North Shore Oahu | Go Hawaii

North Shore

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North Shore, Oʻahu

If the perfect wave exists, you’ll find it on Oʻahu’s North Shore. The towering, glassy winter waves of this legendary surf mecca draw the best surfers in the world, while smaller and gentler summer waves are better for beginners. Stretching for more than 7 miles, the beaches of the North Shore host the world’s premier surfing competitions during the peak winter months, including the biggest of them all, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November - December). Waimea Bay, ʻEhukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach are great places to sunbathe and stroll along the shore—just leave surfing the huge waves to the pros because they can be very dangerous for inexperienced surfers.
 
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.

Regions of Oʻahu

Oʻahu
Photo of Waikīkī
One of the most recognizable beaches in the world, Waikīkī was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Today, millions of visitors visit these shores every year.
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Photo of Lēʻahi (Diamond Head)
Take an easy hike to the top for panoramic views of Waikīkī, Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.
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Photo of Downtown Honolulu
Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown are Oʻahu’s centers for government, business and arts,with dining and nightlife around every corner.
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Photo of Kapahulu
Kapahulu is a small neighborhood next to Waikīkī where you find eclectic shops and some of Honolulu’s best local food.
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Photo of National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific
National Memorial of the Pacific honors sacrifices of America’s Armed Forces.
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Photo of Pearl Harbor
Visiting Peal Harbor is an experience that will be etched into your soul forever, and offer you a new perspective on World War II. Known the world over as a "date which will live in infamy," the devastating events of December 7, 1941 changed the course of history.
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Kaena Point
Kaʻena Point is a scenic and sacred spot where, legend says, the souls of ancient Hawaiians would jump off into the spirit world to meet the souls of their ancestors.
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Makaha Beach
The most popular beach on the Leeward Coast offers ocean-lovers a long stretch of golden sand to play or relax.
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Haleiwa Town
This laid-back surfer town offers beautiful beaches, tasty local restaurants and food trucks, cool shops and plenty of shave ice.
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Waimea Bay
This beloved beach is popular with locals and visitors alike, and was an influential surf spot during the dawn of big wave surfing in the 1950s.
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Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Hike to this scenic point on Oʻahu’s easternmost tip for incredible views and whale watching during the winter.
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Nuuanu Pali Lookout
Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout is one of Oʻahu’s most popular scenic spots, with panoramic views of the Windward Coast and the Koʻolau Mountains.
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Byodo-In Temple
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park houses Byodo-in, a stunning replica of a Japanese Buddhist Temple set in a lush forest.
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Honolulu
Statue of Duke Kahanamoku, father of modern surfing, on Kuhio Beach, Waikiki
The state capital and largest city in Hawaiʻi, Honolulu is a unique combination of tropical glamour and buzzing international metropolis, where sandy shores meet city streets.
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Central Oʻahu
Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on Oahu
Gain a unique perspective on World War II with a visit to Pearl Harbor, or explore the island's agricultural traditions at the Dole pineapple plantation.
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Leeward Coast
Leeward Coast of Oahu
This area on Oʻahu's west side is home to rural towns, off-the-beaten-path beaches and one luxurious resort area, Kō Olina.
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North Shore
Oahu's North Shore is a popular surf destination
Rub shoulders with champion surfers and laid-back locals on Oʻahu’s North Shore, the big wave surfing capital of the world.
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Windward Coast
Windward Coast of Oahu
It’s only a short drive from Honolulu to enjoy the highlights of Oʻahu’s lush Windward Coast, including the peaceful Byodo-in Temple and adventurous Kuaola Ranch.
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North Shore Highlights

Haleiwa Town

Haleʻiwa Town

This laid-back surfer town offers beautiful beaches, tasty local restaurants and food trucks, cool shops and plenty of shave ice.

More
Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay

This beloved beach is popular with locals and visitors alike, and was an influential surf spot during the dawn of big wave surfing in the 1950s.

More

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