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Staying in Waikiki vs. North Shore, Hawaii: A Traveler’s Dilemma

a sign on a dirt road

Waikiki vs. North Shore – Where is the best place to stay? When planning your dream Hawaiian getaway, one of the most common questions that often arise is, “Do we stay in Waikiki or is it better to stay on the North Shore?” We understand your concerns about avoiding the crowds and noise that can sometimes come with touristy areas. In this blog post, we’ll help you make an informed decision by comparing the pros and cons of staying in Waikiki and the North Shore, keeping your travel experience in mind.


Why Consider Staying in Waikiki

For your first trip to Hawaii, staying in Waikiki is highly recommended, and there are several compelling reasons for this:

  1. Convenience: Everything you need for a memorable Hawaiian vacation is in Waikiki. Most tours start here, allowing you to explore the island with ease. Whether you’re into water sports, hiking, or cultural experiences, Waikiki is the perfect hub.
  2. Dining Options: Waikiki boasts a wide variety of restaurants, from traditional Hawaiian fare to international cuisine. You’ll have the chance to savor delectable dishes from around the world without traveling far.
  3. Entertainment: Waikiki is known for its vibrant events and nightlife. From hula shows to live music, you can enjoy the rich cultural scene right outside your doorstep.
  4. Transportation: Unlike the North Shore, you won’t necessarily need to rent a car in Waikiki. The area is well-connected by public transportation, and many attractions are within walking distance.

The North Shore Experience

If you’re seeking a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere, the North Shore of Hawaii is a great choice, especially during the summer months. However, there are a few important factors to consider:

a group of people riding on top of a wave
Surfer North Shore Oahu
  1. Limited Accommodation: The North Shore offers only two major hotels, the Turtle Bay Hotel and the Marriott in Laie. While they are beautiful and newly renovated, you’ll need a car to reach them.
  2. Rental Car Necessity: Getting around the North Shore can be challenging without a vehicle. Although you can rely on public buses, it’s not the most convenient option for tourists.
  3. Seasonal Variation: During the winter, the North Shore can become busier due to surf competitions, leading to increased traffic and activity.
  4. Exploration: If you want to explore the stunning natural beauty of the North Shore or embark on tours, having a car is highly recommended.

Booking Your Transportation

Waikiki vs. North Shore – If you’ve decided to stay on the North Shore and understand the need for a rental car, consider booking a shuttle from the airport to your chosen hotel. Daniel’s Hawaii offers shuttle services to Turtle Bay and the Marriott in Laie, making your journey smoother and stress-free.

Call / Text +1 (808) 400-4481

a group of people on a beach
Oahu Island Tour Girls Fun

In conclusion, whether you choose to stay in the bustling heart of Waikiki or the serene North Shore, your decision should align with your travel preferences and priorities. For convenience and accessibility to all that Hawaii has to offer, Waikiki is your best bet. However, if tranquility and a slower pace are what you seek, the North Shore can provide that, but remember to arrange for a rental car to make the most of your stay. Book your activities and transportation with for a hassle-free Hawaiian adventure.