Every Oahu visitor knows Haleiwa Town, but next door to the west is a lesser known North Shore gem known as Waialua. Like Haleiwa, this historic district may not have any hotels but it draws travelers into its welcoming arms with quaint vacation rentals located near uncrowded beaches, quaint boutique shops, and unique historical landmarks. But given that Waialua is found in the “country” getting from HNL isn’t quite as convenient as it is to the island’s resort districts, which which why we’re weighing in with everything you need to know about getting to the town from the airport.
Best Way to Get from Honolulu International Airport to Waialua Town and What Else You Need to Know
Take a Direct, Private, Flat Rate Shuttle from HNL
Since Waialua is not in a resort community nor near any hotels aside from Turtle Bay (over 15 miles away) you won’t have the option of taking a shared shuttle. Repeat – there are no shared shuttle from HNL to Waialua. What about renting a car from the airport? Trust us on this one, you will not want to transition from your 6 (or more) hour flight, wait in line at HNL to get a vehicle rental, then deal with navigating the 26-mile journey along I-H-2 N to HI-99 N into Waialua Town.
OK, so you’ve resigned to let someone else do the driving. Should you consider a taxi, or an Uber? For one, let’s look at what TaxiFareFinder quotes for a typical taxi:
With rates nearly as high as $125 you’re looking at pretty considerable expense for an antiquated taxi service, assuming you can find one that’s willing to drive that far during off-hours (i.e. night flight, etc.). That’s just one reason (among many) to look for an alternative to a local taxi. So what about Uber or Lyft? For one, you can’t always find one as quickly as you would for a resort community. As we pen this article (10:30 AM HST) here’s what we find when searching for an Uber from HNL to the most popular Waialua destination:
To be fair, the unavailability is not typical, but it certainly doesn’t incite confidence that you can find an Uber quickly after leaving baggage claim. On that latter note, the Uber/Lyft pickup zone is not outside of baggage claim, and instead takes longer to get to, which is not very convenient for those who want to promptly leave the airport. Plus, if you have a party of two more with a common luggage load, an UberXL may be required which will increase your expense significantly and immediately disqualify the ride hailing option from consideration (along with these things).
So what now? As the section heading suggests, your best bet for getting to Waialua from HNL is to take a direct, flat rate, private shuttle. Our clean and upscale fleet of minivans, complemented by friendly and professional aloha-filled drivers will be waiting just outside of baggage claim and will pick you and and drop you off wherever in Waialau you need to be, no matter the time of day. Even better, our $110 flat rate includes everyone in your party (up to four) complete with luggage and carryons.
What to Do if You Arrive in Waialua Early
If you’re catching an early AM flight and are concerned about how to kill time prior to rental check-in, considering the fact that you’re headed to a “country” town, don’t sweat it. Mornings in Waialua are simply perfect.
For starters, you’ve got the top area attraction, Old Waialua Sugar Mill which opens at 9 AM on Monday to Friday and 8 AM on Saturday/Sunday. Doesn’t sound that appealing? The historic district offers so much more than insight into the local agricultural economy from decades passed. On site you’ll find a remarkable commercial collective that includes boutique shops offering handcrafted soaps and lotions, clothing, art, and antiques. There are surf shops and some of the world’s best surfboard shaping studios, while in the massive old mill building you’ll find coffee (and coffee tours), locally made chocolates, refreshments, souvenirs, and so much more. You can spend hours exploring the area. Beyond that, a morning in Waialua also offers access to some great cafes (try out Brew + Foam) and bakeries (try Paalaa Kai Bakery). Alternatively you can get dropped off in Haleiwa, which is literally a couple of minutes away from Waialua where there are numerous eateries, shops, and galleries to explore until your accommodations are ready.
Book a flat rate shuttle for your expected arrival time and we’ll whisk you away to Waialua Town. Call toll-free 1-800-929-1219.