North Shore of Oahu: Where to go NOW! (2021)

North Shore Best Beaches

Welcome to the North Shore of Oahu! If you’re sticking to the script of your itinerary, please allow for some changes as Hawaii is not about seeing it all in one day. Enjoy the aloha spirit and slow down. In this post we will discuss some of the best places you can experience when cruising the north shore!

Sunset Shack

North Shore Food Scene

Sunset Shack Acai Bowl

The North Shore has a pretty solid food scene so don’t blow all of your money in one place. There is a plethora of Food Trucks so make sure you give more than one a shot. 

If you are coming from the eastern shores (counterclockwise route) on Kamehameha highway you will have multiple food court selections. These are in that order:

  • Kahuku – Food Truck Center featuring one of the islands most famous spots, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.
  • Ted’s Bakery – Past Kahuku near Sunset Beach. One of the staples of the North Shore. Gets VERY Busy
  • Foodland/Pupukea – Across the street from Sharks Cove is another Food Truck Area + Foodland.
  • Haleiwa – Some more upscale and chain restaurants as you enter town and a few food trucks scattered. Just before the end of town lies two different food courts. One has another of Oahu’s favorite, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Best Acai Bowls on the North Shore

  • Sunrise Shack – Small shack that brings HUGE flavors. This spot is a goldmine on the side of the road across from Sunset beach. Convenience at it’s finest if you’re in need of a bowl and hanging at Sunset or Pipeline.
  • Banzai Bowls -Another pipeline Acai Bowl option, Banzai Bowls shares it’s space with the gas station and is an amazing option for the Acai nectar. 
  • Haleiwa Bowls – Haleiwa Bowls is one of the most recognized and popular Acai Bowls on the North Shore. They are located immediately after the Haleiwa Bridge coming into town.
  • Crispy Grindz – One of the many Haleiwa food trucks, this small Acai joint is a mouth watering bowl that shouldn’t be skipped.

Top North Shore Beaches

North Shore Best Beaches

The North Shore has an abundance of incredible beaches that will satisfy everyone. Some of the main ones include:

  • Sunset Beach – One of the first easily accessible beaches of the North Shore. Lots of space but fills up for sunset as the name eludes too. Lovely scenery and has lighter swell than Pipeline just down the beach.
  • Pipeline – Adjacent to Sunset, Pipeline is home to Big Wave Surfing and is one of the most famous surf spots in the entire world. Experts only here and if you want to enjoy some of the best surfing, come for the winter swell.
  • Three Tables Beach – Adjacent to Sharks Cove. A nice beach to hang out if you are staying in the area or just want to find a spot to grab some more sun.
  • Waimea – Dependent on surf conditions and season, go jump of Waimea Rock! Winter brings huge surfing swell through here! Waimea is one of the best beaches when the winter swell isn’t pumping.
  • Laniakea Beach – TURTLES! High density and spotting for turtles here. You will see hoards of people here when the turtles are hanging on the shore.

Can't Miss Hikes

Ehukai Pillbox Hike
Pillboxes are a must!
  • Ehukai Pillboxes – The Ehukai Pillboxes are a very rewarding and relatively easy hike for unobstrucuted views of the North Shore. The trailhead for the Ehukai Pillboxes is across the street from Hawaii’s Most Famous Surf Break, Pipeline.
  • Waimea Falls – Easy paved hike to this small but lovely waterfall. I don’t care much for this one as you have to pay an admission fee but very popular for families.
  • Ka’Ena Point – Ka’ena Point is one of the most underrated hikes on Oahu Go here for some solitude and lovely coastal hiking. Be aware of your time if you are doing the complete trail. This is also one of the top stargazing spots on Oahu as the area has little light pollution.

Best Things to do on the North Shore

Sharks Cove
  • Sky Diving – Jump out of a plane at Dillingham Airport in one of the worlds most beautiful dropzones!
  • Shark Diving – Haleiwa is one of the main docking points for shark diving. Read my Shark Diving Oahu Guide to learn more
  • Surfing – If you’re serious about surfing, you have found the right spot. Pipeline and Waimea are world class. Smaller waves can be found near Haleiwa at Haleiwa Beach Park and Chun’s Reef
  • Snorkeling – Grab your mask and fins and explore the underwater world at Sharks Cove. Highly doubtful you will encounter a shark! Rentals across the street at the food court.

Oahu Travel Tips

There are plenty of other North Shore things to do and see but this is just a general overview and some of the most notable. If you are in need of more, please reach out to me and I can help plan a tailored schedule. There’s no worse feeling than not knowing where to go or what to see!

Are you in need of other ideas outside of the North Shore? Oahu has so many other activities that shouldn’t be skipped either. Deep Sea Fishing or hiring an Oahu Fishing Charter is always an option!

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As always, thank you for reading! Have you been to the north shore? Where are some of your favorite places to explore when in the North Shore of Oahu? I would love to hear in the comments below. Aloha and see you out there or somewhere else in this world!

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