In most circles, the North Shore is known for surfing. However, the art scene comes in at a very close second. Historic Haleiwa Town is lined with galleries and boutique shops that sell local artisan wares while vibrant murals and other hidden gems can be found everywhere. With a little insight (and a vehicle) you could easily spend a full day on Oahu’s North Shore exploring the creative works of established and emerging artists alike. Interested? Read ahead for your art walk (and drive) itinerary.
One Day Itinerary to Seeing and Experiencing the Art of the North Shore Oahu
Morning Murals in Haleiwa Town
Before the sleepy town of Haleiwa (and its art galleries) wakes up you can discover some amazing murals on the exterior walls of old buildings and other structures. Grab a latte at the Coffee Gallery, and start exploring. Look for the works of Welzie (pictured above) and Wyland, along with legend Ron Artis and others. The murals begin around the North Shore Marketplace, and continue all the way to Puaena Point Beach Park where you’ll find old shipping containers that Artis has turned into works of art.
Take a Self-Guided Haleiwa Gallery Art Walk
It’s been awhile since there was a monthly Haleiwa Art Walk. While we hope for its return, you don’t have to wait for the powers that be to make it happen. Instead, go on self-guided art walk. Around 10 AM most of the art galleries open up in Haleiwa Town. Begin with Waimea Blue and Wyland Galleries in the North Shore Marketplace, then head up to Tabora Gallery and Wy’s Gallery before diving into Polu Gallery and Clark Little Gallery which are a part of Haleiwa Store Lots. If you happen to be in town in July, you can join in on the festivities at the annual Haleiwa Arts Festival.
Stop (and shop) at the Cove Collection
When your self-guided Haleiwa art walk is complete, drive deeper into the coastal country over to Pupukea. Across the road from the world famous snorkeling destination, Shark’s Cove, is a quaint shop that displays and sells the works of local makers and artisans. One of our favorite featured artists found within The Cove Collection, is Mark Cunningham. Mark is a North Shore waterman, legend, and world champion bodysurfer. Mark has spent decades pulling lost items from the reef, and over the last half-decade has devoted his time to turn them into truly unique wall-hangers and mantle pieces for the home.
Cruise the Backroads from Ke Iki to Sunset Beach
Next to Shark’s Cove is Ke Iki Beach, which happens to have some pretty cool graffiti-style murals on a beachfront concrete wall. Beyond that, we encourage you to park at Shark’s Cove, and rent a beach cruiser to ride from Ke Iki all the way through to Ke Nui Road to Sunset Beach. Along the way you’ll spy murals from Welzie in addition to creatively decorated/painted mailboxes. This isn’t your typical art experience, but it’s a representation of how art merges with life on the North Shore.
Discover Artsy Fartsy
This is a hidden gem that very few visitors will ever come across, no matter how well they think they know the North Shore. The gallery/workshop is located down a long rural path that is found somewhere between Turtle Bay Resort and Kahuku food trucks. Blink and you’ll miss the small sign on Kamehameha Highway. Inside is a collection of ocean-themed pastel-painted woodwork and other effervescent items that convey the playful and spirited side of the art world. View directions, hours, and more on Artsy Fartsy Hawaii.
Conclude in Kahuku
By this point you’ll be far down the rabbit hole of art on the North Shore, but we’re sending you a but further into Kahuku. While this North Shore town may be best known for shrimp trucks and its roadside food court, it is also recognized for the colorful works that radiate from the Art of Hilton Art Box Gallery, which is the best place to find surf-themed art on Oahu. When heading back towards Haleiwa, be sure to stop at Full Fathom Five Sea Glass Emporium & Local Arts.
Do you have any questions about where to find and experience art on the North Shore of Oahu? Message us on Facebook to chat!