6 Things to Do on North Shore
North Shore | OAHU. In this article, I share some ideas on places you can check out on the North Shore.
There are many different ways to visit the North Shore. Some opt for a rental car and others for a guided tour. In this article, we checked out Hi5 Tours for a private tour of the North Shore.
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Adventure At A Glance
Waikiki | OAHU
What to Bring:
Varies | Private Tour
Stop 1: Green World Coffee Farms
We started our trip in Waikiki. Next, we headed all the way up this side of the island to hit Green World Coffee Farms. This place is absolutely amazing and super cute. It's a retail store, an actual coffee shop where you can try locally made coffee, they even have free samples plus locally made crafts.
You can grab a quick cup of caffeine whether that's coffee or tea and then head on a self-guided tour of the coffee garden. Tea is my personal favorite so I tried their chai latte which was super delicious. I also tried some of their samples. They've got different roasts available.
Once you get past the main area, it's open Monday through Friday from 7am til 5pm and then on the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) it's open one hour later till 6pm. Like many places, it's closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Stop 2: Dole Pineapple Plantation
The next stop was less than five minutes away. Beyond the gift shop, there's four main things you can do at the Dole Pineapple Plantation:
- The Train
- The Garden Tour
- The Maze
- Walking the grounds to see how pineapples are grown
For us, it was just a quick stop around the ground. We walked down to see how pineapples were grown and then after that we tried some more Dole Whip. It's super light and it's really sugary so I'm a fan. We got a couple things of Dole Whip and split it up family style into our own individual bowls.
Dole Pineapple Plantation is open 9:30am until 4:30pm.
Stop 3: Waialua Estate
For our stop, we got to learn a little bit about how chocolate is made and then we got to try the cacao at different percentages until it became semi-sweet chocolate. There's also plenty of coffee samples and like most of the other stuff, there's a lot of locally made crafts and items. It's open from 9am to 5pm daily.
Next we're on to the third stop, the Waialua Estate. Nearby on the North Shore in Wailua is the Waialua Estate. It's a sister farm to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Here coffee and cacao grow on old sugar cane fields. Gorgeous mountains surround it and the estate is pretty big. It's about 155 acres of coffee and about 80 acres of cacao.
Stop 4: North Shore Soap Factory
Now for our next stop, the North Shore Soap Factory. This is actually in the same area as the Waialua Estate. From the entrance of the Waialua Estate to the North Shore Soap Factory, it is a 2-3 minute walk.
I've lived here for over 15 years and I've actually never been here before so this is actually pretty cool. All of the soap was made locally here in that factory. There's also locally made items and gifts too. There's even this giant piece of glass which allows you to look through it to see how the soap is made. It was pretty cool seeing the process of how soap is made and how it gets turned to these giant loaves soap loaves.
If you're looking for locally made products, this is definitely one of my favorites. It's open Monday through Saturday 9am to 6pm and then on Sundays it's open 10am to 5pm. Closed all major holidays.
Stop 5: Haleiwa Town
After hitting all those other stops, we're getting pretty hungry so we finally made it to Haleiwa Town to have lunch. We're here in Haleiwa and right now it's time for lunch. We're at this cute little spot that has tons of local food trucks. There is garlic shrimp at Big Wave Shrimp Truck. There's Korean barbecue. There's Thai food. There's a little bit of something for everyone.
I went to Big Wave and got my personal favorite garlic shrimp. They have garlic shrimp by the plate but you can also pay a little bit extra and get the one that's pre-peeled for you. It's super delicious and I hope you guys check it out and like it.
If your family or group has varied tastes, this might be a good place to stop. There's different varieties of foods here.
Haleiwa Town is also a super fun place to stand up paddleboard or kayak. You can stand up hallway or kayak down on Anahulu River. You can check out this video for a half day North Shore trip and how to stand up pallboard and kayak down on a Hulu River. Haleiwa is a pretty cool town on its own. There's lots of stuff you can do here besides have lunch at the food trucks. You can walk around and check out the art galleries. Check out the marketplace. There's a lot of cool little shops and lastly we just enjoy Haleiwa. It's gorgeous over there.
Stop 6: Macadamia Nut Company
And our last stop was the Macadamia Nut Company. What's super cool about this is that it is an actual working farm. I really liked how they showcased a lot of locally made products. As you can tell for a lot of the stops we've been to today, a lot of the stops include locally made products. We got a brief history about the farm and then headed out and that ends our full day on the North Shore.
One thing that I really liked about these stops is that many of the places allowed us to shop local and by that I mean there were displays showing where the item was made in what area of Oahu, who made them and a little bit about them. I think it adds like a nice personal touch. I love that at the coffee farms we were drinking locally sourced coffee. For the soap factory, it was actually made here on island. I thought that was pretty cool.
Whether you want to support local to buy stuff for yourself, a gift for a friend or a souvenir to take back, this is definitely a list of places that you can check out. For example, rather than buying your coffee from a big name merchant or your Waikiki ABC store, why not go to the farm itself?
Overall, I had a great time exploring the North Shore of Oahu. From the Dole Pineapple Plantation to the Macadamia Nut Company, there were plenty of stops to make and things to do. I loved that many of the places allowed us to shop local and by that I mean there were displays showing where the item was made in what area of Oahu, who made them and a little bit about them.
Whether you want to support local to buy stuff for yourself, a gift for a friend or a souvenir to take back, this is definitely a list of places that you can check out. I think that private island tours work really well. This particular tour company took us around in a sprinter van. It was comfortable, small and easy for us. If it's your first time on the island, a private tour might be the way to go.
- Circle Island Tours
- Guided Land Tours