Waialua to Kahuku on the North Shore
On weekends, Wicked Hi Cafe in Waialua opens two hours early for coffee and sourdough waffles made with honey from beehives in the backyard. Down in Hale’iwa, The coffee gallery starts serving delicious pastries at 6:30am for a leisurely start to the day at sunrise.
For a perspective of the North Shore usually reserved for whales (and visitors and anglers), drive seven minutes to Hale’iwa Harbor for a boat or whale watching excursion. The, Ocean Outfitters Hawaii and Banzai Adventures offer one or two-hour excursions along the magnificent Côte-Nord coastline. When you have more time, book a half-day tour with knowledgeable captain Porter Turnbull from North Coast Sailing Adventures. There’s nothing like sailing under full sail.
Return to the town of Hale’iwa for shopping. Mainstays Shop #808 and Guava Shop are always must-visits, but there’s a newcomer to the neighborhood. The Kōkua Hawai’i Foundation, led by Kim and Jack Johnson, will eventually include a few stores and an 8-acre learning farm at its new Hale’iwa headquarters. At the end of spring, the Kōkua General Store will open with eco-friendly reusable and refillable products – we love the handmade ceramic mugs from North Shore’s Jac + Jil Studio – as well as a selection of alohawear and vintage t-shirts. Take part in a field day on the first Saturday of the month.
DID YOU KNOW
Did you know: Haleʻiwa had loʻi fields that stretched down to the beach. At the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Learning Farm, eighth-generation Haleʻiwa resident Daniel Rodriguez helps restore wetlands on part of the property.
Lunch at long-time favorites along the Kamehameha Highway: Café Hale’iwa for the avocado sandwich, a chicken pesto sandwich at Waialua Bakery or Hello Burger at Beet Box Café. Or stop at the new food trucks: No. 7 Japanese Food Truck has large hand rollers; to Surf N Salsatry the super fresh fish tacos. Maya’s Tapas offers grass-fed burgers, flatbreads, and tapas-style veggies. After refueling, head up the coast towards Kahuku.
A word of warning: on a nice weekend day, the drive from Hale’iwa to Waimea Bay can take over an hour because of all the cars heading to Laniākea and Chun’s. Prepare by going before 10am, adopting a relaxed attitude, or sticking only to Hale’iwa or Kahuku before heading back to town.
On better days it takes about 20 minutes to get to The Cove Collection, a lovely independent boutique in Shark’s Cove run by four North Shore artisans, all women. Browse their well-edited selection of jewelry, art, home furnishings and beauty products, including beautiful Mi Nei Designs pearl necklaces by Katye Killebrew and upcycled surfboard art by her husband, the famous bodysurfer Mark Cunningham.
Drive 11 minutes to the revamped Turtle Bay Kuilima Farm Stand across from Kawela Bay, where there are loads of local produce to snack on. You can see part of the farmland just behind the stand.
Need a little pick-me-up in the afternoon? Four miles away, grab an espresso or fresh orange and pineapple juice from The country restaurant or a Raggamuffin smoothie – banana, strawberry, bee pollen and spirulina – from Lifted by the wavesboth at Kahuku Sugar Mill. Ono Yoin the food truck area in front of the historic site, offers a creative frozen yogurt menu that appeals to children.
Work with a lesson at skates at sunset, the new indoor skateboard ramp, school and candy shop. Pro skateboarder Willy Akers is an enthusiastic teacher, whether you’re learning to kick or perfecting your 180 kickflip.
SEE ALSO: What It’s Really Like Inside The Exclusive North Shore Volcom Surf House
DID YOU KNOW
Kahuku Sugar Mill operated for 90 years until it ceased processing operations in 1971.
After your lesson, grab take-out from one of the surrounding trucks or restaurants (Makahoa Pizza Co. and Papi’s Tacos are good choices) and sit alfresco Kahuku beer gardenwhere you’ll find a smart selection of local beers on tap, as well as wine and kombucha, plus bottles and cans in the fridge to end your day.
9 am Breakfast at Wicked Hi Café.
9:45 a.m. Drive 7 minutes to Hale’iwa Harbor for a 1-hour boat ride.
11:30 a.m. Browse the Kōkua General Store and other stores.
12:30 p.m. Grab lunch at No. 7 Japanese Food Truck or Surf N Salsa and be prepared to drive 20 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic) to Pūpūkea.
2:30 p.m. Stretch your legs and browse the art at The Cove Collection.
3 p.m. Drive 11 minutes to buy fresh produce at Kuilima Farm Stand. Go 4 miles to Kahuku Sugar Mill Road.
3:30 p.m. Grab a quick coffee and a sweet treat at The Country Eatery or Ono Yo.
4 p.m. Book a skate lesson with Sunset Skates.
5 p.m. Grab an after-skate drink at Kahuku Beer Garden.