4 Stunning Camp Sites Hidden on O‘ahu
With our perfect weather, camping in Hawai‘i couldn’t be easier. Just grab a tent and some supplies, and head out to one of these scenic spots.
Is this real life? Camping at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden has a way of renewing your wonder at Hawaii’s beauty.
photo: dan mcmanus
1. Glamping is the New Camping
For those who aren’t into full-on roughing it, we discovered a few glamorous camping—glamping—options on the North Shore via the website airbnb.com. From a Sunset Beach treehouse bungalow to an eco-hideaway nestled on a farm at the base of Mount Ka‘ala, you can experience an outdoor getaway complete with a bed, kitchenette with refrigerator (no spoiled food in coolers) and a private shower. Glamping comes at a price, easily running $120 a night and up. Carefully read the reviews and ask lots of questions before committing.
2. Choose Your Own Adventure
Want a camping spot with access to some of O‘ahu’s most scenic trails? Spend the night in the Mokulē‘ia Forest Reserve. Throw a tent in your four-wheel drive and take the road less traveled to Peacock Flats. You’ll need a permit to gain access through Ka‘ena Point Tracking Station. Hike along the Mokulē‘ia Trail to see an unparalleled view of O‘ahu—both west and north coasts at once. Stop at Three Corners, a lookout point connecting Mount Ka‘ala and the valleys of Mākua, ‘Ōhikilolo, and Makaleha.
Off Farrington Highway before Yokohama Bay.
3. Peace, plants and pole-fishing
The sprawling 400 lush acres of Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kāne‘ohe offer a plant-lover’s delight, complete with labeled flora, cool, green, leafy places to pitch a tent and even catch-and-release fishing in a large lake on weekends. The name translates roughly to peaceful refuge and the garden lives up to that name with places to hike, picnic, camp and generally commune with nature at a spot a mere 30 minutes from urban Honolulu. Bring a permit and mosquito repellent and be prepared for rain and sometimes muddy conditions.
45-680 Luluku Road, Kaneohe.
4. Get Mellow at Bellows
Bellows Field Beach Park in Waimānalo has two sides: one that requires a military ID card; and a side open to anyone, run by the City and County of Honolulu. Both have beachside camping options, and early risers get a bonus sunrise photo op. Those with military connections can rent the nothing-fancy-but-the-view cabins, but the civilian side still gets you powdery white sand and a beautiful beach with clear water that rarely gets crowded. Keep an eye out for Portuguese Man-O-War, which also find this coast irresistible.
220 Tinker Road, Waimanalo.
Tip: For weather info, go to the National Weather Service site: prh.noaa.gov/hnl
Want more outdoor adventure ideas? Check out our full list of 23 Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Now.