where to stay north shore oahu


where to stay north shore Oahu

North Shore, Oahu, is a haven for surfers, beach lovers, and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and Honolulu. Known for its legendary waves, laid-back vibe, and stunning natural beauty, the North Shore offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Here’s a guide to help you decide where to stay on the North Shore of Oahu.

Luxury Resorts

For those seeking a touch of luxury, Turtle Bay Resort stands out as the crown jewel of the North Shore. Nestled on a peninsula with breathtaking ocean views, this resort offers upscale accommodations, fine dining, two championship golf courses, a world-class spa, and activities ranging from horseback riding to surfing lessons. It’s an ideal choice for travelers looking for a full-service resort experience with the beauty of the North Shore right at their doorstep.

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Vacation Rentals and Beach Houses

For a more intimate and personalized stay, consider renting a vacation home or beach house. Websites like Airbnb and Vrbo offer a wide range of options, from cozy beachfront cottages to spacious homes perfect for families or groups. Staying in a vacation rental allows you to live like a local, with the flexibility to cook your meals and the space to spread out and relax. Many rentals are located close to the beach, offering easy access to the surf and sand.

Condos and Apartments

Condos and apartments provide a comfortable middle ground between resorts and vacation rentals. These accommodations often come with added amenities such as pools, BBQ areas, and laundry facilities. They are ideal for travelers looking for the comforts of home with the conveniences of a hotel-like setting. The North Shore has several condo complexes, such as the Kuilima Estates at Turtle Bay, which offer proximity to the resort’s amenities while providing a more private and cost-effective lodging option.

Hostels and Budget Accommodations

For solo travelers or those on a tight budget, the North Shore offers several hostels and budget accommodations. Places like the Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel provide affordable lodging options with a communal vibe, often including shared kitchens, lounges, and activities. Staying at a hostel is a great way to meet fellow travelers and experience the North Shore’s friendly and welcoming community.


For the adventurous traveler, camping is another way to experience the North Shore’s natural beauty. Oahu has several campgrounds, such as Malaekahana Beach Campground, which offers tent and vehicle camping spots along with rental cabins. Camping allows you to fall asleep to the sound of the waves and wake up surrounded by Hawaii’s stunning landscapes. Be sure to check permit requirements and book in advance, as spots can fill up quickly.

The North Shore of Oahu is a destination that offers something for everyone, from luxury resorts to beachside camping. Whether you’re looking for a lavish getaway, a homey beach house, or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll find accommodations that fit your style and budget. When planning your stay, consider what type of experience you’re looking for, and choose a place that will allow you to fully enjoy the laid-back charm and natural beauty of the North Shore.

Exploring the North Shore: What to Expect

Beyond choosing where to stay, knowing what the North Shore offers can help you make the most of your visit. This area is renowned for its world-class surfing, particularly during the winter months when the famous waves of spots like Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Sunset Beach come to life. However, the North Shore is more than just a surfer’s paradise; it’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Hawaii, enjoy local cuisine, and experience the aloha spirit firsthand.

Activities and Attractions

Surfing and Water Sports: Whether you’re an experienced surfer looking to tackle the big waves or a beginner interested in taking your first lesson, the North Shore has options for all levels. In addition to surfing, you can try stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and diving.

Hiking and Nature: Explore the lush landscapes of the North Shore through its numerous hiking trails. The Waimea Valley offers an easy hike to a stunning waterfall where you can swim, while the Ehukai Pillbox hike provides panoramic views of the coastline.

Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the chance to taste the local flavors of the North Shore. From food trucks serving up fresh shrimp plates to quaint cafes with homemade treats, there’s a variety of dining options. Be sure to try the famous Hawaiian shave ice for a sweet treat on a hot day.

Cultural Experiences: Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center to learn about the diverse cultures of the Pacific. Attend a luau to experience traditional Hawaiian music, dance, and food.

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Tips for Staying on the North Shore

Book Early: Especially if you’re planning to visit during the peak winter months, it’s wise to book your accommodations well in advance. This is when the North Shore attracts surfers and spectators from around the world.

Rent a Car: While there is some public transportation, having a car will give you the flexibility to explore the North Shore and the rest of Oahu at your own pace.

Respect the Local Community: The North Shore is a tight-knit community with a strong connection to the land and sea. Show respect by following local guidelines, keeping beaches clean, and respecting private property.

Check the Surf Report: If you’re planning to swim or surf, always check the current conditions. The North Shore’s waves can be dangerous, especially in winter, so it’s important to choose beaches that are appropriate for your skill level.

Staying on the North Shore of Oahu offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty, culture, and adventure of Hawaii. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on a secluded beach, tasting local delicacies, or riding the legendary waves, the North Shore provides a memorable backdrop for your Hawaiian getaway. With a range of accommodations to suit every traveler, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home during your stay.