Haleiwa, Oahu History

In 1100, the North Shore of Oahu is a thriving place for Hawaiian natives. The water, valleys, streams, and natural springs provide fertile land that allows the islands to grow taro and sweet potato in abundance.

When Captain James Cook’s crew first arrived on the land that is now known as North Shore, they were amazed by its natural beauty. The coastline was lush and full of life with plenty of villages dotting it every few miles.

Indeed, the Lili’uokalani Protestant Church near Haleiwa Bridge is one of Kauai’s most iconic landmarks. The church was built by early missionaries in 1832 and has been a beacon for worshippers ever since then with residents often saying it resembles their own families coming together to worship God.

What would Waialua Valley be without pineapple and sugarcane? It is hard to imagine. In fact, it might not even exist! That’s because in the 19th century they were grown on an immense scale by private landowners that came into the region thanks to our system of land ownership. Sugar was also cultivated here too, bringing a new wave of immigrants from Asia and Europe as well as many other parts of America who settled down for some farming work in this fertile valley. If you’re interested in more details about those times then go read my favorite book: “Sugar In Hawaii”.

For decades, Asian laborers have been working the fields of Oahu until they finally left their agricultural lives to open shops and restaurants in Haleiwa creating a bustling town on North Shore.

Today, the hotel and train no longer exist but Haleiwa has become a popular tourist stop for surfers. Surfing was once the only reason to visit Haleiwa, but now it is a popular tourist stop for travelers looking to try something new.

City of Haleiwa

Haleiwa is one of the most popular destinations in Oahu, Hawaii and it is pronounced hah-lay-ee-vuh . The city has plenty to offer tourists and residents alike including surfing beaches, parks for kids playgrounds, or picnics with family members.

Haleiwa can be found on that north shore of the island which makes it a great destination right off Highway 83. You’re about an hour away from Waikiki so you’ll have time while there to check out some other parts of Haleiwa too! In the city of Haleiwa, you will find lots of tourist-friendly restaurants and shops. This is a great place to explore if you’re looking for some local culture or just need somewhere nice to eat with your family.

Haleiwa is a picturesque town that prides itself on its rich history. Nowadays, it’s the social and artistic hub of Hawaii’s North Shore, filled with creativity from both locals and tourists alike.

Even if you don’t surf, there are plenty of things to do in this historic North Shore town. From hiking trails and kayaking excursions to the myriad artist workshops, surfing is more than just a sport here; it’s an integral part of life on Oahu’s north shore.

The population of Haleiwa, Oahu

Haleiwa is a small city, located in Honolulu County Hawaii. The population of Haleiwa has decreased by 5% since the latest census and now sits at 3,757 residents as of 2020.

Waialua Bakery

The owner of this cozy Haleiwa bakery has created a plethora of inspirational quotes pinned to the walls which are sure to make any passerby smile. As they walked down Kamehameha Highway, it was hard not to be impressed by all the photos and messages that made them feel welcome in such an unexpected place. Anna Swim’s restaurant is a homey place, where the smell of fresh bread and cookies fill your nose as you walk in. It’s not fancy or anything like that, but it sure feels nice to come here after work for some relaxation with an old friend!

Try Shave Ice Sundays

For a cool treat on the North Shore, visit Matsumoto’s Shave Ice! They have been around for 56 years and they are one of Hawaii’s most recognized names. This small family-owned business has not only survived but thrived as well in such a competitive industry over decades worth of time and change. The ice would be shaved off by hand and packed in sawdust during the plantation days. Without electricity, planers were used to extract long blocks of frozen water which prevented it from melting as quickly despite being outdoors.

Raging Isle

When surfing is on the brain, there’s no better place to go than Bill Barnfield Surf Shop. This store not only has a diverse selection of surfboards and accessories but also features an in-house shaper who can turn your custom idea into reality!

Barnfield has been shaping surfboards since the 1960s. His passion for creating boards started when he first became interested in surfing at a young age and continued through his life to this very day. Raging Isle is a surf-themed clothing and goods shop that was opened in 1987. In addition to the latest fashion items from Hurley, Billabong, Quiksilver, Raving Island also offers bicycles and skate gear for sale.

Haleiwa Eats Thai

Haleiwa has more than just burgers and shaves ice for hungry tourists – one of the best places that proves this is Haleiwa Eats Thai. The Thai restaurant is a four-year-old business that doesn’t look like your typical one. This modern loft space has turquoise Apple monitors in a pinwheel shape on one yellow wall and rattan furniture scattered around in no particular order—though they all match! The menu is filled with classic dishes that are as authentic as it gets for any traditional eatery. The food at this Thai restaurant is so spicy, it’s like you’re in Thailand. The Pad Kee Mao and the curry are each delicious respectively; however, we recommend tasting them family style to get a taste of what they have to offer!