Nov 28, 2016

Guide to North Shore Oahu

Guide to North Shore Oahu

I’ve always been pretty harsh with my opinion of Oahu. We spent time there for our honeymoon in the Summer of 2009, so it was pretty busy and crowded. We didn’t do much exploring, so when we decided to go back this past October, I was really excited to see some less-touristy sights. I’m happy to say that we had a much better experience this time and today I’m happy to share a guide to North Shore Oahu.

Matsumoto Shave Ice / Guide to North Shore Oahu

Eat & Drink

Matsumoto Shave Ice
Easily known as the best shave ice on Oahu for a reason. In the adorable town of Hale’iwa.
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy #605, Haleiwa, HI 96712 (www)

Waialua Bakery & Juice Bar
Quaint bakeshop with a deli serving sandwiches & vegetarian options, a juice bar & outdoor seating.
66-200 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 (www)

Seven Brothers
Delicious burgers in a laid-back atmosphere. 
55-510 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762 (www)

Pap Ole’s Kitchen
Mom and Pop spot for homestyle Hawaiian breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try the Loco Moco!
54-316 Kamehameha Hwy # 9, Hauula, HI 96717 (www)

Aloha Shrimp
Food truck known for hot, fresh, and delicious shrimp.
53-534 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717

Sharks Cove / Guide to North Shore Oahu

See & Do

Sharks Cove
Though a little busy at times, Shark’s Cove is a special place and there is enough space to find your own area while you explore the tide pools and waters at your own pace.
Haleiwa, HI 96712

Goat Island 
A small island off the shore of Malaekahana State Recreation Area. It takes some wading to get to, but is totally worth it once you’re there. It’s part bird sanctuary, but there is a small cove you can have all to yourself.
56-020 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762 (Our Visit)

Polynesian Cultural Center
Don’t end the night with a simple luau, the night show is an extraordinary experience. The Cultural Center invited us to come experience it and it’s a must-see if you’re staying on the North Shore.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762 (www)

Pounders Beach, A.K.A. Laie Beach Park
It’s likely you won’t want to swim here, and you might not be able to in some parts. Although they aren’t huge, the waves break on shore here and it’s perfect for boogie boarding. There is also an old dock that has been turned into an over-water trampoline.
55-205 Kamehameh, Laie, HI 96762

I have a horrible time with snorkeling, but while we were on Oahu, we tried out a full-face snorkel mask compliments of Shark Lens. The mask made it easier and less stressful for me to snorkel since there is a stopper preventing water from coming down the breathing tube. They’re a really good price and we’re definitely going to snag some for our next tropical trip.

Polynesian Cultural Center / Guide to North Shore Oahu


Guava Shop
Wonderful little shop full of stylish favorites and quite a few beautiful hawaii-local items.
66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #204, Haleiwa, HI 96712 (www)

Hukilau Marketplace
Step back in time to a retro Laie, old Hawaii style. This marketplace is full of fun booths, and dining options. A bonus is that it’s right next to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762 (www)

This cute little town has lots of small shops, art galleries, and glass shops to peruse during your trip. 
Hale’iwa, Hawaii (www)

Snorkeling at Goat Island / Guide to North Shore Oahu


Turtle Bay Resort
One of the lone luxury hotels on the North Shore, we stayed at Turtle Bay for our honeymoon and loved every second of it. It’s more than worth it to splurge for a cabin, the sunset views are incredible.
57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731 (www)

Air BnB
We stayed in this AirBnb during our last trip to Oahu. It had plenty of room for all 8 of us, and was in a great location across the highway from the beach.
53-472 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula, HI 96717 (www)

Hawaiian Sunset / Guide to North Shore Oahu


This post is a part of my City Guide series, click here to see them all.

Have you been to the North Shore of Oahu? Any places you would add to this list? I’d love to hear!

Expand Comments

Great write up and photos! Would love your thoughts on our Haleiwa guide too:

Love the North Shore! Honolulu is fun but North Shore is where its at. Matsumoto Shave Ice is the best on the island! We wrote an article on North Shore activities, and would love some feedback!

Yes, I agree, North Shore is a favorite! We got to explore it a bit more on this trip, but I’d love to go back again soon. Missing the beautiful warm water in all of this California rain. 🙂

Thank you for this extensive travel guide – so helpful! I’ve been to both Lanai and Maui but never Oahu! It’s on my bucket list!!

hugs, Christina

Christina | Fashion & Frills

Wow, I’ve never seen water so clear. I love your travel posts!

Amazing photos and fabulous recommendations! Need to plan a trip soon!!


Thanks for the recommendations! I have been begging my husband to take me here.

Amanda ||

I went to Hawaii when I was a year old so of course I don’t remember it. But it looks amazing. I am dying to go. Love all your travels.

Steph || @trendyinindy

Courtyard by Marriott — There’s also a new Courtyard right next to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

We stayed at the Marriott next to the PCC. It was a wonderful place. Started our vacation in Honolulu and moved to the Northshore. Never regretted it. So beautiful.

Thanks for the heads up of North Shore. We only breezed through on one of those bus tours but I wanted to stay longer. And I also wanted to see the Turtles when they stopped for snorkeling. But we will definately stay on North Shore on our Next trip.

Always wanted to visit North Shore, thanks for the guide and lovely photos.

Abigail Alice x

yes!! i always try and point people toward the north shore when they say they don’t like oahu. the prettiest water!!
Southern Elle Style

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