Field Guide: Laie

When you feel like getting out—way out—of town, take a drive north to this sleepy town.
(Rollover Map for Locations)
(Rollover Map for Locations)

Morman Temple, 55-600 Naniloa Loop, Laie Angels Ice Cream, 55-510 Kamehameha Highway, Suite 4, Laie Mahinalani Gift Shop, PCC, 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie Hukilau Beach, Laie Hukilau Cafe, 55-662 Wahinepee St., Laie

Photo by David Croxford

Morman Temple

We couldn’t write about Laie without mentioning something Mormon. This architecturally stunning structure, constructed in 1919, was the first Mormon temple built outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time, it was also the first built outside of America, because Hawaii wasn’t a state then. Thousands visit the temple and its grounds each year. Although non-Mormons are not allowed inside the temple itself, tours of the peaceful property are given each day. 55-600 Naniloa Loop, 293-2427.

  Angel’s Ice Cream 

Photos by David Croxford

After a hot day at the beach, check out the cool treats at this Laie fixture. Owner Angel Ho’s expansive menu of ice cream, shave ice, frozen yogurt and smoothies has kept locals and tourists alike coming back for the past 12 years. Visitors are especially known to come back each year for “Angel’s Halo,” a shave ice concoction with condensed milk topped with a ring of whipped cream. “They tell me they drive all the way from Waikiki just for this,” Ho says. 55-510 Kamehameha Highway, Suite 4, 232-2233.

Photo by David Croxford


Mahinalani Gift Shop at the Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is Laie’s main tourist draw, but its Mahinalani Shops of Polynesia is not a typical souvenir store. Rather than hawking synthetic lei and cheesy postcards, the gallery-like shop recently invited local vendors to sell their Hawaii-made products such as handmade replicas of museum artifacts, tiki figures, bowls, koa paddles, tapa cloth and more. Plus, you can visit without paying admission. 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, 293-3333

Did you know?

 

If you’re looking for a cold beer in Laie, you may be out of luck. This “dry” town doesn’t sell a drop of alcohol (and stores are closed on Sundays). The nearest source is Kahuku Superette, 56-505 Kamehameha Highway, for beer or any other icy beverages.

 

Hukilau Beach

Photo by David Croxford

This mellow, crescent-shaped beach is the perfect respite from the crowded beaches in town. The beach was once a site for community net fishing, but nowadays you’re more likely to catch sunbathers napping. We snuck a peek of a large monk seal catching a few Zs at the water’s edge. Off Kamehameha Highway after Foodland heading north.

  Hukilau Cafe

This hidden local favorite was Sam Choy’s first restaurant and is now owned by a relative. The café’s ono breakfast selection has ’em lining up out the door. The super-thick sweetbread French toast is famous with good reason, while the “Hungry Hawaiian” plate of three eggs and your choice of two breakfast meats (ham, spam, bacon, pork links or Portuguese sausage) served with rice or home fried potatoes and toast or pancakes will break your diet and put a smile on your face at the same time—all for $6.95. Plus, the staff couldn’t be nicer. 55-662 Wahinepee St., 293-8616.