Going to Oahu, Hawaii (where Honolulu is) in a month and cannot seem to find the best place (ie city/town) to stay to take advantage of sick beaches, mountains, chill party scene, yet stay away from cliche touristy areas. Waikiki seems super touristy. Any recommendations on which city/town to stay in? We are there only for 3 days and would like to see Pearl Harbour as well. Rest of time will be in Kuai.
McGill-XGoing to Oahu, Hawaii (where Honolulu is) in a month and cannot seem to find the best place (ie city/town) to stay to take advantage of sick beaches, mountains, chill party scene, yet stay away from cliche touristy areas. Waikiki seems super touristy. Any recommendations on which city/town to stay in? We are there only for 3 days and would like to see Pearl Harbour as well. Rest of time will be in Kuai.
Wasn't a huge fan of Oahu when we went. Waikiki is touristy and expensive, Pearl Harbor wasn't as impressive and awe inspiring as I anticipated. Still had fun, went to nice dinners, etc. I loved Maui and Kauai. Just got back a few weeks ago. Maui probably has the best chill party scene, the road to Hana is gorgeous. Kauai is super lowkey and chill, I liked it the most there. We stayed at the Princeville St. Regis and it was insane.
dude get right out of honolulu. that place sucks (aside from their china town).
Head up to the north shore. Take the coastal route if you have an extra 30mins to kill instead of the hawaii up the middle of the island. Stairway to heaven is a badass hike if you're feeling ballsy and are willing to get up really early to beat the guards to the gate.
But ya- north shore is unreal. Check out the food trucks (elephant thai was my fave) and talk to some locals, people are friendly. There's a cool hike to an old war lookout behind sunset elementary school too.
There's so many tourists in Waikiki, no surprise, but on the eastern tip of the island is Waimanalo beach. It's pretty chill and only a 30-45 minute drive from Pearl Harbor, Diamondhead, etc. If you're looking to get away from all of that tho the north shore is where it's at. Waimea Bay is pretty sick.
I'd head up into the North Shore area if I were you. All you gotta do is hop on the H2 from Honolulu, which will take you to the 99, past the Dole Plantation, take a left to the 83 and that's where most of the good spots are. the island takes a bit under an hour to drive through the center if I remember right.
There's a lot of sweet hidden beaches the further north you go. Haleiwa area is pretty cool to hang out in. Waimea Bay is where Pukukea beach is, that's next to the Bonzai Pipeline so it might be tracked a bit. Kawela Bay is nice too. Those are all on 83. If you keep going around the northern sides of the island, it's pretty nice. Castle beach is further away but pretty sweet. Forest reserves, hikes, waterfalls.
If you go left and take the 82, there's a few small beaches but there's also an airfield over there so, I don't know how easy it'll be to get to the whole Mokulēia area. But there are a lot of cool forest reserves, Mokuleia, too.
North is good cus the locals have been fighting to keep overly kitschy tourism out. I only say you should go to enjoy it while you can and if you want a more pure experience, that's where to go. When we went, I remember talking to some of the locals about life in heavily trafficked tourist areas and just how much it sucks when people aren't kind in general. If you do go, obviously be respectful, enjoy nature kindly and whatnot nobody has to tell you but it's always good to spread good vibes...
Yah these guys know where its at-- get up to the north shore!! & check out the food trucks while you're there. Foodland (the main supermarket chain) has the best options for poke imo if your into that.
As for mountains, hiking on Oahu is pretty dope. I'd recommend Olomana/3 peaks (its a grind up the first hill, but epic view and spot to chill at the end), pali notches (fun lil freeclimb options), and waimano falls (rope swing/swimming spot). They've all got some exposed ridges/sketch factor but are pretty well traveled, check out ig or just google 'em for more details.