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Hale’iwa got its start as a tourist spot with the building of the Hale’iwa Hotel in 1898. The hotel is gone, but many of the small town’s buildings have the same look they’ve had for over 100 years of laid-back living. Unlike Waikiki with its high-rises, you’ll find that Hale’iwa has small shops ready to serve the practical needs of surfers and surf-watchers.
Start with a visit to the North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum, also known as Hale’iwa Surf Museum. See surfing photographs and memorabilia, boards from the 1930s and old posters advertising surfing competitions. Watch a video and chat with the curator to find out what’s happening in and around town. Nearby, find gear for snorkeling, surfing, boogie boarding or kayaking in one of Hale’iwa’s several surf shops.
Picnic at Hale’iwa Ali’i Beach and watch the makai (ocean-facing) side of the park to see youngsters learning to surf. Then look over your shoulder at the Kalili Surf Center; if you were a Baywatch Hawaii fan, you might recognize the headquarters for the brave and beautiful lifeguards. In July, enjoy the ArtFest with visual and performance art and numerous kids’ activities.
Walk along the shore and look for giant sea turtles. They often nest here and return to the same spot year after year. Remember that they are protected in Hawaii; it is against the law to ride, feed, or even touch a sea turtle. You can still enjoy watching them.
For an old-fashioned experience, rent a paddleboard or outrigger canoe similar to those used in Hawaii for more than 2,000 years. Paddle up the Anahulu River, going under the Rainbow Bridge. Soon you’ll be in lush tropical jungle.
While you’re in Hale’iwa, be sure to sample a North Shore favorite: shave ice. This dessert has a shaved ice texture that absorbs flavor; a variety of local syrup choices including lychee, lilikoi or guava; and ice cream or bean paste at the bottom of a cone, with sweetened condensed milk on top. It’s not a typical snow cone.
Hale’iwa is about an hour’s drive north of Honolulu. Some would say it’s right next to Paradise.
When it comes to booking a hotel room in Haleiwa itself, you will find that the list of available places is not extensive.
Travel is always so much more than just seeing new places. It's all about the adventures you can have while you're away!
Your trip to Haleiwa is about to get a whole lot more exciting. There are loads of activities on offer, including:
Got a little time on your side? Make your way to our Haleiwa things to do page for a complete list of activities.
We felt like we were in a real tropical paradise. Kitchen is open so we had a pleasure to enjoy our breakfast while enjoying the rain. Everything was so relaxing and interesting, like we were sleeping in the tree house. We loved it! It's so close to awesome snorkeling spots and beaches and places ...
The Kalani Private Residence/Resort is pretty easy to get to, with an excellent location situated very close to great beaches. Bernie, the owner, is extremely accessible, helpful, knowledgeable and super friendly and goes out of his way to make sure your needs are met. I can't say enough nice things ...
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