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Waikiki Vs. Ko Olina Vs. North Shore – Where to Stay on Oahu

Back in the “old days,” Visiting Bruhs had, pretty much, one option when deciding where to stay — Waikiki. But, in 2016, the number of “resort” areas on Oahu has exploded. Ko Olina on the Leeward Side and enclaves on the North Shore have become every bit as enticing to visitors as the sandy beaches and skyscrapers of Waikiki.

So, how do Bruhs know where to stay on Oahu? Read-on to learn more about each, so you can find the best fit for your vacation:


  • Perfect For: Single Bruhs, Married Bruhs, families of all ages, and couples. No matter where you pledged or district you're from, Waikiki has it all. For Married Bruhs, Waikiki has five sandy beaches, all equipped with lifeguards and small-to-medium-sized waves. For Single Bruhs, Waikiki is within walking distance to outdoor bars such as Duke’s Canoe Club and dance clubs, such as SKY Waikiki. And for Boo'd Up Bruhs, you have access to five-star restaurants, boutique-style hotels, and lots of shopping.

  • Not Perfect For: Bruhs on the late night creep tip. Waikiki beaches are the most crowded beaches on Oahu, and it can be difficult to find secluded space on the sand. Any Bruh looking for seclusion, do NOT go anywhere near Waikiki Beach!

  • Things To Do: Surfing lessons, stand-up paddleboarding lessons, bodyboarding, parasailing, sunset catamarans, snorkeling, and scuba diving are just a few of the many activities you’ll find in Waikiki. No matter what your skill-level or age, you can find a way to enjoy the ocean and beaches in this world famous resort area. And, make sure you holla at the Bruhs before you book your activities in order to take advantage of hook ups and discounts.

  • Nearby Attractions: Diamond Head is just a short hike away (or you can catch the Waikiki Trolley), the Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium are some of the hot-spots within walking distance to Waikiki.

Ko Olina

  • Perfect For: Married, Family, and Boo'd Up Bruhs. For the Family Bruhs, Ko Olina is host to the Aulani Disney Resort, which is always a big hit with the kids. In addition, you’ll find the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, which has a similar “wholesome” vibe to it. The Beach Villas at Ko Olina are time-share condos that can accommodate large families looking for more than one room. For Boo'd Up Bruhs who want to stay in a high-end resort, the Four Seasons just opened its doors (but prices are a bit steep for the fiscally responsible Bruhs).

  • Not Perfect For: Be Owt Bruhs looking for a party scene.  Ko Olina is a straight cupcake set. The vibe is more low-key and slower than the hustle-and-bustle of Waikiki. So, if you’re lookin' for somebody to get strange for some change or make a brutha holla for a dollar, you're proooobably not going to find it at Ko Olina.

  • Things To Do: The Paradise Cove Luau, arguably the single best luau on Oahu, is right on Ko Olina’s campus, so it’s walking distance for most visitors. Then, of course, there are a slew of ocean activities, such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, cruising, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Because Ko Olina has fewer hotels and visitors than Waikiki, some of these guest activities can fill up quickly. So, be sure to make your reservations early if you decide this is where you want to stay on Oahu.

  • Nearby Attractions: There aren’t too many nearby attractions that are visitor-driven, but if you head to Kapolei (only 5 minutes away), you’ll find iTrampoline Hawaii, K1 Speed (go-carting), and the water park, Wet n’ Wild.

North Shore

  • Perfect For: Daredevil ass Bruhs looking for adrenaline rushes riding the gigantigest waves you've ever seen in your life. Families of all ages, singles, and couples. Lots of visitors like to rent a home on Oahu’s North Shore, especially during the winter when the waves are gargantuan. But, it’s fun to spend time on the North Shore, no matter what time of year. Families might want to consider staying at the newly-opened Courtyard Oahu North Shore or renting a house near one of the many North Shore beaches. Single and Creeping Bruhs will love the laid-back atmosphere in Haleiwa, where you’ll find local coffeehouses and fun places to hang out. But, the accepting atmosphere on the North Shore makes this area a great place to be for all. And, couples can find seclusion by renting one of the many North Shore homes along the beach. Emphasis on seclusion.

  • Not Perfect For: Bruhs who love hustle-and-bustle. One of the most charming things about the North Shore is, well, its obscurity. Everything is small in scale, and the community is small, too. So, if you love noise, skyscrapers, and lots of people, steer clear of the North Shore.

  • Things To Do: If you’re an avid surfer, you won’t want to miss the colossal waves that greet the North Shore every winter. Word of Caution: If you simply want to take a surf lesson or two just to say you did it and to get some cool pictures for Instagram, DO NOT GO TO THE NORTH SHORE! You’ll also find opportunities for sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling in the area, too. And, the North Shore is home to North Shore Shark Adventures, where you can jump in a steel cage, get lowered into the water, and feed hungry sharks. Remember, I said "Daredevil ass Bruhs".

  • Nearby Attractions: One of my favorite places on the North Shore is Waimea Valley. There, you can stroll through a rainforest, along a paved path, all the way to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Hawaii. Or, consider driving a bit to Kahuku, where you’ll find the Turtle Bay Resort. Of course, you can also take a tour of Kualoa Ranch, featured in numerous films. Or, hang out in Haleiwa Town, and enjoy some retail therapy at some of the town’s local shops. Finally, you’re not too far from the Polynesian Cultural Center, in Laie.

Deciding where to stay on Oahu is one of the most important decisions a Bruh will make when planning an Hawaii vacation. So, use our post to find the right fit!

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