10 places to visit on Oahu’s north shore

things to do on oahu's north shore

Kai was born a few days past his due date. Waiting was torture, but we tried to keep ourselves busy. Sam planned some fun activities including a road trip – which turned out to be a perfect adventure for such a pregnant lady (sitting! air condition!). Plus, car rides are the perfect time to talk and catch up. And with all the stress of baby prep, we needed some time to focus on the two of us. Thank goodness we did, because there hasn’t been any “Sam and Marisa” time since!

In case you’re wondering how one takes a road trip on an island, I’ll clarify that this was more of a 3-4 hour drive around the island of Oahu. In addition to the drive being beautiful, there are some really fun stops along the way – and some good eats, too.

Here’s a look at our favorite North Shore stops. Do you have any recommendations for the list? Let me know in the comments below!

1. Ching’s Punaluu Marketgo ahead and order one of everything on their sign for your road trip snacks: coconut mochi, spam musubi, korean chicken… and don’t forget a plantation iced tea to wash it all down. You won’t be disappointed.

chings punaluu store

2. The Shrimp Shack – there are a TON of shrimp stands and trucks on the north shore. Do yourself a favor and skip all the others. We’ve tried quite a few of them and the Shrimp Shack is our favorite.

north shore shrimp shack


3. Kahuku Farmsthe perfect place to stop for a farm-fresh smoothie – if you can squeeze anything in after your Ching’s Punaluu Market stop. Kahuku Farms also offers Farm Tours. I haven’t done one, but they look fun if you have the extra time.

kahuku farms cafe

4. Laniakea Beach (aka Turtle Beach) – because there are real, live turtles here! But be respectful, please.

turtle beach north shore oahu

5. Sunset Beachone of the North Shore’s most well-known surf spots. Be warned that the parking lot is small, so depending on the surf conditions that day, it may be hard to find a spot. 

6. Ted’s BakeryTed’s is known for their uniquely tropical pies like Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie and Lilikoi Cheesecake. The bakery sells to grocery stores in town, but their variety at the official store is a sweet tooth’s dream.

teds bakery

7. Waimea Bay – another one of the North Shore’s famous surf spots. Like Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay can get pretty packed on a good surf day. Depending on your swimming skills, this might be a good place to lay out (vs. swim).

8. Fruit Stands – you’ll most certainly pass some fruit stands. And they’ll most definitely be targeted tourists. But you know what? They’re completely adorable and worth stopping at. Pick up a bunch of bananas for your week or a fresh coconut, for fun.

north shore stands

9. Haleiwaa quaint surf town filled with surf shops. Part cheesy, part authentic. Either way, it’s worth parking and walking around.

10. Matsumoto’s Shave Icean Oahu staple! Be prepared to stand in line, but it’ll be worth it. Especially on a hot day.

matsumotos shave ice


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