No trip to the island of Oahu is complete without a visit to the North Shore. Famous for its surfers, laid back locals, and gnarly waves! Mike and I visited Hawaii back in January and I am just getting around to editing pictures! Eek – where does the time go?!
Since Mike’s absolute favorite thing to do in Hawaii is spend a day on the North Shore, it only took a little bribing to get him to write today’s post!;) Take it away, Mike…
Aloha! Mike, here. Turning left on the Kamehameha Highway feels like a fresh start to your time spent on Oahu. Get on the H1 and head north my friend. You won’t be disappointed.
Your base camp is Hale’iwa, a small beach town to pick up supplies, stretch your legs, and grab your breakfast. Acai bowls…yum.
The best place in town for an Acai bowl is Haleiwa Bowls. Do not miss this.
Take your pick of two different varieties here, the Surf Bowl or the Blend Bowl. Split a large Blend.
Just across the street is Matsumoto’s Shave Ice. This infamous little shop has been a respite for surfers and tourists for the last 50 + years. Beware – this isn’t your snow cone from the old neighborhood. Split one of these while you check out photos of all of the Hollywood actors and famous tourists who’ve made their way to this special place. Hopefully you won’t need a nap after the mass quantities of sugar.
Time to get back on the road and keep heading north. No shortage of scenic pull-offs to grab a photo with your main squeeze, friends, and family. The coastline is breathtaking and accessible.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see a few turtles on Waimea Bay Beach Park.
You’re almost sure to pass a food stand along the highway. I’d recommend stopping for some locally sourced fruit and a chat with the shop owners.
Time to burn off your breakfast with some snorkeling at Shark’s Cove. This is the most popular place to snorkel on the North Shore – and for good reason. It’s one of the top rated shoreline diving and snorkeling areas in the world.
That also makes it a pretty popular destination. But once you get in the water you’ll feel like you’re the only one there. The sea life is amazing.
Keep heading north to Banzai Pipeline Beach – a refuge for some of the best surfing talent in the world. You’ll feel like an extra in a surfing movie. But before you don that wet suit to reenact your favorite scene from Blue Crush, you should know this is not a beginner’s beach. The swells can get…big. Which is why the North Shore draws pros from all over the world to compete.
With some planning and luck you might get a chance to see “The Eddie” – one of the most famous surf contests in the world is held in Waimea Bay. 20 foot swells (minimum) are required to hold the contest.
If you brought your clubs or are keen for another scenic ocean view keep heading north to Turtle Bay (home to a beautiful resort and golf course). Otherwise it’s time to head south on the Kamehameha.
As you pass back through Hale’iwa stop for garlic shrimp – the flagship snack of the North Shore. Butter-soaked shrimp sautéed in garlic cloves, with rice and fresh veggies on the side is just what the doctor ordered. Go fetch a sixer of Kona beer (which you remembered to pack that morning) and achieve hero status with your friends.
Heading out of the North Shore, be sure to make a pit stop at the Dole plantation for a fresh pineapple or a pineapple whip cone (Jenny’s favorite!).
As you leave Hale’iwa in the rear view mirror you’ll pass a park entry to Waimea Falls. At the base of the Falls is a freshwater pool for you to take a dip. Do it and feel completely refreshed.
Give yourself a pat on the back. It was a good day.