simply watching the waves make patterns on the sandy ocean bottom as they meet the shore.

Go early (or late) to avoid the heat of the day or bring shade and cool drinks to make your visit more luxurious.

Braving the Jumping Rock

Our usual spot at Waimea is the east end of the bay where the waves are subdued and the snorkeling is good. This year, however, the kids were more interested in the jumping rock than snorkeling.

A continuous wave of jumpers made their way up the rock. Some exhibiting impressive backflips and spins. Others hesitating as they looked at the water far below. One serious man balanced carefully on his toes at the edge of the highest peak before jumping back into a tight tuck, seemingly skimming the cliff face on his way down in a graceful arc. Others fought for the title of the biggest splash with charismatic cannonballs and belly flops.

Micah and Mila tend to be a little more cautious and they carefully watched the scene studying each of these jumpers and the various jumping points. It took two visits for them to move from the lowest point to “middle”. At each level, they would waver and make deals with each other before finally making the leap. After, they would race back up to the same spot with big smiles to jump again.

view of Waimea Bay from the jumping rock
climbing the cliffs at Waimea Bay near sunset on the north shore of Oahu
view of waimea bay jumping rock from the water
girl walking on the beach near sunset at waimea bay
girl working up the nerve to jump from the cliffs of waimea
girl taking a break on a rock at waimea bay near sunset in hawaii
kids playing in the water at waimea bay
underwater view of waimea bay at sunset
girl on the jumping rock at waimea bay on oahu
boy mid jump from the rock at waimea bay oahu
girl making her way to the top of the jumping rock at waimea bay
people preparing to jump from the cliffs of waimea bay on oahu's north shore
sunset on the north shore of oahu

Looking for More Fun on the North Shore?

Start your day wandering past tropical plants and swimming under the waterfall at adjacent Waimea Valley and end with a sunset dip in the ocean. For more ideas on family fun in Hawaii, sign up for the Little Bird Post below.


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