Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

Fun And Exciting Things To Do In North Shore Oahu

You say surfing; we hear North Shore Oahu! If you are looking for the best places to surf in Oahu, the very first recommendation you’ll get from anyone is to head to Oahu’s North Shore.

The place is not far from Waikiki, so if you are staying in Waikiki, you should definitely hop in your vehicle and explore it before leaving Hawaii.

The North Shore of Oahu is 15 miles along the north-facing coast, from Ka’ena Point in the west to Kahuku Point in the east. With over fifty beaches on the island, including famous names such as Haleiwa Beach Park, Waimea Bay Beach Park, and Turtle Beach, this part of Oahu is best for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing.

We understand that with so many places and activities to engage in here, it can be quite confusing to decide what to do North Shore Oahu. But don’t worry! This list of 12 activities is what we enjoyed the most, and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy it too!

1. Spend A Night At Malaekahana Beach

Looking for a relaxing beach day trip or want to spend a night on the beach? Head to the famous Malaekahana Beach.

If you’re a beach enthusiast like us, spending the night at Malaekahana Beach Campground is an exciting activity.

The beach has more than 50 campsites ( we could count only 50, but there are more), along with a number of charming plantation-style huts, offering the perfect coastal retreat. What’s even better is that the beach is just a stone’s throw away, so you can easily listen to the soothing melody of crashing waves and wake up to the gentle lullaby of the ocean.

The beach sits on the northern tip of Oahu, is a true hidden treasure and one of our personal favorites for snorkeling adventures. As the beach is secluded offers a refreshing escape from the tourist hustle, granting you an authentic taste of local island life.

The tranquil waters, usually calm and shallow, provide an ideal habitat for observing the diverse marine life without venturing too far from shore. Just remember to check the weather forecast, as conditions can vary year round.

2. Surf Or Enjoy Watching Surfers At Banzai Pipeline

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

Want to surf in the most thrilling location? Don’t forget to visit Banzai Pipeline, a haven for experienced surfers. Banzai Pipeline is famous worldwide for its legendary waves, and we loved watching top surfers tackle them. The massive waves break over a shallow reef, creating unique, tubular formations that are mesmerizing to see.

The Bonzai Pipeline is one of Hawaii’s most famous surf breaks. We love spending time here watching professional surfers ride barreling waves as high as 20 feet, which is one of the main reasons why we suggest only professionals surf here.

If you’re lucky, you might catch one of the many surfing competitions held at the beach. We had a great time watching the famous IBA Pipeline Pro during our visit. The participants were competitive and high-spirited, clearly enjoying their time in the ocean.

But even if you don’t catch a competition, the beach is still a fantastic spot for sunbathing and feeling the thrill just by watching the surfers from the shore!

3. Dive Into The Ocean At Pupukea Beach

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

While the North Shore of Oahu may be known for surfing competitions, it’s also a great place for snorkeling. According to Pupukea Marine Life, they protect almost 100 acres of the North Shore coastline, which is home to aquatic creatures such as octopuses, manta rays, Hawaiian sea turtles, monk seals, and other colorful fish.

The Pupukea Beach sits right next to Pupukea Beach Park, and it is a popular spot for snorkeling (also famous as Sharks Cove). This tide pool is protected and filled with several sea life which you can explore.

If you’re visiting the place during the summer, you can expect the water to be shallow and calm, even for your little ones to go inside and enjoy. But we don’t recommend you come here during the winter if you’re not a fan of powerful waves. During the winter months, the water here is best for surfers but may be dangerous for those wanting to swim or snorkel.

What we loved the most about this place was they had full facilities available on the beach, like showers, restrooms, and parking (for which you’ll have to arrive early).

Also, right across the street, there’s Pupukea Food Truck Park, where you can satiate your hunger after the activity and get some energy for your night strolling.

4. Watch Sunset At Sunset Beach

Are you an OPACAROPHILE? Guess what? We have just the right spot for you to take your love of sunset to the next level!

After a long day exploring the famous destinations in North Shore, Honolulu, you wouldn’t want to miss this place. Sitting by the shore, watching the sunset at North Shore’s Sunset Beach, is the best way to end your hectic day trip. The beach has 2 mile long white sand and is among the top beaches named on the island of Hawaii.

We love going here during the summer months, as during this time it has comparatively calmer waters. This makes it best for swimming and snorkeling after the sun sets.

On the other hand, during winter, the beach has high waves, making it a great spot for surfing. For more fun, check out the tide pools to witness some natural wonders. And keep your heads up because you might encounter Honu ( Hawaiian green sea turtles).

If you want to know more about the Hawaiian tides, check this out!

5. See The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Floating And Basking

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

The Hawaiian islands are widely known for their Hawaiian green sea turtles, also known as Honu. If you are planning a visit to the North Shore of Oahu during the turtle season (May to September), you’ll get multiple beaches to see them.

One of the first names that we would like you to go to is Laniakea Beach. It is a popular spot for turtle sightings, but it can get crowded, and parking might be tough to find.

To avoid the crowds, drive a bit longer and visit Papa’iloa Beach. It’s a non-touristy beach, so you won’t find many people here, and finding a parking spot will be a breeze.

When you encounter these creatures, they may seem safe to look at, but please do not go and touch them, as these are threatened species. Always try staying 10 feet or even more away from them. Even if it is by mistake that you touch them, legal actions might be taken against you, and you wouldn’t want that! Would you?

6. Go Hiking To Ehukai Pillbox

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

Did you get bored with beach activities? It’s time for some adventure. It’s a 2-mile roundtrip hike that takes just half an hour of your day. When you reach the top, you’ll get an absolutely breathtaking view of the North Shore coastline.

But mind it—even though it might seem short, it is quite challenging due to the steep hill. The hike will, however, be worth your every effort, as you’ll get to see stunning views of the sunset on the entire island.

We went for a hike here in the late afternoon and could see even kids climbing up the steep hills with zeal and enjoyment. So, yes, this is one of the most adventurous yet beautiful activities to do along with your family.

Just a small tip, though—don’t do any heavy activities after the hike (especially if you are not a regular hiker) because your legs are definitely going to be sore!

7. Explore The Food Trucks And Taste The Famous Haleiwa Shrimp

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

After a long day of exploration, you sure will need something to fill your tummy. Haleiwa Town on the North Shore of Oahu has a selection of food vendors where you can get anything you want to eat.

To start off with breakfast, Haleiwa has so many delicious food trucks, but our choice was Haleiwa Bowls. They have delicious acai bowls loaded with fresh fruit and toppings, and raw honey, which were fantastic and healthy. We also tried their other refreshing bowls, like the matcha chia pudding with coconut milk, which definitely gave us a kickstart for the day.

Then, for lunch, we headed towards the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. We had their Lemon Butter Shrimp, which was filling but light and had the perfect citrusy and salty flavors for a mid-day hunger.

We also had their Hot & Spicy Shrimp, which was actually quite hot. To ease the burning, we couldn’t find a better place than Kaimana Shave Ice. It’s the perfect place to end your meal. They have a wide range of in-house-made flavors to choose from for your shaved ice. We also tried their Macadamia Nut ice cream, which was superb.

Finally, after all the eating, you can explore the other cafes and restaurants, or shops and art galleries to spend your time on the island.

8. Swim And Jump Off The Cliff In Waimea Bay

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

Waimea Bay or Waimea Beach Park is a perfect spot if you want to enjoy recreational water sports. It is situated at the beginning of the Waimea River and is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

The water is extremely clear and often filled with vibrant marine life. If you’re fortunate, you might even see sea turtles, so don’t forget your snorkeling gear (especially during the summer months).

Water activities during the summer months are best for snorkeling and swimming, but beware during the winter months as the waves can get very high ( as high as 30 ft).

If you want more excitement on the beach, look for a special rock that has an outing on the ocean that makes it best for cliff jumping.

9. Stroll Around Dole Plantation

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

The pineapples here are a staple in Hawaii. If you are visiting Oahu for more than one day, you’ve got to visit the famous Dole Plantation.

At the Dole Plantation, you can explore all things pineapple. As you walk through the beautiful grounds, you’ll learn about the pineapple’s history and Hawaiian agriculture.

There are a few ways to see the plantation. We enjoyed riding the Pineapple Express Train for a two-mile journey through the story of Hawaii’s pineapples. There are eight different gardens you can stroll through to get up close to the plants. Don’t forget to work on your olfactory senses to take in the fresh scent of the pineapples around you.

While you’re inside, you can also get lost inside the Pineapple Garden Maze. By getting lost, we seriously mean you could get lost because this is one of the largest mazes in the world. It is spread over more than three acres to get this title (makes sense now?).

Before leaving for your resorts, don’t forget to taste their Dole whip and Dole soft serve, that’s the best way to end this tour.

10. Engage In Multiple Activities At Turtle Bay Resort

The Turtle Bay Resort is a bit touristy and one of the most popular luxury resort to stay on the North Shore of Oahu. And if we are talking about fun activities, we cannot miss out on the things you can do on and around the resort.

Even before entering the resort, we went to Kuilima Cove at Turtle Bay, which is right in front of it. The shallow waters were perfect for snorkeling. Apart from the clean white sand beach, we swam alongside colorful fish like parrot fish, unicorn fish, Moorish idols, and many more.

Since we were here for a short time, we didn’t actually get to see any sea turtles, but if you have the time, don’t leave the place without spotting because, while it may be difficult to spot one, it’s not impossible.

Now, once you enter here, you’ll be walked down with a number of activities inside the resort, such as horseriding, surfing, tennis, pickleball, and many more. However, we really enjoyed playing golf here. The golf setting is surrounded by natural beauty, and trust me, even if you are a beginner in golf, you’ll still enjoy playing it.

11. Get On A Mesmerizing Trail Into Waimea Valley

Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

Waimea Valley is a popular spot in Oahu’s North Shore that attracts thousands of visitors daily. And why? There’s a breathtaking botanical garden setting that offers plenty of space to unwind under the shade of towering trees.

The valley is situated right next to Waimea Bay, safeguarded by Hi’ipaka LLC, a Hawaiian non-profit dedicated that focuses on land preservation and cultural education. As you wander around, you’ll see an array of flowers, trees, and significant cultural sites.

Now, what’s more exciting about this trail is that you’ll find a waterfall at the end of the trail. You can bathe under Waimea Falls and get rid of all the tiredness after all the walking.

12. Swim Alongside The Majestic Sharks
Exciting Things To Do In North Shore

If you are feeling a bit courageous, we’ll suggest an adventure with the sharks. There are multiple tours you can find online where you can swim inside a cage and see the sharks swimming around you. But if you want to get up and close to the sharks, you can go on a shark snorkel activity.

There’s also an option of a poly glass shark tour, where you’ll be safe and sound inside a glass box. You’ll be able to see these majestic creatures but won’t be able to touch them.

While we’re only talking about sharks, you won’t just be limited to shark watching; keep your eyes open as you can encounter dolphins also on the tour.


When is the best time to visit North Shore Oahu?

The best time to visit depends on your interests. For surfing, the winter months (November to February) offer the best waves. For a more relaxed experience with calmer seas and fewer crowds, the summer months (June to August) are ideal.

How do I get to North Shore Oahu from Honolulu?

The North Shore is about an hour’s drive from Honolulu. You can rent a car, take a shuttle service, or use public transportation. The scenic drive along the Kamehameha Highway is an added bonus.

Where can I find the best local food in North Shore Oahu?

You can find many food trucks and local eateries that offer delicious Hawaiian cuisine. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Matsumoto Shave Ice, and Haleiwa Joe’s are popular choices.

Enjoy Exciting Activities In Oahu’s North Shore

North Shore of Oahu offers an exhilarating array of activities for every type of traveler. With delicious food options, swimming in luxurious resorts, and thrilling shark encounters, this vibrant region promises an unforgettable Hawaiian experience. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the magic of North Shore Oahu for yourself!


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