The North Shore of Oahu is an ideal Hawaii vacation for families

I’m a little nervous writing this post because I’m afraid I am giving away one of our favorite secrets about Hawaii…………and that is the North Shore.  The North Shore is a reference to the North side of the island of Oahu.  It is opposite side of the island from Waikiki and Honolulu, and we love it because it’s nothing like the South Shore.  There are fewer people, fewer tourist traps and it’s just beautiful.

I think many visitors believe they have to visit the islands of Kauai or Maui to experience the “real” Hawaii, but in reality I don’t think you have to leave the island of Oahu…… simply have to drive to the other side.

The North Shore is about a one hour drive from Waikiki.  It is home to the three of the most famous surf beaches for big wave surfing Waimea Bay, Pipeline and Sunset Beach.  From November to February these beaches are home to big waves and experienced surfers.

Surprisingly the North Shore does not have many hotels.  The Turtle Bay is the primary hotel on that side of the island.  Renting condos or homes on the North Shore is usually the best way to go if you wish to stay there (highly recommended).

For families the North Shore boasts, good beaches and waves (during the summer), fewer people, great hiking, Hukilau Beach, Hukilau Cafe, BYU Hawaii, the LDS Temple, the Polynesian Culture Center, snorkeling, shrimp trucks and much more.


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Hukilau Cafe

Perhaps it’s only fitting since our favorite beach is Hukilau Beach that our favorite place to eat on the entire island of Oahu is Hukilau Cafe.  Fitting it’s name it’s only across the highway and a couple blocks from Hukilau Beach.  It’s hidden back in the local neighborhood and is our absolutely favorite place to eat on the island.  They serve breakfast and lunch and are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Don’t miss this place, we eat there multiple times while we are there, you must at least try breakfast and lunch.  Both  meals are delicious, large and affordable.  We love the scoops of rice that come with every meal, and often try to emulate the meal at home on a Sunday.

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