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Updated April 2021
( As I come across Post Covid updates I will add them to the bottom of the Blog)
I am always ready to go to Hawai’i , especially to the North Shore! It is my calm, my zen, my vibe!
When my sister invited us to Aulani for 5 days, we decided to explore the North Shore, 5 nights beforehand and it was an amazing experience! The North Shore is amazing! We are not really crowded places or big city people, so we loved the idea of being in a more natural environment and taking in more local favorite locations.
Next we picked up our rental car, shopped at Costco for food and supplies, and headed to the North Shore as soon as possible to get out of the heavy traffic and see the more natural part of the Island! WHOOT!
The drive up to the North shore was beautiful! It is an easy drive, just straight up H2! After we settled into our Airbnb, we headed back to explore the town of Haleʻiwa, which is filled with cute shops, cafes, and food trucks, which you know always have the best food!
I was on a mission for some good coffee, and the girls were on a mission to find ice cream, so we found a coffee shop next to shaved ice! We found the BEST shaved ice business called Kiamana Shave Ice. They made ALL their ice cream homemade. When they serve you shave ice, they put it on top of their home made ice cream (which is the best I ever had). So it is a MUST go!
I also loved talking to the owners of Kiamana. It was a new business for the family, and the parents were starting the bruises to pass down to their son, whom we also met. They were also so kind enough to give up tips of places to take the girls to and see.
Hale’iwa is extremely family-friendly, and it was amazing. North Shores beaches and parks looked incredible, and if we had planned better, I might have looked into some surf lessons for the girls, but it felt like we never really ran out of things to do, so all good!
Miley also brought extra money because she really wanted a genuine Ukulele, and we happened to find a shop in Haleʻiwa where a local man makes them. The Ukulele Site is the shop we bought her Ukulele from. She picked out the cutest one, and we had music for the rest of the trip.
Ever heard of the Infamous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck? It is located in Haleʻiwa! Giovanni’s is a world-famous food truck, but it was not my favorite, but my opinion is not the majority opinion, LOL. I love garlic, but holy cow, this was garlic with a side of shrimp! I know… this is crazy talk but, if you want the truth, that is my truth. Maybe old age is making my taste buds more boring, LOL!
While staying at the Northshore, we decided not to have a plan except to get more shaved ice and find a beach. We put on our suits and took boogie boards from the Airbnb with us, and drove around.
While we were driving around just checking out the area, we came across a North Shore Coffee Plantation. We took a free tour, and it was fun learning how coffee is prepped and how they harvest the beans. We also learned about local nuts. The taste testing was not bad either. Check out the Coffee farm – Waialua Estates! After we bought some souvenirs and coffee we were beach bound.
We drove on highway 930 until it ended and took the girls boogie boarding. This was a perfect location with shallow water, and excellent conditions for boogie boarding.
It was a bit nerve-wracking for me, but the girls loved it and so did hubby! I watched on the sidelines, making sure the girls were not floating away or drowning. The water was the perfect temperature, and they really enjoyed it. Great place for kids to play in the ocean!
As a child, I would do the same thing, and there was a time or two, even as an adult, I started to drift out into the open ocean, so I elected to scream at them from the shore when they drifted too far instead of doing it myself. #momlife
We elected to snorkel at Sharks Cove, which a few people recommended, and it did not disappoint. Sharks Cove is a perfect spot for people of all ages. Large rocks were all around it, which helped keep the waves out but with significant gaps to bring the water needed to bring the fish in.
The water was shallow enough to walk through and is large enough to explore without it being too crowded. This does live up to its name “sharks cove” because we did see little sharks there, it was a great experience.
Beware, the volcanic rocks are pretty sharp and they are everywhere, so I would highly recommend you wear water shoes and walk slow; it hurts when you walk into them.
Feeling adventurous while on the North Shore? Check out ClimbWorks for ziplining | We have not done this yet, but it is on my bucket list for the next trip to Oahu.
Waimea Bay Beach is located pretty close to where we were staying, and it was a great find. It is so beautiful, and it was worth two sunrises and sunset 🙂 It was another one of those sandy and shallow beaches with crystal blue water, so how can’t you beat that.
Pūpūkea Beach Park is another beautiful park next to Sharks Cove. It was hard to find parking and was quite popular, so we did not go there more than once.
The North Shore, Oahu Village of Laie, is known to be inviting little town and it did not disappoint. It is charming to explore or have lunch. It is pretty close to the Polynesian Cultural Center too!
The drive south from North Shore, Oahu, along the coast to Chinaman’s Hat (beautiful views) is a must. Chinaman’s Hat is an excellent place to swim and snorkel. It is a very nice and zen place. This location is a basalt islet in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaii. Mokoliʻi is part of Kualoa Regional Park and is located 1⁄3 mile offshore of Kualoa Point, Oahu.
Dole Plantation is between North Shore and Honolulu, and it was fun to stop there. They have a huge store and lots of goodies to buy, including the infamous Dole Whips. They did have a tour the was not running when we were there. There were some beautiful gardens to talk around in, so we did that and enjoyed ourselves. It is a tourist trap, so bring plenty of funds.
We stayed in Aulani for 5 days, and that was fun for the kids and their cousins. It is busy with families, but it is a beautiful beach. There are rocks out a ways that break up the waves. It was one of the local’s favorite beaches in Oahu before Disney built the resort. They also have yoga on a paddleboard there if that is your thing 🙂
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