The North Shore is known for its sand and surf, but an awesome, albeit lesser known thing to do in Oahu's "country" is ride horses. And Happy Trails Hawaii, a family-owned and operated outfitter that guides guests along trails weaving through the forest while overlooking the ocean, has a reputation for providing the best horseback experience. During the ride, guests take in views of Waimea Valley far below, and they can also see aerial views of the majority of popular North Shore surf breaks.
Come ride me! — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Located up in Pupukea, a lush and large neighborhood resting high above the North Shore on a secluded plateau, Happy Trails has its own lush property made up of seemingly endless forested acreage with a panoramic view of the ocean. Guests have the option of a 1.5-hour ($79) or a two-hour ride ($99), with a minimum age of five years old.
Rides begin at 8:45 am with the last one offered at 5:30 pm. It can be a good idea to choose the first or last ride of the day, which would enable visitors to take advantage of sunniest part of the day and enjoy the North Shore's gorgeous beaches.
Horse in paradise — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
After (or before) your ride, have lunch down the hill at Pupukea Grill, a local favorite that serves up healthy and quick meals to be eaten there at a picnic table or across the street at the beach. Before leaving the North Shore, watch the sun sink below the horizon from Sunset Beach for a perfect end to the day.