For many travelers, thoughts of a trip to Oahu often center around luxurious resort lodgings, guided island tours, robust and vibrant luaus, and the like. But for some island visitors, camping on Oahu is their ideal vacation destination. If you’re planning a visit to Oahu and would be interested in ‘roughing it’ (well, maybe just a little bit!) and look into camping on Oahu, you may want to look more closely at these beautiful camping locations.
Ahupua’a ‘O Kahana State Park (Kaaawa, HI)
Pack your rain protection if staying at this 5300-acre park, as located in one of Oahu’s wettest regions (averaging nearly 300 inches of rainfall in some valley areas), there’s a very good chance for warm showers from time to time.
On top of traditional camping favorites (fishing, hiking, hunting), you can learn a great deal about the native Hawaiian culture on your visit here. 31 families that reside in the park enjoy educating visitors about culture and value through conversations and programs. If you wish to take a hike, there are two easy trails to tackle. In the shorter, one mile loop, try the Kapa’ele’ele Ko’a and Keaiani Lookout Trail. A bit longer at 2.5 miles, going through a tropical rainforest, is Nakoa Trail.
Amenities: campsites, boat ramp, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, water fountains.
Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area (Aiea, HI)
Staying here proves to many to be a spiritual experience, some coming to camp here for just such an ‘awakening’. Here a temple stands that the native swear by the healing power it possesses. Through bringing herbs and through prayer, natives (and visitors that have caught the spirit) leave offerings in hopes of curing their ailments.
A hike here is a beautiful experience amongst the lush flora, pine and eucalyptus trees. Walking along the trail through the park (4.5 miles), visitors may spot the remains of a B-24 that went down in 1944.
Amenities: campsites, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, water fountains, picnic pavilion.
Mālaekahana State Recreation Area (Laie, HI)
Visitors staying here can either be campers or lodgers, as other forms of lodging, like the quaint and lovely plantation-style housing, are available for rental.
Outside of some more challenging winter tides, the calm ocean currents here are very popular for beachgoing guests, with bodyboarding being a very popular local activity. Outside of sunbathing on the beach, guests also enjoy fishing and swimming here on the property.
Amenities: campsites, ADA accessible, lodging, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, water fountains.
Sand Island State Recreation Area (Honolulu, HI)
If you’re looking to ‘rough it’ just a bit but still want to stay in Honolulu and nearby more action, consider camping here. Shoreline camping is only available during weekends in this area which offers an urban park. The beach, bodyboarding, and fishing are popular activities here.
If you’re a light sleeper, pack your earplugs if you want to camp here, as this area is in the flight path of Honolulu International Airport. Might be fun to watch the planes fly overhead while lounging on the beach during the day, but overnight flights can be quite disruptive to some.
Amenities: campsites, walking path, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, water fountain, picnic pavilion.
Malaekahana Beach Campground & State Recreational Area (Kahuku, HI)
This, one of the most safe and popular campgrounds on the island, may not have it all, but it comes close. Located on the North Shore, it is a gated campground that’s secured at night by one of the staff who are there 24-hours a day.
A food truck comes on-property Thursday-Monday. If you happen to need supplies during your stay, they have a camp store. As well as campsites, they feature small, plantation-style huts as well as plantation suites available for lodging.
In the more temperate summer months, guests enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. And there is also bodyboard, surfboard, and kayak rentals available on-site. Do any or all of these while taking in the sights of whales while you are hanging out with sea turtles. Most certainly something to write home about!
Amenities: many, including outdoor showers, and fire pits at each campsite.