North Shore (Oahu)
The North Shore is a relaxed, laid back area, with a much slower pace than in Honolulu and Waikiki. The beaches are wonderful but very popular, especially when the surf is up! (Note: The North Shore beaches are extremely dangerous for novice swimmers and surfers in the winter when waves can reach as high as 50 feet (15 m). Drownings are common — obey the lifeguards!)
The North Shore is located almost diametrically opposite Waikiki. As a result, there are two ways you can get to the North Shore; one is longer but is mostly on freeways; the other is shorter but winds along the coast. Each takes about the same time (about one to one-and-a-half hours).
Route 1: Take Interstate H-1 ewa (west) to Interstate H-201 (also called state highway 78). Take H-201/78 until it re-joins H-1 near Aloha Stadium. Continue on H-1 to the interchange with Interstate H-2 (exit 8A). Stay on H-2 until it ends in Wahiawa, and continue through the Schofield Barracks area. You will be on Highway 99, Kamehameha Highway. Follow Kamehameha Highway to Haleiwa. To progress further up the North Shore, continue on Kamehameha Highway (which changes number to Hwy 83 at Haleiwa).
Route 2: Take Interstate H-1 ewa (west) to Likelike Highway (highway 63). Follow Likelike Highway through the Wilson Tunnel to Kaneohe; then take the exit for Kahekili Highway (Hwy 83). Kahekili Highway becomes Kamehameha Highway at Kahaluu and winds along the coast through the towns of Kaaawa, Punaluu, Hauula, and Laie.
Kamehameha Highway (Hwys 99 and 83) is the main road through the area. There is a bypass around Haleiwa called Joseph P Leong Highway which is useful in avoiding the two lane road through Haleiwa. (However, consider following the signs for Haleiwa town to take in the small-town atmosphere of the main town on the North Shore.)
Turtle Bay near Kahuku is the biggest and most well known place to stay, but there are many condos and rentals available as well.
Although North Shore seems like a laid back, safe place, one should always exercise caution after dusk. Native islanders can often be protective of their island, tourists should be respectful at all times.
Backpackers is across the street from Three Tables. Conveniently located few blocks from Foodland and Waimea Bay