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North Shore’s Kahuku – A Hawaiian Paradise

The island state of Hawaii is a set of remote, cast-away islands in the North Pacific. Few places on earth come close to equaling the pristine, almost heavenly natural beauty of these islands. Their magnificent beaches and endless expanses of luxury resorts have appealed to travellers — particularly honeymooners –for decades. Amongst Hawaii’s well-documented coastline, the North Shore of Oahu and the erstwhile plantation town of Kahuku stand out in terms of potential for experiential travel.

North Shore, Kahuku

Image via Flickr by Daniel Ramirez.

When to Visit

Technically, the island group exhibits a tropical climate. This means the temperatures and humidity will never be too extreme for your liking, there will always be plenty of sun, and the precipitation will almost never be torrential. These characteristics basically make Hawaii — and, in particular, the island of Oahu — a year-round destination as far as climate is concerned.

Having said that, visitors should note that the island sees most of its rain in the winter, which lasts from about November to March. Even then, the rain is mostly sporadic and falls to the windward (eastern) side of the island. The winter, however, is also an important time, since surfers will find the large winter waves on the North Shore to their liking. These months also tend to be the best time for whale-watching, as the great humpbacks migrate to the region’s warmer waters for the winter.

Where to Stay

Kahuku isn’t the largest town on the North Shore, which works in its favour. It’s a pretty standard small town, with few shops, a sugar mill converted into a shopping mall, and one of the most spectacular luxury resorts you’ll find along the entire North Shore: the Turtle Bay Resort.

With a range of incredible options from beach cottages to ocean villas and bay-facing rooms/suites, the resort is a great place to begin your North Shore adventure. Sitting on an eight-km beachfront, the resort also houses two championship 18-hole golf courses and every modern amenity you can imagine to help create an unforgettable holiday. Starting at $200 a night, the Turtle Bay Resort might be slightly heavier on your pocket, in which case you can find some cheaper alternatives on Airbnb.

Surfing on North Shore, Oahu

Image via Flickr by Aussie Assault.

What to Do

Kahuku is an epicenter of outdoor activities on the North Shore. The North Shore as a whole is considered the mecca of the surfing world. In the month of December, it hosts three competitions that make up the Triple Crown of Surfing, which in itself is worth witnessing. Some great surfing spots, including the Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay, are just around the corner from Kahuku. There’s also plenty of options for diving and snorkeling, parasailing, sky diving, and other such outdoor sports that will keep the adrenaline gushing.

The Kamehameha Highway, the main route in and out of Kahuku, is a hotbed of shrimp trucks, which are unique to the Hawaiian Islands. On your way in and out of town, don’t forget to treat yourself to some amazing indigenous shrimp dishes to complete your Hawaiian experience on Oahu.

Shrimp Trucks, Kahuku

Image via Flickr by Daniel Ramirez.

This post is part of the Hipmunk City Love Project – an exciting and large-scale city-guide initiative undertaken by Himpunk.com. I must mention that I get paid to do these pieces, but I love doing this – it helps me learn about so many new places that I’m yet to visit. 


  1. It’s been almost 10 years since I was in Hawaii…which is way too long! And this makes me want to go back and check out that resort!

  2. I absolutely love the North Shore, but don’t recall spending any time in Kahuku. I do recall the shrimp trucks, and wish I was back on Oahu right now!

  3. Do they have hostels as well, or Airbnb your best bet cheap option (much of the US struggles with the whole hostel concept)?

    I prefer low key, to the glitz and glam of resorts (not to mention the lower prices)!

    • mm

      Hey Chris,

      I believe Kahuku does have a youth hostel. I’m with you on this one. I love hostels, and prefer even B&Bs over big-money resorts. But every once in a while, I wouldn’t mind a private ocean-front villa with my own infinity pool to lounge in all day long with an endless supply of exotic cocktails 😛

  4. I’ve never been to Hawaii but I’ve heard so many great things about the North Shore. I’m tempted to go just for the shrimp trucks!!

  5. My husband and I visited the North Shore during March, and I just could not believe how high the waves were. Or that anyone would brave surfing on them! What a show!

  6. I love Hawaii, I grew up visiting my godparents in Maui every summer. I’ve also been to Oahu and the big island. I would love to visit all the islands though. I just love how the weather is consistent no matter what time of the year.

  7. Hawaii is such a gorgeous place…love hearing about the off the beaten path places to visit! Thanks for an informative post.

  8. I would love to visit Hawaii. It’s been on my list for a long while, fingers crossed I make it there before long. Will definitely aim to align my visit with the migration times… what an experience to whale watch in Hawaii? Life list stuff. 🙂

  9. I think it would be such a treat to be there during one of the surf competitions, as a hobby surfer, I would love to see what the real deal is ACTUALLY like in real life…

  10. Ah I love Hawaii! The people. The culture, the place, absolutely everything is always so vibrant and welcoming! I’m a hobby surfer and would love to witness a competition some time! That wave photo is absolutely unreal!

  11. I love the painting on the shrimp truck! Hawaii is a little slice of paradise.

  12. Looks amazing! We’re anxious to see Hawaii and learn to surf (we know there are other places to learn but it seems like the quintessential place to do so!) This area is right up our alley and the thought of shrimp dishes has already got our stomachs rumbling!

  13. Hawaii really is one of the places I would call ‘paradise’ from the photos I have seen of it over my lifespan. I’d love to watch surfers attempt those waves!

  14. This is why I am curious to go to the US — food trucks! Did you try the shrimp? Thanks for sharing your experience in Kahuku! Xx

  15. Hawaii is such a beautiful place! I’ve never been to Kahuku though. Your pictures make me want to go back and see what I missed!

  16. Love the look of Hawaii. Always wanted to visit to check the places where they filmed LOST.
    And of course enjoy a nice cocktail on the beach inside a coconut!!

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