Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, Waimea Bay is a stunningly beautiful beach with crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. It’s also known as one of the best surfing spots in the world. With its perfect waves and incredible scenery, this beach has become a popular destination for surfers from around the globe. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just getting started, Waimea Bay is sure to provide an unforgettable experience that will keep you coming back for more! So grab your board and come explore all that this iconic spot has to offer!


  • Waimea Bay is one of the most popular locations in Hawaii for cliff jumping and surfing.
  • Hiking or biking around Waimea Bay is an excellent way to experience the area’s natural beauty.
  • Visitors to Waimea can explore the area’s rich history by visiting historical sites such as Mokulēʻia Point and Haleiwa Beach Park.
  • Explore restaurants and cultural sites around the area.


Waimea Bay Sign
© Pixta

Waimea, which means “reddish water,” holds historical significance as the first meeting point between foreigners and Native Hawaiians on Oahu. Waimea Bay is an incredible destination that provides visitors with a mix of spectacular scenery and culture-rich history. It has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. The area was once inhabited by Hawaiian fishermen who used the nearby reef and ocean resources to sustain their families and villages. Traditional Hawaiian fishing practices are still observed at Waimea Bay today, with locals fishing from canoes off the shoreline.

After Captain James Cook’s death in 1779, his ships anchored at Kealakekua Bay for water. In 1793, the second group of outsiders arrived aboard Captain George Vancouver’s merchant ship, only to face conflict with Hawaiians over their weapons while collecting water. In 1894, a devastating flood caused the downsizing of Waimea Valley’s community. The Kamehameha Highway connecting Waimea to Kahuku was built in 1932. For years, Waimea Bay was considered too treacherous for surfing, but in the 1950s, it became a turning point in the sport’s history.

Over time Waimea Bay has become an international destination for thrill-seekers looking to surf or cliff jump off its dramatic cliffs. Its popularity has also earned it a place on the silver screen, featuring in films such as ‘Blue Crush’ and ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’. No matter what brings you to Waimea Bay, its incredible scenery paired with its deep-rooted cultural history make it a truly unique destination!

Things to Do

Enjoy Water Sports 

© Shutterstock

At Waimea Bay, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of watersports activities. The calm and warm waters make it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. Experienced surfers will also find plenty of waves to challenge their skills, with swells reaching heights over 15 feet during the summer months and 30 feet during winter.

Those looking for something a bit more leisurely can rent out a kayak or paddleboard and take in the sights of the bay from the water. Along the shoreline, you can often observe traditional Hawaiian fishermen hauling in their catches from their canoes. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, Waimea is great for beachcombing and exploring tidepools.

Hike or Bike around the Area

Two girls biking around Waimea Bay area
© The Surf Bus

The trails offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, as well as tropical vegetation, palm trees, and picturesque cliffs. Most of the trails are relatively easy to navigate and can be accessed from nearby beaches like Sunset Beach Park and Mokulēʻia Point. You can also reach Waimea Valley to get a stunning waterfall view. For those interested in a real challenge, take on a 7-mile trek up Mount Ka’ala, the highest peak on Oahu Island. Along the hike, you’ll pass through different ecosystems including mountain forests, open grassland fields, and wetter areas with lush vegetation. On clear days you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views from atop the summit which stretches over 4,000 feet above sea level.

Bikers also have plenty of options to choose from at Waimea Bay. Beginners can opt for easier routes along flat terrain while more experienced riders can take on more challenging routes down dunes and up mountain slopes. With numerous trails suited for all levels of bikers, it’s no wonder why Waimea continues to be a premier spot for cycling enthusiasts!

Visit Historical Sites

Serene view at the Byodo-in Temple
© Enoa Website

At Waimea Bay, visitors can explore the area’s rich history by visiting historical sites such as Mokulēʻia Point and Haleiwa Beach Park. These sites offer a glimpse into the ancient Hawaiian culture that once thrived in this area.

Mokulēʻia Point is an important archaeological site where ancient Hawaiians fished for food, created tools, and built shelters. Visitors can get a firsthand look at traditional Hawaiian cultural practices as they explore the ruins of ancient homes and fishing structures. The nearby Waimea Valley also boasts some of the oldest archaeological remains on Oahu.

Haleiwa Beach Park offers a more modern take on Hawaiian culture. This beachfront park features historic World War II bunkers that were used to protect residents from Japanese air raids during the war. The park also has numerous recreational activities like swimming, paddle boarding, and surfing for visitors to enjoy as well as plenty of spots to relax in the sun and watch the waves roll in. Visitors to Waimea Bay can experience a combination of old and new cultures when exploring these historical sites! You can also opt to visit attractions like the Byodo-in Temple, Dole Plantation, and the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout.

Try Cliff Jumping

© 123RF

Cliff jumping at Waimea Bay is an exhilarating activity that has become popular among daredevils and thrill seekers. The bay is surrounded by tall, jagged cliffs, providing the perfect platform for base jumpers to launch themselves from. Jumpers are met with stunning views of the ocean below, as well as a rush of adrenaline as they free-fall into the cool waters below.

Ensuring your safety should always be the top concern when engaging in cliff jumping activities. To minimize risks and maximize enjoyment, it is crucial to assess the local conditions and potential dangers in advance. Before taking the plunge, thoroughly examine the water below for suitable landing spots and make certain that the current water levels are safe enough for a successful jump. For added peace of mind, it is highly recommended to have a companion present in case of any unforeseen emergencies. If you’re new to cliff jumping or have never tried it before, it is unwise to attempt it without proper experience or guidance.

Dine in Restaurants Nearby

Fumi's Shrimp Truck

If you’re looking for a tasty meal while visiting Waimea Bay, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Ted’s Bakery is a popular choice for its wide selection of cakes, pies, and other desserts. The Shrimp Station is another local favorite, serving up classic Hawaiian plates such as moco loco shrimp and fish tacos.

There are also food trucks nearby! When it comes to seafood, travelers can find a variety of fresh catches at Waimea Bay. Some of the most popular dishes include poke bowls with cubed raw fish, grilled fish tacos topped with cabbage and aioli sauces, shrimp tempura rolls with spicy mayo sauce, or Kalua pork sliders served with coleslaw on top. If you’re looking for something more substantial, you can also order larger meals such as kalua pig with poi and lau lau served with steamed rice and haupia (coconut pudding).

Where to Stay Near Waimea Bay 

Visitors to Waimea Bay looking for accommodation options don’t have to look far. Located just outside of the bay is the North Shore Oahu Resort, which offers breathtaking views of the ocean and nearby mountains. The resort features spacious suites with balconies, a beachfront pool, and an on-site restaurant that serves up delicious local cuisine.

For those searching for more affordable options, there are plenty of vacation rentals in the area, ranging from cozy bungalows to multi-bedroom homes that can accommodate large groups. Campers visiting Waimea Bay can stay at nearby Malaekahana State Park, which features camping sites right on the beachfront and an array of amenities including showers, laundry facilities, and electricity. This park also offers a variety of activities like volleyball, basketball courts, and a playground for children.

Tours that Go to Waimea Bay 

Oahu Nature Tours Ultimate Circle Island Adventure

From USD 135.55

Surfing at waimea bay

The Surf Bus North Shore Activities Tour

From USD 157.07


Best Time to Visit Waimea Bay 

cliff jumping at waimea bay
© Shutterstcok

The best time to visit Waimea Bay is during the summer months, from May to August. During this time, the bay boasts some of the largest waves in all of Hawaii and provides an ideal spot for experienced surfers looking to tackle some big waves. The summer months also bring about stunning sunsets that make for a perfect evening spent relaxing at Waimea Beach Park or Sunset Beach Park.

During the winter season, Waimea Bay is still a popular destination thanks to its picturesque views and warm waters. However, because of the cooler temperatures and reduced swells the area is better suited for swimming than surfing during this time. Overall, Waimea Bay has something for everyone – no matter what time of year you decide to visit!

Tips for Visiting

Visiting Waimea Bay is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Oahu’s north shore. Here are some tips for making the most of your time at Waimea Bay:

  • Wear appropriate clothing – Shorts and swimsuits are commonly worn during a trip to Waimea, but remember that the sun can be strong so wear sunscreen and hats to protect against UV rays.
  • Bring water – Staying hydrated is important while spending time in the sun, so bring plenty of water with you.
  • Respect wildlife – There are several endangered species living in and around Waimea Bay, including spinner dolphins, sea turtles, monk seals, and humpback whales, so please be respectful and refrain from disturbing them when visiting.
  • Skip the crowds – To avoid overcrowding on the beach, try to visit early in the morning or late in the evening during sunset hours for a peaceful experience.
  • Pick up after yourself– Removing any trash (especially plastic) that you may bring with you helps keep Waimea clean and beautiful for future visitors.
  • Have fun! – Most importantly don’t forget to have fun while enjoying all that Waimea has to offer!

How to Get There

Waimea Bay is easily accessible by car and can be reached in roughly one hour from Honolulu. The bay is located just outside the small town of Haleiwa and is well-marked with signs along the road. Visitors can also choose to take public transportation such as a bus or taxi, but these options are more limited than those available from Honolulu.

Parking at Waimea Bay can be quite difficult during peak months, so it’s best to arrive early if possible. There is street parking available in the area, but visitors should note that spots fill up quickly and that fees may apply depending on the time of day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Activities that can be enjoyed in Waimea Bay include swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, and biking through trails with stunning views of the island’s natural scenery.

Waimea Bay is located on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

There is an abundance of marine life and birdlife in the area which makes it a great spot for observing nature in its natural environment as well as for recreational activities like snorkeling and fishing from canoes off the shoreline.

Yes! Mokulēʻia Point and Haleiwa Beach Park offer historical sites to explore as well as plenty of opportunity to take in stunning views of Oahu’s natural beauty while hiking or biking around these areas.

In summer months, Waimea Bay boasts some of the largest waves in all of Hawaii with consistent swells reaching heights over 15 feet! This makes it an ideal spot for experienced surfers looking to tackle some big waves.

Yes! Nearby eateries include Ted’s Bakery and Shrimp Station which offer tasty seafood dishes sure to please your taste buds.

Experience the Breathtaking Beauty of Waimea Bay! 

Dive into its crystal clear waters and ride the thrilling waves. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or simply in search of stunning views, this beach has it all. Don’t miss out on creating unforgettable memories at the incredible Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore.