When I travel, I love to go to the spots the “locals” go to. I’m not a fan of the tourist traps, the “Waikiki” vibes.
Obviously, there is a blurred line between the tourist traps and places we go because it’s an island and all, we don’t have a ton of options 🙂
That being said, here are my must do’s and favorite spots — places I go to regardless of how popular or unpopular they are. Here are my 12 absolutes while on the North Shore.
1. Ke’e beach is one of those places that is an absolute dream. I was once told by an acupuncturist that the waters are super healing because the natural spring water comes up through the sand bottom and meets the ocean water. You can feel the mana, the energy. In winter months it’s usually too big to swim so enjoy this amazing place in spring/summer. Please note, you must make reservations to visit Ke’e and hike the Napali.
2. Napali/Kalalau trail is a trail that I must admit I don’t do often enough. I wish I did it more because the views are like no other and it’s just one of those hikes that you will remember for the rest of your life. The first time I did it was with my 2 year old daughter on my back (she’s now 24) and I have such fond memories of us playing in the Hanakapia’ai Falls. Please note, the rip tides at Hanakapi’ai are VERY strong, even when it looks mellow. Use major caution. I tend to be overly cautious and just don’t go in!
3. Tunnels beach is a place close to my heart because it’s where I got married. The views of Mt Makana are unbeatable and the waters during the spring/summer months are like glass. This is a spot where you often encounter turtles and monk seals (don’t go too close, please!).
4. Hanalei is an idyllic beach town. Full of charm, amazing sand bottom beaches, shops, and restaurants, you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. I LOVE to walk the bay in the morning or late afternoon, surf the spring and fall waves and just hang out. It’s an awesome place to spend the entire day.
5. Secret Beach is one of those places that I don’t go often enough. Everytime I actually make it, I remember how much I love it and wish I would go more! There is a sense of serenity, of unaltered beauty. The surf can be VERY strong so don’t go out if you aren’t a super strong swimmer. Even in the summer months, the rip tipes can pull you out so please be careful.