Sleep under the stars and wake up by the ocean while camping at various locations around the island of Oahu. There are sixteen different camp sites around the island, four are state camping areas and twelve are county campsites.
Oceanaide camping — Photo courtesy of Malaekahana.net
The four state camping areas are Kea`iwa heiau, Sand Island State Recreation Area, Maleakahana State Recreation Area and Ahupua`a O Kahana State Park. Sixteen county sites include Kaiaka Bay Beach Park and Mokulei`a Beach Park, both near Haleiwa. On the west side, Kea`au Beach Park, Lualualei Beach Park and Nanakuli Beach Park. On the east side, Kokololio Beach Park, Hau`ula Beach Park, Swanzy Beach Park, Kualoa Beach Park, Ho`omaluhia Botanical Gardens, Bellows Field Beach Park, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park and Waimanalo Beach Park. Most of these sites rest on the gorgeous white sand beaches that line the island's coast.
While permits are required for both, here's the difference between the two:
- County sites require permits that are free of charge, and they're obtained by you going in person to the Division of Parks and Recreation in Honolulu. Go to the Permit Section at 650 South King Street, or a satellite city hall like the one in Ala Moana Shopping Shopping Center. Make it a stop while exploring the island.
- Getting camping permits for the state sites is slightly more complicated. You must call the Division of State Parks at 808/587-0300 at least 30 days in advance for details. These are five dollars per night for each site.
At all campsites, you can only camp form Friday to Tuesday. For the most affordable camp gear, drop into Walmart or Sam's Club in Honolulu. Always keep valuables near you or don't bring them, and keep the area clean. Rain can always be a surprise in the islands, so be prepared with a waterproof tent.