Best 6 Beaches to Find Shells on Oahu

Oahu, the jewel of the Hawaiian archipelago, is renowned for its stunning beaches, azure waters, and vibrant marine life. For shell enthusiasts, the island offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover a diverse array of beautiful and unique shells. Whether you're an avid collector or simply enjoy beachcombing, Oahu's shores are brimming with treasures waiting to be found.

List the Best Shell-Finding Beaches on Oahu

In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through some of the best beaches to find shells in Oahu that will leave you mesmerized.

1. Lanikai Beach

lanikai beaches shell collection

Lanikai Beach, on the windward side of Oahu, is a tropical haven known for its powdery white sands and waters. Beyond its breathtaking beauty, Lanikai is a prime spot for shell hunting. As the waves gently roll in, they deposit an assortment of shells, including:

  • Cowrie shells
  • Cone shells
  • Auger shells

Take leisurely strolls along the shoreline during low tide and discover shells that have been polished by the gentle caress of the ocean.

2. Waimanalo Beach

Shells and Serenity Meet

Waimanalo Beach offers a serene and unspoiled setting that's perfect for both relaxation and shell collecting. The beach's calm waters create ideal conditions for shell accumulation, with a variety of specimens awaiting discovery.

  • Puka shells,
  • Sea glass
  • Delicate sand dollars.

This tranquil paradise invites you to immerse yourself in the art of beachcombing.

3. Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is renowned for its massive winter waves that attract surfers from around the world. However, during the summer months, the ocean's demeanor transforms, revealing an abundance of shells along the shore. As the sun sets, casting a warm glow across the sands, avid shell hunters can uncover an assortment of:

  • Scallop shells
  • Moon snails
  • Even elusive sunrise shells

This beach offers an enchanting experience that extends beyond its name.

4. Makapu'u Beach

Makapu'u Beach, with its dramatic cliffs, provides a backdrop for a shell-collecting adventure. Known for its tide pools, this beach offers a unique opportunity to discover shells and marine life side by side. Tide pool formations cradle delicate shells such as:

  • Limpets shells
  • Nerites shells
  • Baby cone shells

Explore this rocky wonderland during low tide for an unforgettable shell-hunting experience.

5. Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, a protected marine reserve, is celebrated for its exceptional snorkeling experiences. Beyond the vibrant underwater world, the beach also offers opportunities for shell enthusiasts. While snorkeling, keep an eye out for shells the coral formations and rocks. Types of shells found here are:

  • Cowries
  • Cowry egg cases
  • Colorful shells

That create a kaleidoscope of marine beauty. Just remember to handle shells responsibly, respecting the natural environment.

6. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach, situated in the heart of Honolulu, offers a blend of urban sophistication and shoreline allure.

While it's not a traditional shell-hunting destination, Waikiki surprises visitors with an array of shells, particularly after storms or high tides.

Don't miss the chance to find intriguing shells like:

  • Olive shells,
  • Bubble shells
  • Rice shells


Oahu's captivating beaches hold a bounty of shells waiting to be discovered. From the tranquil shores of Waimanalo to the dramatic landscapes of Makapu'u, each beach offers a unique shell-collecting experience.

Whether you're an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned collector, the island's shores beckon you to explore, connect with nature, and uncover the treasures that the ocean has generously bestowed upon its sands.


What beach in Oahu has the most shells?

The beach on Oahu with the most shells is often considered to be Waimanalo Beach.

Can you collect shells in Oahu?

Yes, collecting shells is allowed in Oahu, but certain protected species are prohibited.

Where is the best place to find seashells in Hawaii?

The best place to find seashells in Hawaii is often considered to be the beaches on the North Shore of Oahu.