Our Top 10 Iconic spots on the North Shore
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A fun filled few days spent on the North Shore of Hawaii where we love to live the Aloha way, embracing the salty and sunkissed skin with nothing but a huge grin. Here are our favourite spots on the 7 mile stretch of luscious beaches, friendly peeps and easy eats.
Sunrise Shack // Sunset Beach
A cute little shack that you can’t miss since it’s the colour of the sun and plonked right on the side of the street at Sunset Beach. The menu is full of items that promote health, strength and happiness and it was here we stopped by for our bulletproof coffee and papaya bowls every morning. The three Smith brothers (Travis, Koa and Alex) wanted to share their goal of optimal health with others, and so the Sunrise Shack was born. Take your breakkie just across the road and sit in the sand at Sunset for the perfect way to start your Hawaiian day.
Pipeline // Pupukea Beach
Perched on the deck of the Billabong house watching the Pipe Masters is always a surreal moment. Pinch us, please! The wave is a whole lot of water, breaking incredibly close to the shore and sounds like thunder as it crashes onto the shallow cavernous reef below. You can easily while away a whole day watching the surfers pull into perfect barrels at one of the best beach breaks in the world. We spent a lot of time hypnotized by the sheer magnitude of the wave, the bravery and skill of the surfers and the beauty of Pupukea Beach. The best time of year for waves is the Hawaiian Winter (Dec-March), but can still be visited any other time of year.
Haleiwa Bowls // Haleiwa Town
Haleiwa (pronounced hah-lay-EE-wah) is the cutest community that still has an old school charm to it; evident in the building facades, signposts and aloha attitude. Hawaiian’s know how to do acai and it becomes a daily staple when you are on the North Shore. A simple DIY menu ensures your bowl is exactly the way you like it. Choose from one of 2 acai blends, and top with whatever you please; from the sweet stuff like fresh berries, coconut flakes and honey, to the superfoods like bee pollen, maca powder and spirulina. We could literally have one for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Teds Bakery // Kamehameha Highway
When away on holiday, it’s the perfect chance to treat yo’self. Ted’s Bakery has the best selection of pies, cakes, bread and pastries. Don’t be fooled though, Ted’s is more than just a bakery. The most popular items are the garlic shrimp, loco moco, fried rice special, chocolate-haupia pie and pineapple macadamia nut cheesecake, all staples in the Hawaiian diet. If you like to stick to what you know, then go for the bacon and egg roll…. It won’t disappoint, trust us. We tried it.
Pua’ena Point // Halewia
If Pipeline is a little out of your surfing ability, then Pua’ena Point is perfect for a paddle. Located just outside Haleiwa boat harbour, there are three different take-off zones so if you are just learning you can hang on the inside and surf the gentle waves that roll through. It’s always a little smaller than other surf spots on the North Shore and a lot of surf schools have their lessons here so you can be assured it is beginner friendly. We spent some time surfing here with Josie Prendergast and it was magic to watch her slide and glide across the water with the style and grace of a dancer.
Honos Shrimp Truck // Haleiwa
Giovanni’s is the famous food truck known for their shrimps coated in butter and garlic goodness (we call them prawns down under). The line was so long here, we decided to try the one just next to it, ‘Honos’. With similar menus and similar looking trucks, It truly rivals Giovanni’s and the underdog may even be better. Always go for the Shrimp Scampi if it’s your first time, it comes with 2 scoops of rice and coleslaw and the perfect amount of shrimps if you are feeling famished. Prepare to be finger lickin’ as you have to de-shell them yourself, but boy is it worth it. Parking is also a mission, so go before or after the lunch rush for a shrimp sensation.
San Lorenzo Shaved Ice // Haleiwa
Find the cute little red barn style shop and you have found a Hawaiian specialty, shaved ice with sweet, sticky syrups. With an endless list of flavour combinations, our favourite was the Endless Summer; watermelon, lemon and passionfruit with vanilla ice-cream on the bottom. Dairy-free; just omit the ice-cream! Any kind of icy cold beverage on a hot Hawaiian day does wonders, and shaved ice is no exception. It’s definitely a must-try if it is your first time to the island of Aloha and there are different shops serving up the goods all along the Haleiwa town strip, often serving up over 1,000 on a typical warm day.
Sunset // Turtle Bay
You don’t have to be staying at the luxurious Turtle Bay resort to enjoy their facilities. Head there about 5pm to grab a perch to watch the sun go down. It’s a magical spot with breathtaking views of palm trees and the sea sparkling as the sun sets while surfers get their final waves for the day. They often have live music playing AND you can go for a dip in the pool while you wait for your Skinny Chi Chi and Poke bowl to be served up. The beach on the south side of the resort is a calm bay, perfect for swimming in and pulling up a picnic blanket.
The Banyan Tree // Kawela Bay
Once used as a backdrop on the TV show ‘Lost” and the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” the Banyan tree is a maze of roots, tunnels and shadows and a sight worth seeing. The shaded grove makes for a perfect picnic spot, or you can keep wandering through to Kawela Bay; one of the quietest beaches on the North Shore. A super calm bay that is great for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and swimming with lots of shade under the palms surrounding the beautiful bay. A secret we discovered by serendipity and the urge to explore the North Shore off the beaten track. Just across the road is the most luscious fruit stand of all. Already cut up pieces of papaya, the sweetest pineapple, and most refreshing watermelon for you to take on your travels.
Sharks Cove // Pupukea
Don’t be put off swimming at this spot; it got its namesake due to the reef on the outer edge of the cove being shaped like a shark when viewed from above. Boasting incredibly blue water and an abundance of marine life, this is THE spot to snorkel or dive (being named one of the top 12 shore dives in the world FYI). Expect to see parrot fish, butterfly fish, eels, sea urchins and even turtles! Due to the cove being between the big surf breaks of Waimea Bay and Pipeline, when the swell is big, the current gets mighty strong in this neck of the woods, so opt to go when the sea is a bit smaller. Just across the street there is a a few food trucks if you feel famished from all the snorkelling and splashing about, as well as surfboard rental and boutique Hawaiian style shops for all your souvenirs.