Experience the North Shore (Map)
Less than an hour's drive from Waikiki, Hale'iwa is the perfect place to spend the day. Park your car and take a stroll down Hale'iwa's main street which is lined with surf shops, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. The North Shore's most famous beaches are an easy drive from Hale'iwa, as are cultural parks and museums. Visitors to this rustic yet charming spot will find a multitude of activities and treasures that will appeal to all their senses, style, adventure and taste.
Oahu's Art Hub
Hale'iwa is Oahu's art hub. Galleries abound, offering everything from hand-blown glass, wood-working and pottery to watercolors and undersea paintings. Many shops also carry a wide selection of locally-made arts and crafts. Meet the artists at work and watch them as they create their artwork.
The North Shore is home to some of the world's finest beaches and bays. During the winter months, the swells at world-famous surf spots Waimea Bay, Pipeline, and Sunset Beach reach 30 feet or more. That's when professional surfers and fans descend on Hale'iwa and the North Shore. The water is calm during the remainder of the year and perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The North Shore's white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water and romantic sunsets can be enjoyed year round.
Ocean Sports Capital
Snorkeling and diving are great ways to explore the North Shore's undersea world. The clear waters of Three Tables and other bays and coves are excellent for underwater activities. For those who prefer activities above water, look into kayaking along the Anahulu River. For the adventurous, many ocean shops offer lessons and equipment for surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, wind surfing, and body boarding. Boat and snorkeling tours, fishing and sailing are also available.
Hale'iwa is a shopper's paradise. Shops housed in plantation-era buildings offer made-in-Hale'iwa surfboards, surf gear, bikinis, hiking and outdoor accessories, unique clothing, precious gems, pearl jewelry, souvenirs, home furnishings, and a host of other one-of-a-kind treasures.
Dozens of eateries line Hale'iwa's main street, serving up everything from burgers, tacos, Hawaiian plate lunches, and pizza to elegant steak and fresh-fish dinners overlooking Hale'iwa Harbor. Cool down from a busy day of shopping or sightseeing with a "shave ice," or snow cone, from one of the old-fashioned dry-goods stores in town. Enjoy fresh fish caught locally and served in Hale'iwa's restaurants with the North Shore's special brand of Hawaiian hospitality.
Attractions and Activities
Many of the beach and nature parks that line the North Shore offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and O'ahu's natural beauty. Two such places are Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau above Waimea, O'ahu's oldest and largest ancient Hawaiian religious site, and Ka'ena Point to the west. In season, catch a glimpse of whales frolicking in the sea, pack a picnic lunch and watch surfers brave the winter swells, or see gliders ride the wind in the skies above. Better yet, take a glider ride and see breathtaking views of the North Shore as well as the whales below.
Skydiving and glider rides at Dillingham Airfield, horseback riding, and golfing at Turtle Bay Resort's championship golf course are some of the many activities that await you. Three camps with conference centers offer numerous activities for thousands of campers each year. Waimea Valley Audubon Center offers a world class botanical garden at Waimea Falls, where you can also visit ancient Hawaiian cultural sites.