Sunday, July 21, 2024

10 Things To Do in North Shore Of Oahu That Even Locals Don’t

The island of Oahu in Hawaii has been called The Gathering Place by the locals because it’s an ideal place to connect with your friends and family on vacation. Although you could spend days at the beaches or lounging in the sun, there are also plenty of unique and fun things to do on the North Shore of Oahu that will give you memories that last far beyond your trip. Here are 10 things to do in North Shore of Oahu that even natives don’t know about.

1. Visit Turtle Beach at Haleiwa

Visit Turtle Beach at Haleiwa

This is one of the top first in this list of 10 Things To Do in North Shore Of Oahu. Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches and surfing. When visiting the north shore of Oahu, I recommend a quick stop at Turtle Beach in Haleiwa.

This beach is not as crowded as some and turtles can be seen sunning themselves on shore with seagulls circling overhead. If you’re looking for a place to get close to nature while taking advantage of Hawaii’s warm sun, this is your spot!

2. Camp out at Waimea Valley

Camp out at Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley is an arboretum and botanical garden with four looping miles of walking trails. The weather is cooler in Waimea Valley, it’s a refuge from the hot sun, and you’re less likely to have an insect as a companion. It’s not just trees that greet you at Waimea Valley, but more than 150 varieties of Hawaiian and Polynesian plants as well.

Situated at 1,200 feet above sea level and holding the largest collection of endemic trees in Hawaii, this large hilly region provides a lush landscape for visitors. There are over a dozen waterfalls nestled into the valley with rich colors from flora and fauna contrasting against them.

3. Visit Kahuku Point

Visit Kahuku Point

Kahuku Point is about an hour’s drive north of Honolulu and includes three large parking lots for visitors. This is a great place to see migratory water birds, including white-tailed tropicbirds, brown boobies, and terns.

Visitors can also visit Kahuku Beach where they might spot sea turtles who come in close to shore during nesting season. Due east of Kahuku Point is Hawaii’s largest bird sanctuary known as Kaena Point  (named after Princess Kaena).

There are no human inhabitants in the reserve but there are more than 190 species of animals and over 100 types of plants. The shores are formed by coral reefs and limestone outcroppings that afford beautiful scenery for photographers as well as for lovers wishing for unspoiled beauty!

4. Hike to Kaena Point Lighthouse

Hike to Kaena Point Lighthouse

Kaena Point Lighthouse is located just past Sandy Beach at a Marine Life Conservation District, where you can see Spinner Dolphins, Blue Sea Urchins, and Hawaiian Monk Seals. With these unique animals in one place, Kaena Point is an ideal location for a coastal hike.

From the parking lot, it is about a mile down to the lighthouse, which will take about 45 minutes (going at a moderate pace). Along the way, there are beautiful scenic views and rocks perfect for seaside picnics. The reward at the end will be reaching and exploring this historical landmark.

The Kaena Point Lighthouse was built in 1909 and staffed with volunteers up until 1983 when it became automated.

5. Hang out at Sunset Beach Park

Hang out at Sunset Beach Park

Waves crashing against an azure sky. It may sound cliché, but some of the most idyllic places can be found right here on Hawaii’s volcanic north shore. And Sunset Beach Park is one example. On this 6-acre parcel overlooking the valley, you’ll find coconut trees, picnic tables, and rustic campsites by its man-made lagoon.

Pack a hamper full of food and have a beachside picnic with your family and friends or bring your camping gear and pitch your tent up for a night under the stars. Located in Kaneohe Bay just off Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83), it’s easy to get to from Honolulu or Kaneohe, too – if that says anything about how enticing this place is!

6. Jump Off Waimea Falls

Jump Off Waimea Falls

The best way to get started is by starting at one of the most popular attractions in all of Hawaii, and one that showcases some really beautiful flora and fauna, Waimea Falls. The waterfall runs on Kauai’s north shore and is reached by hiking or swimming downstream.

To get there you’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle or if you want an easier route (but not as pretty) then hike from near Polihale State Park.

To swim upstream from Waimea Falls you’ll need to either rent a kayak for about $20 per hour or build your own with some basic skills. Either way expects about three hours total for this one if you’re exploring, so head out early!

7. Go for Kayak Ride at Kawela Bay

Go for Kayak Ride at Kawela Bay

Kawela Bay is a beautiful body of water found at Kawela Bay. It’s best known for being home to a sea turtle conservation program. The clear, calm waters make it a perfect spot for kayaking too!

These paddles are offered by organizations like Outfitters Kauai, Na Pali Kayak Tour, and Hawaii Paddle Sports. After your ride, be sure to stop off at Banzai Pipeline so you can watch some world-class surfers compete in high-stakes contests.

8. Explore Sandy Beach

Explore Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach Park is located in Hawaii Kai and provides surf lessons, rentals, and lessons. Surfing is one of the most popular activities in Hawaii so it’s no surprise this beach is great for all skill levels. There are also plenty of other recreational opportunities here like swimming and snorkeling.

Visitors should be aware that this area has a high tide zone so if you’re playing in the ocean make sure you keep an eye on the water level or else you might get swept out to sea!

9. Spoil Yourself with an Intriguing Meal or Treat from Ted’s Bakery

Spoil Yourself with an Intriguing Meal or Treat from Ted’s Bakery

Ted’s Bakery is a bakery known for its rum cake, coffee cake, and other assorted goodies. The most sought-after sweet delicacy that Ted’s has, is their Original Rum Cake. This Kuleana Rum Cake starts with a moist, yellow butter cake and is soaked in coconut-infused dark Jamaican rum.

The last touch is a beautiful buttercream frosting made from fresh Hawaiian cream. So if you want an irresistibly rich dessert that will give you instant gratification – visit Ted’s Bakery today!

10. Be Quiet and Listen


This is the last in this list of 10 Things To Do in North Shore Of Oahu. Find yourself surrounded by beauty and peace at Kaneana State Recreation Area. From the breezy forest trails to gorgeous views of sea cliffs, this is an unforgettable experience. Spend your time hiking through history at Pu’u Kuka’ia (the smokey hills), where you will witness artifacts from as far back as 12,000 years ago.

Get up close and personal with waterfalls at Sacred Falls State Park while you wade through tall tropical plants and explore hidden nooks in Koaie Stream Cave. Maybe you’re more interested in shopping? We’ve got that too! Head over to historic Kualoa Town (where Jurassic Park was filmed) for a day trip packed with thrills and discoveries around every corner.

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