Written by: Jodi Willmott
If you’ve ever visited Oahu’s Fabled North Shore and spent some time in Hale’iwa, then I ask you close your eyes for a moment and bring your favorite image to mind. If you’re like me, it might be the view from Puaena Point, looking left across teal ocean tones to the small boat harbor, then scanning to your right across the flanking range of the Waianae mountains to where they melt into the sunset at Ka’ena Point. It’s a vision that always makes me feel happy and fortunate to live here. It never gets old. And that’s why I’m voting for Hale’iwa as America’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2014. If Hale’iwa makes you happy, then I hope you’ll VOTE too.
Hale’iwa is special in every way. Its history is magnificent and I love to think back to the days when Hawaii’s royal family would come here to their summer home and play at the beach that was named after them: “Ali’i” – or “royalty“. Though many years have passed since then, the charm of this quaint country town has never faded.
For me, Haleiwa is where all three of my boys learned to surf. My 5-year-old Kamalei and 8-year-old Maika still love to charge the inside whitewater of Ali’i, while my 15-year-old Kuio has now earned his place “out the back” in the main lineup.
They all know Ali’i as my “work”, come November each year. It is the home of the first jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing – the REEF Hawaiian Pro – for which I am part of the organizing team. Every year that we pick back up with the events of the Triple Crown and visitors join us on the sands of Hale’iwa’s shore, I feel a sense of pride. It’s a place I’m proud to share. I’m as excited as the visiting fans are to watch Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds, John John Florence and Mick Fanning explore Hale’iwa’s full potential as a world class surf break. It’s like it turns into a different wave in November when coupled with the unrivaled athleticism of these riders, and my sons watch on in amazement as they learn what can be done with a wave at that level.
Then there’s historic Hale’iwa “town”. While Main Street might stretch less than a mile, its many nooks punctuate my daily life:
Coffee Galllery, where my husband and I ritually visit each morning after dropping the kids to school (best latte outside of Turtle Bay lobby). Banzai Sushi, where I’m known to eat up to five times a week (read: as often as possible, because their Ahi Carpaccio is outrageous). The many art galleries, where I take Maika on a rudimentary mom tour of artistic expression from time to time. Guava, for really fun, casual fashion finds that are a perfect fit for North Shore living. BeetBox Cafe (best home cooked organic vegetarian food). And the new Julian & Coco, where I just found the most awesome Picnic backpack basket for my family’s regular sunset beach dinners, but where you can also create a once-in-a-lifetime celebration utilizing their local knowledge and expertise of the North Shore.
Hale’iwa might not have sidewalks, but that just means you can set off on your own unmarked path of adventure as you explore the town. I highly encourage you to set out and rediscover. Who knows where you’ll end up!
Let’s face it: Hale’iwa is more than a main street, a meal stop, or a beach. It’s a way of living. A happier way. The Hale’iwa zip code of 96712 stretches the “7-Mile Miracle” that is what many simply call the North Shore. From organic agriculture farms and ancient fishponds, to summer diving, winter surfing, evening dining, shell hunting, sunset watching, countryside hiking, moonlight surfing, or connecting with our easy living community, Hale’iwa is unmatched. Hale’iwa is Home… the Home of the ‘Iwa Bird, as it translates. That’s why I’m voting for it to be the Happiest Seaside Town in America. I hope you will join me: VOTE HERE Aloha! Jodi.