Life on O‘ahu’s North Shore is centered on its lively surf town with a colorful past. Once the playground of Hawaiian royalty, Hale‘iwa is a picture of the past, with rustic buildings set against the backdrop of picturesque beaches. In fact, these very beaches and their big winter waves are the major draw for this more-than-century-old town today.
In Hale‘iwa and the neighboring community of Waialua, you’ll find an eclectic combination of marine art, pottery, sculptures, watercolors and arts and crafts. There are at least six art galleries in Hale‘iwa featuring dozens of artists; many of these artisans are from the Hawaiian Islands. Award-winning big-wave photographer CLARK LITTLE (who also calls the North Shore home) opened his only O‘ahu gallery in Hale‘iwa Town Center as well.
In addition to an active art community, Hale‘iwa also is known for its shark encounter tours, roadside shrimp plate vendors and the iconic M. MATSUMOTO SHAVE ICE STORE, which has been serving cool treats for more than 50 years. A local favorite, shave ice is finely shaven ice packed into a cone and mixed with flavored syrups, sweet azuki beans and ice cream. Matsumoto and its icy concoctions are legendary; however, you can avoid the daunting lines and instead head to ALOHA GENERAL STORE in NORTH SHORE MARKETPLACE . Not only do they serve up super-fine shaved ice, but you can also get a scoop (or two!) of Dave’s Homemade Hawaiian Ice Cream (it’s been voted Hawai‘i’s best ice cream for years). Or try one of Aloha General Store’s own tasty creations: Pineapple Bowl Shave Ice.
In Hale‘iwa, you can rent or buy just about anything you need for fun on the water. If you need help learning to surf, windsurf, scuba dive or stand-up paddle, an instructor is nearby.
ALOHA GENERAL STORE (808) 637-2288
GIOVANNI’S SHRIMP TRUCK (808) 293-1839
NANI KAI OCEAN ADVENTURES (808) 690-3475