North Shore Hawaii: 5 Stops You Want To Make NOW (2021)
The North Shore of Hawaii is one of the worlds top surfing destinations and also an amazing destination even if you don’t surf. Departing from Honolulu “town” to North Shore, “country” you will be constantly tempted to stop. Before doing so, here are 5 stops you have to make when making your way to the country.
5 Can't Miss North Shore Hawaii Spots
- Sunset Beach/Pipeline
- Ehukai Pillboxes
- Sharks Cove
- Ka’ena Point
Surfing the World's Best - Sunset/Pipeline Beach
Sunset Beach is one of the most scenic beaches of the North Shore and for good reason. Fine grained sand complemented by beautiful blue waters this is a great place to hang for the day or to pop in for Sunset. Sunset Beach is another popular surf area so those who want to get out in the water will have their fill. Banzai Pipeline is just down the beach for those who want to see the big boy swell if it’s firing
Pro Tip: This place gets PACKED at Sunset. If you want to avoid crazy crowds, head much farther north to the northernmost tip of Oahu, Ka’ena Point.
Top North Shore Hike - Sunset Pillbox Hike (Ehukai)
The North Shore isn’t blessed with the amount of hiking as other parts of the island but what it does have is the Ehukai Pillbox Hike. This easy 2.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back hike, is well worth a stop to capture the beauty of the North Shore from above. Park at Sunset Elementary school and you will find the trail head on your left. Midday can be very humid so bring water and a camera. It’s a fairly easy hike but the reward are views like this.
Pro Tip: Go early and if you’re craving an Acai bowl post hike, head over to Banzai bowls or Sunset Shack just down the street.
North Shore Snorkeling - Sharks Cove
Don’t let the name scare you off from this snorkelers paradise. Sharks Cove is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on the island and for good reason, there are a loads of underwater schools. You probably won’t see any sharks here for but you will see plethora’s of underwater creatures and quite possibly some Turtles (Honu).
Pro Tip: Head across the street to Foodland post snorkel for some of Hawaii’s best poke. If not craving Poke from Foodland, there is a parking lot adjacent to Foodland full of Taco Trucks with some excellent food options.
Cliff Jumping - Waimea
Another surfing mecca of the world, Waimea is not built just for surfers but for everyone and anyone. One of the most popular activities on the North Shore is facing your fears and jumping off the Waimea rocks. When big swells roll through (Winter), casual swimming isn’t recommended as the strength of the tide is extremely powerful.
Pro Tip: Parking can be a nightmare here as the parking lot is tiny. If you can, use the bus and walk across the street from the Bus Stop
Star Gazing - Ka'ena Point
This one is a bit of a North Shore stretch. Most people wont include this as its a bit farther than anything in the North Shore. What you get for the effort is no light pollution, little crowds, and epic sunsets. Ka’ena Point isn’t visited by all visitors, which makes it more of a gem if you can make it!
Bonus North Shore Spot - DOLE Pineapple Plantation
The Dole Plantation is a worthwhile spot to check out if you’re a Pineapple lover. The site has everything you could imagine related to Pineapples, as well as their tours that highlight the growing varieties and conditions necessary for optimal pineapples.
Beyond the North Shore of HI
There are far more options to explore around the North Shore Hawaii, but these are just a few recommendations. Have you been to the North Shore? What is your favorite stop on this part of the island?
Drop a comment as I’m always looking to learn something new about this place or rediscover a well known spot. Are you looking for more activities in Hawaii? Check out one of my favorite hikes here or if you want to go surfing in Waikiki, read the Waikiki Surfing guide.
Mahalo for reading and Aloha.