No visit to Oahu is complete without a trip to the North Shore. If it's winter, all the better because you may get to see the big waves.
Just about an hour from Waikiki via central Oahu, the North Shore is a totally different culture than you'll see on the rest of the island. It's more laid back and you're sure to feel the "surfer dude" approach to life.
Traveling via Central Oahu, your North Shore visit begins at Haleiwa which has some fun shops and nice restaurants. Be sure to stop by the M. Matsumoto Grocery Store for shave ice known better on the mainland as water ice.
Haleiwa has two excellent beaches, both popular with surfers - Hale'iwa Beach Park (north side) and Hale'iwa Ali'i Beach Park (south side). Here's where you get a good idea if the north shore surf is up.
Driving east from Haleiwa you can stop and check out some of the most famous surf spots in the world, but your first stop should be at Laniakea better known as Turtle Beach where the family can enjoy seeing green sea turtles lounging on the beach almost any day of the year.
Don't miss the Banzai Pipeline located off Ehukai Beach Park. Pipeline is famous for its huge waves that break in shallow water just above its sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow and thick curls of water that surfers can surf inside.
Other stops well worth considering are Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay. Consider a stop at the Waimea Valley which is home to world-class botanical gardens and nearly 5,000 species of plants.
By this point in the day, you'll probably be getting hungry. Stop by one of the shrimp trucks that you'll find along the road near Kahuku. Fumi's, the Famous Kahuku Shrimp Truck and Romy's are three of the best. The shrimp is caught right there on the North Shore. It's some of the best you'll ever eat and the prices are right. The spicier, the better.
As you can, there's lots to do and see on Oahu's North Shore.