The coast of Oahu is known as Leeward, due to the pattern of the weather in this region. Most times, weather changes will come from the east; however find itself a roadblock - the mountain. Vegetation on both sides of the island differs because of this pattern. Mostly you will see green meadows in the winter season and fields that turn brown during the hot summer. This area is very dry and does not receive much rain.
Oahu is overdeveloped and overpopulated; however, the west coast is not, and people that live in this area want to keep it that way. Residents do not welcome touristic development and although they are friendly, they are tough on visitors. In this way, the area has maintained its natural surroundings and rural setting. The pace of living here is slow and very rural, which residents want to keep this way. People spend most of their time fishing, on the beach and the economy is said to be very slow in this part of the island. The unemployment rate is high, and there is some tension between the locals and the present military. The homes in the area are small and made of wood.
There are three coastal villages that are worth a visit - these are Makaha, Wainae, and Nanakuli. The beaches in these villages are not crowded, are wide, and during the summer months, they are safe if you intend to go swimming. The winter months bring surfing events at the professional level to Makaha beach. In these villages, life is slow paced and you will find families picnicking, and other locals surfing or fishing.
Yokohama Bay is the end of the road. It is far from Kaena point, and you can hike from Yokohama Beach to the north end of Oahu. Back and forth will take about three hours hiking.
In 1942, residents of the valley had to leave their homes, farms, and churches, without being able to return to their land; simply, the army took over their land and did not compensate the residents. Hawaii became state in 1959 and Makua was taken over by the state government. The government leased most of it to the US military. This lease will expire in 2029, and the residents that were thrown out of their land have not yet being compensated.
Makua was of significant history and religious value to its residents, and since that time, the military has used the area for military practice and war training. There have been many protests by residents and protest groups, but today the land is ceded - it does not belong to the military or the state. Songs about this brutal appropriation are traditional of the area, and Hawaiians visit the area to find traditional items and materials. The endangered species of the area are gone. In 1996, the state evicted families from the beaches in an encounter that included armed police and bulldozers. Visitors will only see what was the fate of the valley, watchtowers, rusty fences, and warning signs that there is live ammunition in the area.
In the Leeward side of Oahu, you will find beautiful white sand beaches that are not crowded.
The Electric Beach
This is a small beach that is situated opposite to the Power Plant Hawaiian Electric Company - hence the name. It is popular with families since it is wide, sandy, and its waters are calm, suitable for swimming. Locals enjoy having picnics at the beach.
The Nanakuli Beach
If searching for the best spot to practice scuba diving on the island of Oahu this beach is it. For families it offers a playground for the kids, a basketball and volleyball court, and even a softball field.
The Pokai Bay
This is the only beach where you can swim safely all year. You will not encounter much high surf since the bay has breakwaters to protect it from it. Here you will encounter gorgeous views and amazing sunsets.
The Makaha Beach
This is a great spot for surfing in the winter months. It is not crowded and the surf can reach heights comparable to the surf of the North Shore. It takes about one hour driving from Honolulu to this beach.