Day 7 – Oahu’s North Shore

Our first rainy day in Oahu.

Today we rented a car. My wife is too cheap for a tour but no problem renting a car and driving around Oahu. I’d say the total was about $120. $56 for a Mustang convertible. $10 tax. $10 for a little navigation thing. $20 for parking. $22 for gas.

First we went to Waimea bay Beach Park. The waves there were pretty crazy – apparently the beach is known for a dangerous shorebreak and when it gets like that you should be an expert swimmer before heading in. The guys I saw swimming had fins or body boards or both. As we left, we got poured on.

We reached Waimea Valley Park around 12:30. It stopped raining and we paid $15 to get in so we could walk to Waimea Falls. This was the highlight of my day. The water was a bit chilly but this is a small beautiful lake with a fun little waterfall. They have life vests and pool noodles and boards you can use free of charge and life guards on duty. I think it’s customary to tip them but they’re very friendly and will take photos for you and stuff like that. We were in the water there for maybe half an hour.

On the way out I saw a tour group on the way in and I realized that Waimea Falls is probably best to do on your own because you have a chance of getting lucky, which I did. My wife and I had the entire pond to ourselves for a while so I got to sit under the waterfall pretty much as much as I wanted. On a tour, you probably have a line of people waiting for their turn to sit under the falls so you get a minute to pose for your picture and that’s it. At least that’s what I assume would happen on a tour.

We stopped by a few more beaches, but just to watch the waves crashing in. It was raining again so no desire to lay out on the beach or anything. we then went to Haleweia. They have a little shopping street that includes the famous Matsumoto’s shaved ice. I tried some since my friends said I should. It was alright, not the best tasting thing ever but it reminded me of the snow cones would sometimes get in summer at the town pool when I was a kid. We checked out a few shops and then drove along the west coast of Oahu to see if we’d be willing to live in a few towns that I guess no one ever visits so they don’t need to be written about here.

We didn’t feel any particular urge to live in these towns. We had told a real estate guy (who doesn’t think about moving to hawaii when they visit?) that we didn’t need the action of Waikiki. But these towns were ugly and soulless, at least in the dark. If we had seen their beaches during the day maybe we’d be thinking differently.

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  1. Sharon says:

    The shaved ice (snow cones)here and in Mexico are known as Raspa. Vendors sell many different flavors from their small carts on the street, in the marketplace, and just about everywhere. Standing in line to take a photo under a waterfall, or most anywhere for that matter, just doesn’t intrigue me. I don’t even like cafeterias for that reason!

    I think visiting/vacationing in Hawaii is a worthwhile experience primarily for the scenery, waterfalls, beaches, etc. As far as living there, however, it wouldn’t appeal to me at all. Friends of mine own a large house and some land on Maui,and that might work. But, we are talking about big money to buy something like that. Cost of living is expensive as compared to other states and some countries. There are small towns and villages elsewhere with much more appeal. I think the tourist crowds, nightlife, and urban pace would get pretty old and boring very quickly. But, each to his own..

  2. Gilwing says:

    Hey Jim, had a co-worker recommend Merriman’s which is on the Big Island. According to there website ( they have 3 locations, Maui and Kauai being the other two. The misses might not be to happy as I have been told they are a bit pricey. They have there menu on the website in PDF format.

  3. Julie says:

    In the spring/summer the area is completely different than the winter. Waimea bay beach was safe to swim at in June though my dad said he once nearly drowned there in a December current. I’m not sure I’d want to live there but it’s definitely worth a second look once the seasons change.

  4. […] think I preferred Waimea Bay and Falls to Hanauma Bay. At Waimea Falls, there were no crowds (just don’t bring your own crowd by […]

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