Top 10 things to do on Oahu's North Shore
To help guests gain a richer and more gratifying travel experience while visiting Oahu’s North Shore, Turtle Bay offers an Insider’s TOP 10 Play List: a tip sheet provided by North Shore Luminaries about their favorite ways to play along one of the world’s most storied coastlines. Insider’s Play Lists will list things to do in North Shore Oahu including favorite adventures, attractions, activities, events, places to eat, beaches, surf spots and ocean outings and the authors, who live “the North Shore life” to the fullest, will range from legendary surf icons and artists to resort ambassadors and employees. Now creating your personal Play list just became a snap.
1. VISIT WAIMEA BAY & JUMP OFF THE ROCK
“When the surf is small or flat, there is nothing more fun than climbing to the top of "Jump Rock" at Waimea Bay Beach Park and launching yourself out into the turquoise blue water. It’s a right-of-passage for every teenager and fun for just about everyone!” - Randy Rarick, Founder of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
2. HIKE WAIMEA VALLEY & SWIM IN THE WATERFALL
“Take some time to learn about the history of the North Shore and the Hawaiian culture. A wonderful place to start is at Waimea Valley which is deeply rooted in Hawaiian history and continues to be a gathering place for Hawaiian spirituality and traditions. Tutu fondly remembers taking the Oahu Land & Railway train from Honolulu to the North Shore while growing up. She has a picture of the train that at one point ran through the valley on its way to the Kahuku Sugar Mill. She still shares the photograph with guests during ukulele lessons at the resort. Train service ceased on Oahu in 1947.” – Tutu Janet, Turtle Bay’s Grandmother who taught ukulele lessons to our guests.
3. SWIM WITH THE SHARKS
“Spend the afternoon learning about one of Hawaii’s most famous ocean residents: The shark, or “mano” in the Hawaiian language, is a central figure in native Hawaiian culture and is featured in many legends. There are several tour operators on the North Shore that allow guests to see and learn about sharks close-up, either from a boat or underwater. A bonus: On your off-shore journey, you’ll also frequently see plenty of other sea life, including dolphins, sea turtles and magnificent humpback whales during the winter months. All this is topped off with a breathtaking view of Oahu's North Shore! “ – Roger Corpuz, Head Bellman at Turtle Bay and employee for more than 40 years.
4. FIND PETROGLYPHS AT KE IKI BEACH
“After a giant swell, I like to search for petroglyphs at Ke-Iki beach. On rare occasions, the giant surf sweeps the sandstone entirely clean of sand and exposes ancient pre-contact carvings. It’s a fascinating display if you are lucky enough to be there under the right conditions.” - Randy Rarick, Founder of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
5. HIKE KEALIA TRAIL
Kealia Trail is located by the Dillingham Airfield and offers breathtaking views of the North Shore. It is family friendly and well maintained.
6. SEE HONU (SEA TURTLES) AT ALI’I BEACH PARK
“The best place to check out turtles is on the Kaena Point side of Ali'i Beach Park. Forget about "Turtle Beach" at Laniakea. There are ten times more turtles available for viewing right on the beach and from the shore on the far west side of Ali'i Beach Park.” Randy Rarick, Founder of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
7. EAT AND PARTY LIKE THE HAWAIIANS AT THE POLYNEISAN CULTURAL CENTER
“I highly recommend a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is Oahu’s No. 1 paid attraction, conveniently located just a few minutes from Turtle Bay. With eight island villages over its 42 acres, the Center features a canoe pageant and an IMAX Theatre. It is also home to Hawaii’s most authentic luau, with delicious roasted pig from an underground fire pit (imu), and a spectacular night show with a cast of 100 performers. A must-see (and taste!)” – Roy Nacapuy, Concierge and Turtle Bay employee for more than 40 years.
8. TREK & SWIM AT KA’ENA POINT
“Ka'ena Point takes you far away from life's business. Even being on vacation can get hectic!! Pack a good sized bottle of ice cold water and a light brunch and drive to the far west end of Farrington Highway, beyond Haleiwa and the Mokuleia. There are deserted white sand beaches and aqua waters up here in the summer. In the winter, enjoy the massive, crashing surf from the safety of high sand. You can also take the walking trail at the end of the road and gently explore the shoreline. Caution: no lifeguards on this stretch of coastline and it also gets very hot, so get an early start, drink plenty of water, keep a cell phone on you, and stay within your comfort zone for real enjoyment.” – Jodi Wilmott, Veteran surf and watersports communications professional.
9. SHOP & DINE AT HISTORIC HALEIWA TOWN
Haleiwa is a happy North Shore beach town in Oahu about 15 minutes away from Turtle Bay. There you can shop at one-of-a-kind boutiques, enjoy water sports and dine. A MUST in Haleiwa is to cool of when legendary shave-ice from either Matsumoto’s or Aoki’s. Shave ice is finely shaved ice covered in homemade tropical juice like pineapple, guava and passion fruit. There are dozens of flavors to choose from and you can get ice-cream or sweet azuki beans on the bottom of the shave ice.
10. TASTE THE NORTH SHORE AT FARMERS MARKETS
“ The best place to find the flavors of the North Shore is at the Thursday Farmers Market in Haleiwa and Saturday Farmers Market in Waialua. Both markets offer a casual shopping experience, plenty of samples to taste and delicious locally grown produce and fruit as well as locally made specialties - all within the confines of the North Shore.” Randy Rarick, Founder of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing