Top Picks: Haleiwa (Cultural, Northshore)
One of my favorite things is getting the feel for a new town. Haleiwa is just small enough and kitschy enough to be a perfect place to explore in one day. There is one shopping main strip that runs through the town, you can park at one end walk it on one side, and then walk back the other. There are tons of little stores and restaurants to pop in and out of. Maybe grab some gifts for your Ohana. Many people get shrimp from Giovanni’s, and shave ice from the popular Matsumoto (which wasn’t too different from any other shave ice, but still yummy and a must-have in Hawaii). I got my shave ice with adzuki beans and Jeff got his with ice cream, we both got the tropical concoction featuring guava, lilikoi, and papaya. After looking around the little store we took it with us on our walk. We got coffee from Coffee Gallery and people watched. After walking through the strip you can check out the path along the beaches, meet a sweet street cat, watch the banzai pipeline, go to the Dole Plantation, or the Pu’u O’Mahuka Heiau. If you plan your visit so that you are there on a Thursday, the farmers market at Waimea Valley is going on from 3-7 (59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa). It is free to enter for the market, but to hike at the park it is $15 a person which in my opinion is ridiculous, I would never pay that much to take a hike when there are so many more affordable or free options. The grounds do look beautiful, we ran into a gorgeous peacock, and admired epic Monkeypod trees. The market is nice, relatively small but packed with various vendors. It is inside an open air building and a bit crowded for my taste, but you can always catch your breath outside. There was a free hula show going on when we were there which was pretty cool. We ended up leaving with some lilikoi bread, and would have gotten some delicious looking ice cream sandwiches if we weren’t so stuffed. Haleiwa is the quintessential northshore surfer town, free to walk around and soak in the vibe.