In 1832, the Rev. John
Emerson and his wife Ursula, missionaries, established the
town of Hale‘iwa. (Emerson Road commemorates the town’s
Hale‘iwa means the home (hale) of the frigate (‘iwa)
bird, a dark-colored bird with long, powerful wings that can
span six feet. This bird is known for its ability to swoop down
to catch fish from the ocean, as well as its reputation for being
a thief, gained by stealing fish from albatrosses.
Another popular meaning of Hale‘iwa is “beautiful
Approximately an hour’s drive from Waikiki, Hale‘iwa
has lots to offer in the way of visitor attractions, and it can
be a change of both scenery and pace for locals.
The many eateries, specialty shops, parks, and beaches entice
people who want to spend a day outdoors and yet avoid the crowded
malls and Downtown or Waikiki beaches. The North Shore Marketplace,
for example, has stores that sell everything from black pearls
to home-style Mexican food.
If you want to a bite to eat, you might like to know about
some places area residents frequent. The Hale Wai Drive Inn,
across from Kaiaka Beach Park, is popular, as is Rosie’s
Cantina and Pizza Bob’s, found in the Hale‘iwa Shopping
Center off of Kamehameha Highway. And the white shrimp truck
that sits in the empty lot across from McDonald’s. (Honest,
that’s how people in Hale‘iwa describe it.)
If you want fast food, there is a KFC, but McDonald’s has
the only drive-thru.
Some other more popular eateries in Hale‘iwa are Matsumoto’s
Shave Ice and Kua Aina Sandwich Shop. If Matsumoto’s line
is too long, two other shave ice stores along Kamehameha Highway
are Aoki’s Shave Ice and H. Miura Store & Tailor Shop.
These stores both offer shave ice and souvenirs for tourists,
and you can get your shave ice right away instead of watching
others eat theirs.
If you like to shop, Hale‘iwa has some of the most unique
clothing store names on O‘ahu: Oogenesis Boutique, Patagonia,
Matahari, Bali Moon, and Indigo Sea, to name just a few of the
more unusual. Visitors are bound to find something exotic or
elegant to suit their tastes.
If you’re the surfing type, there are lots of surf shops
that can outfit you with anything from a surfboard to board wax
and puka shell necklaces. A few of the popular ones are Hawaiian
Island Creations (HIC), Surf & Sea, BK Ocean Sports, XCEL
Wetsuits Hawai‘i, Strong Current, and NORTHSHORE Boardriders
If you are an art enthusiast, there are several art galleries
to visit. Among them are the Hale‘iwa Art Gallery, Wyland
Galleries, and the newly opened Tabora Studio next door to Kua
If you are a beachgoer, the three main beaches in Hale‘iwa
Town are Kaiaka Beach Park, Ali‘i Beach Park, and Hale‘iwa
Beach Park. All of them have ample “free” parking
and plenty of picnic tables where you can hang out with family
and friends, eat plate lunches and shave ice, or even have a
barbecue with a hibatchi.
You can get to Hale‘iwa by taking the H-2 freeway. Stay
on the freeway till it ends and take the North Shore exit. If
you visit Wahiawa on the way, then stay on Kamehameha Highway
through town and past about 10 miles of pineapple and coffee
plantations until you reach the first stoplight at the bottom
of a long hill. Be sure to take the first left at the stoplight
or you’ll end up on the Joseph Leong Highway, also known
as the bypass road. (Please remember, in Hale‘iwa, people
drive much slower than in town.)
And if you use public transportation (The Bus), catch the No.
52 bus (Wahiawa/Circle Island) from Ala Moana.
So take a day to explore the wonderful laid-back country style
and the many activities and attractions Hale‘iwa has to