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Creature Features on Oahu’s North Shore

by Kelly Magyarics

May 30, 2019

Turtle Bay Resort

Travel Tips

If your kids spend their summer vacation at the beach watching sand crabs scurry, looking for sharks’ teeth and spotting dolphins from the balcony, this Hawai’ian resort has your animal adventurers in mind.

Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore is situated on 840 acres, with five miles of unspoiled beach, 12 miles of hiking trails, Banyan tree groves and 482 spacious accommodations including three- and four-bedroom Ocean Villas and 42 beach cottages with swaying hammocks. It’s so easy to connect with nature here in the ocean, on land and in the sky.

Sea Turtles

Glass-bottomed kayaks will help guides spot and identify these docile creatures, which used to be endangered. During your ride you’ll even stop at a station to watch honu line up to be cleaned.

Sea kayaking.

Sea kayaking. Photo: Turtle Bay Resort


A new program called HorSeat Yoga lets you explore yoga principles with a horse. If that’s too zen, you can take a horseback ride on oceanfront trails through groves of exotic Banyan trees at sunset. (Younger riders can book the Pony Experience or Horsemanship 101.)

Surfing Dogs

North Shore native Rocky Canon is super excited to share his surfing dogs Hina and Kahuna with you. Take them for a ride on a surfboard or paddleboard (Hina loves rolling around in the sand and Kahuna is just an all-around goofball.)


Fearless? Go for a cage diving experience of a lifetime during which you can spot Galapagos, Sandbar and Tiger sharks (with sightings 100 percent guaranteed.) Each cage can hold up to eight people so the entire family can unleash their adrenaline; during the dive you may also spot dolphins, honu and humpback whales (through May).

Monk Seals

Among the most endangered mammals in the world, these cuties lounge along the five miles of shoreline; staff takes precautions to make sure they are left alone and protected.


Dream of swimming with the dolphins? A tour of the remote west shore of Oahu features aerials stunts from spinner dolphins along with the opportunity to see bottlenose and spotted dolphins.

Surfing. Photo: Turtle Bay Resort

Surfing. Photo: Turtle Bay Resort

Water Birds

Tote a pair of binoculars during a guided walking tour of the James Campbell Wildlife Refuge, one of Oahu’s last remaining natural wetlands and a habitat for endangered fowl as well as native plants, monk seals and honu. (It’s home to all four endangered native Hawai’ian water birds: the Moorhen, Coot, Stilt and Duck.)

In between spotting and interacting with these gorgeous members of the animal kingdom, there are lots of other family-friendly things to do. Keiki Adventures is a base camp for kids to immerse themselves in the North Shore experience, with adventures on all 850 acres of the resort. Families will also love exploring the historic surf town of Haleiwa and its famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck; scoop up an original Hawaiian shave ice at Matsumoto; attend a luau and the Breath of Life show at the Polynesian Cultural Center; encounter an old bunker from WWII paired with a view of the North Shore on the Ehukai Pillbox hike; or stroll through an old pine forest followed by a refreshing swim at Laie Falls.


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