Every time I land at Daniel K. Inouye International airport in Honolulu, I am transformed. The balmy, flower-scented air instantly lifts my spirits and lowers my stress levels—and that’s before I even hit the baggage claim. Then it’s a quick drive to my favorite old-school tiki bar, still in its circa-1957 splendor, where I order a stiff mai tai and contemplate running off on one of the sailboats docked at the marina. Now my vacation is officially on.
Oahu really does have it all, from beaches that seem to have come to life from your fantasies to a food scene so diverse and high-caliber that it rivals that of any city in the world. There are intriguing museums, surf breaks suitable for newbies up to pro level, and a retail scene that definitely calls for an extra suitcase. Serenity is found on any of the island’s hundreds of hiking trails—which range from “Ah, this was a pleasant stroll to a waterfall” to “OMG I’m clinging to the ridge.”
Despite the range of activities, microclimates and neighborhoods, Oahu’s size makes day trips and exploration manageable. And no matter which part of the island you decide to stay in, from the relaxed North Shore, sun-drenched West Side, lush Windward Side, or sparkly play land that is Waikiki, you can find vacation rentals that are within easy proximity to a beach and feature great amenities. Here are nine Oahu beach rentals for your next trip.