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Waimea Bay, North Shore

Oahu, Hawaii, United States


In summertime, Waimea Bay is flat and calm. The water is so clear you can see your toes in perfect detail! Waimea Bay is a very wide golden sanded beach. Your feet feel like they are on fire from the long walk across hot sand before you reach the water, so wear slippers! Once you dive in, all your senses reconfirm that life indeed is very, very good! The water is quite deep close to shore- 6 ft or more. You can swim out with dolphins on some days. Near shore it is very fun for kids, and adults too! The sand slopes up and the little waves push you up the sand and then drag you back down. The more sand in your pants the more fun you're having!
Freak waves can occur in summer so if everyone runs out the water suddenly, run like your swimmers are on fire! The freak waves sometimes crash down as far as the highway!
Waimea Bay is a picturesque beach with the little church tower on the headland to the north and a large rock on the south side where folks jump- sometimes to their death- into the water. There is usually a long line of jumpers on the weekend waiting for their chance to test fate.
In winter, Waimea Bay has massive waves. One day I was there the reported size was 50 feet! On those days the beach is closed, and you must watch from the road. Surfers still ride the waves though, at their own risk. The Eddie Aikau contest is surfed here in winter if waves are big enough. Entering is by invitation.
In summer, I love Waimea Bay! It is peaceful and the water is just perfect.
Across the street- where you may end up parking (see below)- is Waimea Valley botanical garden. This is the place where the TV show "Lost" was filmed, when Kate and Sawyer swam playfully in the natural pool below Waimea Falls, before they located Kate's briefcase. Come to Waimea Valley for the Haleiwa Farmer's Market, on Thurs from 2-7pm (see address below). Though expensive, Waimea Valley botanical garden offers a one mile walk to a waterfall, past flowers and marvelous old trees. 
Beaches on the North Shore from west to east are: Haleiwa Alii Beach, a great spot to learn to surf; Turtle Beach, a place to see turtles up close; Three Tables Beach, also a nice swim, and a small, shady beach; Pipeline Beach, where you can watch surf culture; Sunset Beach, which has large winter waves for surfers; and Turtle Bay Hilton Beach, a pretty and magical spot but with more chance of bad weather.

Photo Gallery

The sloping shore where you can let the little waves pull you up and down- fun!

Summer day at Waimea Beach.

April morning at Waimea Bay. See the huge rock in the distance, where people jump hazardously off into the water.

Boat and garden at the lifeguard stand at Waimea Bay.

An Eddie Aikau contest trophy- it's a huge honor to own one of these!

Waimea Bay, as seen from a pullout on Kamehameha Hwy.

View from above, including the lagoon where the river meets the sea.

View of Waimea Valley from the road.

Waimea Valley is across the road from the beach.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Off of Kamehameha Hwy north of Haleiwa. There is a parking lot. On weekends it will be full unless you come early. If you arrive at noon on Sunday, and circle the lot like a madman for thirty minutes, then some bozo sneaks up and takes your spot, you may end up committing an act of violence. For that reason I suggest parking across the highway at Waimea Valley botanical garden. The first parking lot is free. It is a ten minute walk to the beach, a beautiful walk too.
Waimea Valley botanical garden and Haleiwa Farmers Market, 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI 96712, call (808) 638-7766 for the botanical garden, call (808) 388-9696 for the farmers market.
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