Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and looking for a guide on the North Shore of Oahu? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will provide a complete overview of how to make the most of your time in this beautiful area. From world-famous beaches to delicious food, we’ll cover everything you need to know before your trip. So sit back, relax, and get ready for some serious island vibes!
About The North Shore of Oahu
The North Shore of Oahu is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant surfing culture, and laid-back island lifestyle. It starts at Kahana Bay and ends at the Ka’ena Point, spanning a total of 17-miles. All throughout this area are beaches, towns, and little neighborhoods to shop and grab some food in.
Located just a short drive from Honolulu, this area is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some time in nature.
It can also be a destination to escape some of the busier beaches on the island. While there are still crowds, it feels much less cramped than others. We highly recommend just exploring for a day. It’s one of those places you can visit with no specific plan and still have a great time.
Getting To The North Shore
The North Shore of Oahu is located about an hour’s drive from the Honolulu International Airport. This is generally the quickest route to Oahu. There are also several shuttle services that operate between the airport and the North Shore, so be sure to do your research before booking your transportation. All you have to do is put Walawei into your maps and follow the H-1 and H-2 freeways.
If you’re looking to take a scenic route, you can drive to Kahuku by taking Highway 3. You get great views of the surrounding area, such as the Koolau mountain range.
If you are interested in exploring and going off the paved roads, we recommend renting an SUV. Some of the roads on this part of the island can be rough and having the extra power in your vehicle could help you explore more. It is definitely not necessary though.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the North Shore of Oahu is during the summer months (June-August). This is when the waves are at their calmest and the weather is warm and sunny.
However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting in late spring or early fall. Keep in mind the oceans are much rougher in the winter months, so you won’t be able to swim at every beach. This isn’t a huge issue as the North Shore has a lot of beaches to choose from that you can swim at.
If you only have a day to explore, be sure to check out Day Trippin’ on Oahu’s North Shore. Not everyone has time to stay for a few days, and this gives you some pointers on the must-see and do locations on the North Shore. You’ll still have a blast even if you’re not there for long.
Fun Things To Do On The North Shore
There is no shortage of things to do on the North Shore of Oahu. With over 7 miles of beaches to explore, there’s plenty to do.
If you find yourself on the North Shore during the winter months, try and catch a surf competition. Surfers come from all over the world to compete on these 30+ foot waves. Major competitions are held from November to February.
During the summer months, the beaches will be much calmer. It’s generally a better time to relax and go snorkeling or swimming. Consider trying out surfing during this time if you’re new to it.
The great part about the North Shore is that you can do just about any adventurous activity. Paragliding, scuba diving, shark cage diving, and swimming with all the wildlife that Hawaii offers. Of course, there is plenty of great food and restaurants to choose from which we’ll talk about further in this article.
Best Beaches On The North Shore
No visitors guide would be complete without telling you about the North Shores’ best beaches. Oahu’s North Shore has 51 beaches to choose from so if you don’t like our list, you have plenty of options. However, these are all well worth a visit.
This is all around a great place to spend a day or two. Perfect for families, romance, and even thrill-seekers. It features plenty of hiking, surfing, snorkeling, and of course – sunset watching. It’s well suited for swimming in the summer months, but winter may be trickier.
This beach can be known for its rip currents. Always be cautious in ocean water and check the local surf reports.
Waimea Bay Beach Park is a great place to experience the outdoors of Hawaii. You get amazing views and access to some really good surfing. Known as one of the world’s best big-wave surfing locations and is home to 40-ft waves in the winter months.
If surfing huge waves isn’t your thing, the beach also offers snorkeling, fishing, rock climbing, and much more. You just have to get out there and explore!
Ehukai Beach Park (The Banzai Pipeline)
This beach is world famous and for good reason. It’s considered one of the most dangerous beaches in the world during the rough winter months for surfers. There’s a reason so many competitions are held here.
However, it calms down a lot during the summer and makes for a relaxing day. There are lifeguards, picnic areas, and restrooms in the area. If you’re unsure of the ocean conditions check with a lifeguard.
While these are only a few of the beaches that the North Shore has to offer, in our opinion, they are well worth a visit.
Best Places To Eat
The North Shores of Oahu have food trucks and restaurants. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find it.
You have 2 famous shrimp spots – Romy’s and Giovanni’s. They’re known for their spicy and garlic shrimp, so make sure you try either of them out!
That’s not all, of course, you’ll be able to find Pupukea Grill serves some amazing ahi tuna. Just like the North Shore beaches, we can’t name all of the impressive places you’ll find to eat. Get out there and try something new.
Staying On The North Shore
There are many great places to stay on the North Shore of Oahu. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, condo, or vacation rental, you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs and budget. If you don’t want to stay directly on the North Shore, we have a list of general great places to stay on Oahu.
A few of our favorite places to stay on the North Shore are:
Turtle Bay Resort: Turtle Bay Resort is a luxurious resort located on the beautiful Kuilima Cove. It offers stunning ocean views, two golf courses, and a variety of restaurants and bars.
Tiki Moon Villas: This is a cozy collection of bungalows that comes with private beach access. If you want something a bit quieter than traditional accommodations, be sure to check them out.
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows: In our opinion, this is one of the best places to stay on Oahu. It’s cozy and secluded with beachfront views and trees to relax and hammock on. Overall a great option regardless of what you’re looking to do.
Be sure to look at all your options! These are just a few of our favorites.
Shopping & More
Once you’ve gotten your fill of relaxing on the beach and swimming you might want to go out and shop. There are quite a few places worth checking out.
The North Shore Marketplace is filled with a variety of shops and restaurants to explore. Take a stroll through the art galleries, or enjoy some fresh fish. Whatever you decide to do we promise you’ll enjoy your time here. In our opinion, it’s your one-stop-shop for whatever you want or need. While there are other places to shop spaced out on the North Shore, this is easily the best.
You’re Ready for Oahu’s North Shore
Now that you’ve read through the post, you have all of the information you need to make the most of the North Shore of Oahu. While it’s impossible to cover everything that the North Shore offers, this is the rundown of things you should definitely look for during your stay.
We hope this article has helped you plan for the North Shore, and we look forward to seeing you here! Thank you for reading!