Going camping in the state of Hawaii is one unforgettable experience. Though many deem the island small with nothing much apart from the beaches nothing could be further from the truth. Once you get to the Island you will realize that it is worth every coin.
Most of the campgrounds in Hawaii will not charge you a cent. However, you should have a permit to get access to the facilities. Regulations and the amount of money you will pay vary from one campground to the other. Nonetheless, the amount you pay in a campground is cheap compared to what you would pay in a hotel.
Plus, the views you will see while camping is something memorable and unforgettable. Below are some of the best places for camping in Hawaii.
1. Hulopoe Beach Park, Lanai
Hulopoe is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii. The area does not have any traffic light and it is the best place to visit if you want to get away from the hectic life of the city. Once you are in the area you will have fun watching spinner dolphins and enjoy the spectacular views from the top of Munroe Trail.
Hulopoe Bay is a romantic place that will offer you and your partner breathtaking scenery and tranquillity. The area is the only place on the island that you can legally camp. The park has six campsites with facilities that include showers, restrooms, running water, BBQ areas, and picnic tables.
2. Anahola Beach Park, Kauai
Anahola Beach is a favorite for many people and will offer something for everyone. There are white sand beaches that have a reef that protects them from the high surf. It is a good place to learn diving and snorkelling, and your kids will have a nice place to enjoy swimming.
Additionally, the beach park has many campgrounds on the East Coast of Kauai‘s, which means you will have a nice stay and have access to all the State has to offer. They are many amenities including hot showers, picnic tables, pavilions, and restrooms.
The problem is that the place being popular it can become overcrowded especially during summer. Nonetheless, it is worth every opportunity you get to visit the place as the experience is unforgettable.
3. Malaekahana Beach Campground and State Recreation Area
Malaekahana Beach Campground is safe and popular and found in Oahu, and has many amenities for your convenience. The property is privately managed though it is owned by the state of Hawaii. It is found on the Northern shore and the staff in the facility work 24 hours a day.
The facility has a gated entrance and a guard who is on-site throughout. Amenities in the facility include a camp store for essentials like tissues and medicine, a food truck from Monday to Thursday, fire pits, and a shower. The area does not have strong tides and is ideal for surfboarding, kayaking, snorkel, paddleboard, and swimming.
Additionally, the facility has bodyboards that are available for rent. There are many turtles on-site and they spend most of their time basking in the sun. Moreover, there are whales in the area though they are highly protected as they are considered endangered species. You may also visit a nearby sanctuary that is full of rare seabirds.
The facility allows for reservations and you will have to part with $9 per person for one night. What’s more, there are bigger tents that with large interior space, beds, and electricity and sleep more than four people which will cost you $117.65 for one night.
4. Hanalei Bay, Kauai
Hanalei Bay is found along Kauai’s Northwestern shore and is known as having one of the most incredible beaches in America. Its Bay is half-moon shaped, has golden sand beaches, waterfalls, and dramatic cliffs. The waterfalls plunge more than 4,000 feet and it is a few kilometers from the beach.
There is a small section in the Bay known as the Black Pot Beach and it is the mouth of the Hanalei River. Several camping areas feature showers, restrooms, a picnic area, and an illuminated pavilion. While you are here you will have access to the best surfing in Hawaii. Moreover, there is kayaking, canoeing, snorkelling, and diving. The section has one of the calmest surf in the Northern Hemisphere. The best thing about Hanalei is the fact that it has a sandy-bottomed beach that slopes gently hence very safe for beginners.
If you want to enjoy a glorious sunset then make your way here. The sunset is accompanied by a nice backdrop of the surrounding mountains.
5. Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden is a rainforest and is 400 acres in size. The area is surrounded by the Koolau Mountains. Locals refer to the area as a “peaceful refuge.” The campsite is not found on the beach and it is run by the city council.
The camp was built by the American Army in the 1980s as protection against friends. The Garden has over 20-weekend campsites that are fully equipped with amenities including picnic areas, outdoor showers, restrooms, and an area where you can feed ducks and fish.
The best thing about the area is that it is well hidden and you will get the privacy that you want. Additionally, you will get a spot at the facility even if you will make reservations at the last minute. However, you need a permit to camp in this facility and you should remember to carry a mosquito repellent as the forest is mosquito-infested.
Being a rainforest the area experiences high rainfall and sometimes it becomes very muddy. The facility organizes a free catch-and-release fishing event on weekends.
6. Punaluu County Beach Park, Big Island
Punallu County Beach is located between Naalehu and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is one of the largest black sand beaches in Hawaii. It is also beautiful and outstanding because of the jet black shores and coconut palms fringe. On a regular day, you will find Hawaiian green sea turtles basking in the hot sun of the Island.
Though tempting to get very close to the animals you should be aware that they are protected by state and federal law. You will be prosecuted if you are found in any violation of the laws that protect the creatures. During the day many vendors on the beach sell snacks and refreshments. Moreover, there are several amenities including showers and restrooms. Though not the best for swimming because of the high waves, but when the waves and tides are calm you can enjoy snorkelling and take a swim.
7. Bellows Field Beach Park
Bellows Field is a white sands beach park that has fifty sites divided into two sections. One of them requires you to produce an ID. It is run by the city council and is open to everyone. Both sections have amazing beachside camping. The area has ironwood trees that provide shade and the blue waters offer a perfect opportunity for nice photo opportunities.
The Bellows Air Force Base is nearby and gives the area additional amenities. They include RV campsites, more showers and restrooms, equipment rentals, a fast-food restaurant, and a minimart. Bellows Park is an incredible place for sunbathing as you relax on the beach. If you decide to swim be careful as the place is infested with jellyfish.
8. Spencer Beach Park, Big Island
Being one of the few white sand beaches on the Big Island it is a unique place to visit. It is located on the Northwestern coast of the Kawaihae Harbor. It is a terrific place if you want to sunbathe in the hot rays of Hawaii. You can also enjoy diving, snorkelling, and swimming as long as the conditions are ideal.
The area has smooth and soft tides which offer you a great place for having a picnic with family and friends. The water around Spencer Beach is shallow and is a nice place for your kids to play and splash water. The Campground has all amenities you need including grassy lawns, showers, restrooms, and pavilions that have electrical outlets.
If you want to take a walk you should visit the Pu’ukohola Heiau which is adjacent the Beach Park. King Kamehameha built the place in 1791. To the North, you will find Malekini Heiau an ancient temple site that locals consider sacred.
9. Ahupuaaa O Kahana State Park
Ahupuaaa O Kahana campground has over 10 campsites on the Windward side of Oahu. It is among the very few Ahupuaaa (a traditional land division of Hawaii that connects the mountain and ocean) that is open to the public.
The Park is untouched and has hiking trails, archeological sites, bodysurfing beach, house sites, fishing shrines, a prehistoric fishpond, and remains of a native Hawaiian temple. The area is always wet and full of mosquitoes and you should bring your mosquito repellent.
10. Haleakala Crater, Maui
One of the most famous attractions in Hawaii, Haleakala Crater is renowned for its glorious sunrises, landscapes, and flora and fauna that is only found in this area. When you camp here you are guaranteed to get a chance for an in-depth look at all the region has to offer.
Haleakala Crater has two primitive campsites where you can visit for hiking because of its elevation. The two sites are Holua which is 6,940 feet above sea level and Paliku at 6,380 feet above sea level. The crater has an incredible Lunar Beauty with some amazing stargazing opportunities. Ensure you bring your camera as you will not want the memories to be forgotten. The sites have non-portable water and pit toilets and they operate on a first come first serve basis. If you are looking for privacy then this is the place to be as the area is rarely full.
To reach Holua you should follow the Halemauu Trail and go for 3.7 miles, whereas Paliku requires a 9.2-mile hike as you follow the Sliding Sands Trail. Because of the high elevation, you should bring along a sleeping bag and a jacket. If you are not comfortable with walking there is the option of driving right to the campsite. The facility offers tents on site and they do not allow any open fires. However, you can bring your cooker gas along and prepare a meal.
11. Camp Olowalu – Lahaina, Maui
Once you are at Camp Olowalu which is a private oceanfront campground that has accommodation options for everyone. It does not matter if you are a solo camper or you come in large groups. The campsite is always clean and it is comfortable to snorkel on the surrounding beach.
The camp has beautiful facilities that are well equipped and maintained than those found in public campgrounds. What’s more, the camp has cabins that are well equipped with storage lofts, screened windows, fans, cots, and outlets.
You will enjoy free Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, picnic tables, an outdoor shower, a BBQ grill and much more. Additionally, there are paddle boards for rent and you can take them out and get a chance to experience Maui’s best reefs.
12. Kualoa Regional Park and Campground
Kualoa Regional Park has two Campgrounds (campground A and campground B) that occupy an area of 150 acres. It covers the Kualoa Bay peninsula; the smaller campground A closes during summer and reopens on Labor Day weekend.
Campground B which is bigger has a total of 14 campsites with amenities including outdoor showers, bathrooms, restrooms, picnic tables, and a fireplace. You will pay $32 to get a three-day camping permit and $52 for five days camping permit.
13. Kulaokuaiki Campground
The Kulaokuaiki campground is found in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All of the sites here are equipped with picnic tables and big driveways that can fit Class b RVs. The campground is 2700 feet above sea level and is a few kilometers from the visitor’s center.
The campground is an ideal place to visit when you want to tour Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park. You will see smoke billow from the volcano right from your campsite and the stars shine bright at night. The top of the campground is and silent and not crowded since very few make it to the top.
Now that you know what Hawaii has to offer it is the right time you finalize your plans and pick a campsite to visit. Regardless of where you choose to stay Hawaii will leave an unforgettable mark in your life.
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