13 Best RV Camping Spots in Hawaii

Have you always dreamed of visiting Hawaii? Have you always dreamed of RVing all 50 states in USA? There's just one problem. The state of Hawaii is a series of islands over 2000 miles off the west coast of the mainland. See these reasons to visit this exotic destination and do not wait any longer to find flights to Hawaii and hotels in Hawaii.

The archipelago is composed of eight main islands of volcanic origin, of which only six are populated like Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Malokai and Lanai. In addition to having some of the best beaches in the world along with airports, there are endless activities in the Hawaii campgrounds and RV parks. Beaches are characterized by their white sands and crystal clear water, true paradises to relax.

In addition, the beaches of Hawaii are designed for all types of public, from those looking for large resorts to those who prefer smaller inns. And they offer activities for all tastes, for families, couples and groups of friends. All of the islands have a wet side and a dry side (wet is the North/East side) and they also have a wet and dry season with December being the wet time of year.

If you choose wrong, escaping the winter doldrums to sunny Hawaii may not turn out exactly as you expect!

Perhaps the most famous tourist paradise, diving in Hawaii is phenomenal after hiking. Diving is done in Big Island and kayaking, canoeing or fishing are done in all the islands. Make sure your snorkelling tour in Hawaii includes the St. Anthony and the Carthaginian, currently invaded by reefs and a magnificent biodiversity.

Getting your RV there just isn't practical. Fortunately, there is another solution. RV Rentals are a great way to experience the islands and allow you to RV in the 50th state.

You may have to adjust your expectations to meet the realities of island life. First, RVing is not a big activity on the islands. Because of that, there is a lack of real RV campsites available. Larger RVs are equally rare. The campsites here are instead referred to as drive-up sites suitable for a car and tent, or a campervan type of RV.

There are a number of state, local and national park facilities where you can camp with the appropriate permits. You cannot camp in non-camping designated areas like most of the roadside beaches.

camping in Hawaii

Here we will look at the top RV camping destinations in Hawaii.

1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai'i Volcanos National Park is located on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The park has 2 drive-up campgrounds, Nāmakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki. Both are located on the eastern side of the island with Hilo being the closest major airport. Either campground offers a great base camp for exploring the park or the surrounding areas.

Nāmakanipaio is the larger and the nicer of the two campgrounds and has access to water. Kulanaokuaiki has only 9 sites with no drinkable water provided on site. Hawai'i. Hawai'i Volcanos National Park has been recovering from the major volcanic eruptions in 2018. There are many locations in the park which are still closed, but the majority is open so now is a great time to visit this area.

A diving paradise with more than 50 dive sites await you on the Big Island of Hawaii. Calm, serene and diverse, many endemic species swim on this island along with a wide variety of eels. The best sites include Two Step, Honokohau Harbor, Mile Marker 4 and Kamakahonu Beach.

2. Hana

It’s the pure Hawaii you are looking for. Absolutely no crowds, sea turtles, tallest waterfalls, impeccable body surfing beaches, black and red sand beaches, nude beaches, hiking trails, a National Park, a nearby volcano, warm waters,rivers to swim in, classic rain forests, spectacular views, beautiful flowers, the 7 sacred pools, friendly natives, wonderful food, and cheap accommodation.

3. Haleakala National Park

The Maui North Shore is the best place to visit for adventure vacations. The North Shore of Maui is known for its rugged shorelines, world-class surf breaks, and underdeveloped beaches. The famous fun activity at the North Shore of Maui is the kiteboarding. Lodging facilities are also available for tourists that provide plenty of amenities to visitors. Don’t forget to try the appetizing Hawaiian specialties at the Maui beach.

One of the best places to visit in Maui is the Haleakala National Park which is famous for it’s dramatic scenery and it’s volcanic ranges. Large number of tourist from all over the world visit this place. Haleakala National Park in Maui covers a large area from the top of the Haleakala Volcano down to the seashore south of Hana.

With that large expanse of land, they have broken the park up into three major districts. The Summit area is located at the summit of Haleakela. The Kipahulu area is the seaside area south of Hana.

The wilderness area connects the two other areas and is only accessible by foot. Summit and Kipahulu are accessible by car or campervan. There is a huge amount of diversity between the Summit area and Kipahulu. The summit is at 10,000 feet and is typically much cooler than the coastal areas due to the altitude. It is also above the tree line and tends to be a very desolate area.

Kipahulu on the other hand is in the heart of the rainforest with lush jungle, bamboo forest, large waterfalls, the Pacific coastline and 'Ohe'o Gulch. The drive to Kipahulu is typically over the Hana highway which is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. Take your time on the drive and enjoy the sights and stops along the way.

Doing so really adds to the experience. Once you arrive a Kipahulu you'll be able to stay the night at one of their many drive up campsites.

The Summit Area has drive-up camping at the Hosmer Grove Campground. It is located just at the tree line on the way up the mountain. The actual summit of the mountain is about a 27 min drive up the switchbacks. This area offers outstanding hiking and some of the best night sky watching anywhere in the US.

4. Lahaina

Before traveling to Maui you should know that the city of Lahaina, was for a long time one of the most important ports of the archipelago, being at the time capital of Hawaii and the most important city of the island. First of all we recommend that you visit the port area. Between Front Street and Moana Street you will find the Jobo Mission, the largest statue dedicated to Buddha located outside of Asia.

Then we recommend you go to Baker Street, where you will find the Wo Hing Temple Museum, built in 1909 by Chinese immigrants who arrived on the island of Maui. This site is a corner of Lahaina that you should not miss.

Following the route through Lahaina, we recommend that you head to the intersection of Front Street and Dickenson. Continuing along this new street you will find the Baldwin Home. To continue the tour of Lahaina, we recommend that you take Calle Wainee and continue towards the junction with Calle Prison, since there you will find the Hale Paahao Prison.

To finish the route through Lahaina, we recommend that you head back to Front Street and head to Banyan Tree Park. This park is interesting to see because it is the park with the largest fig trees in the USA. It is a plantation of fig trees that were exported from India and planted in front of the port and the Palace of Justice of Lahaina with the aim of creating a green park that would symbolize the great diversity of this archipelago.

5. Maui

Maui is a beautiful place located in Hawaii Islands. It is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and dramatic scenery. It is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, covering an area of 694 square miles, with 120 miles of coastline. Following Oahu, Maui is the most visited island in Hawaii. Maui Ocean Center is another tourist attraction to visit which is famous for it’s aquatic life and coral reef.

Among things to do in Maui with kids in the RV parks in Hawaii, surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, this chain of islands extends kilometers with shipwrecks, pristine reefs and many adventures. Black Rock is among the best diving sites in Hawaii, on the island of Maui, but there are many other hidden places among the coral reefs.

This is a little different because it doesn’t just hit you. Sure, clear waters and lots of bright-colored tropical fish are amazing to see. But as you continue to experience that environment you see more and more fish, and notice different kinds of coral, and end up seeing sea turtles. What you see has no set limit, since lots of things live under the sea. Just being underwater is part of that experience.

If you don't want to go to the hostel, the cheapest option is Airbnb. There is a great variety of accommodations. A very good option to stay is in one of the Airbnb in Kihei. Kihei is a good base to see the entire west coast of the island, to go to Haleakala and from there on the Road To Hana.

6. Kaanapali

And beware, we do not say it, say all those who visit it. The Kaanapali Beach is one of the must-see places in Maui. The natural environment is of great value and, in fact, right there you can snorkel, scuba dive and, if you're lucky, you can spot humpback whales. It has crystal clear waters and a fine white sand in which to lie down and relax.

Next we suggest you follow the route through Lahaina on Front Street until you reach the largest shopping center in Maui, Hawaii Whalers Village shopping center, a very exquisite place that we recommend you visit. It includes stores of high purchasing power but the site is very beautiful to see. In this area are the most luxurious hotels on the island.

7. Oahu

Among the things do in Oahu, dive between the caves of Lana'i, the shipwrecks of Oahu, the reefs of Maui, the waves of Moloka'i or just enjoy the sunsets in Oahu.

Malaekahana State Recreation Area in Hawaii is on the Northeastern side of O'ahu, far away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. Here, you will experience a much more laid-back Hawaiian atmosphere. In addition to camping there is a sandy beach for swimming, surfing and shore fishing. This makes an excellent place to stay in addition to #4 if you want to tour the island and get the complete island experience.

8. Honolulu

One of the best RV parks in Honolulu, the Sand Island State Recreation Area offers weekend only camping and is located within the city of Honolulu. This will provide easy access to all the activities in Hawaii, historical sites, dining and beaches that the city has to offer. There is also beach/ocean access adjacent to the camping area.

The major benefit to this camping area is its proximity to downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. All of which are less than 30 minutes away. Punaluu is characterized by its black sand and sea turtles. Go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. There are so many different kinds of beautiful fish to see. Just don't touch the coral. It is sharp and touching it destroys the living reef!

9. Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

This RV park in Hawaii has one of the most dramatic landscapes you will find in Hawaii. It is located on the Northwestern shore of Kauai and is home to stunning 4,000-foot tall cliffs, deep valleys, waterfalls and beaches. Here you will find the Kalalau trail which runs for 11 miles along the coast. It spans between two beaches and traverses 5 valleys where you'll experience waterfalls and the untouched flora and fauna indigenous to the area.

This is the heart of unspoiled Hawaii where visitors can get a true sense of what the islands were originally like.

10. Kauai

Kauai is home to many green turtles in Hawaii. Visit Turtle Bluff and explore its caves while watching reef sharks. Do not miss Tunnels Beach if you want to see octopus.

11. Hilo

Costa Hamakua is located among the unmissable beaches, located in the middle of a jungle garden. Onekahakaha is full of small natural pools.

12. Kona

Landing in Kona, the airport isn’t what you’d expect - it’s on a barren black rocky lava field. There are a few resorts to the north of Kona and you realize it’s all Disney Hawaii - all the lush foliage, all the green grass and all of the swaying palm trees have been planted there by the developers. Right next door and across the highway is empty fields of rock as far as the eye can see.

13. Waimea

Hawaii is one of the best places in the world for water sports and is considered the mecca of surfing. There are ideal beaches for beginners, with waves of 1 meter high and others, like Waimea Bay or Haleiwa, with waves of more than 6 meters for the more experienced. Hapuna is one of the most famous due to its great extension and its white sand.

Visiting Hawaii also means entering a fascinating culture full of customs and traditions. One of the best known is the flower lei, some wreaths of flowers that are given, as a symbol of affection, when arriving or leaving. Another Hawaiian icon is the hula, which in its beginnings had a religious purpose and today is a popular dance.

Do not wait any longer to spend a week in Hawaii, an exotic, paradisiacal and natural destination, ideal to travel to Hawaii as a couple, with family and friends. Look at the wide range of hotels in Hawaii and travel to the world of hula and surf. Take advantage of the great offers to buy cheap flights to Hawaii and start organizing your next vacation in Hawaii.

Here we have covered the top RV destinations in Hawaii. There are many more and nearly every populated island has at least one park that allows drive up camping. Compared to the mainland US, each island is extremely small. With the smaller campervan type RVs you can easily camp at many of these locations and drive around to the other sites of the islands during the day, making the whole island the true destination.
Kalyan Panja