Tutu Janet

Horseback riding at Turtle Bay

Luminaries  of  The  Life  Offer  A  Peek 
Into  the  North  Shore  Lifestyle

While many travelers prefer the convenience of tour groups, guides, and buses, this can be an impersonal approach to discovering a new destination. Often those who invest the extra time and energy to explore on their own, find many more memorable experiences.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning the sweet sound of the ukulele fills Turtle Bay Resort’s lobby. Follow the upbeat tune and you'll find Tūtū (Grandma) Janet, who is just as lively as her music. Since 2005, she has been teaching free ukulele and hula lessons with a smile for our guests. Come talk story, play music and dance with Tūtū to experience the embodiment of aloha spirit! 

Check out Tūtū’s Play List to better experience Oahu’s fabled North Shore.


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. Tūtū 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.


Tūtū is an animal lover and recommends horseback riding at Turtle Bay and taking in a polo match at the Hawai‘i Polo Club in Waialua. Tūtū developed her love of horses from her brothers who were both paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys). For Tūtū, sun, surf and fast horses all make for perfect day on the North Shore. Polo matches are held every Sunday from April through mid-September.


Tūtū says to bring the keiki (children) to the beach. One of her favorite spots is Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach where she and her husband would take their children during summers to paddle outrigger canoes. If you are looking for a safe place to learn to surf, Ali‘i Beach is an ideal spot when smaller surf is breaking.   


Tūtū gives Hale‘iwa Joes a thumbs up for its seafood and location! Be sure to sit on the lanai so you can view the famous historic Anahulu Stream Bridge, a.k.a. Rainbow Bridge, built in 1921. 


Speaking of food, a must try is Kahuku Superette’s poke – it’s ‘da best! Poke is the Hawaiian version of raw fish sashimi. Instead of thin neat slices of fish like the Japanese prepare, in Hawaii the raw fish is cubed into chunks and marinated in a variety of different salty flavors. The most popular version of poke is a combination of raw fish, sea salt, soy sauce, limu seaweed, sliced sweet Maui onions and fragrant sesame oil. Kahuku Superette’s poke marinade takes over four years to ferment to the proper flavor! Hint…the poke can be found all the way in the back of the store!