“Where’s our town, Mom?
Where’s our vacation rental?”
Once Bergen (3-years old) started asking us this each time we journeyed “away from home” after just a day or so on Oahu, we knew we’d found the right spot for our recent Hawaiian travels. Even though we took him on some pretty awesome adventures, from beaches to pineapple trains to historic landmarks and delicious meals, by the end of the afternoon or evening, he was always ready to return to our rental house.
Similar to our Kauai vacation rental set-up, we chose a home that was walking distance to the beach, but also close to town. At the same time, we also wanted the surrounding area to be quiet enough to be able to relax and recharge. Finally, let’s not forget that we’re flying all the way to Hawaii and staying for a week. The price has to be reasonable. Were we happy with our choice of rental? Absolutely.
The “Haleiwa Getaway” is located in the small town of Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore. About a 45-minute drive from the Honolulu airport, it’s the largest of the little towns dotting the island’s famous surfing hot spot, but with just a couple main corridors of shopping, restaurants, and other town essentials, it’s by no means substantial, and nothing compared to the bustling main city.
Joel and Ashley are the lovely owners of the space, and live right upstairs with their two young children. Prior to our arrival, we received instructions on how to enter the home including the the personal key code we would use to open all the exterior doors to the home. Later on in that evening, we were able to connect in person, and they provided us with more detailed information, and to our relief even helped install an air conditioning unit in the master bedroom for some added comfort. This summer (and fall), Oahu has experienced hotter than usual temperatures, plus a lack of their usual tradewinds. For a pregnant lady and a spoiled Seattlite (used to his mild, temperate weather), we were so appreciative of the added luxury of a little air conditioning, even if it was in just one main room!
The set-up of being below a family of 4 worked out well. Yes, there was some expected ambient noise of footsteps and excited child chatter, but it neither bothered us or effected our comfort. Since the house is well equipped and managed, we did not find ourselves needing much from the owners, but when we did they were very accommodating. The space (a 1st floor, downstairs unit) has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a large kitchen, living room, and a big backyard and patio area.
The master bedroom has a queen-sized bed, large wall-to-wall closet, and a dresser giving us plenty of room for storing clothes and other personal necessities. The space also has a nice reclining chair, and enough room to fit a travel crib for those who might need to accommodate babies or toddlers in the room. Again, this room can be equipped with an air conditioning unit, which made it a great retreat in the afternoon (during naptime) and even in the evening before bed. The hum also does a decent job of drowning out the roosters in the morning!
The second bedroom, also very spacious and also with a queen bed, is located right next door to the master, and closer to the front door of the unit. The room has a large closet and dresser providing lots of room for Bergen’s clothing and gear. In the closet we found that a portable crib was available as well as a roll-up-futon-type contraption. Since Bergen just transitioned into a toddler bed at home, this was his first time sleeping in a “regular bed”. We had some fears and reservations about how it would all work, but while he gave us his usual bedtime antics and was an early riser on this trip, all in all, he slept like a champ! We put pillows and cushions on the floor just in case, but he never had any falling out of bed incidents.
The large bathroom featured a full tub and shower, and provided room even if all three of us needed to be in there at the same time. Lots of extras that made our stay more comfortable (aloe, shampoo, conditioner, extra towels, even swim diapers) were housed here.
The living room has two couches (one loveseat, one sectional) and a large television with plenty of great natural light. This room then opens up to the spacious kitchen and dining area. There are bar stools at the kitchen counter, and a high-top table with chairs, though we always found ourselves taking advantage of the outside patio for the meals we ate at home. The kitchen is stocked with everything one might need to cook, and we were appreciative of the full size refrigerator complete with an ice maker making it easy to pack a cooler and to chill drinks. Also off the kitchen, the washer and dryer are housed in a small closet–essential for a traveling family on a beach vacation! We certainly utilized this amenity every other day or so.
Finally, two sliding glass doors (off the kitchen and dining area) lead to the backyard and patio: Our favorite feature of the home. Not only just nice to be outside enjoying the Hawaiian ambiance, but also such a perfect spot for Bergen to play. A basket of toys is provided along with a small play structure with a slide and parts to climb. I loved getting up early, and sneaking out here to sip my coffee and read with the sun rising and the roosters greeting me.
We don’t know how we got so lucky again, but a perfect family friendly beach is just a 3-minute walk away from the house. Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park is a truly special place, and because it’s off the beaten path a bit, it doesn’t host the same crowds as some of the other more popular beaches on the North Shore. Upon landing on Oahu and getting settled in the rental, we hightailed it over the beach right away on our first afternoon. As soon as we turned the corner and started walking along the shore, we were greeted by a huge sea turtle sunning in the sand. After that, Bergen nicknamed the spot “Turtle Beach” and was constantly requesting to return. We obliged and found ourselves here nearly every day of our visit (sometimes more than once per day).
The park has bathrooms and showers, picnic tables, and plenty of shade, for which we took full advantage. The ocean here varies depending on where you happen to be situated on the beach, but overall the waves are on the smaller side (at least during our late September visit) allowing us to swim comfortably with Bergen. There are rocks and reefs to watch out for, but that also made for some great snorkeling! And that turtle on the beach? That definitely was not the end of our sightings—we saw turtles both in and out of the water every time we visited.
More to Love:
- In addition to baskets of toys for Bergen to play with at the house, the home is equipped with a ton of beach gear including paddleboards, kayaks, chairs, coolers, snorkel equipment, and sand toys.
- Two cruiser bikes are also provided. Slaed loved being able to ride into town to explore while Bergen napped in the afternoon.
- The house also features a (non-enclosed) outdoor shower making cleaning-up after a long day at the beach super easy and efficient. We were also happy to not be tracking in tons of sand into the house!
- Owners, Joel and Ashley, also helped us out when we asked for suggestions for local babysitters allowing us to take advantage of a day at the spa and night out!
- Since the home is situated close to town, we weren’t far from great restaurants and shops. A few of our favorites:
- Coffee Gallery
- Haleiwa Joe’s
- Breaker’s Restaurant
- Cafe Haleiwa
- Pizza Bob’s
Quick facts/Info to Know:
- Haleiwa Getaway on Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO.com): http://www.vrbo.com/462922
- Located in the town of Haleiwa, Oahu on the the North Shore of the island
- 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1 outside shower
- Washer/dryer (just off of kitchen)
- Equipped with one air conditioning unit (for a single room) and ceiling fans throughout
- Wireless Internet Access
- Linens, beach and bath towels provided
- Plenty of beach supplies and gear including paddleboards, kayaks & snorkel equipment
- Backyard and Patio space with table and 4 chairs, plus BBQ
- Dedicated covered parking spot
- Owners (family of 4) live above
- No pets
Have you traveled to Oahu? Tell us about your accommodations and experience.
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Thanks to the owners, Ashley and Joel for providing us with a small discount on our week-long stay for purposes of review. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.