How To Spend A Day On Oahu’s North Shore

oahu north shore beach view

If you’re looking for a day of adventure and excitement, look no further than Oahu’s North Shore. This beautiful region is home to some of the most amazing sights and activities in all of Hawaii. From hiking to surfing, there’s something for everyone on the North Shore. In this blog post, we’ll give you a breakdown of the best things to do on a day trip to the North Shore. 

Oahu North Shore Overview

Oahu’s North Shore is well-known for its dramatic coastline, with beautiful white sand beaches and world class surf. This 17-mile stretch of shoreline is where you can find some of the best waves in the world. In addition to its natural beauty, the North Shore is home to a number of small towns and villages, each with its own unique character. 

While the North Shore may be best known for its waves and beaches, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in this part of Hawaii. Visitors can explore the tropical forests, hike to waterfalls, or take a scenic drive along the coast. 

North Shore Oahu Beaches

Oahu’s North Shore is known to have some of the best surfing beaches in the entire world. Every year, visitors gather to watch the big wave competitions and if there are no surf competitions during your visit, there is plenty of action to see with expert local surfers putting on a show in the big surf daily. Rest assured that there are plenty of other beaches to explore if huge waves aren’t your cup of tea.

If you’re looking for more information on Oahu North Shore Beaches, be sure to check out the best beaches on Oahus’ North Shore.

Disclaimer: Some of these beaches can be very dangerous during peak surfing season. Use caution and stay within your surfing ability if you decide to surf some of the beaches listed. Always check with lifeguards before entering the water for safety. When in doubt, don’t go out.

Sunset Beach

If you’re a skilled surfer, then you’ll definitely want to check out Sunset Beach during the winter months. Sunset Beach is a world class big wave spot known to be one of the most challenging waves on the North Shore. In fact, many competitive surfing events are held at Sunset Beach during the winter months, November through February.

Even if you’re not a skilled surfer, coming to Sunset Beach is an exciting experience watching the surfers ride the spectacular waves. And if surfing isn’t your thing, Sunset Beach is a relaxing place to swim during the summer months.

Banzai Pipeline

The pipeline is the ultimate spectators spot. The large waves break just shore distance off the coast providing an arena-style atmosphere. You can almost feel the rumble from the crashing waves and the spray that gets blasted out of the tube as it breaks. The waves at Pipeline are amazing and when it’s doing its thing, Pipeline is a must see. This is an extremely dangerous wave and only to be ridden by experts.

Waimea Bay

Much like Sunset Beach, Waimea is renowned for its 20-40-foot waves that attract the world’s best big wave surfers during winter. The best big wave riders come from around the world to test their skills on the big mountain-like swells that break at Waimea. Come summertime, the water becomes much more tranquil, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Kuilima Cove

Kuilima Cove is a great beach for those looking to relax and enjoy the water, regardless of the time of year. The cove is very well protected from the waves and currents, making it great for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, the sandy bottom and clear water make it perfect for beginner snorkelers. Kuilima Cove is also a great place to take a walk, relax on the beach, or just enjoy the incredible views.

Oahu North Shore Activities

For those who like to get out and really explore, these are some great activities you can do to see what the North Shore has to offer. There are plenty of things to do on the North Shore of Oahu!

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to explore the North Shore of Oahu. During the summer months paddling through the turquoise waters, you can get up close and personal with sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish. And when you’re ready to take a break, there are plenty of pristine beaches to relax on. Best of all, canoeing and kayaking are workouts that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels.

If you’re looking for interesting ways to do this, read about touring the North Shore via canoe!

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Oahu’s North shore is world-renowned for its beautiful beaches, but it is also home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the state. The reefs offshore are teeming with colorful fish and other marine life, and the clear waters make for great visibility. There are a number of dive shops in the area that can help you get started, and there are also plenty of opportunities to take guided tours. Check out the best North Shore Oahu dive sites!


If you’re looking to go inland and explore the island, you can find a variety of trails for hikers of all ability levels. The terrain ranges from gentle hills to more challenging inclines, so there’s something for everyone. Once you’re on the trail, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the ocean and the island’s lush vegetation. The trails are well-marked, so it’s easy to stay on track even if you’re not familiar with the area. And if you need a break, there are plenty of benches and picnic areas where you can rest and enjoy the scenery.

Oahu North Shore Towns Worth Exploring

If you have the time, don’t miss out on exploring these magical little towns that sit on the North Shore.

  • Haleiwa, often seen as the epicenter of the North Shore.
  • Mokuleia, a quiet bay town perfect for relaxing and seeing some turtles.
  • Pupukea, stretching from Waimea Bay to Sunset Beach, it’s the perfect destination for those looking to watch some amazing surfing.

Enjoy Your Time On The North Shore!

When it comes to finding things to do on Oahu’s North Shore, you are certainly not lacking in options. Whether you want to spend your day lounging on the beach, exploring the area’s natural beauty, or getting your adrenaline pumping with some extreme sports, there is something for everyone. And if you need any help planning your perfect day, our staff at Surf N Sea will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. So come on down to the North Shore and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

Rent some kayaks, take a surf lesson, or just lounge! We have it all!