Lush, verdant, and nestled within the world famous North Shore neighborhood of Oahu, Waimea Valley represents one of the last partially intact ahupuaʻa (ancient Hawaiian land division) on the entire island. Situated along the seven mile miracle — a well-known surfer’s haven boasting roaring waves and idyllic sandy shores — the valley consists of 1,875 acres, and presents a sprawling paradise perfect for a pause or reprieve from an average day spent under the hot Hawaiian sun.

Visit a Waterfall

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ).

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ).

Considered a deeply sacred site, revered within Native Hawaiian history for more than 700 years, Waimea Valley, also known as “The Valley of the Priests,” received its moniker in 1090, when the ruler of Oahu gifted the land to the kahuna nui (the highest kahuna). The valley was then cared for and inhabited by descendants of the high priests until 1886. Today, the land is managed by Hiipaka LLC, a local nonprofit organization.

Upon any given day, a visit to this tropical Eden offers numerous offerings to enjoy. Stroll through the valley’s world class botanical gardens, where a smooth, paved path (1.5 miles round trip) takes you to the valley’s breathtaking 45-foot Waihi waterfall. Numerous cultural activities for the whole family are also available daily, from hula demonstrations to crafts, story telling and more.

Experience Waimea Valley


Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ).

Visitors here even have the rare opportunity to visit ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites, including shrines, fishponds and more, as well as to experience island wildlife, such as native and endangered birds and fish, among others.

Visit the Beach Across the Street


Photo courtesy of Neal Kido of Salty Glass Co.

After exploring Waimea Valley, take the entire family and saunter just across the street to world famous Waimea Beach, known as the winter mecca of monster waves, where surfers from across the globe gather to earn the title of Big Kahuna. During the summer months, however, the sea is calm and provides an idyllic area to swim, sunbathe and soak up the sunshine and saltwater that Hawaii is known for.

The Rock at Waimea Bay

Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

While here, don’t forget to jump in (literally), and fully embrace your Oahu island adventure, as launching oneself off “The Rock” — a natural outcropping in the bay — is a popular pastime. Just remember to be safe, and always heed all postings and lifeguard warnings—and leave those big wave rides to the Eddie Aikaus among us!