Are you itching for an adventure in Hawaii? Look no further than van life on Oahu’s Windward Coast! In a captivating video by The Hawaii Vacation Guide, Jordan and Erica take you on a journey through the stunning landscapes and hidden gems of this beautiful island. From camping spots and must-visit attractions to mouthwatering local food, they cover it all. They recommend booking a Sprinter Van through Outdoorsy for the ultimate experience and even provide their Oahu Wayfinder Itinerary for exploring the island. With a wealth of information and recommendations, this video is your go-to guide for an unforgettable vacation in Hawaii.

Are you ready to embark on the ultimate van life experience in Hawaii? Then don’t miss out on The Hawaii Vacation Guide’s captivating video, “Van Life in Hawaii! Camping, Things to Do, and More on Oahu’s Windward Coast.” Jordan and Erica take you on a thrilling adventure through Oahu’s most stunning landscapes and exciting activities. From exploring botanical gardens and cacao farms to enjoying delicious local cuisine, this video covers all the best that Windward Oahu has to offer. Book a Sprinter Van through Outdoorsy for an unforgettable trip and make sure to check out their Oahu Wayfinder Itinerary for a comprehensive guide to exploring the island. Say aloha to van life in Hawaii!

Van Life in Hawaii! Camping, Things to Do, and More on Oahu’s Windward Coast

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Camping on Oahu’s Windward Coast

If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous way to experience the beauty of Oahu’s Windward Coast, camping is the perfect option for you. Not only does it allow you to be fully immersed in nature, but it also gives you the opportunity to truly disconnect and unwind. In this article, we’ll explore the legal camping spots, recommended campsites, and essential camping gear for your trip.

Legal camping spots

Before embarking on your camping adventure, it’s crucial to know the legal camping spots in Oahu’s Windward Coast. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) manages campsites throughout the island, ensuring that visitors can enjoy their camping experience without negatively impacting the environment. Some of the popular legal camping spots in Windward Oahu include Malaekahana Beach Campground, Kualoa Regional Park, and Bellows Field Beach Park. These spots offer stunning ocean views, easy access to hiking trails, and basic amenities like restrooms and showers.

Recommended campsites

If you’re unsure of where to pitch your tent on Oahu’s Windward Coast, consider these recommended campsites. Malaekahana Beach Campground, located near Laie, is a popular choice among campers. It offers both beachfront and forest campsites, along with clean restrooms, hot showers, and picnic areas. Kualoa Regional Park, famous for its lush landscapes and iconic mountain backdrop, is another top pick. This campsite boasts breathtaking views and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming. Lastly, Bellows Field Beach Park, nestled between the mountains and the ocean, is a great spot for water enthusiasts looking to surf, fish, or simply relax on the sandy shores.

Camping gear recommendations

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience on Oahu’s Windward Coast, it’s essential to bring the right gear. Here are some recommended camping essentials that should be on your packing list. First and foremost, a reliable tent that can withstand the elements is a must. Look for one that is easy to set up and provides sufficient protection from wind and rain. Additionally, a cozy sleeping bag and sleeping pad will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night. Don’t forget to pack a portable camping stove, cookware, and utensils to prepare your meals. Other essentials include a camping chair, a lantern or headlamp, bug repellent, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Finally, don’t forget to pack some entertainment like a deck of cards or a good book to enjoy during those relaxing evenings under the stars.

Things to Do on Oahu’s Windward Coast

Beyond camping, Oahu’s Windward Coast is brimming with incredible activities and attractions that will make your trip even more memorable. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s explore some of the top things to do on this captivating coast.

Exploring botanical gardens

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and diverse flora of Oahu by exploring the various botanical gardens scattered across the Windward Coast. One of the must-visit gardens is Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe. This 400-acre garden is home to breathtaking landscapes, tranquil ponds, and a wide variety of plants and trees. Take a leisurely stroll through lush pathways, admire the tropical flowers, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture some Instagram-worthy photos amidst the natural beauty.

Visiting cacao farms

If you’re a chocolate lover, a visit to a cacao farm is an absolute must. The Windward Coast is home to several cacao farms where you can learn about the chocolate-making process from start to finish. Take a tour of these farms, experience a chocolate tasting, and even get hands-on with activities like harvesting cacao pods or making your own chocolate bar. The experience will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also give you a newfound appreciation for the art of chocolate-making.

Trying local food

No trip to Oahu’s Windward Coast is complete without indulging in the delicious local cuisine. From fresh seafood to traditional Hawaiian dishes, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Head to one of the local food trucks or roadside stands to try popular dishes like poke (marinated raw fish), kalua pork (slow-cooked shredded pork), and loco moco (rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy). Don’t forget to try some refreshing shaved ice or treat yourself to a plate of mouthwatering garlic shrimp. Eating like a local will truly enhance your experience on the Windward Coast.

Water activities

Given its stunning coastal location, it’s no surprise that the Windward Coast offers an array of water activities for every water sports enthusiast. Whether you prefer diving into the crystal-clear waters for snorkeling, testing your skills on a surfboard, or gliding through the waves on a stand-up paddleboard, there’s something for everyone. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at kayaking, jet skiing, or even parasailing? And if you prefer a more relaxed experience, opt for a leisurely swim or simply bask in the sun on one of the picturesque beaches. The possibilities for aquatic fun are endless on Oahu’s Windward Coast.

Recommended Tours and Activities

If you’re looking for a more organized and guided experience during your time on Oahu’s Windward Coast, there are several recommended tours and activities that will take your trip to the next level. Whether you’re interested in exploring the natural wonders or immersing yourself in the culture and history of the island, these tours have got you covered. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top choices.

Kualoa Ranch Tours

Kualoa Ranch is a must-visit destination on Oahu’s Windward Coast, offering a diverse range of tours that showcase the beauty of the area. One of the most popular options is the Movie Sites & Ranch Tour, where you can explore the picturesque landscapes that served as backdrops for famous movies and TV shows. Feel like you’re stepping into Jurassic Park, Lost, or even Hawaii Five-0 as you discover hidden valleys, lush rainforests, and majestic mountains. Other exciting tours at Kualoa Ranch include ATV adventures, horseback riding, and even a jungle expedition through the Hakipuu Valley.

Kaneohe Sandbar Tour

Experience a unique natural phenomenon on the Kaneohe Sandbar Tour, where you’ll be whisked away to a stunning sandbar in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. This half-day tour allows you to embrace the beauty of the surrounding turquoise waters as you relax, swim, and enjoy water activities like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The sandbar provides the perfect setting for a picnic lunch in paradise, and you’ll have ample time to soak up the sun and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Cocoa and Chocolate Farm Tour

If you have a sweet tooth and an interest in sustainable farming practices, a Cocoa and Chocolate Farm Tour is an excellent choice. Discover the world of cacao farming, learn about the cultivation and processing of cacao beans, and indulge in chocolate tastings. This educational and delicious tour will not only introduce you to the process of chocolate-making but also educate you about the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. A visit to a cocoa farm is an experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the chocolate you enjoy.

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Where to Stay on Oahu’s Windward Coast

After a day packed with adventure and exploration, it’s essential to have a comfortable and inviting place to rest and recharge. Oahu’s Windward Coast offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels and resorts to unique outdoorsy rentals. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can find the perfect place to stay that suits your needs.


If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient stay, there are several hotels along the Windward Coast that offer all the amenities and services you need. Many hotels boast stunning ocean views, easy access to the beach, and proximity to popular attractions. Some of the highly recommended hotels in the area include the Turtle Bay Resort, Paradise Bay Resort, and the Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore.


For those seeking a more luxurious and all-inclusive experience, the resorts on Oahu’s Windward Coast are the perfect choice. These resorts offer a range of amenities including multiple pools, spa facilities, fine dining options, and organized activities. The Turtle Bay Resort is a top pick, offering world-class golf courses, breathtaking ocean views, and a variety of restaurants to choose from. Another popular choice is the Kāneʻohe Bay Resort, known for its beautiful grounds, excellent service, and stunning location.

Outdoorsy rentals

For a truly unique and immersive experience, consider renting an outdoorsy accommodation on Oahu’s Windward Coast. From cozy cabins nestled in the mountains to charming beachfront cottages, there are plenty of options to choose from. Websites like Airbnb offer a range of rentals that cater to different budgets and preferences. Imagine waking up to the sound of crashing waves or enjoying a cup of coffee surrounded by the serene beauty of nature. Staying in an outdoorsy rental will add a touch of adventure and authenticity to your Windward Coast experience.

Oahu Wayfinder Itinerary

To ensure you make the most of your time on Oahu’s Windward Coast, here’s a recommended itinerary that encompasses the best the area has to offer. This five-day itinerary will allow you to explore the breathtaking natural landscapes, experience the local culture, and indulge in delicious cuisine.

Recommended itinerary

Day 1: Settle into your chosen campsite on Oahu’s Windward Coast and spend the day exploring the beach and getting acquainted with your surroundings. Take a relaxing dip in the ocean, go for a hike, or simply unwind and enjoy the sunset.

Day 2: Start your day with a visit to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe. Take in the beauty of the lush landscapes and vibrant flora as you stroll through the various themed gardens. In the afternoon, head to a nearby cacao farm for a tour and chocolate tasting.

Day 3: Embark on a thrilling adventure with a tour at Kualoa Ranch. Choose from activities like ATV rides, horseback riding, or the popular Movie Sites & Ranch Tour. Discover the stunning landscapes that have graced the screens of your favorite movies and TV shows.

Day 4: Indulge in the local food scene by visiting food trucks and restaurants along the Windward Coast. Try traditional Hawaiian dishes like poi, laulau, and haupia. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a refreshing shave ice or a tropical fruit smoothie.

Day 5: Spend your final day on the Windward Coast enjoying various water activities. Choose from snorkeling, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, or simply relaxing on the beach. Take advantage of the stunning surroundings and the clear waters for a memorable day by the ocean.

Excursion ideas

In addition to the recommended itinerary, here are a few excursion ideas to further enhance your Windward Coast adventure:

  • Take a scenic drive along the Kamehameha Highway, which hugs the coastline and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains.
  • Explore the quaint town of Haleiwa on the North Shore, known for its charming boutiques, art galleries, and famous shave ice shops.
  • Hike to the majestic Maunawili Falls and reward yourself with a refreshing dip in the waterfall’s inviting pool.
  • Visit the Byodo-In Temple, a beautiful replica of a Japanese Buddhist temple nestled in the picturesque Valley of the Temples.

Restaurant recommendations

To satisfy your hunger and indulge in the flavors of the Windward Coast, here are some restaurant recommendations that you won’t want to miss:

  • Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp: Located on the North Shore, this food truck is famous for its delicious garlic shrimp plates and fresh seafood.
  • Waiahole Poi Factory: A local favorite, this family-owned eatery serves up classic Hawaiian dishes like kalua pork, lomi salmon, and, of course, fresh poi.
  • Haleiwa Bowls: Cool off with a refreshing acai bowl topped with tropical fruits, granola, and honey from this popular food truck in Haleiwa.
  • Hau’oli Pastry: Satisfy your sweet tooth with delectable baked goods and pastries made using locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss their famous malasadas!

Hawaii Cheat Sheets

To make the most of your Windward Coast adventure, it’s helpful to have some island-specific information and useful tips on hand. Here are a few Hawaii cheat sheets that will equip you with the knowledge you need for a seamless and enjoyable trip.

Island-specific information

  • Remember that Hawaii operates on its own time zone, known as Hawaiian Standard Time (HST). Take this into account when making plans and scheduling activities.
  • It’s essential to respect the land and culture of Hawaii. Always follow posted signs, stay on designated paths, and avoid disturbing any natural or cultural sites.
  • Be mindful of the weather conditions, especially during the winter months when the North Shore experiences large swells and powerful waves. Heed any warnings or advisories from local authorities and lifeguards.

Useful tips and recommendations

  • Pack reef-safe sunscreen to protect yourself and the delicate marine ecosystem.
  • Bring cash with you, as some smaller vendors and food trucks may not accept credit cards.
  • Respect the locals and their way of life by being courteous and following local customs. For example, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or certain establishments.
  • Always carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day and reduce plastic waste.

Camera Gear for Your Van Life Vacation

If you’re planning to document your van life adventure on Oahu’s Windward Coast, having the right camera gear is essential. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just want to capture stunning memories, here are some recommended gear options to consider:

Recommended gear

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera: Invest in a high-quality camera with manual controls to have full creative control over your photos. Look for models that are compact, weather-sealed, and offer excellent low-light performance.
  • Wide-angle lens: Capture the vast landscapes and scenic views with a wide-angle lens. This type of lens allows you to fit more into the frame, making it perfect for capturing the beauty of Oahu’s Windward Coast.
  • Telephoto lens: For capturing wildlife or getting up close to distant subjects, a telephoto lens is a great addition to your camera gear. Consider a lens with a versatile focal length range to cover a wide variety of shooting situations.
  • Tripod: To ensure steady shots and long-exposure photography, a sturdy tripod is indispensable. Look for a lightweight and compact option that is easy to carry while still offering stability.
  • Polarizing filter: Reduce glare and enhance the colors of the sky, water, and vegetation with a polarizing filter. This simple accessory can make a significant difference in the overall look of your photos.

GoPro essentials

If you’re planning to capture action-packed moments or underwater adventures, a GoPro is a fantastic addition to your camera gear. Here are some essential accessories to consider for your GoPro:

  • Waterproof housing: Take your GoPro underwater and capture stunning footage of the diverse marine life. A waterproof housing ensures your camera remains protected at all times.
  • Mounts and grips: Experiment with various mounts and grips to capture unique angles and perspectives. Consider accessories like a chest mount, head strap, or handheld grip for different shooting situations.
  • Extra batteries and memory cards: To ensure you never miss a moment, pack plenty of spare batteries and memory cards. Van life adventures can be long and unpredictable, so it’s better to be prepared.

Useful accessories

In addition to the essential camera gear, here are a few extra accessories that can enhance your photography experience on Oahu’s Windward Coast:

  • Lens cleaning kit: Keep your lenses free of smudges, dust, and fingerprints with a lens cleaning kit. A clean lens ensures your photos are sharp and clear.
  • Camera bag: Protect your gear while on the move with a durable and well-padded camera bag. Look for one that offers easy access to your equipment and has compartments for organized storage.
  • Rain cover: Don’t let a little rain stop you from capturing incredible shots. Invest in a rain cover for your camera and lens to protect them from moisture and ensure they stay in top condition.
  • Portable power bank: Keep your devices charged and ready to go with a portable power bank. This is especially useful if you’ll be spending extended periods of time away from power outlets.

Popular Videos and Resources for Hawaii Travel

If you’re looking for more information and inspiration for your trip to Oahu’s Windward Coast, there are several popular videos and resources available. Whether you want to learn about the best beaches, get tips from fellow travelers, or simply immerse yourself in the beauty of the island, these resources have got you covered.

Tips for first-time visitors

Check out videos and articles that offer tips and advice specifically targeted at first-time visitors to Oahu’s Windward Coast. These resources often cover topics like transportation options, must-visit attractions, and hidden gems that may not be well-known to tourists.

Choosing the right Hawaiian island

If you’re still deciding which Hawaiian island to visit, videos and articles comparing the different islands can be incredibly helpful. These resources will break down the unique characteristics and attractions of each island, making it easier for you to choose the one that aligns with your interests and preferences.

Additional video recommendations

To get a visual taste of what awaits you on Oahu’s Windward Coast, there are countless travel videos showcasing the island’s beauty. Enjoy stunning aerial footage of the coastline, immerse yourself in the local culture through videos highlighting traditional dances and festivals, or join a travel vlogger as they explore the hidden gems of Windward Oahu. Watching these videos will get you excited and help you envision your own unforgettable Windward Coast adventure.

Jordan and Erica’s Van Life Adventure on Windward Oahu

Embark on a virtual adventure with Jordan and Erica as they share their van life experience on Windward Oahu. Their journey takes them through the stunning coastal landscapes, hidden waterfalls, and charming towns of the Windward Coast. Follow along as they explore a botanical garden, visit a cacao farm, indulge in delicious local food, and discover legal camping spots on the North Shore. Through their videos and stories, you’ll gain valuable insights and inspiration for your own van life adventure in this picturesque part of Hawaii.

Exploring Windward Oahu in a camper van

Join Jordan and Erica as they travel across Windward Oahu in their trusty camper van. They’ll take you to popular and off-the-beaten-path locations, showcasing the diverse landscapes and natural wonders of the area. Get ready for breathtaking sunsets, stunning hikes, and opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of Windward Oahu firsthand.

Visiting a botanical garden

Experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden through the eyes of Jordan and Erica. They’ll guide you through the winding pathways, past serene ponds, and amidst vibrant foliage. Listen as they share interesting facts about the various plants and offer tips for capturing stunning photos of the garden’s scenic spots.

Discovering a cacao farm

Jordan and Erica take you on a journey to a cacao farm on Windward Oahu, where you’ll learn about the fascinating process of chocolate production. From the cultivation of cacao trees to the techniques used to transform the beans into delicious chocolate, they’ll walk you through every step. Get a taste of the chocolate-making experience and see how Jordan and Erica indulge their sweet tooth with a chocolate tasting.

Enjoying local food

Join Jordan and Erica as they embark on a culinary adventure, exploring the diverse and mouthwatering local food scene of Windward Oahu. From trying the iconic garlic shrimp at a renowned food truck to indulging in traditional Hawaiian dishes at local eateries, they’ll give you a delicious glimpse into the island’s culinary offerings. Follow their recommendations and discover your new favorite dishes along the way.

Legal camping spots on the North Shore

Venture with Jordan and Erica to the North Shore of Oahu, where they’ll show you the legal camping spots available for van life enthusiasts. Explore the stunning coastlines, set up camp, and wake up to the sound of crashing waves. They’ll share tips and insights on finding the best spots, enjoying the scenic beauty, and making the most of your camping experience on the North Shore.


Embarking on a van life adventure on Oahu’s Windward Coast is an experience like no other. From camping on stunning coastlines to exploring botanical gardens and indulging in local food, there are endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and discovery. Your journey can be tailored to your interests, whether that means immersing yourself in nature, indulging in culinary delights, or embarking on thrilling tours and activities. With the right gear, a well-planned itinerary, and a sense of adventure, your van life experience on Oahu’s Windward Coast is bound to be memorable and enjoyable. So grab your camping gear, pack your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the natural wonders and rich culture of Windward Oahu.

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