North Shore Beach Guide: The Top 6 North Shore Beaches to Check Out on Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In a recent survey conducted by The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, about three and a half million visitors make their way to the North Shore at some point in their stay. Below is a list of our favorite beaches on the north side, we hope you have the chance to check them out!

Ali`i Beach Park has some of the best surfing waves on the North Shore and was dubbed “Ali’I Beach” in the early 1900’s. It’s surf break hovers over a shallow reef which provides clean, yet dangerous, conditions. There is a lifeguard on duty and public restrooms, which welcomes lots of families throughout the year.

Haleʻiwa Beach Park is definitely family-friendly. With a nice area to picnic and play, and a space to wade in the water, Hale`iwa Beach Park is long, safe and sandy. It sits close enough to Ali`i Beach to see seasoned surfers and big waves without binoculars and a nasty current.

Laniakea Beach, otherwise known as Turtle Beach, is a popular stopping place for tourists. There are no parking stalls designated for this beach, however most visitors park along the adjacent highway. If traveling with children, beware of the oncoming traffic. In recent years, the everyday crowd has grown, most often to see a glimpse of the handful of turtles that visit the beach daily.

Waimea Bay Beach Park is the most popular of North Shore breaks. During the winter the waves can reach thirty feet. If visiting the beach park during one of these swells, be sure to stay clear of the water, but take the time to enjoy the breathtaking, awe-inspiring site. Though there is a parking lot at Waimea, it is almost always full, be prepared to walk a little bit before setting up your beach gear.

Banzai, Pipeline is located directly across from Sunset Beach Elementary School. “Pipe”, as the locals call it, is the longest continuous stretch of wide beach on Oahu and is home to some of the best surfing in the world. Parking is limited and lifeguards are on site.

Sunset Beach, known for its beautiful Hawaiian sunsets, may be the most famous of the North Shore beaches. Pack some water, food and sunscreen and plan to stay for a while – you won’t regret it.

If you aren’t already in Hawai`i, we hope that you plan the time to pay us a visit. We may be a little biased here at North Shore Explorers, but we’re pretty sure the North Shore holds the most beautiful beaches on O`ahu. Whether you live on the island and need a little help navigating your way around or are coming in from the mainland and need a lot of help planning a vacation, give us a call! Let us help you explore, it’s what we do!

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorer Team

Lucky We Live Hawaii

“Lucky We Live Hawaii” is a saying you see often in the Aloha State. You may spot it on hats, tshirts, bumper stickers and surfboards. Some would even say the local phrase epitomizes the seize the day lifestyle of Hawaii and the idea that life is meant to be relished, not squandered. Hawaii residents are hardly impressed by your salary or the size of your home. Instead, they’re more concerned with how you live, and it’s one of the many elements that makes our humble cluster of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean one of the least stressed, most happy states in the United States. In Hawaii, the quality of life is measured by taking your child out for his first surf session, catching the set of the day at your favorite surf spot or beating your best time to the top of Koko Head Crater to make it for the sunrise.

Below are five examples of how the people of Hawaii embrace the Aloha lifestyle – grabbing life by the seashells and truly living for the moments that take their breath away:

Stay In Touch with Nature. It is well-known that fresh air and sunlight are beneficial, but knowing that we must also make conscious efforts to be apart of nature is hard to do when living in urban communities. In a recent study written in the Bioscience, journal people who live near areas that encourage recreation are less likely to experience depression, stress and anxiety — and Hawaii is overflowing with recreational opportunities. It is truly a place where it is impossible to step out your front door without wanting to embrace and indulge in the beauty that Hawaii has to offer.

Seek Adventure. We know chronic stress can be a bad thing, research has even found it to be related to a higher risk of dying from stroke; however, not all stress is alike. In the midst of immediate stress, the body’s adrenaline hormone is what takes over, helping us to take action. According to Men’s Health Magazine, “activities that are physically and mentally stressful help your body react better to stress in everyday life.” While some may say swimming with sharks is dangerous, we think it’s the perfect avenue to get your adrenaline kicking (after you take all the necessary safety precautions, of course!).

Seek Silence. In a world where technology has become a sixth sense, it’s sometimes difficult to find alone time; but, silence and solitude allows us to relax and renew our minds, which in turn aids us into being more productive. Additionally, some experts at Psychology Today claim that carving out some time alone may actually improve your relationships with others by helping you discover yourself!

Place Family First. For most people, the challenge of balancing work and family often turns into an ultimatum and sometimes forces family members to make impossible choices. In Hawaii, however, the concept of Ohana holds a sacred place – encouraging those who live an “aloha” lifestyle to place their families above all and to always give their family the highest of priorities.

Understand and Embrace Your Place. It can be easy to not stop and smell the roses in life. The simplicity of life on the islands paired with the never ending scenic landscape compels its residents to often take a step back to enjoy the distance from the rest of the world.

However you choose to live the Aloha spirit, we welcome you to join our ohana down in the North Shore of Oahu.  We promise to show you the best of the island all while embracing the beauty that surrounds us.  We’ll catch you on the North Side \m/

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorers Team

Take A Hike

The North Shore of O’ahu is home to over 90 scenic hiking trails that run the spectrum from quick and easy to long and arduous. No matter the time, place or weather, there are certain items essential for any hike. All the items listed below can easily fit in a light back pack.

-Good shoes. You’ll want comfortable, closed toe, tight fitting shoes with a decent grip (soles are in good condition). Depending on the hike and your experience, you may want anything from tennis shoes to waterproof hiking boots. Good shoes will help reduce risks of falling and toe-related injuries.

-Water bottle. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – humans need water to survive. Heat stroke and exhaustion are almost directly related to lack of water. The last thing you want to do on the side of a mountain is pass out. When dehydrated, the best-case scenario is dizziness, worst case scenario is death. We cannot stress this enough.

-Sunscreen and insect repellant. The two most annoying things in the world might just be sunburns and mosquito bites. Hawai’i is home to lots of sun and loads of bugs, keep your skin protected.

-Travel size first aid kit/whistle/light. Better safe than sorry. We hope you don’t need any of these things while on a hike in Hawai’i, but all are very inexpensive and easy to fit in a back pack.

 -Snacks. You can bring as little or as much as you want, but I think we can all agree that it’s hard to enjoy a scenic vista when your stomach is growling. Energy bars also offer an extra boost for the hike back. 

-Camera. Though this is not an essential item, Hawai’i’s hikes offer views you will always want to remember.

We feel so grateful to call this island home and are always looking for ways to inspire a spirit of adventure and exploration in the hearts of those who come to visit.  We welcome you to visit us on the North Shore of Oahu and see how we can enhance your adventure in paradise! We look forward to exploring with you!

Aloha,

The North Shore Explorers Ohana

Stand Up Paddle Surfing: Then & Now

If you’ve noticed heavier crowds through Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore it’s more than likely due to the 2017 World Tour Opener, Sunset Beach Pro, for Stand Up Paddle Surfing. The APP (Association of PaddleSurf Professionals) World Tour delivers live and post-produced coverage from the very best in the world battling it out year-round for Professional Paddle Surfing & Racing World Championship Titles across premier networks worldwide.

The Sunset Beach Pro opened February 11th and ended on February 24th. The contest featured Men, Women and Youth divisions. Consisting of both trials (open entry) and main event, with the top four trialists advancing to the main even in both Men and Women divisions.

Although SUP has more recently become an organized sport, stand up paddling in some form or another, has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures from South America to Africa used boards, canoes, and other watercraft propelled with a long stick to travel, fish and even ride waves. And while stand up paddling may have developed in various places around the world, the modern surfing tradition has undeniable Hawaiian ancestry. In the 1940s surf instructors in Waikiki, like Duke Kahanamoku, Leroy and Bobby AhChoy, would take paddles and stand on their boards to get a better view of the surfers in the water and incoming swells. From time to time they would surf the waves themselves using the paddle to steer the board.

Overtime the respect and popularity for SUP has grown tremendously. The sport has been found to provide a great core workout, as well as increased visibility both above and into the water, making it 2009’s single fastest growing part of paddle sports in North America.

The slower traffic through Sunset Beach may be less than desirable in these next few weeks, but take some time to appreciate the fast-growing sport for what it is. Park on the side of the road to watch a heat or two, you’ll be amazed at what the professionals do. If their skill sparks a SUP interest in you, be sure to stop by one of our three North Shore Explorers locations to get your hands (and feet) on one today.

Aloha,

North Shore Explorers