Popular with surfers, tourists and locals alike, Oahu’s North Shore is definitely a must visit.
I suggest getting a rental car (or better yet, connecting with someone you know on the island) and driving 100-mile round-trip loop out of Waikiki.
There are plenty of interesting places to stop and stunning photo opportunities along the way.
The Polynesian Cultural Center was founded in 1963 with the mission of preserving the cultural heritage of Polynesia. The expansive center is organized according to six Polynesian “islands”: Fiji, Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.
After visiting the “islands,” be sure to stick around for one of their Nightly luaus and performances featuring traditional music and dance— a memorable experience, to be sure. Close to the Polynesian Culture Center is La’ie Point, a lookout that offers fantastic views of the North Shore’s coastline.
The James Campbell Nature Wildlife Refuge, one of Hawaii’s only wetlands, is open to visitors from October through February. The Refuge serves as a habitat for approximately 119 species of birds, including the largest group of wetland birds in Hawaii. If you’re hungry when you’re done, stop at a shrimp cart in Kahuku and enjoy some of the fresh shellfish.
The historic town of Haleiwa is a great place to relax and do a bit of shopping. The town is known for its Hale’iwa is paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) style architecture and dates back to when the town was founded in the early 1900s. Haleiwa caters to tourists, and therefore is home to a wide variety of art galleries, surf shops, clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, and eclectic eateries that make the perfect place to stop and grab a bite before you get on the road again and head back to Waikiki.
Interested in learning more? Experience Oahu for yourself with these cheap flights to Hawaii.