Travel Tips

Taking the Bus

Oahu’s public bus service, The Bus, serves the entire island.

Route 52 starts at Ala Moana Center, travels through the center of the island, and ends in Haleiwa. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to travel from Ala Moana Center to Haleiwa.

Route 55 starts at Ala Moana Center, travels along the windward (east) coast and proceeds along the North Shore until ending in Haleiwa. Allow about 2 hours from Ala Moana Center to Haleiwa when taking Route 55.

For more information on fares, routes, and timetables, please visit You may also download the official bus app, “Da Bus,” on iTunes or Google Play.

Bus & Minivan Tours

Many tour providers visit the North Shore, sometimes called “Circle Island” tours. These guided tours eliminate the need to drive or rent a car, and will visit a set list of places and attractions depending on the tour you choose.

Renting a Car

There are two ways to reach the North Shore: Through the center of the island, or a more scenic drive up the windward (east) coast. The main highway upon reaching the North Shore becomes one lane in either direction. When driving through the center of the island, traffic is normally heavier on weekends coming into Haleiwa around midday. When leaving via the center-island route, by late afternoon traffic may also be slow going out of Haleiwa.

For driving directions to Haleiwa, please click here.

What to Bring

Depending on your planned activities, you may want to bring:

  • North Shore Map
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and/or sun-protective clothing
  • Swim and snorkel gear
  • Beach towels, beach blanket
  • Water, snacks
  • Sandals (closed-toe shoes for hiking)
  • Small cooler for fresh fruit or vegetables

Know Your Ocean Ability

We strongly recommend visiting lifeguarded beaches if you are planning to enter the ocean, especially if you are new to the North Shore. Don’t hesitate to check in with a lifeguard to discuss current ocean conditions.

Common Hawaiian Words

aloha (ah-LO-hah): hello; welcome; love; goodbye

mahalo (mah-HAH-lo): thank you

wahine (wah-HEE-nay): woman

kane (KAH-nay): man

keiki (kay-EE-kee): child or children

hale (HAH-lay): house

kama’aina (kah-mah-AYE-nah): native Hawaiian or local resident

makai (mah-KYE): to the sea

mauka (MOW-kah): to the mountains

ono (OH-no): delicious

pau (pow): finished

pau hana (pow HAH-nah): quitting time at work