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Waimea Bay

Vacation Travel Guide
Waimea Bay featuring landscape views and surf

Enjoy the roar of crashing waves, soft sands stretching alongside the blue ocean and lush tropical Hawaiian interior, all in one location.

Perhaps the most famous spot on O’ahu’s north shore is Waimea Bay. Come see expert surfers take on the challenges of winter’s big waves. From November through February, waves reach 30 feet (9 meters), crashing abruptly to coral hidden just below the ocean’s surface.

This is not the spot for beginner surfers to try their luck. The rough surf, sharp coral and powerful undertow are very dangerous. There is no danger in watching, however, so bring a beach blanket and picnic lunch. Then pick your favorite surfers and live vicariously through their daring.

Enjoy soft sands on the long, broad beach. Even in winter, temperatures are very pleasant for beachgoers, in the 75 to 80°F (24 to 27°C) range, so plan for a lovely day in the sun. Walk along the shore, build sandcastles, play beach games or wade close to shore listening to the roar of the crashing waves.

During summer the ocean has a totally different appearance, with gentle swell and few waves. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming. You can even hook-and-line fish from the beach or explore rock formations off the shore.

In 1968, native surfer Eddie Aikau became the first lifeguard on the North Shore, credited with fearlessly saving many lives and attacking giant waves. In his honor, the Waimea area hosts the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, but only if winter waves are large enough. Check local conditions to determine if you’ll see this rare event during your visit.

Across Kamehameha Highway from the ocean, explore the lush Hawaiian greenery that has appeared in dozens of films. Visit Waimea Valley’s botanical collections with hibiscus, erythrina and other native and imported species. Walk the paved trail, which is just under a mile (1.2 kilometers) to reach a majestic waterfall. Bring your swimsuit to splash in the natural pool at its base. The gardens are open daily except holidays.

Waimea Bay Beach Park has restrooms, showers, picnic areas and lifeguards. The parking lot fills rapidly. The park is less than an hour’s drive from Honolulu. Buses stop near the main entrance to the beach and gardens.

Top things to do in Waimea Bay

Top Hotels Close to Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Haleiwa, HI
This family-friendly Haleiwa vacation home is located by the sea, just steps from Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (38 reviews)
This place has everything you need for a great vacation
"House is clean with comfortable beds and fans in every room. BBQ on the covered porch and everything you need in the kitchen. Fully gated so kids can roam. 30 second walk to a great beach, 4 minute walk to another great beach, and market, food trucks, and smoothies all within walking distance. You ..."

Reviewed on May 13, 2021

Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Haleiwa, HI
This family-friendly Haleiwa vacation home is located on the waterfront, just steps from Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (76 reviews)
Location!!
"This was not our first trip to the north shore so we are a bit picky with where we stay. The location can’t be beat. Walk to sharks cove, the beach and the grocery store. Close to Teds. A bit dated inside but beautiful views and very comfortable with all the amenities you need. I would definitely ..."

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2021

Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
1.5 out of 5
59-788 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI
Situated in Haleiwa, this beach hostel is steps from Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
3.4/5 (105 reviews)
"The property was clean and acceptable for the price. Is very tired and needs so freshening up. great spot"

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2020

Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Haleiwa, HI
Waimea Bay Point Cottage
Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Haleiwa, HI
Waimea Point Oceanfront House -
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
1.5 out of 5
59-788 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
Waimea Bay Luxury Estate Views & Hot tub
Waimea Bay Luxury Estate Views & Hot tub
Haleiwa, HI
Waimea Bay Luxury Estate Views & Hot tub
North Shore Country Retreat
North Shore Country Retreat
Haleiwa, HI
North Shore Country Retreat
North Shore Jungle Retreat
North Shore Jungle Retreat
Haleiwa, HI
North Shore Jungle Retreat
Beautiful Ocean View Home Steps From the Most Desirable Beaches -
Beautiful Ocean View Home Steps From the Most Desirable Beaches -
Haleiwa, HI
Beautiful Ocean View Home Steps From the Most Desirable Beaches -
Beautiful Private Home Right There at Sharks Cove
Beautiful Private Home Right There at Sharks Cove
Haleiwa, HI
Beautiful Private Home Right There at Sharks Cove
Memorable Vacation Rental@sunset Beachbeachjacuzzibikesa/cwifihd Cable
Memorable Vacation Rental@sunset Beachbeachjacuzzibikesa/cwifihd Cable
Haleiwa, HI
Memorable Vacation Rental@sunset Beachbeachjacuzzibikesa/cwifihd Cable
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.