With the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii being my new home, I feel like this place deserves some special appreciation and also its own blog entry.
This page will introduce you to my favorite local spots on this magical side of the Island and also allow you to get a close-up look to some of the most amazing beaches up here…
One of my absolute favorite things to do up here is to go out and watch the magical sunsets. There is something so magical about it setting right above the ocean with its magnificent colors melting all together in the sky and turning the clouds above the horizon all pink. I honestly believe that pictures never really do justice of its true beauty and I somehow feel like no matter how hard I’d try, I simply cannot put into words just how beautiful it really is.
Anyway, just come out and see it for yourself! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
My day usually starts with a morning work-out by the beach. I either go running, do some yoga or enjoy one of the amazing fitness classes at the nearby Turtle Bay Resort, which also allows you to bring your own surfboard and paddle out to catch some waves! Go check it out:
After I always like to pass by the local Kahuku farm stands, which offer a tropical variety of freshly cut fruit and veggies that mix perfectly into my smoothies 🍌🍓🍍🥑
Fun fact: Did you know that pineapples, for example, are not actually native to the Hawaiian Islands? Being called “hala kahiki” (=foreign fruit) in Hawaiian, pineapples originally come from South America and were brought to the Islands during the early voyages. Despite the fact that many believe that it is a local Hawaiian fruit, which is also exported from here, today 75% of the world’s pineapples actually derive from countries in Southeast Asia.
My favorite treat for brekky is the locally famous Açai Bowl, which I also enjoy making myself at home. I love topping it up with plenty of fruits, nuts, and other healthy goodies. You can find my recipe here:
You should definitely try Banzai Bowls, which is located next to the Texaco Petrol Station right opposite Sunset Beach and really makes the best (and also biggest) bowls! They also offer colorful dragon fruit bowls and delicious smoothies.
Another great spot is the tourist-famous ‘Haleiwa Bowls’, which has its own food truck near Ehukai Beach Park and a little beach shack near the rainbow bridge in Haleiwa town.
Considering myself sort of an expert by now when it comes to Açai, I really love the Brazilian-owned ‘Crispy Grindz’. They are really the only ones that do not blend in any other fruit or additives, which preserves the smooth and rich texture of the pure Açai. You will find their food truck close to famous surf spot Banzai Pipeline and another one right in the heart of Haleiwa town where you can also try some other famous Brazilian treats:
With our place being ideally located right at Sunset Beach, I am very lucky to have prime beach access while enjoying the laid-back style of the countryside ‘North Shore living’. Being so close to nature is a true blessing and I really enjoy living off local farm fresh food – especially after all the traveling and my crazy schedules and lifestyle from the past. If you are here on a Thursday, you should definitely check out the local farmers market at Waimea Valley. Here you will find pretty much everything from fresh fruits and veggies to local arts and jewelry to Hawaiian Aloha wear and even homemade Pizza! My favorite and definitely a must-try is the ‘Fawaffle’ stand! Whenever I miss middle-eastern cuisine, I go there to satisfy my cravings. Simply the best hummus and falafel on the island!
Getting around on the North Shore by car can be a little frustrating at times, as there can be some heavy congestion around the local surf and tourist spots at peak times. Unfortunately you never really know when the traffic hits, so with only one main road along the beach, you might want to opt for an alternative mode of transportation. Luckily, there is a wonderful bike path that allows you to cruise all the way from Haleiwa town to Sunset Beach. Make sure you pack your beach towel and bikini, as there are some epic beaches along the way!
Being a bikini addict, I usually get mine from a local Hawaiian brand called ‘Pakaloha’, which has all kinds of colors and some really cute prints that greatly fit also the most active beach bums like me. You can also order yours online:
If you like surfing, make sure you come during winter time when the famous Vans World Cup of Surfing is on and all the pro surfers are on the island. With waves getting up to 50-foot you should definitely know how to surf!
Another great thing to do up here is to go out snorkeling. With some of the most amazing underwater world featuring the most exotic and colorful fish, you should definitely grab your fins and snorkels and explore what’s out there. ‘Sharks Cove’ in Pupukea is probably one of the best spots to do so and with all the food trucks right in front, it also offers many great options for lunch or dinner! Try ‘Aji Limo’ for some delicious Poke Bowls or tacos with a Peruvian twist!
The food truck culture is really big on the North Shore and with so many options to choose from I will help you by recommending a few of my favorites here:
Panda Thai Truck at Sunset Beach for really good Thai food
7 Brothers at the Mill for Burgers, Fries, Salads, and Shakes
North Shore Shrimp Truck for delicious fresh garlic shrimps
Pupukea Grill for Hawaiian style plate lunch and poke bowls
Crispy Grindz for Brazilian-style Açai Bowls
Sunrise Shack for some healthy bowls and Insta snaps
Aji Limo for seafood dishes with a Peruvian twist and a nice outdoor seating area
Another really great thing to do up here is to hike up one of the pillboxes and enjoy some of the most epic views over the ocean. My favorite is the Ehukai Pillbox hike, which has its entrance right opposite the beach park at Sunset Elementary School. The hike takes only about 20 minutes each way and can also be extended by venturing further out into the woods.
If you prefer a more coastal hike, head towards Waialua and you will eventually end up at another incredible place called Mokuleia beach park where you can hike up the westernmost tip of the island all the way to Ka’ena Point. This sacred place is accessible by car with special permission only, as it is also home to a bird sanctuary.
For those who are up for a little adventure, head to famous Waimea Valley for a daring jump from the rock into the turquoise water. During wintertime, this place is famous for the biggest waves on the Island and with some of the most legendary surfers risking their lives here in the past, it also plays an important role in the history of big wave surfing.
If surfing big waves and jumping from rocks sounds a little too scary to you, then renting a SUP might be the better option. The best place to do so is Haleiwa, as it will allow you to cruise down the river and embark on a beautiful and peaceful floating adventure.
For some cultural experiences, I recommend you also check out the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Laie or participate in one of the Luaus at Waimea Valley. There you can enjoy a traditional Polynesian dinner, dance, and entertainment.
With so many exciting things to do already, there are many more amazing places to discover and also some other things that I prefer to keep a secret 😉 So what are you waiting for?! Come out here and experience this magical place yourself ❤️
Some essentials to pack on your trip to Hawaii:
Ocean-friendly and reef-safe sunscreen
Rain jacket/coat and hiking shoes/sneakers
Slippers/flip flops (I personally love my Birkenstocks)
Bikini is an absolute must!