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Haleiwa town is where you go after a day watching the surf on the North Shore. Here you can browse galleries of surf paintings, try on tshirts at surf shops, and eat at casual restaurants. There is a nice development on the edge of the taro fields called North Shore Marketplace with plenty of parking, lots of outdoor seating at cafes, a coffee shop, and a store with good local books and souvenirs called Polynesian Treasures. Cholo's Homestyle Mexican is the best cafe choice there.
The rest of Haleiwa is hard to navigate because of the roadside parking and no sidewalks but it's still fun to walk around. There's a homemade ice cream place called Scoop of Paradise that has delicious creamy icecream and some tables outside. Kua Aina Burger is a North Shore tradition with mouthwatering burgers and Mahimahi sandwiches. Very fresh and delicious- pay at the counter and then sit outside on the pretty patio and enjoy! The Mahimahi burger with provolone and avocado is hard to beat!
Haleiwa grew in the 1920s when Japanese sugar cane field workers held a strike and were subsequently evicted. To make a living they created stores in Haleiwa and these are the rustic woodfront and tin roof structures that you see along the road now. The Japanese store owners lived behind their stores. You can see some of the Japanese names as you walk around, e.g. Matsumoto Shave Ice.
At the northern end of Haleiwa town you will come to Rainbow Bridge, a narrow white bridge that heads over the Anahulu Stream. Here some Japanese made a living fishing out of Sampan boats. You will pass Lokoea Pond, a manmade lagoon that dates back as far as the 1650s. The ancient Hawaiians created it to farm fish, making small slats to the ocean so that clean ocean water could wash in but large fish could not escape. Queen Lilioukalani built her summer palace on the banks of the pond where she could see the glistening pale green waters of the pond and the deep blue ocean beyond. She frequently entertained over 150 guests on her huge balcony and often walked to the lavish Haleiwa Hotel (which used to stand where Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill is now located).
Check out Haleiwa Playground and Beach, a good spot if you're looking for a playground for your kids to let off some steam. A really gorgeous beach, Police Beach, is just north of Haleiwa- enjoy the tidepools, rock spires, and the campground set of the TV show "Lost".
If you head left on Haleiwa Rd instead of crossing Rainbow Bridge, you will come to Haleiwa Alii Beach, a perfect spot to learn to surf, and a pretty beach for a long stroll.
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Haleiwa Town is well marked as you head north toward the North Shore beaches or south from the beaches. Just follow the signs! It is located on a stretch of Kamehameha Hwy that is now bypassed by Joseph Leong Hwy. There are two entrances to Haleiwa that are impossible to miss!
Cholo's Homestyle Mexican Cafe, 66-250 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa HI 96712, call (808) 637-3059.
Kua Aina Burger, 66-160 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI 96712, call (808) 637-6067.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|I do miss the North Shore! My happy place!|
|Hey, just came back from a 5 day stint at north shore. Got sunburnt. learned a lesson. beautiful place though. will come back.|
|North Shore is opposite of South Oahu in that the people are nicer, the beaches cleaner and it's not nearly as congested.|