Want to swim with turtles in Hawaii? Get my ultimate guide to Laniakea Beach aka Turtle Beach Oahu below!
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Laniakea Beach, or Turtle Beach in Oahu, is one of the top beaches to visit on the island. It’s known as the best place to see green sea turtles on the sand and in the water.
This beautiful beach has so many things going for it that make it an ideal spot for families with kids. Keep reading to learn more about why this is such a special place!
And be sure to check out 101 things to do on Oahu with kids!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Oahu.
Popular Oahu Tours/Activities
- Kualoa Ranch UTV Tour (this is a fun adventure with the prettiest views)
- Full Pearl Harbor Tour (this is the BEST way to do everything at Pearl Harbor)
- Hawaii Bucket List Tour (you get to pick where you stop on this custom Oahu circle island tour)
- Toa Luau (this is my all-time favorite Oahu luau)
- CLIMB Works Ziplining (this is the longest zipline on Oahu)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Oahu Resorts/Hotels
- Hilton Hawaiian Village (this is our favorite Waikiki resort because of the amazing pool area and nearby restaurants)
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa (this is a splurge that is totally worth it)
- Royal Hawaiian Hotel (this is a luxury resort in Waikiki that is pink and gorgeous)
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Oahu Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Ultimate Guide to Oahu’s Turtle Beach
Here is a guide sharing all the details relating to Turtle Beach in Hawaii and answering the most common questions.
This will prepare you to have the best experience in spotting the turtles, amongst other great adventures!
Where is Turtle Beach?
Turtle Beach is along the North Shore of Oahu. It is between Waimea and Haleiwa.
You won’t find any signs stating where exactly this beach is. But it’s easy to find because of the many tourists and crowded parking along the side of the road!
Is There Parking at Turtle Beach Hawaii?
There is no designated parking lot for Turtle Beach.
However, you can park along the road. Keep in mind that it gets very crowded and busy. Finding a spot might be difficult, especially on the weekends.
Because it is a trendy place, many tour buses will stop here as one of their destinations.
With all the heavy traffic, be extremely careful crossing the road, especially with young children. Since it is a crowded area, make sure not to leave anything valuable inside your car. You never know what could happen.
What Turtles Will be There?
The Hawaiian Honu, or the green sea turtles, live on Laniakea beach. There are around 30 Honu turtles that come quite often to this beach.
Some volunteers come to help protect the turtles. It’s fun to look for the signs they put up stating the turtle’s name if it is sunbathing on the sand!
Can I Feed or Touch the Turtles?
No, you cannot do anything with the turtles.
The volunteers on the beach will put up tape to protect the turtles. It’s recommended you stay around 6 feet away from the turtles at all times. That goes for both the sand and the water.
That way, you don’t harm them, or scare them.
When is the Best Time to Go to Turtle Beach?
During the summer (May–September), you’re more likely to see them out and about.
And the turtles don’t like big waves. That means you’re less likely to see them during the winter months (October–April).
But there’s technically no particular season that they are always out and visible. It could be perfect weather, and you still won’t see any turtles.
The time of day doesn’t matter either. Some turtles prefer the morning, while others like the afternoon. You might even see some while watching the sunset!
Things to do at Oahu’s Turtle Beach
Besides seeing the turtles, there are many other things to do at Turtle Beach Oahu. The volunteers on the beach can teach you about the turtles. You can ask them questions about anything!
And you can go snorkeling at the beach and watch the turtles in the water. The turtles like the area because it has a lot of coral and rocks. Because of this, if you’re going in the water, make sure you’re a good swimmer.
Just like the turtles lay in the sun, you can suntan along the beach! Or you can take pictures with the turtles, but only if you do not get too close.
Turtle Beach Oahu is also favorite surf spot, especially during the winter seasons.
North Shore Oahu Tours to Turtle Beach
If you’re short on time (or don’t have a rental car) but you still want to see turtles on Oahu, I suggest booking this Small Group Circle Island Tour. It hits up all the top places to see on Oahu. Plus, you’ll get 20 minutes to look for turtles at Laniakea Beach! Check rates and more information.
There’s also a full-day photo tour of the North Shore that’s a great option for people wanting to see the sights and snap some cute photos. You’ll get 20 minutes to take photos of the beautiful sea turtles at Laniakea Beach. Check rates and more information.
North Shore Hotels by Turtle Beach
The downside is that there are not too many hotels by Turtle Beach. If you want a hotel, the closest one will be Turtle Bay.
It’s a beautiful resort with many incredible amenities. And it’s only around 20 minutes away from Turtle Beach. Check out the latest prices and more details.
VRBO or Airbnb will be your best bet for places to stay near Turtle Beach. There are some great houses within walking distance. Enjoy a cozy villa, or even rent a room from some locals.
Most often, your vacation rental hosts will leave beach equipment you can use for free! See my favorite accommodations option here.
Things to do on North Shore Oahu
If you happen to go to Turtle Beach and the turtles aren’t out yet, there are still plenty of things you can do around Turtle Beach!
The beach is close to many villages that are fun to explore. Then you can always check back at the beach and see if the turtles are out.
One of the best North Shore villages is Haleiwa. It’s great for visitors because it’s an old historic town. The entire place is beautiful with colorful storefronts.
Also, in Haleiwa are some of the best food trucks and restaurants on the island. You can find something delicious to eat while you wait to see the turtles.
You can also go on a hike and see a waterfall in Waimea. Hike the Waimea valley and then enjoy a quick swim in the waterfall! It is not a long hike and will surround you with more of Hawaii’s beautiful nature.
What to Pack for a Day at Turtle Beach
Before you head to Turtle Beach Oahu, there are some things you need to bring with you.
Because turtles come out when it’s warm and sunny, make sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen. You don’t want to get burned and be in pain. Also, bring lots of drinking water, so you don’t get dehydrated.
If you plan to go snorkeling, don’t forget your equipment and gear.
Again, because it is rocky and has lots of coral, bring water shoes if you plan to go for a swim. There are also sea urchins that can pierce your foot, so water shoes provide extra protection.
North Shore Turtle Beach Oahu FAQs
While Turtle Beach is one of the best places to see turtles on Oahu, it’s not the only one. You can also find them at Waikiki Beach, Haleiwa Beach, Halona Beach Cove, Ko Olina Lagoon, and more.
I don’t suggest snorkeling with turtles on your own. There are some Oahu snorkel tours (like this one) you can take from Waikiki/Honolulu, The guides provide the best opportunities to snorkel with turtles.
Summer is definitely the best time of year to see turtles on Oahu. That’s because the water is typically much calmer in the summer at any Hawaii turtle beach.
See Hawaii’s Famous Sea Turtles at Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach Hawaii is also a great place to relax and have some family fun along the seashore. It’s right in the center of the North Shore, making it a perfect stop along with your North Shore experience.
If you want to add an educational component, learn how to make a sea turtle life cycle lap book for kids!