The North Shore of Oahu has well-awoken from its summer slumber. The winter months (November to February) are here, and that means monster waves and crowds of spectators swarming the once quieted beaches; cars zooming up and down while surfers unite in the ocean line-ups. The North Shore is alive once again. This famous Haleiwa landmark serves as a gateway to the historic community.
But amidst the craze, visitors and locals should take time to notice the more subtle details that make the North Shore so historic. To start, take the “Walking Tour of Haleiwa: An Historic Village by the Sea” – which includes a stop at Aoki’s for shave ice. Enjoy every savory flavor, down to the last syrupy slurp, but don’t slurp too loudly. Listen to stories, and follow along in a brochure, about the store before it became a shave ice hub. Throughout the years, Aoki’s has housed a barbershop, sewing center and even fresh produce.Shave ice can be nice. But be sure to surf over to Surf-n-Sea for a historic treat.
Head over to Surf-n-Sea, a surf and pe gear shop. Its walls bare a striking resemblance to the driftwood that washes up on shore, but this design probably wasn’t on purpose. The shop opened up in the 1940s as a family-run grocery store and is now one of the oldest businesses in Haleiwa; hence, the store’s vintage façade. At night, it became a makeshift lighthouse for the harbor across the street. The owners lived upstairs, and before bed, they turned on a dim light to help guide boats safely to shore.
Like the seashells we find along the beach, these nuggets of history serve as another kind of souvenir to take home and to remind you of your time in the islands.
“WALKING TOUR OF HALEIWA: AN HISTORIC VILLAGE BY THE SEA” • Wednesdays (3pm) and Saturdays (930am) • North Shore Chamber of Commerce located across from the Haleiwa Post Office 66-434 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 • $10 • Free parking available; Near bus stop