ALOHA FROM LINDA: When I came to the islands over a decade ago, one of the first things that I did was to explore the North Shore of Oahu. It doesn't matter if you're a visitor or local 'kama'aina', spending the day on the north shore clears your mind and is a wonderful experience.
As the highway weaves along the coast, big waves pound the shoreline. Laniakea Beach, aka Turtle Beach, has large groups of the Hawaiian green sea turtle ('honu') that you can watch sunning themselves in their protected areas. There's places where you can learn stand up paddleboarding and surfing, or enjoy other activities like whale watching at Waimea Bay, skydiving, or horseback riding around Waimea Valley.
One of my fondest memories is the food that is served in the area. Throughout Haleiwa and the northshore communities, there are little cafes and 'hole in the wall' diners that serve wonderful pancakes, pies, and other good 'eats'. However, nothing beats the 'shrimp trucks' that line up along Kam Highway.
There are a lot of aquacultured shrimp farms up in Kahuku. A four minute YouTube video of one of those farms is included at the top of this article. The shrimp and prawns that grow in these shallow freshwater ponds are the source for some of the sweet Hawaiian shrimp plate lunches served from these food trucks, along with Kahuku corn, rice, pineapple and shaved ice.
Giovanni's was the original shrimp truck pioneer, but you'll also see enthusiastic Yelp reviews for Romy's, Macky's and Fumi's. You should bring cash and your appetite, and prepare for messy but 'ono' (delicious) eating.
My daughter and son-in-law will be visiting me in a few months, and I look forward to repeating these experiences with them. A shrimp recipe is included on our Web Clips & Tips page for those of you who can't come over and enjoy!