Long ago, before Laie was colonized, it was a sanctuary for fugitives (one of many). Fugitives inside them were protected by priests, and their pursuers could enter the sanctuary but not harm them. These sanctuaries were deactivated in 1819 but the remains of the temples are still visible in Laie.
Agriculture is important in Hawaii; sugar cane and kalo (taro) were both commonly grown in Laie (even though both are very thirsty). The Mormon faith is very popular here and Brigham-Young University – Hawaii is located in Laie. RV rentals in Laie are a good place to begin exploring Laie, its history and the rest of Oahu island. Other nearby places of interest are Oahu (city), Honolulu, Waipahu, Kapolei and Haleiwa, and what better way to take these in than in your Laie camper rental, perfectly sized for the trip.
The Great Outdoors
For such a small island, there's lots to see and do near Laie. Mokuleia, Makua Keaau and Ewa Forest Reserves, and Oahu Forest National Wildlife are just four parks out of many. Pupukea-Paumalu Forest Reserve, located on the island's north end, is a good place to start before heading south. There are trails for hiking and mountain biking; cyclists can download a map to their smartphones, while hikers should get the trail map (a paper one) before heading out.
Waimea Bay Beach Park is a good place to dip your toes in the ocean. It's calm in the summer and offers great swimming and a 20-foot cliff that people can jump off of. Dolphins and turtles can be seen here and you could wind up swimming with the turtles. It can be popular and crowded, depending on the season and the day of the week. In winter, the surf turns rough and swimming isn't advised. Surfers come here year round and especially in the winter, to ride the larger waves. Park your Laie travel trailer rental close by to help relax when it's time to take a break.
Surfers also enjoy Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline and Three Tables Beach. Sunset Beach is best for winter surfing, while the waves at Three Tables fizzle out before reaching the shore due to a reef farther out and shallow water closer in. Three Tables is also good for swimming and snorkeling but only in summer; tourists should remember this beach has riptides and should use caution. Banzai Pipeline is an iconic spot, drawing professional surfers as well as local surfers and onlookers. The best waves at Banzai are also in the winter.
RVing in Hawaii is slightly different from the mainland. Rentals are smaller, such as VW Westfalias and full-size van conversions, in order to navigate the winding highways; An RV rental near Laie is perfect for these conditions. Unfortunately, vehicle camping is not allowed in state parks in Hawaii, only tents, whereas private RV campgrounds allow vehicles.
Swanzy Beach Park is on the northeast coast and has nine sites, all back in. There aren't any hookups, 20/30/50 amp or wifi; it does have restrooms, showers, and a basketball court. A diner is across the street from the park. Fishing is allowed, and you can also cook for yourself at one of the barbecue pits.
Sand Island State Recreation Area is about a mile from Honolulu and has 35 sites, all back in. It is also a popular fishing spot. There are no hookups (not water, electricity or sewer) and no 20/30/50 amp or hot tub/swimming pool, but it does have showers and is close to the beach. Pets are not allowed.
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is next to Bellows Beach Park, but while Bellows is restricted to military personnel and their families, Waimanalo is open to the public. This campground has restrooms.
Exploring The City
Hawaii is a great place for both history and culture, so why not kick things off here with a tour?
First destination on your list should be Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Memorial on Ford Island. Tickets for getting on the ship are limited; you should go early to avoid missing out on the tour. The audio guided tour is highly recommended.
The Polynesian Cultural Center Luau is also worth taking in. Amenities include a canoe ride, spear throwing & fishing, ukulele lessons, and tattoos; a special dinner show completes the visit. Other luaus worth watching are Paradise Cove Luau, Toa Luau, and Germaine's Luau. You can also enjoy Friday Night Fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort. You don't need to be a guest to watch, these can be seen from the beach and many other places. In fact, why not park your Laie rental RV nearby and watch from the comfort a lawn chair.
There are, as usual, a good selection of different cuisines to choose from, and vegetarian and vegan food is represented in most establishments, but when you’ve come all this way, it might not hurt to sample some of the local food, too. There are several food trucks that offer simple but delicious food, but you have to be prepared to wait in your Laie RV rental as the trucks are very popular. The plates can include shrimp with rice (and possibly additional ingredients like corn), but the variety of flavors, including garlic shrimp, lemon shrimp and more, are worth every minute of the wait.