Oahu is Hawai'i's most populous island, best known as the home of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, the site of the infamous 1941 bombing attack that spurred America's entry into World War II. Though resort hotels line the island's shorelines, many beachfront areas also offer camping throughout the year for visitors looking for more primitive accommodations. All campsites are overseen by the Hawai'i DLNR State Parks system and require advance permits for overnight stay.
1.Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park
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Ahupua?a ?O Kahana State Park also known as Kahana Valley State Park, is Hawai'i's only public ahupua'a, stretching from O'ahu's windward Pacific Ocean coastline to the tip of Pu'u Pauao. The park, which is accessible just uphill from Kahana Bay, serves as a center of Hawai'ian culture and education, detailing the history of the area's use as a taro-growing agricultural center, World War II jungle warfare training center, and plantation estate. Following the death of estate owner Mary E. Foster at the turn of the 20th century, the land was transferred to the care of the state and converted into a state park. Today, visitors can enjoy opportunities for hiking along the Kapa'ele'ele Ko'a and Keaniani Lookout and Nakoa Trails, which showcase beautiful tropical rainforest landscapes. 10 campsites are located along the park's beaches, available with advance permits.
52-222 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaaawa, HI 96730, Phone: 808-237-7766
2.Bellows Field Beach Park
Bellows Field Beach Park is located along a gorgeous stretch of windward beachfront in Waimanalo, within a state military training area. The beach is a prime spot for bodysurfing and bodyboarding throughout the year and is known for its unique wildlife, including native Portuguese man o'war jellyfish, pupu pani mollusks, and Pacific mole crabs that inhabit its surrounding waters. Two lifeguard towers are staffed at certain times throughout the year. 50 lovely campsites line the park's shores, available for overnight rental with permits. Modern comfort stations are offered for guest use, along with private outdoor showers on the beachfront.
41-43 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, Phone: 808-768-2267
© Camp Palehua
Camp Palehua, also known as Camp Timberline, is a gorgeous campground located within 1,600 acres of conservation lands overseen by Gill 'Ewa Lands. The campground is located on the southern slopes of the Wai'nae Mountains, showcasing stunning views of O'ahu's western and southern coastlines. Visitors can stay overnight at a variety of rental campsites and cabins on the facility's property, including tent camping areas equipped with fire pits and modern restrooms. Rental properties include Hale Mahaholokai, constructed in the 1930s, and Hale 'Ohana, built in the 1940s. Four Mauka-style bunkhouses are also offered, along with a group bunkhouse sleeping up to 48.
1 Palehua Rd, Kapolei, HI 96707, Phone: 808-347-0736
4.Hau'ula Beach Park
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Hau'ula Beach Park is a popular campsite on O'ahu's windward coastline, located along a narrow beach near a shallow nearshore reef. Though reef conditions make swimming difficult on the park's coastline, it serves as a popular spot for snorkeling and surfing during calmer ocean conditions. It is named in honor of the Hawai'ian word hau'ula, a name for the islands' native Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers. Its distance from Honolulu's business district makes it a great choice for area visitors looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of area nightlife. Eight campsites are available with permits, featuring modern amenities like comfort stations, outdoor showers, and picnic pavilions.
54-135 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717
5.Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden
Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden is a lovely botanical garden located in the city of Kane'ohe, located within the beautiful Honolulu Botanical Gardens and open to the public for free daily. The rainforest garden, which was constructed in 1982, showcases plantings from tropical regions around the world, with a focus on plants from Africa, India, the Philippines, Polynesia, and the tropical New World. Visitors can enjoy opportunities for outdoor recreation at the park's 32-acre lake, which is home to a beautiful walking trail network and day-use area. A visitor center showcases exhibit halls dedicated to the region's native plant life. Beautiful garden campsites are available with permits, featuring comfort stations and outdoor showers.
45-680 Luluku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744, Phone: 808-233-7323
6.Kaiaka Bay Beach Park
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Kaiaka Bay Beach Park is located at the mouth of the beautiful Waialua River, stretched along 53 acres of Kaiaka Point peninsula shoreline along O'ahu's North Shore. The beach park is a favorite destination for surfing and fishing throughout the year, though its waters are not suitable for swimming in most seasons. It is named in honor of the Hawai'ian word for "shadowy sea," a reference to the murky color of its waters due to runoff from the nearby Paukauila and Kiki'i streams. Gorgeous views of the nearby Waianae Mountains are offered from the beach's coastline. Natural wonders include the unique Pohaku Lana'i balancing rock, which features prominently in indigenous legends about the distant land of Kahiki. Seven lovely campsites are available with permits, offering modern restrooms and outdoor showers.
66-449 Haleiwa Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712, Phone: 808-637-4480
7.Kalaeloa Beach Park
Kalaeloa Beach Park is a lovely beachfront park located in a remote area of Ewa Beach, offering a great alternative to some of the O'ahu region's more crowded tourist destinations. The beach is also frequently referred to as Eisenhower Beach, due to its location along Eisenhower Road. Excellent surfing and fishing conditions throughout the year make it a great choice for visitors looking to hit the waves or catch local fish species. Printed permits are required to camp at the beach, which is home to 13 campsites offering comfort stations and outdoor showers. White Plains Beach, located on the park's eastern end, is home to lifeguard towers and dedicated swimming and surfing lanes.
Eisenhower Rd, Ewa Beach, HI 96706
8.Kea'au Beach Park
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Kea'au Beach Park is a mellow, sandy beachfront in Waianae, home to gorgeous rocky shorelines and grassy day-use picnic areas. Experienced swimmers can enjoy opportunities for hitting the waters throughout the year, though visitors should be aware that water conditions make swimming difficult for novice swimmers. 25 campsites are available with permits, including one ADA-accessible campsite offering amenities for visitors with mobility needs. Amenities include outdoor showers, restrooms, and day-use picnic tables. Visitors should note that driving is not permitted at the campsite area and should park vehicles on the road near the campsite accordingly.
83-431 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792, Phone: 808-768-3003
9.Kokololio Beach Park
Kokololio Beach Park is a lovely country campsite and beachfront named for the Hawai'ian word for "gutsy," located just north of the city of Hau'ula along O'ahu's northeastern Pacific shoreline. The beach park is located along the foot of the valley of the same name, offering excellent conditions for swimming throughout the summer months. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy opportunities for surfing, bodyboarding, and nature photography. Natural wonders include the beautiful Pali Kiloi'a, or "fish-spotter cliff," a limestone sea cliff that stretches into the ocean along the beach's northern end. Five campsites are available with permits, located adjacent to comfort stations and outdoor showers.
Hauula, HI 96717
, Michigan beaches
10.Kualoa Regional Park
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Kualoa Regional Park is located along gorgeous Kane'ohe Bay, stretching for 153 acres along the O'ahu coastline. The beautiful white sand beach is located adjacent to the stunning Pali-ku cliffs of the Ko'olau Range and is a popular destination for wildlife watchers throughout the year. Populations of native birds flock to the beachfront throughout the year, including species like Japanese white-eyes, white-rumped shamas, black-crowned night herons, nutmeg mannikins, and wedge-tailed shearwaters. Just offshore, the small basalt island of Mokoli'i, or "Chinaman's Hat," is a popular spot for nature photography. Seven campsites are open to visitors with permits, including one ADA-accessible campsite.
49-479 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, Phone: 808-237-8525
11.Ma'ili Beach Park
Ma'ili Beach Park is a lovely 40-acre beach park named after the nearby town of Ma'ili, located just off Farrington Highway along O'ahu's western oceanfront shoreline. The white sand beach is lined by unique rock shelves and enjoys excellent surf conditions throughout the winter months. Popular surfing sites include Green Lanterns, located just offshore from the mouth of Ma'ili'ili Stream, and Tumbleland, located near the center of the beachfront. Just inland from the park, the Naval Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei is home to two 1,503-foot masts, the tallest manmade structures in the Western Hemisphere at their construction in 1972. 14 permit campsites offer comfort stations and showers.
87-21 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792, Phone: 808-768-3003
12.Malaekahana Beach Campground
© Malaekahana Beach Campground
Malaekahana Beach Campground offers some of the best camping opportunities on O'ahu's northern shores, located in the lovely town of Kahuku. Over 70 campsites are offered at the beachfront campground, including both tent camping sites and vehicle camping areas for up to four campers per site. Outdoor beach showers and restrooms are accessible throughout the campground. For an additional fee, all campers can enjoy use of a private campfire ring at their site. Plantation huts located on the campsite's grounds can be rented throughout the year, sleeping up to four guests. All guests can enjoy opportunities for a variety of recreational activities at the beach, including chances for swimming, kayaking, and body surfing.
56-335 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731, Phone: 808-674-7715
13.Malaekahana State Recreation Area Campground
Malaekahana State Recreation Area Campground is a lovely wooded beach park in Laie, offering 37 developed campsites that are available for tent camping throughout the year between Fridays and Wednesdays. The state recreation area is a popular destination for watersports and beach activities, offering chances for swimming, body surfing, and shoreline fishing for visitors of all ages. Day-use picnic sites are offered at the park's Kalani Point and Kahuku sections. Amenities offered for campers include outdoor and indoor showers, modern restrooms, and personal campsite picnic tables. Some sites are ADA-accessible, making the campground a great choice for visitors with mobility concerns.
56-020 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 967621, Phone: 808-587-0300
14.Sand Island State Recreation Area Campground
Sand Island State Recreation Area Campground is a popular weekend-only shoreline camping destination, located very close to Honolulu's urban core and the runways of Honolulu International Airport. The park is adjacent to the city's Sand Island Off-Highway Vehicle day-use riding area, which offers excellent opportunities for motorized off-highway vehicles and non-motorized BMX bikes. A plethora of recreational opportunities are popular at the park throughout the year, including chances for shore fishing, board surfing, beachwalking, and picnicking. Gorgeous views of Honolulu Harbor are offered from the beachfront, a popular spot for watching ocean sunsets. Campsite amenities include picnic pavilions, modern restrooms, and outdoor showers.
15.Swanzy Beach Park
Swanzy Beach Park is a permit campground and beach park located along O'ahu's windward coastline, near the city of Kaaawa. The park is named in honor of former O'ahu resident Julie Judd Swanzy, who donated five acres of her estate land to the City and County of Honolulu in the 1920s for the development of a beachfront park. It serves as a popular destination for beachfront fishing throughout the year, though a large seawall and shallow reef on the water's edge prevent swimming. Camping is permitted on weekends with permits. Amenities include comfort stations, outdoor showers, children's playgrounds, and day-use picnic tables.
Kaaawa, HI 96730
16.Waimanalo Beach Park
Waimanalo Beach Park is a quiet windward campground located along a three-mile beachfront stretch in Waimanalo, located just 45 minutes from famed Waikiki Beach. The beach is known for its stunning azure waters, which shine pristine turquoise even on cloudy days. It is home to O'ahu's longest stretch of uninterrupted white sands, which are flanked by populations of native ironwood trees providing shade and scenery. Lifeguards are staffed on duty throughout the year to watch swimmers and boady boarders. Baseball and beach volleyball courts make the beach a lively weekend destination throughout the summer months. 10 campsites feature amenities like modern showers, restrooms, group pavilions, and day-use picnic sites.
41-741 Kalaniana?ole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, Phone: 808-259-9106
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16 Best Oahu Camping Spots
- Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park, Photo: ink drop/stock.adobe.com
- Bellows Field Beach Park, Photo: YiChen/stock.adobe.com
- Camp Palehua, Photo: Camp Palehua
- Hau'ula Beach Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, Photo: wzup024/stock.adobe.com
- Kaiaka Bay Beach Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Kalaeloa Beach Park, Photo: zphoto83/stock.adobe.com
- Kea'au Beach Park, Photo: Eric BVD/stock.adobe.com
- Kokololio Beach Park, Photo: pikappa51/stock.adobe.com
- Kualoa Regional Park, Photo: Christian Müller/stock.adobe.com
- Ma'ili Beach Park, Photo: EdNurg/stock.adobe.com
- Malaekahana Beach Campground, Photo: Malaekahana Beach Campground
- Malaekahana State Recreation Area Campground, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Sand Island State Recreation Area Campground, Photo: 06photo/stock.adobe.com
- Swanzy Beach Park, Photo: helivideo/stock.adobe.com
- Waimanalo Beach Park, Photo: tobago77/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: susanne2688/stock.adobe.com