Haleiwa, Hawaii is an up-and-coming area on the North Shore of Oahu, which is just about a 1-hour drive from Waikiki. Haleiwa is packed with lots of fun things to do for visitors and locals alike. It's got epic waves for surfing, protected coastlines for snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, picturesque beaches, a vibrant downtown, and more. If you’re looking for things to do in Haleiwa during your trip to Oahu, check out our list of the best local activities and attractions, including...
- Head to Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline Beach)
- Paddle under the famous Haleiwa Bridge
- Watch the sunset at Alii Beach Park
- Embark on a North Shore Hike
- Enjoy some authentic Hawaiian shave ice
- and more...
Ride the Waves (or Just Watch the Pros)
Head to Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline Beach) for epic waves and an entertaining show. Coming in at 2 miles long, this beach is part of the longest stretch of surf-worthy spots in the world! People gather here to watch the pros catch waves when in season (October-April) and prepare for the Vans Triple Crown, the largest and longest-running surf competition series.
Relax on the Beach
If 40-foot waves aren't quite your thing, head to Laniakea Beach for an up-close look at honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) feeding on algae-covered rocks or bathing in the sun (just don't get too close!). Sunset Beach is great for lounging out, snorkeling, enjoying the calm waters, and of course a great spot to watch the sunset. Or, head to Mokuleia Beach and see if you can spot anyone flying kites.
Get Out on the Water
Explore the crystal clear waters and wildlife the North Shore is famous for. That way, you'll get to know the Haleiwa coastline firsthand by getting out on the water. Pick up a Kayak or Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) rental at nearby Sea & Board Sports Hawaii rental shop or reserve a kayak rental at T'sue's Farm Dock and head out to the water to explore at your own pace.
You can even get up close and paddle under the famous historic Haleiwa Bridge - an excellent opportunity for photographs. Best part? No previous experience necessary and it's a great way to get in a little workout while enjoying the sites of Oahu.
Insider tip: Be on the lookout for wild peacocks and green sea turtles along the shoreline. Visitors in the past have spotted fish, turtles, dolphins, and even whales while in season.
Embark on a North Shore Hike
If you're looking to explore Oahu's North Shore even further, why not venture a bit inland? Head out on a hike of the region surrounding Haleiwa for some gorgeous views of mountains, ocean, and plenty of wild flora and fauna. You can choose from an intermediate hike (which showcases the mountainous terrain a bit more) or a gentler, beginner's hike up Mokuleia Trail. The first hike covers a little under 5 miles of terrain, while the second is about 3 miles.
Insider Tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes & a hat, and bring water and extra sunscreen.
Watch the Sunset
Watching the sun set from an Oahu beach is really one of the top things to do in Hawaii. Check out our post for more of the best places to watch sunsets on Oahu. Pack a picnic and head to Alii Beach Park (where Baywatch Hawaii was filmed) or Sunset Beach for the best sunset views in Haleiwa.
Insider tip: Check the weather app on your phone to find out what time sunset will be and try to get there an hour before to pick a good spot for viewing.
Sample a Hawaii Classic
No trip to Hawaii is complete without trying authentic Hawaiian shave ice. If you're visiting Haleiwa, be sure to try the famous Aoki's Shave Ice at Matsumoto's. Known for their variety of sweet flavors, such as Mango, Passion Fruit, and Coconut, Matsumoto's has been in business since 1950.
Insider tip: We highly recommend a little side-scoop of ice cream with your shave ice. It's the perfect blend of flavors. However, if you're dairy-intolerant, shave ice is delightful on its own, too!
Poke Around the Shops
Downtown Haleiwa features plantation-era buildings packed with lots of bohemian-style, local artist-owned boutiques, surf shops, restaurants, and more. The shops are a great place to pick up a souvenir, grab anything you forgot to pack, or pick out something special to remember your trip. For a list of shops and things you can find, check online.
Visit Dole Plantation and Do a Botanical Maze
Just 10 minutes outside Haleiwa and named the world's largest maze in 2008, this pineapple-shaped botanical maze consists of 2.5-miles of maze paths and over 14,000 Hawaiian plants. Get lost and see if you can find your way out. Visit the plantation, one of Oahu's most popular tourist destinations, where Hawaii's famed pineapple industry all began and learn about the history and importance of industry in Hawaii on an entertaining narrated train ride at the Dole Plantation.
Save on Admission to Oahu Attractions
Make the most of your time in Oahu with a few of these fun things to do in Haleiwa when exploring the North Shore of Oahu. If you're planning on exploring a number of Oahu attractions, you'll save on top attractions, tours, museums, activities, and more during your Hawaiian vacation with Go City®.