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The coast in west Oahu is beginning to boom, with accommodations rivaling Waikiki's. Now, there's more to come

The coast in west Oahu is beginning to boom, with accommodations rivaling Waikiki's. Now, there's more to come
Oahu's Ko Olina coast is home to two upscale resorts, the Four Seasons Oahu and Disney’s Aulani. The area west of Kapolei is booming, with a third resort, the Atlantis, now on the drawing board. (Tor Johnson / Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Oahu's once-sleepy town of Kapolei, about 20 miles west of Honolulu, is enjoying a growth spurt in resorts  that could turn it into a rival of the popular Waikiki Beach.

The Ko Olina coastline, home of Kapolei, already has a Four Seasons resort and Disney's Aulani.

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Now Atlantis, a name associated with water-themed resorts in the Bahamas and in Dubai, is in the "early planning stages" east of the Aulani, a news release says.

Plans call for 800 guest rooms and suites as well as 524 residences on the 26-acre resort . The Oahu property will feature an Aquaventure water park and an aquarium.

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A family looks across a bay to the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina.
A family looks across a bay to the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina. (Four Seasons Oahu)

The resort site isn't new. The Ihilani Resort and Spa opened in 1993 near the western end of Interstate H-1. The hotel became a JW Marriott in 1999 and a Four Seasons in 2016.

Disney's Aulani opened in 2011.

Aside from the luxury resorts, you'll find budget-minded options in West Oahu.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Kapolei features six stories.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Kapolei features six stories. (Hampton Inn & Suites)

In the fall, the Hampton Inn & Suites Kapolei became the brand's first location in Hawaii.

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The swimming pool at the Hampton Inn in Kapolei.
The swimming pool at the Hampton Inn in Kapolei. (Hampton Inn & Suites)

Rooms starting at around $200 a night may seem high for this chain hotel, but that price is hundreds of dollars less than many of Waikiki lodgings.

Other pluses: Rooms are brand-new, and breakfast is included in the price.

Aside from places to stay, West Oahu also offers attractions that visitors won't find in Waikiki.

Kids and grownups enjoy a tour of the Naked Cow Dairy Farm and Creamery in Waianae, about an hour’s drive northwest of Waikiki.
Kids and grownups enjoy a tour of the Naked Cow Dairy Farm and Creamery in Waianae, about an hour’s drive northwest of Waikiki. (Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery)

Naked Cow Dairy Farm and Creamery, opened in 2007, welcomes guests to its location in Waianae, about 13 miles up the coast from Kapolei.

The dairy farm offers tours starting at $7 for kids and $10 for adults. To make a day of it, consider taking a cheese-making class.

Visitors can sample cheese cut from freshly-made wheels at the West Oahu dairy farm.
Visitors can sample cheese cut from freshly-made wheels at the West Oahu dairy farm. (Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery)

During the 90-minute sessions, participants have a hands-on experience learning how to make mozzarella from start to finish.

Classes begin 11 a.m. Saturdays and cost $85 per person.

Visitors can challenge themselves with 18 activities on the Adventure Tower at Coral Crater Adventure Park.
Visitors can challenge themselves with 18 activities on the Adventure Tower at Coral Crater Adventure Park. (Coral Crater Adventure Park)

For an adrenaline rush, visitors can spend a few hours at Coral Crater Adventure Park in Kapolei. Instead of merry-go-rounds and roller coasters, the theme here is challenging, hands-on experiences.

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You can go off-roading on an electric mountain bike or ATV, or soar above the island on the park's Adventure Tower. The climbing, jumping and swinging experiences start at $50.

Disney’s Aulani offers an authentic luau at the Ko Olina resort.
Disney’s Aulani offers an authentic luau at the Ko Olina resort. (Aulani Resort)

Luaus are a staple in the islands. Disney is the latest entrant in this evening dinner-and-a-show category.

When the dinner show started in November, the Ka Waa was restricted to guests. Now it's open to all.

It costs $119 for adults and $79 for kids ages 3 to 9 years old. VIP seating is also offered.

Four Seasons Oahu guests can take part in an exclusive trek in the nearby mountai
Four Seasons Oahu guests can take part in an exclusive trek in the nearby mountai (Four Seasons Oahu)

Guests staying at the Four Seasons can take a five-mile trek on private land to sacred and historic sites in the mountains of West Oahu.

From a scenic perch overlooking the Waianae coastline, hikers can see the neighboring islands of Lanai, Maui and Molokai.

Shoppers take a break on the lawn outside Forever 21, one of the stores at the newly opened Ka Makana Alii mall in the West Oahu city of Kapolei.
Shoppers take a break on the lawn outside Forever 21, one of the stores at the newly opened Ka Makana Alii mall in the West Oahu city of Kapolei. (Ka Makana Alii)

Those who love to shop have a place to go too. The 100-store Ka Makana Alii mall opened in October. For those occasional rainy days, it's also home to an eight-screen movie theater.

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