Hawaii is a paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors. You can snorkel and scuba dive or swim and fish as well as hike and see volcanoes. The Big Island is home to the state’s biggest cities and tons of hotels, but you may want to spend even more time outside and stay in a campground. Urban camping Hawaii opportunities abound for those who want to stay in Honolulu or another large city and be close to the ocean. There are some great campgrounds in urban areas of Hawaii that are perfect for any type of vacation.
Urban RV Parks in Hawaii
Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden
Located in Kāneʻohe, close to Honolulu, Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden is a free campground known as a peaceful refuge for those who want to get away from it all. The visitors center helps you sign up for group tours where a guide takes you to some of the best nearby landmarks, and you can learn about the catch-and-release fishing program. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the fishing spot where you can use bamboo poles. The campground also has several sites for all types of campers and allows you to check-in up until 4 p.m.
Lualualei Beach Park
Lualualei Beach Park is a great place to relax in Wai’anae as it’s only around 30 minutes from Honolulu. It has a comfort station with clean water and outdoor showers that let you bathe while taking in the scenery. The surrounding park covers 18 acres and provides easy access to a nearby swimming beach. You’ll also find a nice place for surfing.
Nanakuli Beach Park
Nanakuli Beach Park is on the western coast of Nanakuli less than 30 minutes from Oahu and has 40 acres that you can explore. Named in honor of a former Hawaiian prince, the park also uses the name of Kalaniana’ole Beach Park. You need to pick up a camping permit online or in-person before your trip as space is limited. The park has lots of swimming and surfing spots but few amenities for campers.
Malaekahana State Recreation Area
Urban RV camping in Hawaii lets you stay close to landmarks such as the North Shore where you’ll find the Malaekahana State Recreation Area in Laie, which is close to Oahu. You can check in any time after 3 p.m. and stay until noon on your last day. Each site is spacious enough to accommodate up to 10 people. Amenities include outdoor showers that are close to the beach and clean restrooms. You’ll also find picnic tables and fresh drinking water.
Sand Island State Recreation Area
Sand Island State Recreation Area in Honolulu has comfort stations where you can use an outdoor shower and access clean restrooms. This campground is within walking distance of the beach where you can surf and play in the water or snorkel and scuba dive. It has a walking trail that takes you right to the beach and helps you access the restrooms and water fountains. Guests also have access to outdoor showers.
Where to Urban Camp in Hawaii
Many urban RV parks in Hawaii are close to either Oahu or Honolulu and offer tons of things to do. Iolani Palace is one of the state’s most historic sites as it was the home of the royal family. You may want to tour the building to see some of the artifacts that they left behind and learn about how Hawaii became a state. Pearl Harbor is another site that history buffs won’t want to miss. It has a monument dedicated to the men who lost their lives in the attack and the soldiers who went down with the USS Arizona. Other popular attractions to visit include the Honolulu Zoo and the Bishop Museum.
If you decide to stay near Oahu, check out North Shore. Known as one of the top beaches in the world, it’s the best place to take a surfing lesson and experience the water on a rental board. The Hawaii State Art Museum has both permanent and traveling exhibits of artwork and is in a building from the 1920s. Many visitors also enjoy the Queen Emma Summer Palace where the former queen once lived.
Urban RV Camping in Hawaii
Once you know where to urban camp in Hawaii, it’s time to plan your vacation to paradise. If you don’t have any experience snorkeling or scuba diving, check with local hotels and resorts as they often offer lessons. You can also schedule a group tour and head out onto the ocean with others to snorkel or deep-sea fish. Most urban campgrounds in Hawaii are on public land and require a permit. You must have a permit in your RV that shows that you have permission to be there, or you could face a steep fine. Don’t forget to stock up on sunscreen when you arrive because you’ll likely spend a lot of time in the sun.
RV rentals make it easy for you to see Hawaii without spending hours looking for available hotel rooms or worrying about how you’ll ship your RV from the mainland. We can help you find RV rentals that you pick up once you arrive in Hawaii and drop off before you head to the airport. Check our blog to find Hawaiian RV travel tips that help you find the right rental for your trip to paradise.
With an RV rental, your urban vacation will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day exploring the city, you can relax around the fire at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect urban getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.