Remember the 2002 film ‘Blue Crush’ starring Kate Bosworth? Kate is the gorgeous blond surfer girl nervously preparing to surf huge waves at the world famous break known as ‘Pipeline’ on the ‘North Shore’ of Oahu.To me, this movie would be the best way to express the general vibe and visual backdrop of Hawaii’s “North Shore”. Golden beaches, crystal clear water, spectacular waves and a luscious tropical landscape describe the North Shore aesthetically, however there are places that look just like this all over the world. It’s the atmosphere among the people that make the place so unique, just being amongst it gives you a feeling that it could be you playing a character in Blue Crush, or any other chilled out surf movie for that matter. If you want more visual interpretation from the world of film, other productions made in Oahu were the TV Series Lost (much of it on the North Shore), Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 50 First Dates.
I spent 2 weeks in a state of stress free bliss on the North Shore. Travelling into the city just a few times for a touch of retail therapy (I couldn’t go without doing a little shopping research for my blog), but for the most part of my holiday, I was more than happy to just blend into the spectacular backdrop of this tropical paradise, feeling like a character in the background of a chilled out surf movie.
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows (Self contained)
My fantasy beach holiday accommodation would be a beachfront bungalow where I could walk straight out onto the sand and into the aqua blue ocean. Throw in a breathtaking sunset every night, the perfect temperature, and a tranquil atmosphere, Ke Iki Beach Bungalows provide exactly that. www.keikibeach.com
Waikele Premium Outlets
94-790 Lumiaina Street
Waipahu, HI 96797 (808) 676-5656
This is where I picked up some great bargains which included a faux fur vest and sequin bolero at Armani Exchange, plus great pants, leggings and basic tees at BCBG Max Azria.
Pictured Right: Armani Exchange Vest $100
Ward Center, 1044 Auahi Street, Honolulu www.wardcenters.com
Here you’ll find Nordstr0m Rack, an outlet for the US department store Nordstrom (I picked up a leopard print faux fur jacket here for $55!). There are a variety of different stores here where you might snap up a bargain. Keep an eye out for Ross Dress For Less, these outlet stores are found all over the island and you can find a mixture of designer labels and basic items for next to nothing (be prepared to spend time rummaging through everything though)
If you’ve saved long and hard for your holiday and your ready to spend up, Ala Moana (1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, www.alamoanacenter.com) is known as the world’s largest open-air mall. Here you’ll find stores such as Chanel, Dior, DKNY, Gucci, Miu Miu, Burberry, Michael Kors and more. It also houses major department stores Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Macy’s. It’s not all luxury, there are also plenty of surf shops and stores such as Forever 21, Banana Republic and Old Navy.
You can also find all of the luxury stores above onKalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Known as “Luxury Row” it’s also the home of Tiffany & Co., Coach, Yves saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.
Food glorious food…
Banzai Sushi Bar Hawaii
Located in the North Shore Marketplace in Haleiwa, there are your traditional sushi rolls plus a variety of unique Chef’s specialties. The atmosphere is relaxed and there’s a choice of table seating or low tables with cushions. With a big screen playing endless surfing movies, it’s the perfect place to sit back and relax at the end of the day. Ask the waitress what is fresh and what the local favourites are if you want to try something different.
66-246 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Other North Shore/Haleiwa local favourites are Cholos Homestyle Mexican Restaurant www.cholosmexican.com and The Grass Skirt Cafe (the local favourite is the BBQ Chicken Plate). Don’t be afraid to experiment though, there are plenty of places to eat and with the Australian dollar so strong right now it won’t break your budget.