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The months between November and February are the best times to see big wave surfing. The massive waves can sometimes swell up to thirty feet or more—dangerous even for experienced surfers—so always heed warning signs. From May to September, the waves subside, creating a more tranquil atmosphere for surfing and swimming.
Roughly a one-hour drive from Waikīkī, the North Shore is also home to a variety of accommodation options, including condo rentals and the exclusive beachside Turtle Bay Resort. Take a little road trip to the charming surf town of Haleʻiwa Town, where you can shop, eat like a local and cool off with rainbow-flavored shave ice. Continue your drive to Lāʻie to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center and the old plantation town of Kahuku.
"Waimea Bay has a lot of history. It’s known to be one of the first places where the guys ventured out in the 50’s and rode giant waves. Banzai Pipeline is a remarkable spot. For spectators it’s probably one of the better spots to watch surfing. It is a dangerous place, so it’s for experts only. Sunset Beach is my favorite spot, actually. It’s where I learned to ride big waves."