Haleiwa: Learn More About North Shore’s Hub

About Haleiwa

If you want a laid-back vacation or to get away from Waikiki’s busy spots for a while, the North Shore is one of the top places to see on Oahu. This quaint stretch of coast is an hour away from Waikiki and welcomes everyone seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of the busier parts of Oahu. Find out more about the North Shore and its beautiful center, Haleiwa.


Pronounced Hah – leh – EE – vah, the name Haleiwa came from the hotel established in the area. Opened by Benjamin Dillingham in 1898, the Haleiwa Hotel was a popular destination at the time. Back then, the name meant ‘beautiful home.’ Today, one can interpret Haleiwa in different ways. One way is ‘house of the frigate bird,’ as hale means ‘house’ and ‘iwa’ means frigate bird. You can also call an attractive person ‘iwa’ in Hawaiian, so Haleiwa can also mean ‘home of attractive people.’

Today, Haleiwa is the cultural and economic hub of Oahu’s North Shore. A quaint, laid-back surf town where you can see all kinds of people — artists, artisans, surfers, and fishers. Even now, you can feel the town’s history with buildings looking like you’re transported back to Hawaii’s early plantation period. In 1984, the Hawaiian government declared Haleiwa as a historical, cultural, and scenic district. Hence, this laid a rule that any new business should meet the architectural guidelines of the district.

Things To Do In Haleiwa

It may not be as busy as Waikiki or Honolulu, but there are still many things to do and places to see in Haleiwa. Even if you came for the Banzai Pipeline or surfing on the other beaches, Haleiwa has a lot more to offer.

Go On A History Tour

There are many Oahu landmarks located in Haleiwa.

    • Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge is the first thing that greets you in Haleiwa. This unassuming bridge has been bringing locals and tourists to and from Haleiwa since 1921. It also gives you a nice view of the harbor. 

    • Polynesian Cultural Center

Educate yourself about Polynesian culture and visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. A 30-minute drive from the main town brings you to this cultural center. You can see eight island exhibitions, learn more about Maori tattoos, and experience luau or the traditional Hawaiian feast.

    • Haleiwa Joe’s

Haleiwa Joe’s is standing where the Haleiwa Hotel, the namesake of this town, once stood. Let the passage of time and the significance of this location sink in for a moment. Then, you can enjoy Haleiwa Joe’s offerings.

Be One With Nature

The North Shore isn’t all about surfing. See the natural beauty of Haleiwa and the North Shore.

    • Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley is an important place in Hawaiian religion. This is where they’d celebrate all-important religious occasions and perform sacred rituals. Nowadays, it is home to a beautiful botanical garden.

    • North Shore Macadamia Nut Farm

Go nuts over this macadamia nut farm just right across the Haleiwa Beach Park. See rows upon rows of macadamia trees and get various treats from their shop.

    • Sunset Ranch

Sunset Ranch is perfect for picnics and a stroll. This is where you can bask in the presence of your loved ones while taking in the mountain and ocean views.

See Art And Go Shopping

Support Haleiwa’s local community. 

    • Haleiwa Art Gallery

The Haleiwa Art Gallery has been at the heart of Oahu’s art scene for 20 years now. It provides a venue for local artists to show their work and get recognized for it. From photographs to sculptures, the artist in you will find something interesting here.

    • Polu Gallery

Get a new appreciation for the sea and surf by looking through the artwork in Polu Gallery. This gallery features the vibrant and diverse surfing culture in Hawaii. Showing masterpieces from local and international artists, you’ll want to buy at least one print or painting from this gallery.

    • Haleiwa’s Farmers Market

Snag food items you might not have at home from the Farmers Market. The freshest produce is all sourced from local farms around the area. The live performers will entertain you while you’re shopping.

Eat Your Heart Out

Go on a gastronomic adventure with the delicious food Haleiwa has to offer.

    • Food Trucks

You’ll never get hungry while exploring Haleiwa with the number of food trucks around. From shrimp options to Cajun food and Japanese food — they have it all!

    • Haleiwa Beach House

If you want something a little fancy, Haleiwa Beach House is for you. They serve whatever seafood they catch for the day, so you’re sure that your meal is fresh.

    • Waialua Bakery

Add a sweet note to your trip with a cookie or ice cream bowl from Waialua Bakery. If you want something savory, they also offer sandwiches and salads.


It really is no wonder why people love going to the North Shore and Haleiwa. Be sure to visit Haleiwa when you visit the island of Oahu!

If you’d like a private limo tour of Oahu with Haleiwa on your itinerary, call us at (808) 650-5050 today! To learn more about the top places to visit on Oahu, we’re also here to help.