If you want to plan an epic family vacation, the Hawaiian Islands are the perfect choice. For an easy, no-brainer getaway, Hawaii’s most-visited island, Oahu, also offers the most options for family-friendly resorts. Most are located directly on the beach, but even if they’re not, all beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, so feel free to claim any spot of sand for your crew.
Kids will have plenty of opportunity to learn and grow on their own, but you’ll also find some amazing family bonding time under the Pacific sun. From Disney’s first Hawaii hotel to spotting turtles on the north shore to several Waikiki outposts, these are the best Oahu resorts for families.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
With six swimming pools (one with a water slide), you and the kids can try out a different pool each day of your vacation and still wiggle your toes in the sand of this world-famous beach. There’s a kids day camp at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, so adults can have a day off. This is a classic Honolulu resort hotel that dates to the 1920s. Elvis Presley stayed on the 14th floor when shooting Blue Hawaii in 1961.
Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore
At the Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore, you’ll find yourself less than 200 yards from the entrance to the Polynesian Cultural Center and just a few miles from the Dole Pineapple Plantation.
That’s for when you want to leave this property just across Kamehameha Highway from the Pacific Ocean, where you can standup paddleboard, kayak among sea turtles or ride a fat tire bike on the beach.
Turtle Bay Resort
Go horseback riding or take surfing lessons, paddle an outrigger canoe or go off-roading on a Segway. Located on the most northern tip of Oahu’s North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort offers everything a Hawaiian vacation should be. You’ve got five miles of beautiful sandy beach, 433 guest rooms with a balcony and ocean view, as well as 40 beach front cottages, all with in-room baby-sitting services.
The multiple pools and water features on the grounds compete with the Pacific Ocean in their appeal. And yes, leatherback turtles come ashore on this beach.
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
Immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture on Oahu’s west shore where Disney magic meets Polynesian wonders. Kids from 3–12 years old learn to hula and make Hawaiian crafts, while enjoying the occasional visit from Disney characters. If the older kids don’t want to hang with toddlers, special activities are set aside for them. With spas, pools, tennis, golf and more, Mickey’s got you covered at the family-friendly Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.
Aston at the Waikiki Banyan
Looking for one of the best family resorts in Oahu that understands a little separation can be a good thing? We like the suites here that provide a separate bedroom and privacy for adults. The fully equipped kitchen allows you to snack or eat an entire meal without the expense of going out. Located near the Honolulu Zoo, where you can see Komodo dragons, and the Aquarium, the Aston at the Waikiki Banyan‘s condo units include a pool, playground and basketball courts.
In a contest over which hotel has the best pool in Honolulu, the Sheraton Waikiki comes out on top every time. Kids or adults have access to two slides, lots of fountains, a kiddie pool, knock-out landscaping. OK, really only the adults will appreciate that, but it is pretty great and includes a couple of whirlpools. At night, the pool area is transformed into a theatre of sorts where a show is projected onto the water and surrounding landscape.
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Children are not a second thought at this resort where child-size bathrobes and toiletries make bath time more special. We like that there is no extra charge for the Kids Club, available for little ones ages 5 – 12. For slightly bigger kids, there’s a game room just for them with video games galore. Five restaurants at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina include children’s menus. For adults, it’s all here — spa, golf, adults-only pools, outrigger canoe rides and hula lessons.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach
This is an ideal location on Waikiki Beach, one of the best places for snorkeling and other beach activities. The Outrigger Waikiki Beach high-rise hotel offers free kid-friendly lessons on Hawaiian culture each day. Sometimes it’s playing a ukulele or learning a few important Hawaiian words. Adults will love the Blue Note, a jazz club inside the hotel.
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk
Having a kitchenette in your suite is always a money saving option with kids. Plus, a suite gives everyone a bit more space. The Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk has a great kids pool and three restaurants on site with a kid’s menu. Your location here is a part of the shopping and entertainment district known as Beach Walk, where there are daily activities like hula lessons, Hawaiian quilting, concerts, and a farmers market. Grab some fresh pineapple and papaya for a special breakfast back in your suite.
Paradise Bay Resort
As you get away from the crowds on Waikiki Beach, prices often come down on room rates. Such is the case with the Paradise Bay Resort. Though not right on the beach, the hotel offers daily excursions for snorkeling, standup paddle boarding and more. This property is convenient to all of the energy of the North Shore without the prices. We love that Paradise Bay Resort is one of the few family resorts on Oahu that has services for your pet, who will surely enjoy a Hawaiian vacation as much as everyone else in the family.