Haleiwa, Hawaii

We’re at: Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii

What’s here: This former plantation town is the heart of the North Shore’s social and arts scene.

What to do: Most people come here to shop and surf. In town there’s a cluster of shops geared toward tourists. Waimea Bay’s big winter waves are just north of town and there’s choice surfing along the way.

Where to go: When you’re finished surfing keep your bathingsuit on and head to Waimea Falls. It’s about a ¾ mile hike from the Waimea Valley entrance to the falls (unless you pay for the golf cart service) where you can soak in the refreshing waters of the Waimea River.

Where to stay: Hawaii Beach Homes has some wonderful private, beachfront vacation home properties. You can’t beat being seconds from the surf.

Best burgers: Kua ‘Aina serves the best burgers in town. We thought so when we were here two years ago and it seems they get better and better. They also serve salads and sandwiches.

Best shave ice: M. Matsumoto’s Grocery Store, established in 1951, is the place for surfer favorite, shave ice. Kids like it too! Especially watching them make the shave ice. We liked the rainbow the best.

Famous photo op: As you enter the town you’ll see at least one car pulled over on the side of the road in front of the Hale’iwa North Shore sign. Sure it’s a touristy thing to do but with the volcanic mountain range in the background it makes for a great picture to show your friends.