Head North

Essential OahuOahu

PHOTO: HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY (HTA) / TOR JOHNSON

While thousands of surf fans flock from Waikiki hotels to O‘ahu’s NORTH SHORE every winter to observe some of the largest, surf-friendly waves on the planet, it doesn’t have to be surf season to enjoy the marvels on O‘ahu’s fabled northern coast.

Called SURF TOWN U.S.A., head to historic HALE‘IWA to browse art galleries, boutiques, surf shops and more. Hungry? There’s plenty of grab-and-go beach fare, food trucks and sit-down restaurants: island seafood, Mexican, Thai, pizzas, burgers and more. Savor a taste of Hawai‘i-style chicken at mike’s huli chicken in Kahuku. You may have seen this eatery on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dive s or Travel Channel’s Food Paradise . In addition to the delicious chicken that’s seasoned with Hawaiian salt and broiled over kiawe wood, Mike’s also serves up garlic shrimp and kalua pig. And, no Hawai‘i trip is complete without shave ice! Check out Matsumoto’s! Visit NORTH SHORE MACADAMIA NUT COMPANY (northshoremacnut.com) where you can purchase a full range of macadamia nut products including roasted and flavored mac nuts, macadamia blossom honey and mac nut oil. The mac nuts are grown on the a lush 24-acre farm that’s the only working mac nut farm on the island. Get some to eat right away or take home as souvenirs. Also available: Kona Coffee, specialty peanut butters and more. TRAVEL TIP: Don’t forget to pull over and take a picture of Hale‘iwa’s colorful surfer signs upon entering or exiting this quirky town.

Continue the drive farther north to WAIMEA and KAHUKU. Check out one of the many shrimp trucks-like Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck-that dot the landscape. You’ll probably also run into a fruit stand or two. Explore WAIMEA VALLEY, and soak up some sun and beach time at breathtaking WAIMEA BAY. Head to SUNSET BEACH for romantic sunsets, glistening sand-and see the legendary BANZAI PIPELINE!

Take time to experience KAHUKU FARMS’ cafe, tours and shop, and then continue on to TURTLE BAY RESORT for some golf-check out the refreshed Arnold Palmer and George Fazio courses, or putt around the resort’s newest course: The Breaks!

GIOVANNI’S SHRIMP TRUCK (808) 293-1839
MIKE’S HULI CHICKEN (808) 277-6720