While on a tour group, our tour guide suggested that we stop here for a quick photo session. At first, though the beach was beautiful in itself, I didn't think it was anything special, till I walked on further and saw this amazing rock formation!!
If you are driving around the North Coast, its definately worth a visit, it doesn't take long :)
The North Shore of O'ahu, famous for it's legendary 30+ ft. waves, is a popular destination among surfers & tourists alike. The waves here during the winter months set a grand stage for some of the biggest surfing competitions in the world. But during the summer months, when the waves are far from awe-inspiring, the beaches here are excellent places to soak up the sun and take a dip in the ocean. Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach, among others, offer wide open space with clean, fine sand and crystal blue water. There are also a slew of stores and stands around to purchase some souvenirs, clothing, and the best flavored shaved ice in the islands. The Koolau Mountains begin their trek here down the eastern side of the island, providing some breathtaking views and magnificent waterfalls. Regardless of what month of the year it is, the North Shore is definately a great place to visit during your trip to O'ahu!
In Hawai'i, "shave ice" is what people call what mainlanders refer to as "snow cones". People looooove shave ice and since it is a tropical climate, you can enjoy it year round. Matsumoto's is the most famous shave ice joint around. Locals and tourists alike flock there to grab a shave ice with their favorite syrup on top (go for the li hing mui!!). Be forewarned though. The lines are LONG in the middle of the day.
Sunset Beach is one of the favorite surfer spots on the North Shore. During the winter months, waves as high as 35 feet can occur. Of course, when it gets that high, most surfers won't go out but then big wave surfers from around the world converge on the North Shore. One of the most famous big wave surfers was Eddie Aikau, a fearless local who won several contests here in the 1970's and the "Eddie" that is referred to on the "Eddie Would Go" bumperstickers you're likely to see on pickup trucks parked at Sunset Beach (see my Local Customs Tip for more info on Eddie).
Sunset Beach has great sand and a deep slope that forms almost a stadium bowl -- ideal for watching the big wave riders. In the summer, amazingly, the ocean can be as smooth as glass. On those days, Sunset Beach is for the swimmers and snorklers.
One of the best beaches on Oahu is at Waimea Bay on the North Shore. It is surrounded by hills and full of deep, golden sand. In the summer, it's also a great place to swim, but -- beware -- in the winter the surf can be mighty rough. In fact, this is a great place to watch the monster waves of winter roll in. In fact, the surf here is often high enough for those premier big wave surfing events -- the Quicksilver or the Eddie.
Oahu's most famous stretch of shoreline, has to be the North shore. Known for its gigantic waves, that pound its beaches during the winter months, the North Shore of Oahu is a must see for any one visiting the islands.
Driving along Kamehameha Highway, starting from Haleiwa town, you will first come across Haleiwa Beach. This beach is the first beach in the "Triple Crown Surf Comp". The Worlds biggest surfing competition, where surfers surf three of the North Shores beaches.
Next down the coast is Waimea Bay. Home of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. A big wave surfing contest, where the best in the world, take on waves 20ft or higher, in memory of the great surfing legend Eddie Aikau.
Next up is Pipeline. One of the worlds most Dangerous breaks, because of the reef just inches below the waters surface, that awaits the surfers above. Many Surfers have lost their lifes on this beach, and this is another stop on the Triple Crown Surf Comp.
Last but not least of the North Shore Beaches, is Sunset. The 3rd stop on the Triple Crown Tour. A beautiful beach, known for its deep and long breaks.
Remember that these beaches, only peak during winter months. Come summer, its flat and calm, and make for great swimming.
Out of the big wave beaches, along the north shore of Oahu, Sunset beach has to be a favorite to visitors for its wide open spaces. With a beach stretching nearly 2 miles long, it is the biggest beach on the North shore.
Because of its wide open spaces, during sunset you can get great shots from the beach. Its curvey shoreline plays tricks with the light from the setting sun, throwing in beautiful shadows that seem to add a whole different dimension to the landscape.
Sunset beach is also known for its big surf, in the deep water, far off its shore. Because the waves break so deep and far out, surfers can get some of the longest rides, which the beach is famous for. Sunset beach is one of the three stops on the Triple Crown Tour. The worlds biggest surfing competition.
A great beach to see some of the worlds most awesome waves during the winter, and during the summer, its calm waters make for great swimming. Make sure you keep an eye out for sgns warning about rip tides.
This little marketplace has little shops selling a wide variety of goodies. There is a Quicksilver here, a coffee cafe that occasionally have free internet--yeah! When I went, they have free internet that week...so I just sat there and use it for half an hour!
There's also a store that sell custom made swim suit.
Bus 52 will get you there. These buses come about every half an hour, so you can hang around this marketplace for about an hour...there are some nice little restaurants here as well, and then hop on the next bus to save you a walk to Haleiwa Alii Beach Park.
But instead of hopping onto the bus, I decided to walk to the beach, and was rewarded by the nice little shops along the way. And don't forget to try shave ice at any one of those roadside stores, cuz they are known to be the BEST!
This is a quiet little place to rest away from the crowds in Waikiki.
The North Shore of Oahu is where all the biggest waves are and where all the world class surfing action take place from Waimea onwards.
It is the home of the famous Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park, one of the biggest wave in the world.
Also don't bypass the small town of Haleiwa
We went up to the North Shore in January 2005 to see the big waves that are so famous to these shores. Unfortunately, the day we went the waves were only about 10 foot but very choppy and the beach was closed off with yellow tape and signs.
Wow - this is the ultimate in protected & safe snorkel spots. It's like being in a natural aquariu-like setting with an abundance of sea life.
In an effort to keep this place under wraps and minimize the riff-raff, I am going to say that it is known for sharks! (who knows, that may be true!)
If you snorkel, are a beginner, or afraid of the ocean but want to see fish - this is well worth a stop!
U guys, If you go to Oahu, the absolute must see is the North Shore. I dare say that that is the nicest part of the island where all the surfers come. There is pleanty to see and do ie surfing, art galleries, fresh shimp, nice stores, shaved ice etc. this area is populated but not as much as Honolulu so there is "air" for everyone... my favorite side of the island!