Know Before You Go, Shaka Guide's Grand Circle Island Tour
You’re about to go on an awesome adventure around the North Shore of Oahu, but there are a few things you should know about the tour before you get started.
- The tour can only be done counterclockwise.
- The tour has three starting points: Waikiki, Ko Olina or Turtle Bay Resort.
- The Dole Plantation closes at 4:30 p.m. There is an entrance fee to do the activities at the plantation, but you can visit the gift shop and cafe for free.
- Byodo-In costs $5 per person.
- Most of the food trucks in Kahuku are cash only.
- Entrance to Waimea Valley is $18 for adults and $12 for children.
- Waves can get rough in winter (October-April). When in doubt ask a lifeguard.
What to Expect
To Spend 6-8 Hours Exploring
This tour traverses Oahu traveling to the island’s North Shore. We recommend starting before 9:00 a.m. if you plan on visiting all 23 stops on this tour.
To Be Active
There is only one hike on this tour at Waimea Valley, but you'll still have a very active day! You’ll walk through a Japanese-style temple, snorkel at Shark's Cove, and stroll through a quaint beach town, just to name a few.
To Try Local Food
This tour is our favorite for foodies! You’ll visit some of the most popular local eateries on the island. Grab a malasada from Leanoard’s Bakery, have a heart plate of garlic shrimp in Kahuku, try a slice of chocolate haupia pie from Ted’s Bakery, end your day with a colorful shave ice from Matsumoto Shave ice in Haleiwa.
While some of the beaches on this tour are not safe for swimming, especially during the winter months, you’ll still have ample opportunity to dip your toes in the water! You’ll visit Shark’s cove where you can snorkel and Waimea Valley where you can swim in the pool of a 45-foot waterfall.
On this tour you’ll learn so much about Oahu’s history -- you’ll leave feeling like an expert. From the history of surfing on the North Shore, the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, there’s no shortage of information to keep you entertained the whole day.
How much you spend truly depends on what you do along the tour route, but here’s a breakdown of some costs:
- $5.00 per person: Byodo-In Temple (cash only)
- $18.00/adult and $12.00/child per person: Waimea Valley entry
- $15.00 per person: Lunch
- $25.00/adult and $21.00/child per person: Dole Plantation — Train, Maze and Garden pass
- $6.00 per person: Dole Whip
- $4.00 per person: Pie at Ted’s Bakery or shave ice at Matsumoto’s
Here’s our packing list for this tour. It may seem a little long, but remember, what you bring depends on the activities you choose to do for the day.
- Hiking Clothes
- Water Bottle
- Bug Spray (for Waimea Valley)
- Bathing Suit
- Sun Glasses and/or Hat
- Car Charger *Very Important*
- Phone Mount
In Hawaiian the word malama means “to take care” and the word aina means “land.” When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you practice this and pick up your trash; respect the marine life, plants, and animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe. Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources for generations by respecting the aina when you visit.
Like this article? Share it on Pinterest!
We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
RELATED: 10 Ways to be a Safe and Responsible Traveler in Hawaii
For more help planning your day check out our Grand Circle Island suggested itinerary.