Friday, April 29, 2011

Beaches: Hukilau Beach and Hukilau Cafe

Another beach that is off the beaten path, not crowded, and has free parking is Hukilau Beach.  Not quite a "hidden gem" like Kailua Beach, you can still enjoy the scenic view and the soft sand without the crowds of other beaches.  

It's a long drive to get here, since it's on the North Shore, but has a great view and white sands.  You can walk to Malaekahana Beach to the north (around the edge of the treeline in the top picture) and wade to Goat Island during low tide and low surf.  Usually, that is something you do in the summer months when the surf is low and avoid in the winter months when the waves are high.  If you want to camp, check out Friends of Malaekahana Beach which is a private camp grounds around the corner.

In Hawaiian, "huki" means pull and "lau" mean net.  People would gather to pull fishing nets to the shore and celebrate with a feast of the day's catch.  

Unlike some of the other beaches we passed, this beach has no lifeguards, no bathrooms, and no showers.  It does have a lot of rules.  See the sign for the rules of the beach.

Since there are no lifeguard here, check the conditions on the internet or the papers before you dive in.  As you can see, today the waves aren't that bad so you can swim or boogie board here.  It is windy, so the waves are blown out.  

Even though the high winds make it bad for surfing, it's ideal for kite-surfing.  There were several kite-surfers out in the water today.   

While you're up here visiting Hukilau Beach for kite boarding, swimming, or surfing you can check out the Hukilau Cafe.  If you need food to fuel your adventures, this is the place.  The Hukilau Cafe is known for big portions, modest prices, and friendly service.  

You don't have to go too far to get to the Hukilau Cafe from Hukilau Beach.  It's just a few minutes down the road, located at 55-662 Wahinepe'e Street on the North Shore.

Watch for the small, yellow sign at the Y-intersection.  Don't worry if you miss it, just take the next turn.  Just be aware, the Hukilau Cafe gets crowded over the weekends and for lunch.

Check out Travel Channel's Man vs Food video with Adam Richman as he visits the Hukilau Cafe.  It starts around 1:00.  The two highlights here are the Hukilau Burger and loco moco.  The Hukilau Burger has a lot of protein for a regular sized burger.   The loco moco is huge.  This huge plate of gravy, two eggs, two burgers, rice, and more gravy will definitely fill up you.  Just what you need if you're starving.  If you want to read about the other restaurants in the video, click on: Helena's Hawaiian Food and the Mac-Daddy Challenge.

This is a small place with character.  The walls have signed pictures of celebrities, surfers, and professional athletes that ate here.  

And the wait is over.  The Hukilau Burger with all its goodness: 1/4 lb beef patty, teriyaki beef, egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Don't expect a Hubert Keller burger with truffle oil and kobe beef, but a big cheeseburger that will fill you up.  

Afterwards, you can say been here, done that, and got the T-shirt.

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