Miles of pristine beaches with clear blue water, balmy tropical trade winds and lush, green landscapes make the north shore of Oahu the perfect spot for an idyllic Hawaii vacation.
Things To Do
Oahu's north shore is famous for its beautiful beaches and large winter waves that attract the best surfers from all around the world. Take a surfing lesson to benefit from a knowledgeable instructor with years of experience in these waters. They will ensure your safety and make sure you are in just the right size waves to have a thrill and fun surfing adventure. There are several excellent scuba diving as well as snorkeling spots on the north shore with cave formations and interesting areas to explore among the coral reefs. Ocean kayaking is also a popular activity on the north shore during the summer months. At Waimea Valley you can browse through the botanical gardens and swim at the lovely Waimea Falls. Then head over to Haleiwa for a shave ice and browse through an array of interesting shops. Skydiving and glider rides are offered at the north shore's Dillingham Field, giving you a thrilling opportunity to see this area from above. Several nice hiking and mountain biking trails provide great views of the north shore, and there are opportunities for horseback riding excursions along the rolling hills and also on the coast. The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie is a great place to learn about Pacific Island cultures with themed villages and interactive exhibits as well as an IMAX theater. Golfers will enjoy two well-groomed courses at the north shore's Turtle Bay Resort.
Waimea Bay is a legendary north shore surfing spot during the winter months though during summer the water is typically calm and very nice for swimming and water activities. This is a lifeguarded beach with restrooms, showers and picnic areas. Among the numerous excellent beaches along seven miles of the pristine north shore are beaches suitable for various ocean activities from snorkeling and scuba diving to bodyboarding, surfing and stand up paddle boarding. The world's premier surfing competitions are held during the winter months at several famed north shore surfing beaches including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline and Haleiwa.
Various dining options can be found in this area from the welcoming cafes and restaurants of historic Haleiwa town to fine dining at Turtle Bay Resort. From sushi to Mexican and Italian cuisine you will find great dining options in Haleiwa town.
On Saturday mornings the North Shore Country Market is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. The market also has vendors selling some delicious baked goods as well as locally made gifts. The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie offers an exceptional Hawaiian luau feast accompanied by a theatrical dinner show.
Fun shopping can be found in Haleiwa town, the north shore's commercial and social center where you will find everything from surf shops to boutique gift stores and art galleries housed in the town's plantation-era buildings. Take in the country ambiance and architecture that still reflects the town's plantation heritage.
Renting a car is recommended when staying on Oahu's North Shore so you have easy access to the many great beaches and attractions as well as day trips to the windward shore and also Waikiki and downtown Honolulu on the south shore. Most major populated areas of Oahu can also be reached on the public transit system known as "TheBus."
Weather and Ocean Conditions
The weather on Oahu's North Shore ranges from about 70 to 85 degrees F. throughout the year with rain and wind conditions varying a bit through the seasons. The north and eastern shores of Oahu are generally a bit wetter and cooler than the south and west shores, and the winter months typically see more rain than summer. Sunny skies, mild temperatures and warm trade winds make the North Shore an excellent vacation destination all through the year. Rain showers are typically brief and light with ample sunshine even on the rainier days. Hawaii's predominant trade winds blow from the northeast bringing moisture-laden clouds that typically rain onto the mountains of the east and north shores creating green and lush landscapes.Trade winds are almost always calmest in the mornings so it's a good time to visit the beach. Ocean conditions vary each day though typically the north shore will have the calmest waters during the summer months and the south shore will have the calmest waters during the winter. Some beaches provide more protection from the open ocean, and if the waves are too big at the beach you visit then you may be able to find a more sheltered beach where water activities are safe. For swimming and ocean activities visit Oahu's lifeguarded beaches. Make sure to obey all posted warnings and ask lifeguards about the conditions on that day for the activities you choose.
North Shore vacation homes provide the optimal way to enjoy your Hawaii vacation with all the luxuries of resort living and all the comforts of home. Browse through our North Shore vacation rental listings to get an understanding of the different amenities and property features we offer. Our goal is to provide you with a with an unforgettable North Shore accommodation for your dream Hawaii vacation. We take pride in having the largest selection of high-quality vacation rentals on Oahu and we stand behind our product, making sure only the best of the best North Shore properties are listed on our site. If you have questions about our North Shore rentals or which Oahu destination is best for your vacation needs, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
An important cultural site on the north shore is Puu O Mahuka Heiau in Pupukea overlooking Waimea Bay. The five-acre site includes large stone enclosures that were built in ancient times. Learn more about Hawaiian culture and other Pacific Island cultures at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie.