Since we were rained out on Monday (Day 4) which was our planned day to the North Shore, we chose today to attempt it again, rain or shine. My friends were leaving the next day and it was our last chance to see the beautiful north which I had been raving about when planning our trip. Thankfully it was a beautiful sunny day and we got to see plenty of sights.
Steve and I had an early breakfast at Sunny Days on Monsarrat Ave while everyone else had breakfast at their respective hotels. We really enjoyed breakfast at this cute café, which I think is a chain from Japan. They serve relatively healthy but delicious meals. It’s fairly small but has decent seating space and a cute beach-inspired decor.
Steve got something called an Eggslut which is poached eggs atop greens, with toast and a mason jar of mashed potatoes.
It was a very colorful and beautifully presented dish that was also really tasty.
I had a gorgeous acai bowl. It was decorated with bananas, berries and other fruit and was almost too pretty to eat, but it was yummy too! We will definitely return on another trip.
After breakfast we picked up some of the others and we headed up North! We drove the beautiful H-3 highway and reveled in the lush green mountains.
We stopped at Tropical Mac Nut Farms right near Kualoa Ranch so we could do some souvenir shopping. We had a great time tasting the different flavored mac nuts and we all got gifts for friends and family back home.
We went to Kualoa Beach Park and hung out there enjoying the view and taking pictures. I pointed out Chinaman’s Hat which is that cone shaped island in the distance, also called Lizard’s Tail, I think.
We continued north and made another beach stop at a personal favorite of ours, Hukilau Beach. It was absolutely gorgeous there and the beach was also quite empty.
We spent some time here basking in the sun and waves. We also saw a spear fisherman, with his catch, a still-wiggling octopus. It was cool to see it and he spoke to us about his experience fishing in Hawaii.
When we were finally hungry, we headed up to Kahuku, which is my favorite town to stop for lunch on the North Shore. We made a pit stop at the Kahuku Superette which has delicious poke bowls. I don’t’ know what makes them so good, something in their sauce but it was my friend’s favorite, even over Ono Seafood.
Then we went down the road for some garlic shrimp goodness…at Giovanni’s! Now Romy’s Shrimp is my favorite but I wanted my friends to try Giovanni’s because they had been reading so much about it and it would be a shame to not try a plate of garlic shrimp from the most famous shrimp truck on Oahu. Some of my friends don’t’ eat shrimp so they got some hot dog scampi instead, which is just hotdogs prepared in the garlic sauce. There are also other food trucks in the compound which is convenient. We tried some grilled corn too which was very good.
A little further up in Kahuku we stopped at Kahuku Farms which is the place we went on a short tractor tour last year. They had built out their farm even more and it was cool to see the hydroponic gardens. We got smoothies as I loved the papaya power smoothie here last year and it was just as good as I remembered! We also bought many of their local honey and all-natural jams and dressings made with produce from the farm. Very lovely place and they also have a cute café serving dishes made with vegetables and fruit from the farm.
We finally hit Romy’s shrimp shack after that although everyone was getting a bit full. We decided to share a plate of garlic and steamed shrimp just to do a taste comparison. We didn’t realize the garlic shrimp would take 45 minutes to prepare though! So we ended up cancelling that order and getting more steamed shrimp instead which was a lot quicker to come out. Just an FYI that Romy’s seems to make the garlic shrimp to order so it can take a while.
Our steamed shrimp were delightful. You can taste the quality difference in between Giovanni’s and Romy’s. We all agreed these shrimp were sweeter, more succulent, and plumper than Giovanni’s. I think it’s worth the wait to come to Romy’s, but maybe grab a poke bowl or a smoothie before in case you’re super hungry to make the wait less daunting.
We continued on around the north shore, enjoying the beautiful scenery. We stopped at Sunset Beach as the views were nothing short of amazing. The water was a gorgeous blue, the surf was high, and the waves were pounding the beach. It was spectacular during that time of year. We saw quite a number of surfers braving the waves too.
As we continued on towards Haleiwa, I stopped at the “Turtle Beach” – think it is Laniakea beach or something like that – but either way, there were no turtles here. It was the same last year as well, but I knew of another spot where turtles bask in Haleiwa itself so we headed there. I guess the turtles seemed to have found a new lounging spot! Haleiwa Ali’I Beach Park seems to be the new it place for turtles and we counted 4 giant turtles basking on the beach! My friends thought it was amazing as they have never seen one up close before. We saw some spectacular sights that reminded me of Bali Hai on Kauai as the sun streamed through some clouds in the distance. Very beautiful view here.
In the town of Haleiwa we made it finally to Matsumoto’s for some shave ice. It was very yummy and a great pick me up after our day at the beaches.
At this point it was beginning to get dark and we had to head back to town because we had our last dinner at MW Restaurant. There was so much we didn’t get to do, there were other stores in Haleiwa we wanted to check out, and many other beaches we only glanced at. We didn’t’ get to go to the Dole Plantation, as it was closed by the time we headed back down. Traffic wasn’t too bad though and we got back to Waikiki in time to freshen up before dinner.
We had a late dinner at MW Restaurant and boy was it delicious. I had the tasting menu and had a selection of mini appetizers, scallops, mochi-crusted opakapaka, short ribs with foie gras, and amazing kula strawberry shave ice. I like how they have the big round tables for groups so it’s easier to converse. It was definitely a memorable last dinner with friends.
To round off their last night, we all went shopping at Don Quijote next door. I didn’t know it was 24 hours and it was pretty cool to pick up those last minute souvenirs or an extra bag to stash all the goodies you buy while on vacation. Lots of mac nuts, chocolate, and local snacks were purchased as well.
Coming up next … my friends depart Hawaii but DH and I still had 2 extra days on the island and we make full use of it! Read more of our November 2016 Hawaii Vacation with Friends!