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Old Hale'iwa Town

Aoki's Shave Ice Stand (Pinterest)

Haleiwa, on the north shore of Oahu, is known for its quaint shops, especially its art galleries and shave-ice stands. Several of the old ones were torn down about ten years ago, due to termites, fire safety, and other issues, but they were rebuilt to bring to mind the Old Hawaii style that is required by the town’s place on the National Register of Historic Places.

One can reach Haleiwa from either the east or west end of town, but the more picturesque is the Anahulu Bridge, which spans the Anahulu Stream. To get there, take Highway 83 from the northern terminus of the H-2. Upon reaching Haleiwa, turn left onto the old Kamehameha Highway. You will pass the Haleiwa Beach House in the old Jameson’s By the Sea building. Keep going about a quarter mile, and you will cross the Anahulu Bridge.

Haleiwa Bridge (Eric Guinther, Creative Commons license 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

On the right, you will see the Haleiwa Harbor. On the banks of that site once stood the Haleiwa Hotel. Benjamin Dillingham bought the Laanui Estate and converted the plantation house into the Haleiwa Hotel.

Haleiwa Hotel (Hawaii State Archives)

To ensure the inn received guests, he used his Oahu Railway, which he established to transport sugarcane from the fields to Honolulu Harbor for transport overseas. The Haleiwa Limited, as the run up to Haleiwa was called, departed from the Spanish Revival depot in Honolulu (National Register of Historic Places, 1989; restored 2001), passed through Waialua and Kaena Point, and ended at the hotel. Sadly, the hotel had been demolished by 1953 due to termite damage, age, and other issues.

Keep going, and you will enter Haleiwa town and see the quaint shops. Clark Little and Wyland both have galleries there. You know them. Clark Little stands under pipeline waves in order to photograph them and the sunrises that are visible at the end of the pipeline. Wyland draws those wonderful murals of sea life. One of his sculptures stands at the entrance of the Ilikai Hotel. A mural, which he recently restored, is visible on an end wall of the condominium building at 1909 Ala Wai Boulevard.

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