Hale’iwa got its start as a tourist spot with the building of the Hale’iwa Hotel in 1898. The hotel is gone, but many of the small town’s buildings have the same look they’ve had for over 100 years of laid-back living. Unlike Waikiki with its high-rises, you’ll find that Hale’iwa has small shops ready to serve the practical needs of surfers and surf-watchers.
Start with a visit to the North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum, also known as Hale’iwa Surf Museum. See surfing photographs and memorabilia, boards from the 1930s and old posters advertising surfing competitions. Watch a video and chat with the curator to find out what’s happening in and around town. Nearby, find gear for snorkeling, surfing, boogie boarding or kayaking in one of Hale’iwa’s several surf shops.
Picnic at Hale’iwa Ali’i Beach and watch the makai (ocean-facing) side of the park to see youngsters learning to surf. Then look over your shoulder at the Kalili Surf Center; if you were a Baywatch Hawaii fan, you might recognize the headquarters for the brave and beautiful lifeguards. In July, enjoy the ArtFest with visual and performance art and numerous kids’ activities.
Walk along the shore and look for giant sea turtles. They often nest here and return to the same spot year after year. Remember that they are protected in Hawaii; it is against the law to ride, feed, or even touch a sea turtle. You can still enjoy watching them.
For an old-fashioned experience, rent a paddleboard or outrigger canoe similar to those used in Hawaii for more than 2,000 years. Paddle up the Anahulu River, going under the Rainbow Bridge. Soon you’ll be in lush tropical jungle.
While you’re in Hale’iwa, be sure to sample a North Shore favorite: shave ice. This dessert has a shaved ice texture that absorbs flavor; a variety of local syrup choices including lychee, lilikoi or guava; and ice cream or bean paste at the bottom of a cone, with sweetened condensed milk on top. It’s not a typical snow cone.
Hale’iwa is about an hour’s drive north of Honolulu. Some would say it’s right next to Paradise.
Beaches, Snorkeling and Surfing
Go to this beach early to watch some of the wildest surfing on O’ahu and stay late for some of the island’s most beautiful sunsets.
Enjoy the roar of crashing waves, soft sands stretching alongside the blue ocean and lush tropical Hawaiian interior, all in one location.
See tropical fish, turtles and eels amongst the colourful coral on this North Shore beach, one of the best snorkelling spots on the island.
Come face-to-face with sharks 3 miles (4.8 km) off the shore of Oahu. With a snorkel and mask, dive into the Pacific Ocean to view these incredible creatures of the deep in their natural environment from the comfort and safety of a custom-built cage.
Explore the amazing local nature and scenery on a tour of Oahu's famous North Shore. Snorkel at The Cove, swim at Waimea Valley Waterfall, bike the Tree Tunnel Path, stand-up paddle or kayak in the protected ocean waters of Haleiwa Bay and up the Anahulu river, and surf or boogie board the North Shore.
Toa Luau invites you to immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement of Polynesia at Waimea Valley on Oahu's North Shore! Set aside ample time in the day to walk through the fragrant flower lei gardens or hike among some of Hawaii’s most diverse plant life and even swim at the refreshing Waimea falls.
Jump on the turtle bus and leave the hustle and bustle of Waikiki for the more laid back rural areas of the island known as the “country.” Expert guides carefully choose which locations to share with you on this island tour to hang out with sea turtles and snorkel in Haleiwa.
Explore the beauty of Oahu’s North Shore and Oahu’s windward side with this sweeping tour. Indulge in island favorites like shrimp and shave ice, experience one of the North Shore’s most popular beaches, wander through a stunning temple nestled again
Your Oahu banana boat adventure departs from Honolulu's Hawaii Kai Shopping Center. Show up anytime between 9am and 2:30pm (rides depart every 30 minutes), or opt for pickup from your Waikiki hotel at your pre-selected departure time.