7 Top Things To Do In North Shore Oahu For A Memorable Visit

Things To Do In North Shore

Wondering about things to do in North Shore Oahu? Look no further! Our curated list of must-do activities captures the spirit of this tropical haven. From the adrenaline rush of surfing world-class waves to unwinding on picturesque beaches and tasting authentic Hawaiian cuisine, we guide you through the top experiences that define North Shore’s unique charm.

Get ready to enrich your vacation without sifting through fluff – just pure, experiential gems. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, adrenaline junkie, or beach lover, there’s something for everyone here.

So, let’s get ready to explore the 7 most incredible things you can do here. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in North Shore Oahu!


1) Exploring Haleiwa Town

Haleiwa Town, the largest settlement on Oahu’s North Shore, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. Step into the heart of Haleiwa, and you’re immediately greeted by:

  • Colorful storefronts that echo the town’s vibrant spirit

  • Local boutiques display a plethora of unique items, perfect for those one-of-a-kind souvenirs

  • Art galleries showcasing the talents of local artists

But Haleiwa is more than just a shopper’s paradise. This quaint town is steeped in Hawaiian history, offering visitors an immersive cultural experience. The beautiful Haleiwa Beach Park is a perfect spot for family fun and relaxation.

So, whether you’re visiting Oahu for a day or a month, make sure to carve out time to explore Haleiwa Town.

Historic Haleiwa Town On The North Shore Of Oahu


2) North Shore’s Iconic Beaches

The North Shore is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, each boasting its unique charm and allure. Some of the most famous beaches include:

  • Banzai Pipeline, known for its legendary waves

  • Sunset Beach, famous for its picturesque sunsets

  • Waimea Bay Beach Park, where you can experience exhilarating winter surf

Each beach provides a beautiful backdrop for adventure and relaxation. Let’s dive deeper into these iconic North Shore beaches, each a jewel in the crown of Oahu’s coast, not far from the historic Pearl Harbor.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach offers a long expanse of sand, mesmerizing sunsets, and great waves for surfing during the winter season. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, one of the most prestigious surfing events, has been held annually since 1983.

But Sunset Beach isn’t just for surfers. Whether you’re diving into the azure waters for a swim, exploring the underwater world with a snorkel, or setting up a picnic under the Hawaiian sun, Sunset Beach is the perfect place for a beach day. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Waimea Bay Beach Park

Waimea Bay Beach Park is a popular spot for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy the beautiful shoreline. It’s a place of contrasts, offering both thrilling winter surf and serene summer swims. In the winter, the beach is home to massive waves that attract the world’s top surfers. But as the seasons change, so does the beach’s persona.

In the summer, the waters become calm, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. And it’s not just the beach and the surf that draw visitors. Waimea Bay is also a historical site, a place where the first encounter between foreigners and Native Hawaiians on Oahu took place.

So whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, or someone simply looking to relax, Waimea Bay Beach Park offers a unique blend of nature, history, and adventure.

Banzai Pipeline

Next up is the Banzai Pipeline, a magnet for surfers from around the globe. Known for its legendary waves, the Pipeline is a sight to behold during the high wave season in winter. So whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a nature enthusiast, the Banzai Pipeline promises an experience you won’t soon forget.

But it’s not just the surf that’s on offer. The Banzai Pipeline also offers panoramic views from World War II bunkers along the Ehukai Pillbox Hike.

Banzai Pipeline On The North Shore Of Oahu - Surf Competitions


3) Encounter Hawaiian Sea Life

North Shore Oahu is a treasure trove of marine life. Here are some opportunities to encounter Hawaiian sea life:

  • Active sea turtles basking on Laniakea Beach – It’s a truly magical sight!

  • The vibrant underwater world at Shark’s Cove – Prepare to be amazed by the vibrant underwater world that awaits you. Snorkeling here is an absolute must!

  • Whale watching tour in the winter to witness humpback whales on their annual migration – It’s an awe-inspiring experience you’ll never forget.

So, let’s dive deeper into each of these marine adventures and discover the wonders they have in store for you. Get ready to be amazed!

Snorkeling At Shark’s Cove

Shark’s Cove is another marine life hotspot in North Shore Oahu. It’s a paradise for snorkelers, offering a chance to explore a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful fish, intricate coral, and mesmerizing lava formations. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a green sea turtle. Just remember to bring your snorkeling gear and a sense of adventure.

Whale Watching Tours

Humpback whales are one of the most awe-inspiring sights in North Shore Oahu. Each winter, these magnificent creatures migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii, offering an unforgettable spectacle. Join a whale watching tour and witness the whales engaging in various activities, such as males competing for mates and mothers interacting with their calves.

It’s a seasonal event that aligns with the migration patterns of the humpback whales, making winter the perfect time to add whale watching to your North Shore adventure.

Turtle Watching At Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is a sanctuary for Hawaiian green sea turtles, commonly referred to as Hawaiian sea turtles. These magnificent creatures often come onto the beach to rest, offering a unique opportunity for observation and photography.

But it’s not just about watching the turtles. The experience also offers a lesson in respect and conservation, as visitors are reminded to maintain a safe distance and refrain from touching or feeding the turtles.

So if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, make sure to add turtle watching at Laniakea Beach to your North Shore itinerary, and consider staying at the nearby Turtle Bay Resort.

Sea Turtle At Laniakea Beach


4) Adventure Activities For Thrill-Seekers

North Shore Oahu is like a giant playground just waiting for you to unleash your adventurous spirit. Whether you’re craving to:

  • Experience the ultimate rush of skydiving

  • Feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins while ziplining

  • Take surf lessons and ride the waves like a pro

And if you’re up for it, North Shore even offers the heart-pounding thrill of cliff jumping. Let’s dive into some of these exhilarating activities and discover what makes North Shore a paradise for thrill-seekers.

Ziplining At CLIMB Works Keana Farms

If skydiving seems a bit too extreme, how about soaring above the lush landscapes on a zipline? CLIMB Works Keana Farms provides a guided zipline tour, offering a unique chance to take in the beauty of North Shore from a thrilling perspective. As you glide through the air, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, mountains, and local farmlands.

It’s an adventure that combines exhilaration with breathtaking scenery, making it a must-do on your North Shore itinerary.

Surf Lessons And Board Rentals

North Shore is a mecca for surfers, and there’s no better place to catch your first wave. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a complete beginner, North Shore offers a variety of surf lessons and board rentals. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you’ll learn how to ride the waves on the same beaches where world-class surfers showcase their skills.

So, are you ready to embody the spirit of aloha and hit the surf?

Skydiving With Skydive Hawaii

Imagine jumping out of a plane and free-falling over the stunning landscapes of North Shore. It’s not just a dream, but a reality at Skydive Hawaii. Operating since 1984, Skydive Hawaii provides an authentic and thrilling skydiving experience over the North Shore, viewed as one of Hawaii’s most exhilarating adventures.

Whether you’re an experienced skydiver or someone looking to cross off an item on their bucket list, Skydive Hawaii promises an unforgettable experience, complete with stunning aerial views of the North Shore and the Pacific Ocean.

Skydiving Over North Shore


5) Embrace Nature And Scenic Hikes

If you’re a nature lover, North Shore Oahu won’t disappoint. The area is home to a variety of scenic hikes that offer a deep connection with nature. From the lush landscapes of the Ehukai Pillbox Hike to the stunning views along the Waimea Valley Trail, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to explore.

Let’s take a closer look at these trails and discover what makes them some of the best hikes in North Shore Oahu.

Ka’ena Point Hike

Last but not least is the Ka’ena Point Hike, a coastal walk that leads to a bird sanctuary. Along the trail, you’ll have the chance to see albatrosses and possibly monk seals. The hike also offers two trail options: a beach trail close to the ocean for more scenic views, or a road trail slightly inland.

Regardless of the path you choose, the Ka’ena Point Hike promises a unique blend of coastal beauty and wildlife encounters. So, grab your hiking boots and set off on an unforgettable adventure.

Ehukai Pillbox Hike

If you’re visiting North Shore, the Ehukai Pillbox Hike is a must-do activity. The hike offers stunning views and a glimpse of the area’s natural beauty. This 2-mile round trip offers beautiful views of the North Shore coastline.

The trail can be quite steep and challenging, but the panoramic views from the top are well worth the effort. Along the trail, you’ll also discover World War II bunkers, adding a touch of history to your hike.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Ehukai Pillbox Hike, located near Ehukai Beach Park, is a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty of North Shore.

Waimea Valley Trail To Waimea Falls

The Waimea Valley Trail to Waimea Falls offers a contrasting yet equally captivating hiking experience. This trail spans approximately 3.5 miles and leads to the culturally significant Waimea Falls. As you stroll along the accessible trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in the lush, diverse ecosystems of Waimea Valley.

The trail culminates in a beautiful waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip to round off your hike. Combining natural beauty with cultural significance, the Waimea Valley Trail is a must-visit on your journey.

Waimea Valley Trail To Waimea Falls


6) Savor Local Flavors – Food Trucks And Restaurants

North Shore Oahu is a foodie’s paradise. From iconic food trucks to delightful restaurants, the area offers a diverse culinary scene that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, succulent grilled meats, or a refreshing shave ice, you’ll find it all in North Shore Oahu.

So ready your appetite as we explore some of the culinary highlights.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

If you’re a seafood lover, you can’t miss Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. As the original food truck on the North Shore, Giovanni’s has been serving up delicious shrimp dishes, including their renowned spicy shrimp, since 1995. With a range of flavors on offer, such as their famous garlic shrimp and scampi, Giovanni’s is a must-visit for any seafood enthusiast.

Matsumoto Shave Ice

After all that adventure, you’ll definitely want to cool off with a refreshing treat. And what could be more refreshing than a shave ice from Matsumoto’s in the heart of Haleiwa Town? This ice cream shop offers a vast variety of flavors, ensuring there’s something for everyone. And with unique offerings like mochi balls and azuki beans, Matsumoto’s is more than just a shave ice stand, it’s a North Shore tradition.

Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill

For a more formal dining experience, head to Haleiwa Joe’s Restaurant. This local favorite is renowned for its local food, including:

  • fresh catches

  • locally grown produce

  • meals that emphasize the seasonal specialties

  • exceptional seafood dishes

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply wanting to indulge in some fine dining, Haleiwa Joe’s Restaurant is a must-visit.

Seafood Grill


7) Delve Into Hawaiian Culture And History

North Shore Oahu is steeped in rich history and culture. From ancient fishponds to significant heiaus (Hawaiian temples), the area offers a wealth of historical and cultural sites to explore. Whether you’re interested in the indigenous peoples of the Pacific, the flora and fauna of Hawaii, or the history of pineapple agriculture, there’s a cultural experience waiting for you in North Shore Oahu.

Let’s delve deeper into these sites and gain an insight into the rich heritage of Hawaii.

Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a vital institution where visitors can:

  • Immerse themselves in Polynesian heritage

  • Learn about the history of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific

  • Gain a fascinating insight into the diverse cultures that make up Polynesia

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the world, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must-visit on your North Shore itinerary.

Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens

Waimea Valley is another cultural treasure in North Shore Oahu. Besides its breathtaking botanical garden setting and enchanting waterfall, the valley also holds significant cultural heritage. The Ka’apuni o Waimea program offers an immersive cultural experience, engaging visitors with Hawaiian history and culture at three significant sites within the area.

Moreover, the botanical gardens are heavily involved in conservation and educational initiatives, making them a sanctuary of natural and cultural significance.

Dole Plantation

The Dole Plantation is a popular attraction near Haleiwa, providing visitors with an immersive experience into the world of pineapples and Hawaiian agriculture. A visit to the plantation offers:

  • A glimpse into the history of pineapple farming in Hawaii

  • Educational displays and exhibits about pineapple cultivation

  • A train ride through the plantation fields

  • A chance to explore the pineapple garden maze

  • Delicious pineapple treats and souvenirs

It’s a fascinating stop on your North Shore journey.

Oahu's Dole Plantation


The Adventure Of A Lifetime Awaits!

From the vibrant atmosphere of Haleiwa Town to the majestic waves of the North Shore beaches, from the rich marine life to the thrilling adventures, and from the diverse culinary delights to the historical and cultural treasures, North Shore Oahu is a place of endless possibilities.

Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or a history buff, there’s something for everyone here. So, are you ready to create unforgettable memories?

Join us on our Premium Oahu Circle Island Tour and get ready to explore the best of what Oahu has to offer. This full-day trip is packed with incredible attractions that will leave you in awe. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:

  • Sunrise at Diamond Head Lookout

  • A visit to the historic Dole Plantation

  • The breathtaking Eternity Beach

  • Visit the stunning Haleiwa Beach

Embark on our tour and experience the magic of North Shore and beyond for yourself. Get ready for a day filled with unforgettable memories!

10 hours
Group Size
no limit

Premium Oahu Circle Island - North Shore Snorkeling Tour (With Dole & Byodo Temple)

We invite you to join us for the ultimate full-day, action-packed tour that will guide you to the finest sights on Oahu, and leave you in total amazement. Featuring 16 Points of Interest, it is our talented tour guides that will show you the best that Oahu has to offer. Diamond Head, Dole Plantation, Byodo-In Temple, Secret Beaches, Coffee & Macadamia Farms, Incredible Views & Photo Opportunities, and Swimming and Snorkeling with Turtles are just a few highlights that you will experience with us!

It’s our Tour Guides that will make all the difference in this action-packed day! They will spoil you rotten by telling funny stories, giving their knowledge of Hawaii, singing songs (Kanikapila), and sharing with you the precious culture of Hawaii. This tour will bring you relaxation, excitement, and all the emotions in between. We are ready to show you some major fun and give you the lay of the land. Aloha & E Komo Mai!

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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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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.