Haleiwa town on the North Shore of Oahu is a must stop on my trips to the island. It started life as a resort near the sugar cane fields back in the 1890s and today it is a center for surfing, art, and food.
There are lots of places to shop and eat in Hale’iwa. I’m giving you an overview of some of my favorites. But go and explore. It’s a place full of aloha.
Grabbing a bite
As you enter town from the south on the Kamehameha Highway, on the right you’ll see a congregation of food trucks, a popular place to get some food.
Breakers Restaurant is a fun sportsbar. It’s a great place to watch a game and I enjoy the locals who hang out there.
Shave ice is a Hawaiian treat that you must try on a trip to Hawaii. Blocks of ice are shaved with special Japanese machines that make a wonderful fluffy texture to the ice. Syrups made with local fruits are poured on. The treat can be enhanced with ice cream or azuki beans. Matsumoto Shave Ice is a famous Oahu shop that started as a general store serving the plantations in 1951. When you visit, watch out for Stanley Matsumoto, second generation owner. My favorite shave ice is lilikoi (passion fruit), guava, and orange although I sometimes get papaya. The shop has lots of North Shore tee shirts and other gifts. Matsumoto Shave Ice is now part of a shopping complex with more interesting shops and a handy parking lot in the rear. Turn on Kewalo Lane or Mahaulu Lane to enter.
- Matsumoto Shave Ice
Haleiwa Joe’s faces the Hale’iwa Boat Harbor and is located on the former site of the historic Hale’iwa Hotel. The restaurant is casual with lots of seafood options. You can sit inside with the friendly bar group or out on the lanai facing the harbor and the Hale’iwa rainbow bridge. They have a large small plates menu. I recommend the lilikoi margarita with li hing mui rim.
- Haleiwa Joe’s
The Gardener and I love to have dinner where watching the sunset is possible. The Beach House has views of the ocean and the Lo Ko Ea fish pond with a second floor bar and deck. The building is gorgeous and modern and it also has 4 fire pits. The well-rounded menu has offerings such as poke bowl, lobster Cobb salad, mongchong fish with bok choy, and rack of lamb.
- Beach House North Shore Haleiwa
Shopping in Haleiwa
The Ukulele Site is a wonderful shop for ukuleles or music books. The staff is so knowledgeable and you can take lessons on YouTube from them.
- Ukulele Site YouTube channel
Global Creations and Interiors is my favorite shopping spot in Hale’iwa. The shop has a great mixture of home goods, art, jewelry, and clothing. Many items are Hawaiian-made and all have a tropical flavor. You can get local music here and their handpainted sarongs are amazing.
- Global Creations and Interiors
If you are looking for a fabulous children’s store, the Growing Keiki is the place! This cozy, delightful store has Hawaiian-style muslin blankets, onesies, children’s books and more. I’ve never seen technical shirts and wetsuits so tiny! They’ve got a great selection for little ones at the beach.
- The Growing Keiki
Hale’iwa is a center for surf culture and there are lots of places to buy, rent, or take lessons. Surf N Sea has been around since 1965 and is always highly rated. They specialize in surfing and scuba but stand up paddle, kayaking, and more are available.
- Surf N Sea
History and attractions
Queen Liliu’okalani enjoyed retreating to Hale’iwa and the Liliu’okalani Protestant Church stands in town as a lovely reminder of her. A church has served the area since 1832. The entrance stone arch is host to night blooming cereus and there are other lovely plants on the grounds such as golden shower tree. The church spire is topped with an ‘iwa bird (great frigate bird), symbol of the town.
- Liliu’okalani Protestant Church
Hale’iwa Beach Park is an easily accessible beach with parking. The monument to World War II local heroes is here. You get a nice view of Kaena point and it’s a nice place to sit in the sand, relax, and maybe have a picnic.
The Hale’iwa Hotel opened in 1899 and was built by Benjamin Dillingham to encourage passenger travel on his railroad. His railroad was built primarily for transporting sugar to the Honolulu harbor. This beautiful resort gave it’s name to the town that grew around it. The rainbow bridge has graced the river crossing since 1921 and is a symbol of Hale’iwa.
- Hale’iwa Hotel from Waikiki Time Machine
- The story of Curis Pi’ehu Iaukea and his family, manager of the hotel from 1899 to 1909.
Hale’iwa town map
Where to stay
The closest hotel to Hale’iwa is Turtle Bay Resort at Kahuku. However, there are many vacation rentals throughout the North Shore.
- North Shore (1987) at IMDb
- Ride the Wild Surf (1964) at IMDb
- Blue Crush (2002) at IMDb
- Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau (2013) at IMDb
- Hale’iwa Hula by Gabby Pahinui
- Hanohano Hale’iwa by Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom
- Hale’iwa Hotel by Aloha Pumehana Serenaders
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