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Complete guide to the city of Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii.
|Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
Kahuku is a small town located along the northshore of O'ahu and is actually the northernmost town on the island. To the southeast is the town of Laie with it's popular Polynesian Cultural Center and to the west is the popular tourist town of Haleiwa which is what most people think of when they hear about Oahu's North Shore.
Getting to Kahuku is easy as the Kamehameha Highway that circles this part of the island runs right through it. Just be sure to allow yourself plenty of time because "highway" here means 1 lane each way, super low speed limits, and traffic that can (at times) make a rush hour Los Angeles freeway look like an open runway. Besides, what's the hurry when your on vacation and on island time (see Hawaii Living: Island Time)?
Back when Sugar in Hawaii was a big deal, the Kahuku Sugar Mill was an actual, working sugar mill that was located here in Kahuku. It ran from 1893 and closed in 1971 and is still something of a local landmark. You can still find some of the old machinery and large gears here today but it's mostly been replaced by a small mall with shops and eats.
In 1976, the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge was established here and one of the few scattered remnants of natural wetlands that still exist on O'ahu. The land here provides habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds and was expanded in 2005 to provide additional habitat for migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, seabirds, endangered and native plant species, endangered 'ilioholo-i-ka-uaua (Hawaiian monk seal), and threatened Honu - The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle.
For such a relatively small area, Kahuku manages to pack in a lot of worthwhile attractions. First, let's start with the Turtle Bay Resort which is the only resort you'll find in this area. If you want to stay in Kahuku then Turtle Bay Resort is the resort to stay at and has an amazing oceanfront property. It has even been the backdrop to many movies and TV series (see Popular Movies & TV Shows Filmed In Hawaii)'
Of course, if you just want to pretend you're staying here you can come and enjoy the beach here (as all Hawaii beaches are public) which is Kuilima Cove / Bayview Beach and not to be confused with Turtle Bay Beach which is near the resort as well but not the beach you're looking for.
While we're talking beaches, we also suggest checking out Kawela Bay Beach Park which is usually our favorite beach around here. For something large and more hidden away, check out Kahuku Beach.
Looking to hit the greens and do a little golfing? Head over to the Turtle Bay Resort - Arnold Palmer Golf Course and Turtle Bay Resort - George Fazio Golf Course. If you want to go cheap, try the 9 hole Kahuku Golf Course which is right next to Kahuku Beach. Plenty of fun and amazing views while you golf and you'll have plenty of money left for Mai Tais
Need something a bit more adventurous? Kahuku has you covered with zipline excitement at CLIMB Works Keana Farms or find one of the many hikes just a short drive away. Or try one of the adventures offered at the Hele Huli Adventure Center.
For something truly unique, head over to Gunstock Ranch and live out your Paniolo fantasies. What's a Paniolo you ask? A Hawaiian cowboy of course! At Gunstock Ranch they have horseback rides for riders of all ages and skill levels. They even have pony rides for the keiki (kids).
Now, there is one thing we can't forget to mention when talking about Kahuku. Anyone that's been here before knows the answer is shrimp. Specifically, shrimp food trucks. Kahuku Is sort of the unofficially state capital when it comes to shrimp trucks and there is some pretty fierce loyalties and rivalries on this subject. Some of the top picks include Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, Romy's Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp Inc., and Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp. Shrimp is a big deal here because there are many man made fishponds here where shrimp are farmed. If shrimp isn't your thing you'll find plenty of other good eats in this area as well as the Kahuku Land Farms Stand.
View all that Kahuku has to offer here.
Kahuku Fun FactsIn the Hawaiian language, ka huku means "the projection" which is thought to be a reference to nearby Kahuku Point, the northernmost point of land on the entire island of O'ahu.
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