The North Shore is the area that is geographically to the north in Oahu. It is between Kaena Point and Kahuku Point. Hawaiians have lived in the North Shore area since 1100 AD. It was a prominent area to grow taro and sweet potato. People were drawn to the fertile land and settled along rivers and valleys. Today the North Shore has grown into a diverse area with a mix of agriculture, laid back lifestyle, family living, several growing business areas, and a sense of adventure.
North Shore has many communities people can find and call home. A few are more commercial and have similarities to the busier places like Waikiki, while the others are indeed appreciating the island’s beauty without tourist distractions.
Areas to Live in North Shore
Haleiwa is the largest settlement in the North Shore. It is located on the Waialua Bay, where a small boat harbor is located. The shore is surrounded by Haleiwa Beach Park on the north side and Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park on the south side. It is home to the more artistic side of Oahu. It is known as the surf capitol of the world, and is located an hour away from Waikiki. Haleiwa was a sugar plantation for over 100 years and many of the buildings have retained the old styles. This is the largest commercial center on the north side of Oahu.
Sunset Beach is where many people come to vacation, and more importantly to surf. The area is where experienced surfers seek out each year during the winter months when waves are the largest.
The Pupukea community is a popular destination not only for visiting but for living. It is located to the southwest of Kawela Bay and northeast to Haleiwa. The residential areas are the Sunset Beach lots and in the uplands. A drawback to living here is that it is a considerably long drive to Honolulu.
Waialua is the quiet residential community version of Haleiwa. It was a sugar mill town for a long time. The Waialua sugar mill is actually located in the center of the town and gives a reminder of the town’s history.
Laie is another community that has a history that goes back a long way. The town was once a refugee, and it is now one of the best known Latter-day Saints communities with the fifth oldest Mormon temple. The town is very laid back and has views facing the ocean and the mountainside. Cooling trade winds keep the weather very relaxing year long. Many residents here have some association with the local university.
Choosing North Shore
Many people make North Shore their home because the towns are typically more laid back than the rest of the island. They are an escape into small town life. These areas are also generally less expensive than Honolulu or Waikiki.
It may be a more relaxed environment on this side of Oahu, but the beauty is still as breathtaking if not more so. Homes overlooking the ocean or on top of a hillside offer the same amazing views as in the Windward or Southeast portions. The difference is people here are not only five minutes from the ecstatic lifestyle of the outside world. North Shore Oahu real estate is for those that can really appreciate the small things in life.