"Big Wave Surfing Gateway" Top 5 Page for this destination Haleiwa by Hopkid

Haleiwa Travel Guide: 64 reviews and 163 photos

Still evokes old Hawaii

Haleiwa is at the bend in the Kam Highway where the road takes a turn north and along the fabled North Shore. It is along this stretch of Oahu that the big waves crash during the winter months at beaches named Sunset, Waimea, and Banzai Pipeline. Surfers from all over come here to test their skill (and luck) against some of the largest and most powerful breaks in the world. Even for the non-surfer, the tremendous power of these waves is a sight to behold. Many surfing fans or just tourists in the Islands on holiday come here in the winter to observe the waves and those trying to ride them. It really is a great thing to watch.

Haleiwa town itself is still relatively small and rustic although many oldtimers would say that it's becoming way too commercial. However, compared to Honolulu, Haleiwa is still a sleepy little beach town with some funky restaurants and shops. It can get very crowded and traffic ridden in the high tourist season so it's best to head out early (it's at least an hour's drive from Waikiki) and get there before lunch. I would suggest going early, do a bit of shopping, have lunch, and then hit the beach perhaps at Waimea Bay and just relax during the afternoon.

A visit to Mastumoto's for a shave ice (and perhaps a t-shirt) is a must when visiting Haleiwa.

Get some grub at one of the many shrimp shacks that are set up along the North Shore. The food is incredible and not expensive!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Evokes images of old Hawaii
  • Cons:Very crowded in high season
  • In a nutshell:A nice change of pace from the craziness of Honolulu
  • Last visit to Haleiwa: Apr 2006
  • Intro Written Nov 25, 2006
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Reviews (4)

Comments (3)

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:29 AM

    Haleiwa is one of my favourite spots in Oahu. Great tips here & yes Waimea Bay is a beautiful place. We couldn't find a parking spot either on the roadside above or in the car park during our recent visit. Luckily watched Pipeline in all its glory.

  • Karlie85's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    When is high season?

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2006 at 5:08 PM

    Don't know if I'll ever make it here, but it sounds great!

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