family travels off the beaten path

Travel with Kids on Oahu

Travel with Kids on Oahu

Oahu is like one giant playground for kids (and let’s be honest, adults, too). Between the beaches, the waterfalls, the rainforests, the delicious eats…it can surpass all expectations — if you do it right.

Just a little bit about Oahu

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is home to the state capital of Hawaii, Honolulu. More well-known features on Oahu include Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head — in typical Wanderlocity fashion, we stayed away from both of these locations. More on that later. 

Why Oahu?

Why wouldn’t we go to Maui or Kona? Honestly, this time it all came down to flight availability. We have nothing against the other Hawaiian Islands and plan to get the kiddos there at some point in the near future, but for ease of travel and availability of flights – flying into HNL was where it was at.

The Wanderlocity Top 5

Our whole trip was centered around beaching and eating – is there anything better?

  1. Keawaula Beach: Remote, quiet and literally at the end of the road. We spent a morning here – and there was no one else in site. The gorgeous green mountains rose up behind us, the turquoise blue waves crashed on the beach – and Mother Nature came up big and gave us a mighty Hawaiian rainbow to boot. (For the brave and curious: Apparently there is some pretty gnarly energy at Makua Cave. Not going to lie, we’re not ready for that with our littles…yet.)
  2. Papaoneone Beach: Located just steps from our VRBO, this beach served up some epic body boarding (and boogie boarding) waves for our crew. The sweet little path around the point made for lovely sunset viewing. There were plenty of surfers to watch while the waves were crashing in. It wasn’t crowded, even though there is a condo on the beach as well. The views are hard to beat as well.
  3. Sunset Beach: Okay, this is just a must if you are on Oahu. Catch the sunset and the surfers ripping the waves at the Banzai Pipeline. The beach is HUGE and is bound to put on a show at sunset.
  4. This one little beach, that doesn’t seem like it will be as awesome as it is — perfect for littles! We took the advice of a quick Pinterest search for best toddler beaches on Oahu and found this write up…and checked out the beach she references. Needless to say, it was perfect for all three of our kids! The lava rocks provided a nice barrier and kept the water slightly warmer. The girls enjoyed climbing, mini-body surfing, and exploring the tide pools created in the lava rocks.
  5. Aji Limo Food TruckRecommended to us by our surf instructor from North Shore Surf Girls as the “best food truck on the North Shore.” While we didn’t eat at all of the food trucks to determine if this was an accurate statement, we had an amazing meal here. We opted to let the crew in the food truck surprise us with our meal – we just told them how spicy we enjoyed our food and what we thought the kids might eat and they served us up a great meal of poke, chicken, rice and salad.

Oahu provided us with a week’s worth of sandy + sunny adventures. We avoided a lot of the more touristy beaches and attractions — and in turn had a quiet week on a busy island. Just our style!