Oahu’s North Shore (and other outlying areas)

This review of the wheelchair accessibility of Oahu’s North Shore is from Winter 2023.

Oahu’s North Shore is revered for its massive surfing spots, unspoiled wilderness, and just plain beauty. We rented a wheelchair accessible van for a day, which enabled us to see most of the North Shore (and most of the coastal areas). We could not have done this without renting a van–public transportation or taxis would have been prohibitively expensive/long rides.

Source: Google Maps

Our itinerary started at The Royal Hawaiian hotel in Waikiki. We then:

  • Went to an AccesSurf event (which was cancelled due to lightning)–this organization is incredible, and I cannot wait to do adaptive surfing and swimming with them.
  • Drove around Disney’s Aulani Resort.
    • We were not checking-in, so we just drove around the property. Disney resorts are always visually fun.
  • Explored the North Shore, including Waimea Falls (wheelchair accessible waterfall, but was closed due to the weather) and the surfing hotspots of Waimea and Banzai Pipeline.
    • We happened to be there during the Billabong Pro Pipeline, the first stop for the 2023 WSL Championship Tour. There were wheelchair accessible beach mats to get to viewing areas, and the waves were a force to witness. Loved it.
  • Visited The Dole Plantation.
    • Note– this was not my personal favorite thing to do, but the shopping/dining areas were wheelchair accessible. The train and gardens were closed due to rain, but the website says they are wheelchair accessible.
  • Drove around almost the entire coast of Oahu.
  • Went to dinner at Morimoto Asia in Waikiki (parked at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach).
    • Tip: the restaurant is upstairs, but there is a dedicated elevator to access Morimoto Asia in the ‘Alohilani Resort. The staff are very accommodating, and the outside deck area is an amazing, wheelchair accessible viewing spot for sunsets. There is an elevator lift platform to go up the small steps to the bathroom.
  • Attended a comedian’s show at Blaisdell Arena.
  • Drove back to The Royal Hawaiian (where they picked up the van).

A day was sufficient for our purposes, but we could have spent more time exploring Aulani and Waimea. Of course, I could spend my entire day just watching the surfers at Pipeline…

  • green mountains with waterfall
  • wheelchair on beach map
  • green mountains at end of road
  • brown polynesian style tower
  • white building with red roof, dole written on front
  • view of ocean with rocks on both sides
  • looking down at sandy beach in shape of a crescent moon, surrounded by bluffs
  • arch rock island surrounded by ocean
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