The excitement of the holidays has passed, our trees are taken down, decorations put away, but where we live we still have a couple months of cold, cold Winter. These are the months where our need to head to warmer pastures becomes greatest and today’s Tiny Tour isn’t helping matters. Not to mention that more than one of us dreams of raising our boys at the beach, our envy is at an all time high today! Please welcome, Monica the The Grommom, who is sharing her favorite family-friendly stops on the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii.
“Aloha! I’m Monica, and I live on the North Shore of Oahu with my husband, and our four sons…
I happen to think that our North Shore community is one of the greatest places on earth, so I am really excited to share it with you!
When most people think of Oahu, they immediately think of Waikiki…A busy city, full of tourists, and crowded beaches. But up here on the North Shore it is an entirely different world. People still consider the North Shore “country,” with miles and miles of uncrowded beaches, and a much slower pace to life. There are farms growing tropical fruits, horse farms, and only two-lane roads.
Two of my boys are competitive surfers and skate boarders, and around here we call kids like that, “grommets,” or “groms,” (thus the name of my blog, “The Grommom.” ) As a family we thoroughly enjoy this beautiful place we call home. I’m doing my best to cut my list down, but trust me when I say that the North Shore of Oahu offers you plenty of options for as much activity, or relaxation, as you could want.
1. SHARK’S COVE
There are a lot of places on our North Shore that are great for snorkeling and playing in tide pools, but Sharks Cove is a favorite. Our ocean is almost always warm, especially in the shallow tide pools. They are absolutely beautiful, and there is always something fun to discover. Shell collecting, and hands-on-marine biology, at your finger-tips.
2. WAIMEA BAY
The perfect beach for sand and swim! Big kids love to JUMP off of the famous Waimea Bay Rock, and Little ones can play in the sand, splash in the water, or (on a lucky day,) watch dolphins swim through the bay.
(My nine-year-old, Luke, surfing North Shore waves.)
4. FAMILY HIKES
Our North Shore has a number of great, shorter hikes that even little ones can handle…
Once you climb up the trails, you can enjoy the view from the top! Or, if you’d prefer to stay on flatter grounds, we have a wonderful bike path/boardwalk that goes for miles…with peeks at the ocean and the surf, all along the way.
5. SHAVE ICE. (of course!)
It’s just what you do when you’re in Hawaii.
There are many different spots to choose from. But we recommend ordering it with the ice cream in the bottom, (and my boys love the “snow cap”–a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk on top!)
6. FARMER’S MARKET
We love our Farmer’s Market which is held every Thursday afternoon in Waimea Valley. There are also a couple on the weekend locally. The boys and I also stop by roadside stands to get tropical fruits, fresh coconut water, and sweet sugar cane to chew on! The locally grown flowers are pretty amazing too.
7. TURTLE WATCHING!
I can’t leave out the mentioning the HONU. (Honu is Hawaiian for sea turtle.) Our sea turtles are loved by both locals, and the tourists who come to visit. You can often find turtles sun-bathing right on public beaches.
Or if you prefer to swim with the turtles, jump in and go for it. There are laws against touching the turtles, or even getting closer than a few feet, but you can sure enjoy watching them. My fourteen year-old loves underwater photography, and he has a great collection of sea turtle photos, like this:
If I had more space I’d begin to tell you about our favorite restaurants, and shops. (There are a lot!) Surf lessons, sky diving, deep sea fishing, and shark tours are just a few more fun activities to enjoy on the North Shore. I do keep a listing of our “North Shore Favorites” on the top menu bar of my blog, so feel free to visit here. I can promise you a visit to the North Shore of Oahu will not be disappointing!
You know that saying, “If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, than you’re lucky enough”? We’re thinking this definitely applies today. To follow along with Monica and her cutest surf-boys head to the Grommom blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
Find all our Tiny Tour series’ posts right here. Warning: Wanderlust to follow.