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The Best of Oahu North Shore

NORTH SHORE

FOOD TRUCKS

Oahu’s North Shore: a meeting point for surfers and food lovers. This side of the island is home to a vibrant street food tradition. From the delicious Giovanni’s shrimps to the sweet Leonardo’s Malasada, from the most amazing Elephant Truck’s Thai food to the most refreshing coconut water coming right out fresh-chopped coconut shells. Trust me, there is really a little something for everyone’s taste.

 

TURTLE BAY

A bar on the beach serving exotic cocktails, straw umbrellas to give you some shade from the blazing Hawaiian sun and the blue ocean right in front of you.  Maybe you will be also lucky enough to make friends with some cute sea turtle, you know – nature is unpredictable!

BANZAI PIPELINE

This beach is known worldwide for ‘The Billabong Pipeline Master’. Every year, the best and bravest surfers in the world gather together in the attempt to catch one of the most huge, scary and amazing waves a surfer can dream of. If you happen to be there during the season, it is a show not to be missed!

THREE TABLE BEACH

Looking for the best spot for some snorkeling? Three Tablet beach is the place for you. This spot on the North Shore of Oahu is home to an incredible amount of colorful fishes that during summertime love to hang out in the calm and warm water of this rocky tidal pools. A suggestion?  Bring water shoes, you will thank me later!

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SHARK COVE

Let me get you a sigh of relief. No, sharks in here! Apparently, this beach got its name from a popular story that says that the outline of a reef outside the cove looks like a shark when seen from above. Despite the scary name, the Shark’s Cove is one of a kind and not just because of its spectacular underwater rock formations but most of all because of its amazing marine life. No better spot for a dive, mine included. It was my very first time and I really need to thank Hawaii Eco Divers and my instructor Ricardo Taveira for its patience and perseverance and for making it the most panicking and exciting experience in my life.

KAENA POINT

Kaena Point is located on the corner that connects the North Shore to the West Shore. The nature of the area make this place one of the least light-polluted spots on the island and therefore one of the most suitable locations for starts gazing, especially in summer. The ideal conditions are moonless or near-moonless light and a clear sky. For pictures like these, though, you’ll need lenses with a large aperture and a quality camera with the ability to take images at a high ISO setting. Stunning, isn’t it?

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Ph: Marvin Chandra

Find out more about Oahu: The Best of Oahu South Shore

Find out more about Oahu: The Best of Oahu East Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it on Oahu

 

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The Best of Oahu East Shore

EAST SHORE

BYDODO-IN VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES

I had never been to a Buddhist temple before then and it was a really particular experience for me.  I was totally amazed by the beauty of this place but what really impressed me was the sense of calm and peace that held me as I walked in through that bridge to the temple. This place can’t miss on your Oahu bucket list!

LANIKAI BEACH

Just miles of endless turquoise and calm water brushing up against a fine sand beach while gentle winds offer a cool relief from the hot Hawaiian sun. The word “Lani Kai” means “Heavenly Ocean”.  It’s such a fitting name for a place like this!

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Ph: Elena Locatelli

LANIKAI PILLBOX HIKE

Even if the almost vertical climb through the thick brushes got me a little intimidated at the beginning, the sunset from up there was quite rewarding!

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view of the Mokulua Islands from the second pillbox on the Lanikai Hike Trail

WAIMANALO BEACH

It was just a glimpse at the beginning. One step forward and I was breathless.  I must be dreaming – I thought. I remember I stood there like mesmerized for a while. And then, a shudder passed through me. Suddenly I took off my clothes and I run into the ocean. I remember looking down into the crystal-clear water and seeing cute little fishes swimming in between my feet. Turning around I took a look at the white-sand beach and at the green mantle of trees covering the mountain and then I remember taking a deep breath and letting myself fall back into the water. It was true, I really was in Hawaii.

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Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu South Shore

Find out more about Oahu – The Best of Oahu North Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it on Oahu

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The Best of Oahu South Shore

SOUTH SHORE

MAKAPU’U LOOKOUT

My trip around Oahu started right here. It was just the first stop and I got already amazed. The view was stunning. I spent something like 20 minutes staring at that white-sand beach and at the blue ocean. I even pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but there I was – in Hawaii!

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View of Makapu’u Beach and Rabbit Island from the MAkapu’u Lookout.

KOKO CRATER HIKE

Oahu is not just gorgeous shorelines. The island presents a rich and varied landscape that includes majestic mountain ranges and challenging hikes. One of the most famous is the Koko Crater trail – an old railroad built during World War 2 and used to haul cargo and supplies up to the top.

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Ph: Ryne Hanso

Watching the army’s guys going up and down so easily made me think it was going to be a smooth one. How naive I was! At each step, the staircase got steeper and steeper – not to mention the part of it that acts as a bridge with a 40 ft drop below. Not exactly the best thing for who has a fear of heights. I want to be honest – I almost gave up. Then turning around I saw how much I had already accomplished and I remember thinking ‘damn, I can’t screw it up now’ and, actually, I didn’t. Even if more dead than alive, I got to the top and sure this view paid me back.

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View of Port Lock Peninsula from the summit of Koko Crater Trail

HALONA BEACH COVE

It is a small pocket of sand surrounded by a volcanic rock shoreline, created thousands of years ago by volcanic eruptions. Today, there are no more active volcanos on the island so no fears. If you look at this picture, this place seems like saying ‘Come on! Get into the water’.  If I was you though, I wouldn’t listen to it. It sure is a beautiful beach but not the safest place where to chill. Currents here are pretty strong so watch out if you’re willing to take a shot for a few stroke or some snorkeling.

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Shot from the hill that overlooks the beach
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Shot from the beach – Ph: MYK Salonga

ALAN DAVIS BEACH

This spot of Oahu is really famous for its trampoline. Even if it has been removed by now, the rocks where the wooden plank was wedged are still in a perfect position for whoever is willing to take a (safe) jump into the blue water.

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Ph: Jake Butler

This beach is perfect also for those willing to take a swim and relax. Hidden in the dark-coal rocks there are little tidepools where you can hang out like if you were on your own private beach!

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Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu East shore 

Find out more about Oahu – The best of Oahu North Shore

Check out also traditional Hawaiian food and where to eat it