Discover the best stops, sights, and hidden gems as you drive from Makapu’u to North Shore, Waialua, Oahu.
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Oahu’s East Coast as you drive from Makapu’u to North Shore, Waialua, HI. This one-way scenic day trip will take you through stunning landscapes, historic sites, and picturesque beach towns. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to stop, explore, and enjoy Oahu’s best.
This journey covers approximately 60 miles and will take about 2 hours to drive, depending on the number of stops. Follow this guide for an unforgettable day trip from 8 am to 8 pm, complete with a map, swimming spots, and fantastic places to eat.

  1. Start at Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
    Kick off your day with a hike to the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse. This 2-mile roundtrip trail offers panoramic views of the coastline and the historic lighthouse, built in 1909. Watch for humpback whales during the winter months, as this is a prime spot for whale watching.
  2. Sherwood Beach in Waimanalo Head to Sherwood Beach, a beautiful, less crowded beach with soft white sand and turquoise waters. This is an ideal spot for swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing, with plenty of shade from the surrounding ironwood trees.
  3. Lunch at Kalapawai Market Kailua,
    For a delicious meal, stop by Kalapawai Market in Kailua, a local favorite that offers an array of sandwiches, salads, and gourmet deli items. Enjoy your lunch at the market’s outdoor seating area, or take it to go and savor it at a nearby beach or park. Kailua Beach Park is another must-visit location. This beach is known for its calm waters and soft white sand. Making it an excellent spot for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or simply relaxing by the water.
  4. Next, visit Kualoa Regional Park, a picturesque location with stunning views of the Kualoa Mountains and the iconic Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i Island). This park is a popular spot for picnics, kayaking, and photography, offering a serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery.
  5. Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site
    Discover ancient Hawaiian culture at the Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site. As Oahu’s largest heiau (ancient temple), this site once served as an important religious center.
  6. Waimea Valley
    Delve into Hawaiian history and culture at Waimea Valley. This lush, 1,875-acre nature park is home to botanical gardens, ancient archaeological sites, and a 45-foot waterfall. Explore the park and learn about traditional Hawaiian customs and practices while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
  7. Finish your trip in Haleiwa is known for its delicious food, from shrimp trucks to shave ice and poke bowls, and as a variety of local shops and boutiques where you can find unique souvenirs, clothing, and gifts. For all your Photos needs, visit a North Shore Photography.