What to Do on Oahu's North Shore (from a local!)
As some of you know, I was born and raised on Oahu. I’m an island girl at heart, and I try to go at least once a year to visit my family and the beaches I grew up with. The last time I went home was last February, and I just saw my parents a few weeks ago when they visited California. So, I wasn’t planning on going back to Hawaii to visit until later on this year, but a few weeks ago, I got a new job!! As soon as I heard the news, I booked a quick trip to the islands to spend some time at home before starting my new gig.
The North Shore on Oahu holds a special place in my memory. It’s home to some of my favorite spots on the island, so I try to spend at least one day there every time I visit. This time around, one of my friends from California came with me to Oahu, so we pulled out all the stops. First, we stopped at Romy’s for some legendary garlic butter shrimp. I hate shrimp, and I normally hate touristy places, but I promise you, this place is legit. The stop is located right next to a shrimp farm, so you know it’s fresh. And honestly, even though I dislike shrimp with a passion greater than life itself, I could pour that garlic sauce on ANYTHING and make it amazing. Try it. It’s life-changing.
Then, we went to Waimeas. You might be inclined to call it “Waimea Beach” or “Waimea Beach Park,” but, all good things in Oahu are irregularly plural. They just are, and if you want to really act like a local, you’ll follow along. Waimeas (Waimea Beach), Sandys (Sandy Beach), Alas (Ala Moana), Nordstroms… the list goes on. Waimeas is my favorite beach in the world. It’s honestly a jaw-dropping sight when you drive up to it for the first time. Normally, there is this 15-foot rock face you can jump off on the far left side of the beach, but since it was winter, the swells were too rough and the rock was roped off.
No trip to Waimeas is complete without going to Haleiwa afterwards. Haleiwa is without a doubt the most touristy spot on the North Shore, but I still love it. You’ll find everything from paddle board rentals to mom & pop ice cream shops. I don’t care where you eat, but you have to go to Scoop of Paradise for ice cream afterwards. They sell mochi ice cream and ridiculous ice cream flavors, like Blue Moon, Lilikoi Cheesecake, and Tutu’s (Auntie's) Chocolate Chip. When you go, tell them I sent you. It’ll mean nothing to them, but maybe it might make you feel a little cooler.