Rural and green Hale'iwa stretches from near Kawela Bay to the century-old sugar plantation town just across Rainbow Bridge. Now a designated historic and cultural district inundated by professional surfers each winter and everybody else the rest of the year, it remains O'ahu's "country." Here, Honolulu feels very far away-and that's exactly how folks want it.
More than 5,000 plant species bloom at Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden, steps from the fabled, 45-foot Waimea Falls. 59-864 Kamehameha Highway. 808-638-7766; waimeavalley.net.
O'ahu's largest stone temple, the nearly 2-acre Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau is in Pupukea, a few miles north. Absorb the view and tread respectfully. Pu'u O Mahuka Road off Pupukea Road. tinyurl.com/puuomahuka.
Surf or merely watch winter swells roll across the tricky reef at Ali'i Beach Park, first stop on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (the Hawaiian Pro occurs here each November). 66-167 Hale'iwa Road. 808-637-5051; honolulu.gov/parks/default.html.
View powerful waves from the inside out at the Clark Little Gallery. Little, a Smithsonian-exhibited underwater photographer, shoots daily in winter, with new photos and clothing designs available in-store. 66-111 Kamehameha Highway. 808-626-5319; clarklittlephotography.com.
Choose exclusive fashion at Guava Shop, from house-label cover-ups and leather clutches to swimwear by local designer Issa de' mar. 66-111 Kamehameha Highway. 808-637-9670; guavahawaii.com.
Find everything unique and useful at eclectic Global Creations and Interiors, whether 'ukulele, pareos, or shell spoons. 66-111 Kamehameha Highway. 808-637-1780; globalcreationshaleiwa.com.
On sunny days, Matsumoto Shave Ice serves more than 1,000 soft and sweet ices from its renovated 1951 store. 66-111 Kamehameha Highway. 808-637-4827; matsumotoshaveice.com.
Waialua Bakery and Juice Bar has seasonal smoothies, sandwiches, and ice cream cookie concoctions. 66-200 Kamehameha Highway. 808-341-2838.
The Beet Box Café offers healthful, local food-avocado toast is a simple delight-with early dinner and kombucha on tap. 66-437 Kamehameha Highway. 808-637-3000; thebeetboxcafe.com.
Several food trucks park just north of the traffic circle; options include shrimp, crepes, and Cajun food. 66-472 Kamehameha Highway.