Where To Stay On Oahu Not Waikiki – For many people, choosing accommodation is simply about finding a ‘place to sleep’. They conclude that most of their vacations are spent exploring abroad, especially in Hawaii, so they don’t have time to think about where they want to stay. Instead, they focus on who has the lowest price or is the most convenient to book.
In our opinion, choosing a place to stay is one of the most important things to consider when planning a trip to Hawaii. Although these two aspects, price and comfort, should play a role in choosing where to stay, the actual time you spend in your accommodation should not be overlooked. This is your home for your entire stay, where you get up and sleep, where you meet other travelers, where you will undoubtedly eat a few of your meals, and where you will go to rest and too relaxed. relax between classes.
Where To Stay On Oahu Not Waikiki
After all, you will probably spend about half of your vacation in your accommodation when all is said and done, and choosing this location wisely will help you get the most out of your experience. Also, choosing the right type of accommodation and the right facilities will make it easier for you to do what you want.
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In this article, we’ll break down the different regions of O’ahu to better understand their individual pros and cons, as well as examples of the properties you’ll find there. We also go into the different types of accommodation available – hotel rooms, holiday homes, campsites, etc. – to help you decide which one is best for you.
On some islands, such as Kaua’i and the Big Island, travelers do island hopping to avoid long journeys between their accommodation and points of interest. For example, visitors can stay a few nights in Waimea to see Waimea Canyon before moving to Hanalei to be closer to the Nā Pali or Kona coast for Hilo.
But thanks to O’ahu’s well-developed highway system, travel times are reasonable, and there’s no logistical urgency for overnight stays (most drive times are less than an hour). That said, O’ahu offers a wide variety of transportation hubs, so even if there’s no logistical reason to move, you can still enjoy exploring different sides of the same island.
In any case, it is important to understand the different regions, and below we describe what each has to offer and what kind of visitors they attract.
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Waikīkī, the most famous neighborhood of Honolulu, is the center of all tourism in Hawaii, and offers a large selection of accommodations, restaurants, bars, night clubs and places of interest. With the backdrop of the infamous Diamond Head Crater, a long stretch of white sand beach along the coast of the metropolis has attracted international visitors for more than a century.
Waikīkī is home to the most accommodations on O’ahu, for good reason! Image credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
Backpackers: Budget travelers looking for inexpensive lodging and hiking options will find their needs in Waikīkī, with good access to public transportation and a youthful nightlife. There are several hostels including Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel, Pacific Ohana Hostel, Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki and Polynesian Hostel Beach Club Waikiki.
Beach Bums: Do you imagine your day starts and ends at the beach? Want to pop in and out of restaurants all day? Do you want to think as little as possible? Waikīkī with all the amenities allows you to focus on your free time and avoid unnecessary planning. There are many budget hotels (not hostels) that cater to this style of travel, such as Park Shore Hotel, Waikīkī Resort Hotel, Surfjack, and Royal Grove, among others.
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Families: People with children of all ages appreciate Waikiki for its easy access, beach access, and wide variety of dining options. Many hotels and resorts offer activity centers, children’s programs, and free or discounted meals. For example, this program with Royal Hawaiian and similar options from full-service resorts and exclusive boutique hotels such as Outrigger, Hokulani, Moana Surfrider, Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village and many more.
There are many places within walking distance or a short bike ride, including the Waikiki Aquarium, Waikiki Shell, Queen Kapi’olani Park, and Diamond Head State Park. Other South Shore attractions such as Hanauma Bay and Pearl Harbor are within easy reach.
O’ahu’s North Shore is world famous for ocean vacations and surfing, which became popular in the 1970s as part of the international spread of surfing knowledge, culture and competitions. Their rural housing contrasts with the dense, city-dominated South Coast of Waikīkī and Honolulu.
Haleiwa is a relaxing community on the North Shore. Image credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
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The North Shore atmosphere is perfect for carefree backpackers, surfers and other beach lovers who want to hang out, sunbathe, surf and enjoy the food truck. Backpacker’s Vacation Inn & Hostel is located on the north coast, as well as several small bungalows for rent, such as Ke Iki Beach Bungalows. Vacation rentals are also very popular.
Families: Despite the strong waves and strong currents (in winter), the North Shore is a great family destination with many large, expansive white sand beaches and a laid-back, relaxed pace. In addition to the natural attractions, there are many activities for children nearby, such as snorkeling (Shark’s Cove), ziplining, horseback riding, and surfing lessons to name a few. Turtle Bay Resort offers all the facilities a family could need and is a great place to explore the North Shore.
One of the island’s most popular and family-friendly attractions, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a short drive from the North Shore (Lā’ie). The main center on the North Shore, Hale’iwa, is home to local restaurants, surf rentals and various shops. There are plenty of outdoor activities: Laniakea Beach is perfect for turtle watching; Shark’s Cove is a safe and beginner-friendly dive site in summer; Ka’ena Point is the perfect place for a morning walk and whale watching; Waimea Bay has a botanical garden and the island’s only sheltered, swimmable waterfall; Waimea Bay, Bonzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are three world famous surf spots. Food trucks are very popular on the North Shore, including infamous shrimp trucks like Giovanni’s and Fumi’s.
The East Coast or Windwardside of O’ahu showcases the spectacular beauty of the Ko’olau Mountains. The wet, green, undulating surface rises above the quiet residential towns of Waimanalo, Kailua and Kāne’ohe, providing an epic backdrop for long white sand beaches.
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Looking north along Windward O’ahu’s lush tropical coastline shows what this coast is all about: scenic beauty and amazing beaches. Image credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
As long as you have a car and don’t use public transportation, the East Side is a great hub for adventurers. There are many of the most unique tours of the islands. You can kayak to Mokes in Kailua or Chinaman’s Hat in Kāne’ohe; Climb to the top of Olomana for a spectacular view of Windwardside, go to a waterfall deep in the jungle; or try the tide pools, surf or bodyboard under the Makapu’u Lighthouse. Because of how close they are to each other, you can do different activities every day without much trouble and swim in the ocean every time.
Families – Families, especially those with young children, will love all that Kailua has to offer. Lanikai Beach is often considered the most beautiful beach on the island and is certainly one of the safest places to swim on the island, with a very flat and calm swell and two islands facing each other. . The town of Kailua has all the amenities a family needs (grocery stores, drugstores, restaurants, breweries, etc.) nearby and it’s easy to find a place away from the beach on foot or by bike. Family-friendly trails (Lanikai Pillbox), sprawling beach parks (Kailua Beach Park), and kid-friendly restaurants in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere make Kailua a great place for families.
You can’t go wrong with the beaches on the east side. Kailua Beach, Lanikai Beach and Waimanalo Beach are beautiful, that classic white sand and blue water you imagine. Rent a pad a few steps from one of them and don’t forget a hammock.
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Many of them have already been mentioned, but don’t miss Makapu’u Lighthouse / Beach, Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Waimanalo Beach or Kailua Downtown. Further up the coast is Kahana Valley State Park (further down in the campground section) and Kualoa Ranch, where many hikes are done. On the north side of Kāne’ohe is the He’eia Fish Pond and Tropical (Macadamia Nut) Farms. For happy hour mai tai and a snack at Buzz’s, enjoy a local seafood dinner at Nico’s Kailua, and don’t forget the local beer at Lanikai Brewing.
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