With endless summer weather comes endless opportunities for summer activities: swimming, surfing, hiking, and perhaps my favorite – camping trips. Now camping in Hawaii is a little bit different than your traditional forest camping. Some of these twelve campsites are deep in the rainforest, only accessible via hiking, while the many others are nestled along the beach. With so much diversity, you’re bound to find the ideal campsite for your family.
1) Na Pali State Park, Kauai
If you’re up for a hike, the gorgeous eleven-mile Kalalau trail ends with a wonderful little spot to go camping. However, if you are unable to make it in one day, there is a spot six miles in where you are allowed to set up camp for the night, but only if you have the valid permits. This sounds amazing, but only if you are able to pack light!
2) Bellows Field Beach Park, Oahu
During the week, this beautiful beach is used as a military training area, but on weekends, fifty campsites open up for residents to enjoy splashing in the ocean during the day, and listening to waves crash against the shore at night.
3) Kiholo State Park Reserve, Big Island
The stark, coastal, lava-covered park offers camping off an unimproved gravel access road, with no amenities, and no water – recommended only for those serious campers who prefer isolation over large, close together campsites.
4) Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area, Maui
For an experience unlike any you will find in Hawaii, visit Polipoli. A park at 6,200-feet of elevation, winter nights can reach freezing temperatures, and the forests will remind you of America’s Pacific Northwest, rather than tropical Hawaii.
5) Koke’e State Park, Kauai
With seven different trails, and tent camping along the rim of Waimea Canyon, Koke’e is a picturesque spot for a great weekend camping trip – if you don’t mind sleeping at 4,000-feet of elevation.
6) Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, Oahu
If you’re living on Oahu and want to go camping spur of the moment, this might be your best bet. Camping sites on beaches book quickly, and I remember nabbing a spot at this botanical garden just a week before we planned to go camping.
7) Kalopa State Recreation Area, Big Island
If you aren’t into sleeping in a tent, consider renting a duplex cabin at Kalopa State Recreation Area. These eight-person cabins feature bunk beds, toilet facilities, hot showers, and a recreational dining hall for shared cooking.
8) Pala’au State Park, Molokai
Camp near the scenic overview of Kalalupapa, the colony where individuals with leprosy were once banished.
9) Anini Beach Park, Kauai
A favorite camping spot for locals, this beachside camping is perfect for a weekend getaway. But be sure to have a durable tent, as it rains frequently, and can get prett y windy here too.
10) Kea’au Beach Park, Oahu
Located past Waianae on Oahu’s west shore lies Kea’au Beach Park, a popular camping destination for those who enjoy beautiful blue water, stunning sunsets, and the simplicity of nature.
11) Manuka State Wayside, Big Island
A 25,000-acre park on the flank of Leeward Mauna Loa, this reserve encompasses a wide range of habitats – including subalpine shrub lands and forests, wet montane forests, lowland mesic forests, and mesic montane kipuka forests. Recent lava flows have resulted in uncharacterized and unsurveyed lava tubes.
12) Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui
Though rental cabins are currently closed for renovation, tent camping is still allowed via permit in a remote, wild, low-cliff volcanic coastline. Shore fishing and hiking are popular activities.
So, where are you planning to take your next camping trip? Did your favorite spot make the list?