15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Hawaii

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dog is posing at the lanikai pillboxes hike in kailua in a dog friendly vacation in hawaii

You really cannot visit Hawaii without visiting a beach since the state is made of 137 different islands. It is a unique state for many reasons. First, it is the only US state that is not in North America. It is also the only US state in the tropics. Finally, it is the only US state that is an archipelago (a group of islands). In the whole state, which includes all the islands, there are only 1.4 million residents. It is also dog-friendly, with an estimated 400,000.

The eight main islands of Hawaii are Ni’ihau, Maui, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, and of course, Hawaii. The one with the most people is O’ahu, which has just over a million people. Most people see Hawaii as a vacation spot, and they mostly live up to that name with pristine beaches and resorts. Not to mention the incredibly warm winters in the upper 70s while the summers are mild with highs in the 80s.

Another interesting fact about Hawaii is the language. There are only 12 letters in the whole alphabet. They are A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U, and W. However, many of the islanders use the American alphabet. If you are planning a trip to the islands with your pup, take a look at our favorite 15 dog-friendly vacation destinations in Hawaii first. 


Located on the northwestern corner of the island of Hawaii, Kawaihae is a small unincorporated community of just under 600 people and about 100 fur babies. It has one of the few beaches that welcomes dogs. Spencer Beach Park has soft white sand on a gentle slope with a stunning reef just off the shoreline. Your pup has to stay on a leash but he is welcome to swim and play in the sand. 

Another dog-friendly patch of sand is the south side of the bay on Waikoloa Beach. Just remember that leashes are required and bring some doggie bags to pick up after him. You and your fur baby can also take a guided farm tour of Lokahi Gardens. The guide, Richard, will introduce you to more than 250 different native plants and you even get to enjoy the fruit and the tea. 

If you want to take a hike, you and your cuddle buddy can go to Ulu Laau, Waimea Nature Park. There are 10 acres to explore with your leashed pooch, but make sure you bring doggie bags and keep him on a leash.


Pack up the kids and the dog and head to Honolulu where you can stay at the famous Disney Resort & Spa. When you stay here, you may never want to leave the hotel. However, your pooch has to miss out on some of the activities like the water slides, beaches, character experiences, pools, and the splash zone. They also have fun shops, game rooms, and restaurants. 

Nearby, Wet N Wild Hawaii is a huge water park with 25 attractions including 10 waterslides, a lazy river, several pools, and three kids’ areas. For even more fun, take the kids to Coral Crater Adventure Park where they have ziplining, ATVs, aerial adventures, the Adventure Tower, and the Climbing Wall.

But you need to get Fido out of the room to run around, so take him to one (or more) of the 11 dog parks in Honolulu. They are all fully fenced, have seating and shade for the pup parents, and doggie bags for cleanup. Some also have water fountains and separate small dog areas. 


Kaneohe is a fairly big community on the island of O’ahu with almost 40,000 people and about 6,000 dogs. Bring your honey and your cuddly canine here for a romantic stay at Paradise Bay Resort. The quaint bed and breakfast has free yoga and meditation classes, a floating sun lounge, and kayaks as well as mountain views, a pool, and a hot tub. Dogs up to 70 pounds are welcome for a fee of $25 per night.

Remember the moment by getting a private family photo shoot with Michael with some incredible backgrounds. He knows where to go for the best shots. Then, you can take everyone to He’eia State Park for hiking and a picnic by the ocean. If you are ready for a beer, take your two best buds to Inu Island Ales. You can get some tasty craft brews, and your pup can enjoy some treats.

For something unique, go to the Waiahole Poi Factory, where you can make your own Poi and enjoy some Hawaiian food too. Your pup is welcome inside and out as long as he is leashed. 

Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park

Located in Kaaawa on the northeastern section of O’ahu, Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park is one of the best hiking parks on the island with its rainforest trails, swimming, and coconut grove. One of the trails is Keanlani Lookout Trail, which is a one-mile loop that starts at the orientation center and takes you past two cultural sites with awesome views of Kahana Bay.

The Nakoa Trail is about 3.5 miles long and takes you through the Koa tree rainforest. You will actually walk 4.5 miles from the parking lot and it crosses the Kahana Stream twice. You can even pick fruit when it is in season. Remember that the trail can be slippery and muddy during wet conditions. Also, bring lots of water and doggie bags. 

Do not miss the Huilua Fishpond while you are there. It was made by islanders in 1500 AD who carried rocks to the shoreline to make a 500-foot wall to hold fish. It was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.


The largest settlement in Hawaii County, Hilo has over 44,100 residents wth an estimated 7,000 pups living there. You can find it in the southeastern corner of Hawaii. One of the most popular beaches in Hilo is the one that is also dog-friendly. Hilo Bayfront Beach Park has gorgeous black sand that actually looks like mud in some areas. The water is a bit murky at times but your pup will not mind. Just keep him on a leash.

Another great way to spend the day with your pup is at Liliokalani Gardens. These Japanese gardens are full of native flora as well as fauna that share the space within. The park also has a lovely pond where you can see frogs, turtles, and ducks. Please keep your pup leashed and pack plenty of doggie bags to pick up after him. 

If you get hungry, Hilo has several great dog-friendly restaurants including the SurfBreak Cafe with sandwiches, salads, soup, and pie or the Hilo Town Tavern where your pup can join you inside and out for 26 different flavors of chicken wings, black bean burgers, and pork loco moco with a cold brew. 

Pearl City 

With so many islands in Hawaii, you know there have to be lots of lakes, too. Pearl City in O’ahu has several awesome lakes for a nice pupster lake vacation. Even though it is not a large area, there are almost 48,000 residents with their 7,800 fur babies so you will no doubt see some of them out running around. It is home to a couple of fantastic off-leash dog parks. Pearl City Peninsula Dog Park has a small dog area, benches, and lots of space to play.

Kapapapuhi Point Park, previously known as West Lock Shoreline Park has a wonderful lake in the middle of it called Waipio Reservoir. You can get down to the valley floor by taking a shuttle, mule-drawn wagon, or on horseback. The lake is beautiful and fine for letting Fido splash around while he is on a leash, but it has rip currents and high surf so keep that in mind. 

The Ewa Forest Reserve is also dog-friendly and has a stunning trail of about six miles along the Ko`olau Ridge Summit. It has pavilions with picnic tables but no restrooms or water. 

ʻĪao Valley State Monument

You can find ‘Iao Valley State Monument Park in Wailuku on the northwestern tip of the island of Maui. It has 4,000 acres of hiking, the Pu’u Kukui Mountain, and West Maui Forest Reserve as well as views of the Iao Needle. The lush surroundings are due to the 386 inches of rain it gets every year so you may encounter a rainstorm while you are there. This is what makes it a rainforest, which has a vast array of flora and fauna. 

You have to keep your canine compadre on a leash no longer than six feet while you are there but he is welcome to join you on the trail to see the ‘Iao Needle. It is a 1,200-foot lava remnant covered with vegetation. The West Maui Mountains are also nearby in the West Maui Forest Reserve, which is also pet-friendly. 

A unique thing you can do here is to get a storytelling session with games, music, and activities with the host, Ian. He will tell you true stories of the history of Hawaii dating back to 1700.


Couples with dogs really like Volcano, Hawaii because of its laid-back small-town charm with a population of only 2,575 people. Another reason they love this small city is the Aloha Junction Guest House Bed and Breakfast. It has just a few rooms, each with its own unique theme and style, as well as a robe and slippers, fireplace, electric blanket, and a sauna. Some rooms have patios and a garden view, while others have a balcony.

Just feet from the hotel, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is also dog-friendly and has more than 344,800 acres of recreational space. As the name says, it has two volcanoes. The Kilauea, which is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, which is the largest shield volcano in the world. Some areas in the park may close from time to time due to volcanic activity. 

While there, take Fido on the Kaulana Manu Nature Trail. The two-mile loop trail has some of the most endangered birds in the world so keep your pup on a short leash. 

Haleakalā National Park Camp

Although there are lots of campgrounds on the islands, there are not many that allow dogs due to the strict laws to keep the wildlife safe. But Haleakalā National Park has two. Kipahulu Campground in Haleakalā National Park has nine campsites with picnic tables, BBQ grills, and pit toilets. With so few sites, you better call and book a spot way in advance or you may end up in a hotel anyway. 

There are even fewer sites at the other campground, Hosmer Grove, which has six spots. Each site has water, a BBQ pit, a picnic table, and pit toilets. Be prepared for rain and it gets chilly here due to its elevation of nearly 7,000 feet. The rocky coastline and volcanoes make this park a perfect spot for selfies too!

Also nearby, H.A. Baldwin Park has over 17 acres of dog-friendly fun, including a beach with a lifeguard, picnic areas with 18 tables, grills, and concessions, and they even offer hula and surfing classes if you want to learn.


You will find Kailua-Kona on the western side of the big island of Hawaii. It is right on the coastline so there are miles of waterfront and beaches to explore. With a population of just under 20,000, the city is not large, and the locals are very friendly. It is host to the annual Kona Coffee Festival, Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, and the Ironman World Championship triathlon. But the most important place for your pup is the dog park

ArtWalk Unleashed Puppy Love Park is located at the outdoor art gallery, where you can see all sorts of awesome artwork. You do have to be with someone who has a membership or pay for a $20 day pass, which is worth every penny! You can also rent a kayak and go out on the water with your pup. Alii Adventures has kayaks and paddle boards but you have to have your own doggie life jacket. 

If you do not have a doggie life jacket, go to the dog-friendly HYPR Nalu Shop. They sell everything from surfboards to sandwiches as well as renting out paddle boards. No matter what you do, it is the perfect winter vacation with temps in the 80s. 


Finding a city anywhere in Hawaii that has hotel rooms under $100 is difficult, especially if you have a fur baby. But Pahoa has a few. The Pahoa Village Hostel is $86 per night and Hale “Hā Hā” gets you a whole apartment for $96! It even has a garden, barbecue facilities, and toiletries. Another, the Hawaiian Sanctuary Eco Retreat is only $95 per night and has a spa with a hot tub, free Wi-Fi, a gym, and free breakfast. 

The quiet village is off the beaten path on the southeastern corner of the big island with just 945 residents and about 140 dogs. Surrounded by the Wao Kele’o Puna Forest Reserve, Hawaiian Paradise Park, and Hawaiian Beaches the small village has several local attractions and activities like the Tropical Rain Forest Shirt Dying by Nellie. You will get to pick the leaves and plants to make your shirt unique. 

After Fido has been good while you do your shirt, take him to Kea’au Shelter’s Bark Park, where he can play with other fur babies off the leash. 

Akaka Falls State Park

On the northern side of the island of Hawaii, Akaka Falls State Park is a dog-friendly place to spend the day. The main attraction at the park is the waterfall, which is 442 feet high. The walking path to get to the falls is a short quarter-mile loop trail but it takes some physical exertion, so make sure you are ready for it before you go. You can also see Kahuna Falls, which is a 300-foot waterfall with several smaller cascades. It is a gorgeous place for photos. 

Along the trails, you can see all sorts of gorgeous flora like draping ferns, bamboo groves, and wild orchids. Just remember to keep your cuddly canine companion on a leash and bring water and doggie bags. 

While you are nearby, stop by the Pali Nana Farms for a tour. You can enjoy a 90-minute walking tour and hayride where you get to see six kinds of dragon fruit, figs, coffee, and lychee plants. You also get to join a chocolate-making and tasting demo as well as a pizza for lunch. 


If you are looking for a place to spend the weekend with your pooch on one of the Hawaiian islands, Maui has a really nice hidden gem with lots of dog-friendly activities and places. It may not be a big name with a lot of tourists, but that is good for those who want to enjoy their weekend without the crowds. Located in the midwestern section of the coast on Maalaea Bay, Kihei is a decent-sized town with about 21,000 residents and an estimated 20,000 dogs.

One of the largest attractions is Kihei Regional Park, which allows leashed dogs and has lots of open grassy spaces for playing, playgrounds for the little humans, picnic tables, and it is right by the beach. Speaking of the beach, there are six miles of coastline to explore. Kamaole Beach Park III is pet-friendly for leashed pets and has a lovely 2.6-mile hike in the dunes. 

There are also several whale watching and dolphin tours that allow dogs as well as kayak tours. 


Sea Life Park Hawaii in Waimanalo is a great place to take the family. Located on the southeastern corner of O’ahu, the park has more than 2,000 animals, including tropical fish, turtles, stingrays, and sharks, as well as penguins, sea lions, and dolphins. They even have a bird sanctuary with albatrosses, boobies, and frigatebirds. However, dogs are not allowed, so you will have to leave your pup at the hotel or with a dog sitter. 

Nearby, you and your pooch can take the kids on a walk to the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. The dog-friendly trail is two miles long with moderate difficulty due to an elevation gain of 500 feet. It runs along the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, which also welcomes leashed dogs. Bring a lunch, extra water, and doggie bags and you can enjoy a picnic by the lighthouse with a gorgeous view of the water. 

Don’t miss the 40-acre Koko Head District Park where you can enjoy trails, playgrounds, sports, and gardens. It also has picnic areas with tables and frills as well as a volcanic crater with a staircase to get you there. 

Sand Island State Recreation Area

Also known as Quarantine Island, the small island in Honolulu is right by the entrance of the Honolulu Harbor. In the 1800s, it was used to quarantine ships that had contagious passengers. This recreational space on the southern end of O’ahu, just off the coast of Honolulu, has one of the only dog-friendly beach campsites in Hawaii. You can (and should) reserve a spot online because there are only 35 sites, and they all have picnic tables, BBQ grills, restrooms, and outdoor showers. 

Your pooch will have to remain on a leash at all times, but he is welcome to swim with you at the beach as long as you pick up after him. Bring lots of doggie bags because they do not provide them. One of the most pup popular activities in the area is swimming with or watching the dolphins. The Indigo Ocean Hawaii company has dog-friendly tours, which are a lot of fun. 

If you want to learn to SUP with your dog, the Ohana Surf Project will teach you how to safely ride a stand-up paddleboard with your fur baby. 

The Final Woof

You will find fur babies on all of the Hawaiian Islands, so there are plenty of dog-friendly places and things to do. For example, 520 vacation properties welcome dogs, as well as 435 pup popular eating establishments, 20+ dog parks, 35 dog beaches, and more than 70 pet-friendly hiking trails. More specifically, if you are looking for a family trip, take the kids to Disney Resort and Spa in Honolulu or the Sea Life Park in Waimanalo. For a couples’ vacation, Volcano has a cute little bed and breakfast with a spa, and Kaneohe has a romantic resort with a hot tub, floating sun lounge, and free yoga. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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