Ko Olina Travel Guide
If you’re looking for a great place to stay on Oahu’s western shore, Ko Olina is an excellent destination. You’ll have an array of resorts and restaurants to choose from, as well as some awesome activities to fill your time.
And, if you’re looking to explore, try out Shaka Guide’s Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour which can be started from Ko Olina. The Grand Circle Island Tour features over three hours of content, 120 points of narration, and 23 stops.
Perfect weather for surfing
Weather and Best Times to Visit
With only a few exceptions like Mauna Kea, Hawaii receives two seasons. There is a wet winter from November to March, which receives more rain, larger surf swells, and decreases in temperature. Things become a bit sunnier during the summer from April to October, when rain decreases and temperatures increase.
However, Ko Olina is a bit warmer on average than much of Oahu, with daily peak temperatures remaining in the low to high 80s all year-round. It’s also more arid and sunny so if it’s raining in other parts of the island, chances are it’s still sunny in Ko Olina.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping to avoid crowds and minimize costs, you may consider planning a trip for a shoulder season. Two excellent times to travel are September and mid-to-late January when most travelers either have not left or are just arriving home.
For instance, a ticket from Seattle to Honolulu for late January might cost you about $450. A comparable ticket for spring will run you between $550-600. A room that costs $250 per night for January might be upwards of $350 in spring.
Since temperatures and weather are consistently nice on this part of Oahu, we consider these seasons the best time to travel to Ko Olina.
Ko Olina Resort
Places to Stay
In Ko Olina, you have several options for where to stay. Most of the accommodations are upscale resorts and luxury hotels. Each option is very close to one of the four lagoons, so you’ll always have a beach available no matter where you stay. Here are a few of the most popular establishments.
Disney's Aulani Resort | Howcheng, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Located right on the shores of the Kohola Lagoon (AKA Ko Olina Lagoon 1), the Aulani Resort by Disney is a wonderful place to stay if you’re looking for a resort-style accommodation. The resort features several great places to grab a bite like Mama’s Snack Shop and Ulu Cafe.
This hotel is run by Disney, so it features activities that are great for families such as interactions and experiences with some of Disney’s most famous characters. There’s also a luxurious pool and spa. Rates are in the $500-600 range.
Ko Olina Beach Villas
If you’re looking to book an entire villa, Ko Olina Beach Villas are extremely luxurious and located right on lagoon 2. It features a fitness room, several pools, and other wonderful amenities. Rates are based on availability.
Beach Villas | Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Marriott Ko Olina
On the southern side of Ko Olina, you’ll find the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, which is conveniently located near some of the town’s main attractions like the Ko Olina Golf Club, Wet‘n’Wild, and Ko Olina Lagoon 3. Prices are in the $500-700 range
To the north, Four Seasons is one of the most upscale lodgings on the island. It is located right on lagoon 1 and is a short walk from Secret Beach. This hotel features tons of amenities and accommodation styles and several ocean-side pools. Booking this accommodation will run you between $1000-1100.
Ko Olina Sunset | https://www.olaproperties.com/, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Things to do in and around Ko Olina
Ko Olina Lagoons
There are four man-made lagoons in Ko Olina, which are perfect for swimming and a relaxing day in the sand. The crescent shape of these lagoons protects their shores from rough conditions, making them perfect for the whole family.
Ko Olina Beach
If you’re looking for a more traditional or natural beach, Ko Olina Beach on the southern end of town is an excellent option. This jutting beach is bordered by a nice grassy area for lawn activities and features beautiful palm trees.
Ko Olina Golf Club
If you were hoping to get a few rounds of golf in on your vacation, the Ko Olina is a great place to stay. The Ko Olina Golf Club features outstanding landscaping and in a tropical setting--these might be the most relaxing rounds of golf you’ll ever play. That’s not to say the golfing is easy, however, the eighteen holes can be quite challenging. There is also a great restaurant inside the club.
The Stars Above Hawaii
The Stars Above Hawaii is a wonderful experience if you’re even remotely interested in astronomy or star gazing. This educational and entertaining experience allows you to use powerful telescopes to view the brilliant overhead stars. Astronomers are on-site to guide you through telescope usage and point out some of the most interesting constellations.
This attraction’s location changes depending on the night. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, you’ll find the telescopes set up at Aulani Resort, however, on these nights it is only available to Aulani guests. On Tuesdays and Fridays, tickets are open to the public at the Four Seasons. In addition, on Mondays, anyone can buy tickets to the Marriott’s hosting. You can purchase tickets here.
Water parks are always a great time for the whole family. All of the accommodations in Ko Olina are about five-to-ten minutes from Wet’n’Wild, a wonderful waterpark featuring exhilarating rides, kiddy pools, a wave pool, and a surf machine.
Paradise Cove Luau
Paradise Cove Luau is one of the best on Oahu. The feast is cooked underground in a traditional Imu oven. You’ll be greeted with mai tai cocktails, before strolling through the Hawaiian village recreation, which features games, crafts, and demonstrations. Try your hand at spear throwing, net fishing, or lei stringing, before relaxing with dinner and a show.
Sunset in Ko Olina | Montse PB, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Places to Eat in Ko Olina
There are tons of excellent places to eat in the town of Ko Olina. Each of the resorts will have an upscale Hawaiian-style restaurant, and you can count on several other outstanding eateries from different cultures and backgrounds.
Some of our favorite options around Ko Olina are:
- Monkey Pod Kitchen
- Pizza Corner
- Eggs ‘n Things
- Mina’s Fish House
- La Hiki Kitchen
- Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina
- Off the Hook
- Island Vintage Coffee
- Little Opihi
- Koa Pancake House
- Thai Lao
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