The North Shore of Oahu is a mystery to most visitors, who rarely get to spend more than a few hours along the seven-mile miracle. But within those few hours they find an undeniable charm that unfortunately fades away as they make their way back to their resort communities. This usually happens as the I-H-2 S passes Costco Wholesale in Waipahu. To keep the magic alive, many have vowed to stay on the North Shore on their next trip to the island. If you’re among them you’re ready to go all-in on a North Shore experience. However, there are far fewer accommodations than found in Waikiki and Ko Olina. Are you out of luck? Not at all. You just have to know where to look. Below is a breakdown of the best options.
Best Places to Stay When Vacationing on the North Shore of Oahu
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows
Where: View on map
If you’re searching for an authentic North Shore experience, there is no better place to stay than Ke Iki Beach Bungalows. The twelve bungalow (and growing) property is located near Shark’s Cove which is one of the best places to go snorkeling, and is also home to great food trucks along with activity rentals (surfboards, bikes, etc.) and Foodland. However, convenience is only part of the appeal. The real treasure is found on the property and Ke Iki Beach itself. Ke Iki Beach is one of the best wave watching spots on the planet, which also makes it one of the best spots to go beachcombing on Oahu. What about the bungalows? Between the beachfront and the garden side suites there is something for individuals, couples, small families,and large families alike. The upscale tropical bungalows are priced at a premium, but during the slower season rates fluctuate. You may score a heck of a deal by calling the property manager directly to inquire about preferred dates. In fact, supply and demand is the only downfall (so to speak) of this property, as it can be a challenge to book a block of time to match your vacation days. This is especially true through the winter season during North Shore surf contests such as the Billabong Pipe Masters. For this reason guests have become accustomed to booking their stay months in advance. We encourage you to do the same.
Turtle Bay Resort
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Prior to 2020, Turtle Bay would make any list of where to stay on the North Shore Oahu. After all, it’s the only resort on the seven mile miracle. Its inclusion was a default. But after their impressive remodel which was completed in late 2021 the property is now one of the best in the state of Hawaii. The renovation honors Hawaiian customs and traditions, and pays homage to the surf culture that is so prevalent on this side of the island. Prices start at approximately $600/night and up, but when you factor in what we’ve mentioned along with on-site activities and amenities we must admit that Turtle Bay resort is totally worth it if you can afford it.
Courtyard by Marriott
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The Courtyard by Marriott is technically located on the North Shore, but it’s over in the town of Laie. It’s further from the North Shore hotspots that you came to visit, such as Haleiwa Town, Waimea Bay, Shark’s Cove, Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach. However, this is what keeps rates more affordable than those you find at the properties listed above. Another challenge for some is that one can’t buy alcohol in Laie, as it’s a mormon town (and home to the BYU campus). Regardless, with a car rental none of this will matter much. Guests at the Courtyard will also enjiy immediate access to the Polynesian Cultural Center and natural wonders like Laie Point.
There are a number of short term rentals (STR) located along the North Shore. However, many have fallen victim to Honolulu City Council’s attack on STRs which puts more dough in the pockets of large hoteliers. You can search through Airbnb and VRBO but you’ll find that you need to lock into 30-day stays. This won’t suit most vacationers. That said, some of the older properties may have clauses which have been grandfathered in. Be sure to contact owners directly (vs online booking) to inquire about availability and flexibility.
Do you have any questions about what it’s like staying at the above North Shore accommodations? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to reply.