A Local’s Guide to an O‘ahu Road Trip: Honolulu to North Shore

Grab artisan ice cream, shop vintage treasures, sample locally grown coffee and ride a train all on your way to the North Shore.


For townies, going to the North Shore can seem like a long way—road trip-worthy even. When you want to take the day to explore, here are some of the gems along the way.


Black Sheep Ice Cream

Photo: Natalie Schack


First stop? Grab a flight of homemade ice cream at Black Sheep Cream Co. Save the shave ice for the North Shore and indulge in the creative flavors and artisan quality of this locally owned ice cream shop. You’ll find classics like pistachio and honey but also fun, unusual takes, such as cereal milk and Melona bar. The texture is what makes the scoops shine: creamy and decadent, with a dense richness that’s almost like a chewy, soft caramel. The Waipi‘o location is their busiest, but there’s also a spot in Wahiawa.


Hawaii’s first hard cider company, Paradise Ciders, is now in Mililani. Try a flight of their fruity, tangy flavors over lunch from the resident food truck. We love the juicy, tropical selection that includes dragonfruit, mango, lilikoi and ginger.


SEE ALSO: Paradise Ciders Opens New Tasting Room with 40 Taps in Mililani


Interior shot of The Vintage Hawaii

Photo: Natalie Schack


The Vintage Hawai‘i right on the main road of Wahiawā is a treasure trove for retro island style aficionados. The boutique is packed with vintage Hawaiian records and books, aloha shirts and mu‘umu‘u, and mid-century homewares dripping with nostalgia. It’s more than just a shopping stop—it’s a snapshot into a bygone island era.


SEE ALSO: A Local’s Guide to an O‘ahu Road Trip: Wahiawā to Salt Lake


Wahiawā Botanical Garden

Photo: Natalie Schack


Get lost in the jungle of Wahiawā Botanical Garden just a couple of minutes from the urban center of Wahiawā. We’re talking majestic tropical trees, meandering paths that go from canopy to forest floor, and tucked-away little nooks. The garden is much bigger than you think and has the loveliest lawn to picnic on as well.


Green World Coffee Farm

Photo: Natalie Schack


A side-of-the-road surprise, Green World Coffee Farm is like a blast from the past: Find vintage signs and retro souvenirs in the barn-like main building, plus free samples from the estate’s various coffee styles, a mini cafe and lots of information about the coffee-growing and production process. While most of the beans are grown in the more expansive fields down the road, you can stroll out back into a peaceful garden with rows of coffee plants and a beautiful flowering tree, the perfect place to enjoy a cup of joe.


Dole Plantation

Photo: Natalie Schack


A fun stop en route to the North Shore, Dole Plantation offers charming grounds and a hedge maze to roam as well as tours on their vintage trains. Cap off your visit with creamy and frosty Dole Whip straight from the source.






11:15 a.m.: Try the various flavors at Black Sheep Cream Co. in Waipi‘o.

11:45 a.m.: Drive 12 minutes to Paradise Ciders in Mililani. Have lunch with a refreshing cider or seltzer.

1:00 p.m.: Drive 10 minutes to The Vintage Hawai‘i and browse the eclectic inventory.

1:45 p.m.: Head 3 minutes down the road to Wahiawā Botanical Garden and soak in the forest ambiance.

3:00 p.m.: Drive 6 minutes to Green World Coffee Farm, where you can sample the locally grown coffee.

3:30 p.m.: Explore the grounds and attractions of Dole Plantation just a mile north.