North Shore is on the northern end of the island of Oahu, Hawaii, about an hour drive from Waikiki. The main town Hale'iwa is an easy drive from the area's most famous assets - the beaches. This part of Oahu was settled in the 12th century by Hawaiians who were attracted to the fertile lands and rich waters. North Shore gradually grew with the workers who came to work the plantations and with vacationers to the Hale'iwa Hotel. Today the area has a permanent population of 18,000, but each year has a transient population of 2,000,000 visitors, many of them attracted by the excellent accommodations which can be found there.
Even though most visitors come to experience the phenomenal beaches and waves (it's considered a surfer's heaven and ocean sports capital) of North Shore of Oahu, there is a wealth of other activities and sights that make North Shore a diverse and rare place. The town of Hale'iwa is more than just a quaint surfing town, as it used to be a social center for Oahu. It serves as a reminder of Hawaii's past, while it continues into the future with its charming shops, art galleries and restaurants. One of North Shore's main attractions is its natural beauty. Enjoy a top view of the island from Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau, an ancient religious site. While this site may have been one of human sacrifice, don't be afraid to make this hike because the views are really fantastic. Another stunning lookout is Ka'ena Point, you could spend all day figuring out where the sky meets the sea. Waimea Valley Audubon Center is a combination of botanical garden and natural history center. Flora and fauna of pre-settlement Hawaii are being recreated in these gardens, so people can get a taste of ancient Hawaii. In one day you can travel the seven South Pacific Islands! The popular Polynesian Cultural Center has realistically recreated the Hawaiian Islands in a forty two acre park. Learn about all the different islands as you watch villagers make tapa clothes or poi. A fun and educational experience for everyone! Visit the Dole Plantation to see and learn about pineapples or try to escape 2001's Guiness Book of World Records' Biggest Maze. The great waves of the North Shore attract many surfing competitions, the biggest one being the Vans' Triple Crown of Surfing. It is the last leg of the Associated Surfer Professionals and a qualifier for the World Championship Tour. Since North Shore is considered the Art Hub of Oahu, it houses the Hale'iwa Arts Festival. This has dozens of artists presenting their work for viewing or for sale. It has a festival atmosphere with tasty food and performing arts of traditional music and dance. Another way to spend you day in North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, is shopping, of course. The North Shore Marketplace is architecturally interesting, with its visible outside influences, as well as commercially satisfying. It has coffee galleries, surf shops, rustic local stores and good eateries. Since North Shore is known for its beaches, you will be able to find a surf shop or beachy souvenir place practically everywhere you go - you have no excuse for not getting your family members a gift! Since shopping and eating tend to go hand in hand, you'll find as many places to satisfy your food cravings as well as your shopping ones. Whether you're eating from a food wagon or at a fine-dining establishment, rest assured that the seafood, fruits and veggies come from the hard work of the Oahu locals. And if you're hungry on a budget, go to the North Shore Country Market to get fresh, locally grown produce (it's organic, too!). Taste the true taste of Oahu. North Shore is the place to go if you're looking for adventure and outdoor fun. The world-class beaches of Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach have winter waves that can swell over thirty feet. Only the most serious surfers handle these waves. During the summer months when the waves aren't as high, people take surfing lessons, snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, wind surf and much, much more. The beaches become the playground for adults and children alike. But, the beach isn't the only place where the fun is. If you don't mind heights, the Dillingham Airfield offers skydiving and glider rides. You can get the most amazing views of the area as you soar above it free as a bird. If land is more your thing, you could enjoy the beach on horseback. Play golf like a pro at the Turtle Bay Resort's two championship golf courses by Arnold Palmer and George Fazio. Hike, bicycle, camp or play tennis. North Shore is a thrill on both land and sea. Surfing is no joke in North Shore. If you visit, you should try to stand on a board. Luscious, organic fruits and local Pacific Rim you should try. Accommodations in rental homes or condos gives you the space to relax and is great for a home base, as you seek out adventure in North Shore and on Oahu, Hawaii. And there will be no shortage of adventure and unforgettable good times.