7 Best Things To Do In Haleiwa And Unique Activities To Explore

things to do in haleiwa

You’re heading to the Surfing Capital of the World! Nobody will blame you if you’re jumping for joy after booking a trip to the North Shore of Oahu. Prepare to walk on hallowed sands where the feet of surfing legends like Duke Kahanamoku, Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Buzzy Trent, and Rell Sunn have trekked before riding the waves of Waimea Bay. Of course, you don’t have to be a surfing historian to fall in love with this place! Many people come simply to soak up the vibes in a little corner of the North Shore called Haleiwa Town.

Located an hour outside of Waikiki, Haleiwa is an iconic surf town that’s famed for its cool surf shops, laid-back vibes, and gorgeous architecture. People from around the world come to Haleiwa to take surf lessons, cool down with iconic shaved ice, shop at boutiques and galleries, and simply chill out like the locals.

If you’ve marked Haleiwa on your map as a stop along Oahu’s North Shore, you might be wondering about the top things to do in Haleiwa. This list showcases all of the coolest places to see in this popular destination.

 

1) See The Whole Island In A Day

The trouble with narrowing down just a few incredible things to do in Haleiwa is that there are simply too many things to do! That’s why trying to build your own itinerary by hopping from place to place can become frustrating. Luckily, complete guided tours can help you to see more attractions without struggling with planning and logistics. What if you could see everything in a day?

At Aloha Circle Island Tours, we set travelers up with multi-point bus tours that combine all of the best attractions and experiences. You can even combine sightseeing with an unforgettable snorkeling adventure!

It should come as no surprise that snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Haleiwa. That’s why we’re excited to offer snorkeling with sea turtles as part of our itinerary. If you feel more comfortable closer to shore, you can simply swim in paradise.

As a premier tour operator covering attractions throughout Oahu, Aloha Circle Island Tours offers unforgettable experiences for couples, families, newlyweds, friend groups, and single travelers seeking to experience all of the best things to do in Haleiwa and Oahu in a day!

 

2) Spend Time At Haleiwa Beach Park Near Haleiwa Town

Putting in some quality time at Haleiwa Beach Park while visiting Haleiwa is practically mandatory. While North Shore beaches are generally known for intense waves that attract professional surfers from around the globe, Haleiwa Beach Park offers slightly gentler waves that beginner surfers and swimmers can appreciate.

This is a charming park with a playground, courts, and picnic tables where you can enjoy lunch. A perfect spot to unwind and soak up the Hawaiian vibes. Whether you’re a surfer catching the perfect wave or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the shore, Haleiwa Beach Park has something for everyone. Build sandcastles, splash in the gentle waves, or simply relax under the shade of a palm tree.

Pro tip: While exploring Haleiwa Beach Park, make sure to indulge in the delectable seafood specialties offered at Haleiwa Beach House.

 

3) Visit The Haleiwa Art Gallery

Located on the Kamehameha Highway, the Haleiwa Art Gallery has been the heart of the Oahu North Shore art community for two decades. This is one of the best art galleries to find works by local island-based artists.

Currently, the gallery has a collection of artwork from 15 different Pacific Island artists. It also boasts the world’s largest collection of works by Al Furtado. You can explore more artworks by other famous artists:

  • Lance Fairly

  • Mark Howard

  • Wayne Takazono

  • Claro Cabading

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant display of artwork that will leave you in awe. From stunning paintings to intricate sculptures, this gallery has it all. The friendly staff is always ready to share stories behind the art, making your visit even more memorable.

 

4) Explore Old Town Haleiwa

Old Town Haleiwa offers the perfect way to relax and refresh after an intense day of sightseeing. It’s easy to get lost in the charm of this surf town while checking out boutiques, gift shops, iconic surf shops, restaurants, and more.

A spot called Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop is one of the best shops for unique gifts that showcase the spirit of the island. The selection here includes:

  • Clothes

  • Jewelry

  • Beach towels

  • Keepsakes, and more

Locally owned by the Manalo family for years, Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop is a place where the staff is always happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for when you walk in the door.

 

5) Taste The Flavors Of Haleiwa

One of the best things to do in Haleiwa is to enjoy a good meal! As you make your way around this historic town, locals won’t be shy about telling you about all of the best places to eat.

The signature dish of the North Shore area is a traditional kalua pork sandwich made with pork butt roast and Hawaiian sea salt. It’s helpful to know that many of the restaurants on Haleiwa’s food scene are actually food trucks. Most trucks can be found dotting the stretch of Kamehameha Highway from Haleiwa to Kualoa Ranch.

Shave ice is a culinary tradition of the North Shore that you don’t want to skip! Made by shaving a block of ice, this dessert is topped with syrup and sweet flavorings to create a light and refreshing treat. It is different from an American snow cone because it’s made with intact ice instead of crushed ice. Haleiwa’s popular ice spots include:

  • Matsumoto Shave Ice

  • Kaimana Shave Ice

  • Aoki’s Shave Ice

  • Haleiwa Shave Ice

 

6) Go Wild On The Water

When coming to a place that’s famed for its surf competitions, it’s easy to feel inspired to pick up a board! Consider taking surfing lessons offered by any one of the many surf shops and surf schools:

  • 808 Surf School

  • Hawaii Waves Surf School

  • Haleiwa Surf Shop

  • Haleiwa Surf Boutique

If you’d like to try something less intense, you can also rent kayaks or a paddleboard to get out on the waves. If sportfishing is more your thing, you’ll be excited to know that charter agencies offer excursions out of the Haleiwa Boat Harbor located at the mouth of the Anahulu River in Waialua Bay.

The two big spots in Haleiwa for swimming and catching big waves are Ali’i Beach Park and Haleiwa Beach. If nature watching is more exciting to you than surfing or paddling, simply head to Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach) for your chance to catch a glimpse of the majestic Hawaiian green turtles that are known to bask gloriously in the sand during the day.

 

7) Explore Waimea Valley – Just A Stone’s Throw From Haleiwa

Waimea Valley is a vast parkland featuring a 45-foot waterfall, a botanical garden, historic sites, archaeological sites, areas with cultural demonstrations, and so much more! One of the best ways to explore Waimea Valley is to take the 3.5-mile paved hiking route that winds through gardens and sacred sites.

This lush paradise is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Take a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained trails and immerse yourself in the lush surroundings. Keep an eye out for the native wildlife that calls this valley home – you might spot a colorful bird or a curious gecko along the way.

One of the highlights of the tour is the majestic waterfall that cascades into a crystal-clear pool. Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters and let the natural beauty wash over you. Whether you’re a hiker or a nature lover, a visit to Waimea Valley is an experience you won’t want to miss.

But Waimea Valley is more than just a picturesque landscape. It is also a place of cultural significance. Learn about the rich history and traditions of the Hawaiian people as you explore the ancient cultural sites scattered throughout the valley. The knowledgeable guides are always ready to share fascinating stories and insights, adding depth to your experience.

 

Don’t Miss Amazing Things To Do In Haleiwa

With each new day that the mist rises over Waimea Valley and the rest of the North Shore, visitors have endless opportunities for adventure. While finding bliss is as simple as picking up a surfboard here in Haleiwa for most people, you don’t want to miss out on all of the life-changing things to do in Haleiwa by just sticking to one corner of town. That’s precisely why Aloha Circle Island Tours puts together ambitious itineraries that bring guests to 16 exciting, relaxing, and sacred spots around Haleiwa and Oahu.

Each 10-hour tour aboard our luxury bus packs in centuries of adventure. Our experienced and knowledgeable tour guides will keep the fun going along the way by telling stories, sharing local knowledge, and drawing you deeper into the culture of Hawaii.

We even pack all of the snorkeling equipment for you! With our tours filling up quickly, you don’t want to wait to book your spot if you’re heading to Oahu this year. Start planning your experience with us today!

Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
10 to 50

Ka Moana Luau

Join us on a voyage across Ka Moana (the ocean) and experience the cultural chants, dances & songs from some of the many islands that make up Polynesia. Witness the beauty of Hula ʻAuana from Hawaiʻi, the fast-paced ʻoteʻa from Tahiti, impressive Samoan fire-knife performances, and more!

Located at the iconic Aloha Tower - an iconic symbol of Hawaiʻi and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the state. Known as a "Welcoming Beacon" for visitors, now a tropical garden oasis home to Ka Moana Lū'au.

Duration
6 hours
Group Size
10 to 50

Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona Memorial & Honolulu City Tour

With around 2 million visitors per year, Pearl Harbor is the #1 visitor attraction in the Aloha State. Drawing people from all corners of the globe, the Pearl Harbor experience is fun, educational, and impactful. We invite you to come experience history and appreciate the importance that Hawaii played during a significant time in global history.

The most iconic monument at Pearl Harbor is the USS Arizona Memorial pictured above, and it’s the focal point of this tour. If you are looking for a half-day activity with lots of ‘bang for the buck,’ this tour is the perfect option.

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