The North Shore
Easy walking distance to wilderness trails leading up into the nearby mountain jungle; close to historic secluded Pu'u o Mahuka Hawaiian Heiau, the largest Hawaiian stone settlement with altars, little-travelled and still revered today by native Hawaiians, with spectacular views over Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley. For more info, see Heiau.
One mile down a beautiful, twisting road from a national park on the Pacific, one of the best snorkeling spots in the Islands; local surfing and swimming spots include world-famous Waimea, the Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach; also nearby is Waimea Valley, a tropical refuge for rare plant and flower species from around the world, with guided tours, archeological exhibits and tours, and Hawaiian culture.
Six miles away along the North Shore is funky, charming historic Haleiwa Village, a slice of old Hawaii unspoiled by neon, tourist traps or hotels; local artists, sculptors, potters, photographers, carvers, one-of-a-kind restaurants including world-famous fresh fish at Jameson's, locally-grown and roasted coffee at the Coffee Gallery; excellent Banzai Sushi; whale-watching in season, scuba-diving with lessons. Surfer culture.
Also nearby is one of the best aerial recreation facilities in the world, at Mokuleia (about 10 miles); sky-diving, parasailing and parachuting, and mile-high glider rides give a shattering view of the entire island of Oahu
And the other charms of the North Shore are also near, including the classy Turtle Bay Resort, a full-service luxury resort with a challenging eighteen holes of golf, horseback riding, tennis, long walks along wild private beaches, live music in the evenings (6 miles)
The Polynesian Cultural Center, unique in the world for its living demonstration of music, language, and arts from the entire Pacific Rim, authentic Luau, live evening spectacular stage shows (10 miles).
All this just 50-60 minutes drive away from the action, glitz and hustle of Honolulu and Waikiki, but a world away in spirit.
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