Secret Spots of Oahu’s Fabled North Shore

Stephen Koehne, Sean Moody, Aamion Goodwin, and Mark Healey. Photo: Kelli Bullock

Stephen Koehne, Sean Moody, Aamion Goodwin, and Mark Healey. Photo: Kelli Bullock

Turtle Bay Resort’s new “Play Lists” helps guests better experience Oahu’s fabled North Shore. Each list is authored by a hand selected North Shore luminary who lives the “The Life” to its fullest and details the many inspirational ways to play along one of the world’s most fabled coastlines. Authored by Jodi Wilmott, veteran surf and watersports communications professional, Jodi’s life has revolved around the ocean since day one. Born in South Africa to a young Australian couple who were on an “Endless Summer” surfari, she moved with her parents to Oahu at the age of three. They lived with the Hawaiian family of Eddie and Clyde Aikau, who were only just starting to make their names in surfing. After traveling the globe for another decade, Jodi settled back in Hawaii permanently in 1998, taking up as communications director for international ocean sport events like the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the Quicksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard and outrigger canoe races, sailing regattas and distance ocean swims.

Jodi lives in the country area of Waialua on the North Shore with her husband and three young boys. She hosts iconic guests each week at Talk Story (Surfer, The Bar) to share and preserve the many wonderful and inspirational stories that are tied to this iconic stretch of ocean on Oahu’s North Shore. In her time off, Jodi loves to surf at Laniakea, Jocko’s, remote breaks near Ka’ena Point, and at Turtle Bay.

Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley

With further ado, here is Jodi’s Play List of Things to Do:

  • Waimea Valley is one of those places where you feel like you can truly exhale, wind down, and get back in touch with all that is good in the world. The expansiveness and beauty of nature has been retained here and it feels like stepping back in time to a day when the early Hawaiians lived in harmony with their environment. My kids love it here as much as I do. Take a walk, relax and read a book on the valley lawn, take a dive in the waterfall. You will leave rejuvenated.
  • Ka’ena Point takes you far away from life’s business. Pack a good sized bottle of ice cold water and a light brunch and drive to the far west end of Farrington Highway, beyond Haleiwa and Mokuleia. There are deserted white sand beaches and aqua waters to find during summer. In the winter, enjoy the massive, crashing surf from the safety of high sand. You can also take the walking trail at the end of the road and gently explore the shoreline. Caution: no lifeguards on this stretch of coastline and it also gets very hot, so get an early start, drink plenty of water, keep a cell phone on you, and stay within your comfort zone for real enjoyment.
  • Dillingham airfield offers amazing glider flights over the North Shore and Oahu’s West Side. Soar like a bird without the sound of an airplane engine and savor the greens, blues and earthy tones of the region, not to mention the spectacular mountain range and ocean views. Get lost in your thoughts and the gorgeous scenery!
  • If you’ve got small children, Shark’s Cove is a natural wonderland. It’s so easy for a kid to be content here and a few small items will make it extra fun: sunscreen and a hat, reef walkers, snorkel and mask, even a small bodyboard to float around on. There are pools of varying depths and plenty of living sea creatures to explore. Get an early start on it to get a parking spot and skip the midday heat. Or, enjoy it late before the sun goes down – there’s an excellent sunset view from here, too.
  • 21 Degrees – this is where my husband and I go for a romantic dinner of superb quality and the island’s best lychee martini!! I love their food and wine paired with the ambiance and view at sunset. It’s the highest quality menu on the North Shore, for sure, and one of the best restaurants in the Islands.
  • Coffee Gallery, in the Haleiwa Marketplace, is where a local’s day begins… or ends! Fresh, fresh, fresh coffee, locally grown, with an incredible selection of one-of-a-kind sweet and savory treats. I love their creamy lattes and the staff pays special attention to making every cup enjoyable. Excellent!!
  • Kahuku Superette and the Fiji Market are just a short drive to the east from Turtle Bay, but are a local favorite. These mom-and-pop stores are like a trip back in time and we’re so fortunate to still have them on the North Shore. Kahuku Superette has the freshest and tastiest poke on the island, and various other Hawaiian delicacies. Fiji Market offers meat pies and sausage rolls among many other things, and is a favorite of expat Australians, New Zealanders and Fijians.
  • The Talk Story speaker series at Turtle Bay Resort’s <Surfer, The Bar>…is my ultimate fave…OK, OK, full disclosure…I am the host!  But, each week I am treated to exceptional stories from iconic surf and ocean-related personalities. Whether the speakers are world champion surfers, best-selling authors, oceanographers, cinematographers and photographers, or big wave riders and legitimate North Shore legends, Talk Story is a human experience you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
  • Laniakea will forever be my favorite surf spot in the world. Suited more for intermediate and advanced surfers, this is one of the best waves in Hawaii and many surfing greats have had their day at ‘Lani’s’. I may never surf as well as them, but riding a wave is a relative experience; if you’re comfortable with the conditions, you can have the greatest wave of your life – whether it’s 2-feet or 20-feet.

Check out Turtle Bay Resort for more Play Lists.

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