Sometime last week I went up to the North Shore with my co-worker and his girlfriend to hang out at the beach, go surfing, and just cruise around. We went up to Pupukea and there was hardly a single person there. It's a vast stretch of really nice beach and big waves. It's also right next to Shark's Cove, which has some great snorkeling. Anyway, we hung out there for only a little while because about an hour or two into the morning, it started to rain.
Although it was raining a little, we decided to stay up at the North Shore and across from Waimea Beach, there is a conservatory called Waimea Valley - (59-864 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa, HI 96712-8411). Waimea Valley consists of 1,875 acres and has been a sacred place for more than 700 years of Native Hawaiian history. Waimea, “The Valley of the Priests,” gained its title around 1090 when the ruler of O‘ahu awarded the land to the kähuna nui. Descendants of the high priests lived and cared for much of the Valley until 1886. As part of a cooperative conservation land purchase, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs acquired the property in 2006.
Anyway, they have daily activities that visitors can watch like ancient sports games, traditional methods of making clothes, etc. Visitors to the Valley are allowed to participate in several of the activities (with paid admission) including Lei Making, Kapa Demonstration, Hula Lessons, Hawaiian Games, and Crafts, Music & Story Telling with Kūpuna. It costs somewhere around $10 for admission and I'd say it's right on the cusp of being worth it. 78 sites of interest have been identified including religious sites and shrines, house sites, agricultural terraces and fishponds. There is a waterfall in the back of the valley that you can jump into and go swimming. It's also a lot like a Botanical Garden in the sense that there are more than 5,000 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants including native and endangered Hawaiian plants. You can actually pick fruit and eat it, too, which is pretty cool.
Overall, it's a pretty fun place to visit for an afternoon walk, especially if you're already on the North Shore and looking for something to do other than the beach or historical town of Haleiwa. It's especially good for old people who like plants or kids who can't sit still for more than 5 minutes.