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Waimea Bay

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.

Popular Activities at Waimea Bay

Give yourself heaps of time at Waimea Bay. Below are some of the best activities:

When arranging your trip, you may want to consider buying a 5-Star Circle Island Luxury Mini Coach Tour or a Pearl Harbor & North Shore Combo Tour.

If you're seeking more options, examine our Haleiwa things to do page.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Waimea Bay

See all 478 Properties near Waimea Bay
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel

Backpackers Vacation Inn and Hostel

59-788 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI
     
    1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    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).

    Waimea Bay Point Cottage
    Waimea Bay Point Cottage

    Waimea Bay Point Cottage

    Haleiwa, Hawaii
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the waterfront, this vacation home is steps from Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Waimea Point Oceanfront House
      Waimea Point Oceanfront House

      Waimea Point Oceanfront House

      Haleiwa, Hawaii
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on the waterfront, this vacation home is steps from Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Right on the Ocean Secluded Cove-private House- Gorgeous Sunsets- Waimea Bay
        Right on the Ocean Secluded Cove-private House- Gorgeous Sunsets- Waimea Bay

        Right on the Ocean Secluded Cove-private House- Gorgeous Sunsets- Waimea Bay

        Haleiwa, Hawaii
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Haleiwa vacation home is located on the waterfront, just steps from Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Perfect North Shore Location. Short Stroll to the Most Famous Beaches
          Perfect North Shore Location. Short Stroll to the Most Famous Beaches

          Perfect North Shore Location. Short Stroll to the Most Famous Beaches

          Haleiwa, Hawaii
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Haleiwa, this romantic apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            New Listing! Perfect North Shore Location! Large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath
            New Listing! Perfect North Shore Location! Large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath

            New Listing! Perfect North Shore Location! Large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath

            Haleiwa, Hawaii
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this romantic apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Beautiful Home With Pool 1 Block To Beach
              Beautiful Home With Pool 1 Block To Beach

              Beautiful Home With Pool 1 Block To Beach

              Haleiwa, Hawaii
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Haleiwa, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                New & Contemporary - Perfect North Shore Location - AC in Bedroom
                New & Contemporary - Perfect North Shore Location - AC in Bedroom

                New & Contemporary - Perfect North Shore Location - AC in Bedroom

                Haleiwa, Hawaii
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the beach, this romantic apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Three Tables Beach and Waimea Bay. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).