Take a Ride to Haleiwa

By Hawaii.com Team

Haleiwa is a colorful, historic community in the center of Oahu’s North Shore. Once the playground of royalty and the location of a former television series called “Baywatch,” Haleiwa has long been acknowledged as Hawaii’s surfing capitol. The more than 100-year-old town is a picture of its past with rustic old buildings dominating the landscape.

Many of the buildings are on the State Register of Historic Sites, including the vintage 1921 building that has been the home of Surf & Sea Ocean Sports Headquarters for 35 years. After surviving numerous high waves, this oceanfront location has been used as a set for many TV shows and movies. The collection of surfboards hanging from the ceiling trace the evolution of the sport from ancient wooden boards you would expect to find at the Bishop Museum to examples of every era since.

Haleiwa is emerging as an important art center on Oahu. There are at least six art galleries featuring dozens of artists, many from the islands, and several gift shops that also sell arts and crafts. In the North Shore Marketplace, the seascapes of Roy Tabora and Walfrido Garcia are on display. World-famous marine artist, Wyland, has established his headquarters here. In Haleiwa and a neighboring community Waialua, you’ll find an eclectic combination of marine art, pottery, sculptures, watercolors, and arts and crafts.

Cool down with a shave-ice (snowcone) from the legendary M. Matsumoto store. The store has been serving shave ice local style with sweet azuki beans or ice cream in the bottom of the paper cone for over 40 years.

The Haleiwa Surf Museum, also located in the Marketplace, has a collection of memorabilia including surf posters, album covers, monochrome photos by legendary surf photographer LeRoy Grannis, vintage surfboards, and best of all, a very cool 1950 Ford Woody.

In Haleiwa you can rent or buy just about anything you desire for fun on the water. If you don’t know how, they’ll teach you to surf, windsurf, scuba dive and more. There are several fishing charters out of Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor. Remember that during the winter the waves can reach 30 feet and more. Watch the warnings and ask a lifeguard when in doubt.

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