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North Shore Oahu: Places to See

Updated on April 22, 2012

Oahu's North Shore is a place I consider a paradise within a paradise. The island of Oahu itself is a magical and beautiful place, but the north shore is the icing on the cake. With relaxing beaches, amazing views, cool things to see, and so much to explore, Oahu's North Shore is a treasure.

Whether you are a first time visitor to Oahu, a return guest, or even a resident, be sure to check out what Oahu's north shore has to offer and see these awesome sites.

A markerBYU-Hawaii -
Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui St, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions


One of three major Brigham Young Universities, the LDS owned and operated BYU-Hawaii is one of the most diverse universities in the United States, boasting over 80 countries represented. Though a small school, over half of the 2,500 students are international students. In 2005 the school was ranked 3rd for acceptance rates, behind Harvard and Yale, with a 12% acceptance rating.

While at BYU-Hawaii check out:

  • The "Little" Circle Flags - At the end of the entrance to the school are the flags of the nations represented at the school.
  • School Visitor's Center - Directly behind the flags is a large mural depicting the dedication of the school by the Prophet, David O. McKay. Inside the building you can find cultural artifacts and information, as well as spotlights on alumni and professors.
  • The Bookstore - Check out the school bookstore for school and Christian memorabilia, as well as cool Hawaiian souvenirs.
  • The Seasider - Stop by the Seasider, the school's non-cafeteria diner. I recommend a turkey sandwich on herb bread and the cran-mayo with sprouts. Amazing! You can also pick up some yummy ice cream and smoothies.

La'ie Point

A markerLa'ie Point -
Laie Point State Wayside, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions

The La'ie Point offers an awesome view of the ocean, and of Laniloa, the giant lizard, otherwise known as the Mo'o. On the point you can read a plaque, which gives the oral history of Laniloa, a tale where the lizard was cut into five pieces and scattered in the ocean, all of which you can view from the point. There is much more to the story that i will leave for you to read upon arrival!

Things to look for at the point:

  • People jumping from the point into the ocean (on the right side of the point)
  • A marine bench (on the right, near the jump off spot).
  • The plaque and rocks describing the Mo'o and his demise by Kana
  • Local fisherman bringing in their catches

La'ie Hawaii Mormon Temple

A markerLa'ie Temple -
55-600 Naniloa Loop, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions

The fifth of many temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the La'ie temple was the first to built outside of the mainland United States. Finished in 1919, the temple recently underwent some inside renovations, and was re-dedicated in 2010.

For more information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, you can check out their website at

Things to see:

  • The temple
  • The visitor's center
  • The family history center (if open)

Sunset Beach at Sunset

A markerSunset Beach -
59-93 Hoalua St, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
get directions

While Sunset Beach is a hoppin' spot for beach goers during the day, it is also a happenin' spot come sunset. Rightly named, Sunset Beach is the best place on the island of Oahu to catch the sun before she slumbers.

There are large stones next to the bike path you can sit on, but I would recommend getting closer to the ocean and bring beach chairs or towels to completely relax and immerse in a Hawaiian sunset.

Things to see at this location:

  • The sunset
  • Catch some surfers and boogies borders
  • Peddlers - across the street there is usually a peddler of some sorts, mostly selling souvenir shirts.


A markerEhukai Beach Park‎ - Pipeline -
‘Ehukai Beach Park, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
get directions

Pipeline, one of the surf capitals of the world. If you are there between the months of November to February, you can either catch one of the Triple Crown competitions, or the later Volcom Pipe.

Not only can you see some powerful waves with talented wave riders, but you can also enjoy a scenic bike path along the highway, enjoying some of the beautiful plant life.

Things to see at this location:

  • Surfers
  • Awesome waves
  • A scenic bike trail

Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau

show route and directions
A markerPu'u O Mahuka Heiau -
Puu O Mahuka, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
get directions

B markerPu'u O Mahuka Heiau -
Puu O Mahuka, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
get directions

For those unfamiliar with what a heiau is, it is a Hawaiian temple. A heiau could be used for different purposes, such as a temple of war, or an offering temple.

This particular Hawaiian temple location shows the foundation and outline what was once a strategically placed heiau that hovered over Waimea bay, allowing warriors to keep an eye on almost the entire northern shore.

Things to see at this location:

  • The heiau outline
  • A few information signs
  • Gifts and shrines to the gods left by locals
  • Overlook of Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay

A markerWaimea Bay -
Waimea Bay, Hawaii 96712, USA
get directions

Below the heiau you can find a beautiful beach and garden known as Waimea Bay. The botanical garden and waterfall are separated from the beachfront by Kamehameha Highway.

This is also home to the Eddie Aikau surf competition, which only happens when Waimea's waves reach at least 20 feet. The competition is in memorial of Waimea's first lifeguard, Eddie Aikau, who is credited with saving hundreds of lives while a lifeguard. In fact, not a single life was lost on Eddie's watch. He was later lost at sea on a voyage, attempting to paddle for help to assist the rest of the crew on a sinking voyaging canoe.

Things to see here:

  • Watch people jump off the big rock nto the bay
  • The powerful shore break
  • Eddia Aikau competition - Only when waves hit 20 feet
  • Botanical garden and falls (entrance fee) - this is where a scene from Lost was filmed, when Sawyer and Kate swam around before Kate found the briefcase in the water.

Turtle Beach

A markerLaniakea Beach (Lani's or Turtle Beach) -
Laniakea Beach, Hawaii 96712, USA
get directions

The aquatic life is something spectacular in Hawaii. The sea turtle encompasses the laid back mentality that permeates Hawaii.

Though it may look like another beach on the side of the road, Turtle beach, or its more proper name of Laniakea beach, plays host to tourists wanting an up close and personal view of the large creatures.

BE ADVISED: It is illegal to touch a sea turtle. Please obey the law and be courteous to these awesome creatures.

Things to see:

  • Sea turtles basking
  • Watch the sunset

Ka'ena Point

A markerKa'ena Point -
69 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791, USA
get directions

The farthest western point on the island of Oahu is Ka'ena point. It is here where the endangered monk seals take a break from sea life. According to some Hawaiian oral history, this is the place where souls make the leap into the next life.

This place requires a small hike/walk to reach the point, as you can walk all the way out to the point. It is off the beaten path for tourists, meaning you may run into very few people.

Things to do:

  • Watch the monk seals - do not touch or get near! They do attack!
  • Watch the sunset
  • See the westernmost tip of Oahu
  • See another Lost filming location (check map below showing filming locations for this one)

Pineapple Plantations

A markerDole Plantation -
Kamehameha Hwy + Dole Plantation, North Shore, HI 96786, USA
get directions

If you haven't had a chance to see what a pineapple looks like when growing, now is the time! Home to a Dole plantation, Oahu's north shore leading to central Oahu is saturated with pineapple fields along Kamehameha Highway.

It is against the law to pick pineapple from the plantations. Please do not wander into the fields or pick the pineapple.

Things to see:

  • Pineapple plantations
  • The Dole cannery
  • Coffee plants (for Kona coffee!) - these can be seen on the way past the pineapple fields.

Movie Locations and Pop Culture on North Shore

The North Shore lures more than just tourists, it also lures directors, musicians, and artists. Check out these locations of where famous movies and shows were filmed, as well as other pop culture references.

show route and directions
A markerForgetting Sarah Marshall -
Laie Point State Wayside, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions

Where Pete and Rachel jump into the ocean. Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku was also a filming location.

B markerJohnny Lingo -
Hukilau Beach, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions

Mahana you ugly! This short film from 1969 was filmed around BYU-Hawaii and Hukilau beach.

C markerHukilau Beach -
Hukilau Beach, Laie, HI 96762, USA
get directions

The inspiration behind Jack Owens 1948 song, The Hukilau Song

D markerKahuku High School -
Kahuku High School, Kahuku, HI 96731, USA
get directions

This is the place where many start football players started their career as a Red Raider. It is also the high school Jack Johnson graduated from.

E markerNorth Shore -
Turtle Bay Resort, Kawela Bay, HI 96731, USA
get directions

This soap opera used Turtle Bay Resort as the fictional Grand Waimea Hotel and Resort, where the show took place.

F markerSoul Surfer -
Turtle Bay Resort, Kawela Bay, HI 96731, USA
get directions

It is said that Soul Surfer filmed quite a bit of the beginning of the movie at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku.

G markerBlue Crush -
‘Ehukai Beach Park, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
get directions

This is Pipeline, where parts of the surf movie Blue Crush was filmed. The movie itself is set on North Shore Oahu.

H markerRide the Wild Surf -
Waimea Bay, Hawaii 96712, USA
get directions

This is the site of the movie's surf competition.e surf competition.

I markerLost -
Mokuleia Beach Park, Mokuleia, HI 96791, USA
get directions

The pilot and a few of the first episodes of the hit TV series, Lost, were filmed at this location. It was later moved east of Haleiwa.


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    • JKlosek profile image

      JKlosek 5 years ago

      Great pictures and a very informative article. I cannot wait to get back to Hawaii.

    • HawaiiHeart profile image

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Love visiting the north shore! such a different vibe from the rest of the island!