Activities: Beach-combing. Swimming. Snorkeling. Nature walk. Waterfall. Hiking. Swimming. Winter big wave watching. Authentic cultural experience. Historic Hawaiian ahupua’a. Hale’iwa Farmer’s Market (Thursdays only).
Recommended: Walking shoes. Sun protection. Bathing suit/boardshorts. Plenty of drinking water. Snacks.
Cautions: Always heed lifeguard warnings. This coastline is prone to giant waves in winter with high shoreline run-up, strong shorebreaks and rip currents. Lifeguards are stationed at Laniakea, Chun’s Reef, Waimea Bay and at the Waimea Valley waterfall. Please respect local resident neighborhoods, driveways and parking.
There are many individual beaches and high quality surf breaks to explore along the 3-mile stretch from Laniakea to Waimea Bay. Erroneous information once earmarked Laniakea as the place to see turtles on the North Shore…the result was horrendous traffic, parking and pedestrian problems that detracted from life here for local residents, and meant valuable time lost to traffic snarls for visitors. Please note that turtles are prolific here and can be found along the entire North Shore.
Of all the beaches, Waimea Bay is definitely the most picturesque and famous. It is home to the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau in winter – a big wave invitational held in honor of Waimea’s first lifeguard and iconic big wave surfer. Waimea Bay offers some of the most dramatic big wave surfing and spectating in the world in winter, and one of the most pristine and calm swimming bays in all of Hawai’i in the summer.
A stones throw from the entrance to Waimea Bay, across Kamehameha Highway, is the entrance to the wondrous Waimea Valley – a great place to grab lunch. This area is deeply rooted in Hawaiian history and continues to be a respite for Hawaiian spirituality and traditions. It also offers one of the most gorgeous nature hikes in the Islands – replete with indigenous and endangered tropical plants, and an ever-active waterfall. On Thursdays you will also find Hale’iwa Farmer’s Market here, from 3pm-7pm – a weekly ritual for local residents.