Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning views of Diamond Head, and relaxed way of life. But one thing that is often overlooked by visitors (and really shouldn’t be!) is the amazing experience of camping in Hawaii.
The Hawaiian Islands are made up of eight main islands, including Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau. Each one offers unique camping experiences and different activities.
Oahu, home to the city of Honolulu, and the most populated island, offers a unique blend of city comforts and tropical vibes. The southernmost coast is where you’ll find popular tourist destinations like Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and Hanauma Bay. Due to the number of people that live on this part of the island, there are limited camping areas, but just a short drive makes a big difference.
On Oahu’s Windward coast, expect stunning views of the Ko’olau mountains and the turquoise waters of Lanikai and Kailua. Bellows is a great camping spot right on the beach away from the bustle of Honolulu, and only a few minutes drive from the popular Maunawili hike trailhead. Permits are required to go camping in Hawaii, and sites usually book up in advance, so be sure to call a few weeks ahead if you want to get a spot.
If relaxing in nature and getting away from the crowd is what you’re after, Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area, located inland near Aiea, provides visitors with lush forest views, and is the site of a former temple of Hawaiian healing. It is also near the trailhead for the Aiea Loop Trail, a popular 4.5 mile hike with stunning mountain vistas, and is just a short drive away from Pearl Harbor.
The Big Island, the largest of the Hawaiian islands and known for its diverse landscape and constantly flowing lava, is another great option if you are looking to do some camping in Hawaii. Camping permits are available for Punalu’u, Hawaii’s famous black sand beach, which has a reputation for great snorkeling and fishing and for sea turtle sightings. You can also snag one of 16 campsites in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sites are available on a first come, first served basis, and although it’s a little more rustic (there are restrooms but no showers), it’s probably worth it to be able to camp at “one of the most unique campsites to visit in the world”.
Whether you’re camping in Hawaii for the first time, or just looking for a new favorite spot, The Dyrt has you covered.
Beautiful and clean.
Unfortunately, Locally run and corrupt.
I live here. I had a dispute with one of the "security/managers" of the park. I wanted to be treated with respect and he disagreed. Out of spite, he made up a story about me breaking rules.
I wrote a letter to the board and discovered that they're all his friends and family.
So I've been banned forever from camping at my favorite beach in the world, for resisting bullying. So be prepared to be treated with disdain from parking to check out without defending yourself. This experience was only with one man. The rest were really nice.
There is a beach camping spot nearby here and I will add it to the map once I get the info from my friend in Hawaii! It's definitely the best place to camp in the area but this is the best place to relax for a bit! A good close trail is the Crouching Tiger trail which is pretty steep and muddy so bring good hiking boots!
This campground is very close to the highest concentration of rock climbs in all of Hawaii! The Mokule'ia wall has over 60 climbs ranging from beginner to expert and includes trad, sport, and toprope routes. One of the other things we loved about this site is the proximity to Ka'ena Point! It feels like you're standing out in the ocean without anything around it's such a small point! One of favorite places we hung out at during our trip to Hawaii
You need to be active or a veteran of the military to rent the cabins but the other side is set for civilians. Amazing views with climbing nearby at Makapu'u point/lighthouse. This beach is good for relaxing but the beach just the the NW of Makapu'u is great if you're a decent surfer or bodyboarder.
This spot is a great spot next to a shower and restrooms. Little sketchy at first with abandoned cars everywhere and druggies rolling in late at night. Sometimes people play loud music at night. But most nights are pretty nice. A few people also camping makes me feel more safe. One night I saw another’s car next to mine gas cap off, so maybe it was siphoned. Wouldn’t always recommend for the solo tourist.
lots Of trails for a variety of levels
Great cabins on ground, but you'll have to be military to rent. Civilians can tent camp on the opposite side. The sand here is so fine, it will make its way in to your rent, no matter how tight you close it up. Beware the manawar here when it's in season. They line up all along the beach..
Not a lot of people go to this beach because it's not so popular. It's tucked far back behind a coast guard base mixed with old commercial buildings and businesses. It's not the prettiest beach, but if you'd like to go somewhere relatively quiet and not much going on, this would be the beach for you..
This was really amazing campgroung but we stayed only for one night because it was raining a lot in this part of Maui in February. I definitely loved the beach,we have seen the whales while swimming. We really loved it
The beauty here is unbelievable. Just breath taking. A must see!
A beautiful, safe, clean campground, run by the State of Hawaii, that can't be beat.
This campground is nowhere near the beach, but brings you to the interior of the island. From here you can view the Kalalau Valley lookout and look out over Waimea Canyon, known as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Also you have access to hike the Alakai Swamp, which is one of the wettest places on Earth, or take a couple-mile hike up to the highest point on the island.
This campground offers indoor toilets and showers, a nice restaurant, and a gift shop.
ive come here for a few years for Village Music Circle's annual Drum Circle Facilitation Training (23 years now).
The staff are super friendly and food is good.
They have a ropes course and it is across the street from a skydiving place.
the hype does not match the reality. Oh, if you are deaf it is a wonder to behold. The innocent tourists in helicopter tours make it a waste of time and money. Even thou you might be loving the magic which is pervasive, when you leave you will realize you have been cheated.
After spending 3 weeks in Kaui with my husband, touring lots of beaches and parks, I would say this one was probably my least favorite one. The waters were pretty rough so we Had to walk a ways to find a good spot to get in. We stayed by the beach and did some hiking around the area as well which was beautiful. We did eat at a restaurant that served some of the best fish and chips I’ve had. The hiking trails were also good nearby that had beautiful views of the ocean. The weather this day was super hot, probably the hottest day we had while being here. It did rain once for about 10 minutes and then stopped. We also noticed this beach wasn’t as busy as the others ones we went too. We went down the beach a little ways and found a place where the water wasn’t as rough and got in and did some snorkeling. We saw some really pretty fish!
My husband and I toured Kaui for 3 weeks, so we were able to visit tons of parks and beaches. On our second week we came to Anahola Beach Park for the day and we really liked it. The waters in some areas were pretty rough so we stayed away from those areas. We did find some areas that had great calm waters that we were able to swim in and do some snorkeling. These areas though were really busy because everyone wanted to be in the water. One thing we noticed about this park was that there was quite a bit of trash on the sand area. We picked up a lot of trash and threw it away. I was surprised about this. There are also some great restaurants nearby. We ate at a Mexican place and it was super yummy, and great price. The weather was really nice when we came, although it was very muggy. I also must have been gotten bitten by some sand fleas here because the next morning I woke up and my ankles had a ton of bites on them. It got a little chilly in the afternoon, and also rained a bit. This is normally for Kaui l, though. Always be prepared and bring a jacket!
my husband and I really loved this beach. The swimming was great. Some areas the waters are a bit rough, but there are some great “ponds” of water that are calm and the best for snorkeling. There is public parking for free, bathrooms and some restaurants nearby. They also have areas up top where you can wash your sandy feet off in. I love when beaches have this because I don’t like dragging sand into my car and hotel. It was pretty windy in the afternoon so I’m glad I brought a light sweater for the afternoon. There was also life guards on duty which was awesome. Always makes me feel a little safer while in the waters. The snorkeling was incredible. Saw so many great fish and took lots of pictures! Highly recommend coming here.
This place is an absolute dream. The scuba diving here is awesome, snorkeling is great, hiking is incredible and laying by the beach is magical. We spent most of our day by the beach and spent one morning scuba diving. Polihale State Park was one of our favorite places to visit. We did some scuba diving from the park, and it was incredible. The water life was spectacular. We saw so many beautiful fish, a shark, and tons of beautiful coral and plants. We loved everything about this park also. We spent the evening hanging out in the park, enjoying our dinner and watching the sunset. This park was very busy, and I understand why. There is some great restaurants and ice cream shops as well. Highly recommend getting ice cream and bringing it to the park. We loved every minute of being here and can’t wait to visit again.
Some of the best scuba diving I have ever done is right next to this State Park. We scuba dived in the morning and then hung out on the beach at this park afterward. We had a late dinner/early dinner and enjoyed people watching and relaxing by the beach. We ate lunch at the picnic area in the park, enjoying some fish and chips we bought at a restaurant nearby. The picnic area was really nice, and had about 12 different tables. Some were under cover and some were not. There is a big grass area too where we saw some people laying on towels and others playing frisbee. We ate our lunch, grabbed our chairs and stayed by the water for awhile. We actually stayed longer than we thought we were because we caught the beautiful sunset. The park was pretty busy, but as the day went on there were less people. Highly recommend scuba diving, that was the highlight of my trip. This was adjacent to the park entrance. Had a blast here, and the weather was perfect.
The 2.5 mile hike down Waimea Canyon to arrive at this site is worth it for the views alone. The campground is rustic. There is one outhouse and a covered picnic area. Our site was directly on the river. We stayed in the river or on the rocks in the river to swim, cook and hang out as it was the only spot free from mosquitoes. The views from the bottom of the canyon were breathtaking. We were the only campers when we went to bed but woke up to 2 men with horses and hunting dogs staying there.
Maui has become one of my favorite places to visit. My husband and I come here every year for our wedding anniversary. We love camping to save money, or staying in AirBNBs as well. This trip we decide to stay in a hotel, but we came to this State Rec Area to do some hiking, snorkeling and hanging at the beach. Not sure where you would camp in this area, but I’m sure there is a designated area. The water in some areas are a bit rough, so be careful. We found a great spot that had calm waters, and we did some snorkeling here. We loved getting in the water and seeing the underwater life. Another thing we did was a boat excursion where we did some fishing. This was a bit expensive but worth it. The boat rental place was right next to this park- which is how we saw the rental area. We were walking along the beach boardwalk and saw this company. We went in and started talking with the people, and decided to book for the next day. It was such an incredible experience and I’m so glad we did it.
Okay, this place is incredible and the best "camping" I have ever done. My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon and decided to stay here for a few nights to save some money and we also really wanted to camp. The cost is way cheaper than a hotel, and you get the outdoor/nature vibes. It seriously is a win-win. They also give you resources for snorkeling, scuba diving, hikes, and whale watching nearby. At this point in our lives, this was our first time visiting Maui (we have been back a few times since), so getting all the extra resources of things nearby was a plus. There are a few options you can choose from to stay:
- Cabin- These are right on the beach and look amazing. We didn't stay here, but would definitely stay in one of these. These actually were all booked at the time we wanted to go.
- Tentalows- This is what we stayed in and they were amazing! These are also next to the beach, but a little more upscale to tent camping. There were showers we could use which was nice. We had our own porch seating with a light which was super cute.
- Beachside camping in tents- You have to bring your own tents, but they have campsites available to rent along the beach.
Our experience was incredible, and we would definitely recommend this place. We did some hikes nearby that were awesome, played at the beach, and did some snorkeling. It doesn't get any better than this in paradise.
Polipoli does not even feel like you’re in Hawaii! I mean this in the best way possible! Hawaii is amazing with all the beaches, ocean views, and sunshine. Polipoli is high upcountry tucked in the clouds and forests. The hike from the recreational area leads you to two abandoned ranger stations which are super cool! It also starts out by bringing you past these crazy caves! Definitely a must see while in Maui!
My husband and I really liked Manuka State Wayside. One thing we really loved about this place was that there was an awesome place to scuba dive close by. It was a company that took us out pretty far, and we were able to scuba dive with some turtles, and even saw some shark. I can't remember the name of the business, but it was right next to Manuka. The scuba diving took about 4hrs total, because of the boat ride plus dive. When we came back we played on the beach and did some people watching. We went to an ice cream shop up the road, and came back to the beach and watched the sunset. This area was pretty busy, but I think thats because it was during the summer. There is a walking/running path that goes along the beach that was nice as well. We walked along here in the evenings after dinner.
My family and I had a blast at Kanaha Beach Park. We went scuba diving with a company that was right down the road from this park. We actually went scuba diving in the morning, and then in the afternoon we hung by the beach. We ate dinner on the beach and watched the sunset, it was pretty magical to say the least. The scuba diving was incredible, with amazing underwater life. We got so many great pictures of fish, turtles, and other plant life. We didnt see any sharks on this trip, though. The park was pretty busy when we got there in the afternoon. I assume the park was pretty busy all day, though. We did see some tents and homeless people as the sun went down. Honestly, not sure if I would stay here at night because of this. It was nice during the day, though. Highly recommend checking out the scuba diving business because they were amazing there.
This wonderful campground is not at all traditional but more of a park (like many campgrounds on Kauai). The market/depot has hot meals, coffee shop, smoothies and more making for a very luxurious stay. The benefit of being atop the mountains is it cools comfortably at night, even in the summer. A lovely place to stay any time.
The Polipoli State Park is one of my favorites. There is great swimming holes you can swim in that arent too aggressive. There is also a great place to do some cliff jumping, and all the locals hang out here jumping. One thing I like about this park is that it is close by the town where you can walk to and get lunch. There are some really great restaurants with yummy local food. They have a smoothie shop that is incredible with so many different flavors. Highly recommend. They have some great places where you can rent body boards. We rented some for the morning and had an absolute blast. Seems like this park was pretty busy when we were there. The paths are filled with people walking, running, roller blading and skateboarding. Lots of dogs too. There are picnic tables and those seemed to be all taken with people eating lunch and hanging out. I would recommend getting there early in the day if you want a good spot.
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