The North Shore of Oahu has been recognized as a special place for as long as people have been on the island. Once the site of the largest heiau, or temple, it contained two large valleys and other things considered so valuable that bloody wars were fought over their control.
Later, the North Shore became famous for sugar, pineapples, ranching, and the plantation life that brought thousands of immigrants from all over the world to the most remote part of Oahu.
It was on the North Shore that Hawaiians mixed with Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Koreans, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Spaniards, Irish, Scots, English, and Americans to mold the rural yet cosmopolitan society for which Hawaii is now famous. Today, the Hawaiian temples are silent, sugar is gone, and only remnants of the old plantation buildings and ranches remain. But the North Shore’s fame is now refocused, as it is recognized as the surfing capital of the world.