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Honolulu and Oahu Island Life

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Embracing the culture and opportunities of living in Honolulu and on a small island in the Pacific Ocean.
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Waimea Bay, Hawaii 96712, USA
If you are looking for high surf, winter is the time of year to visit Hawaii. And, Waimea Bay is where you can find some of the biggest walls of water tumbling into the beach. Lifeguards bark instructions to a wayward crowd who are tempted by the...
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57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731, USA
If the touristy Waikiki scene isn't your style, I recommend booking a room on the North Shore, where life is quieter, less congested, and more "local." Turtle Bay is the only resort hotel located on Oahu's North Shore and the perfect place to get...
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2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
An experience that many people look for when they visit Hawaii is the classic Waikiki Beach scene. With so many hotels along nearby Kalakaua Avenue (Waikiki's main street), there is a place for everyone. One of the favorite events in Waikiki is...
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Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Even before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lantern Floating Festival. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend in May at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the 2012 celebration where...
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66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #101, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Uncle Bo's has easily become my favorite place for a cocktail and pupus (Hawaiian for "appetizers"). Not particularly splashy on the outside, the interior has a bit more character, and their food is something special. Uncle Bo's Thai style clams...
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2233 Kalakaua Ave Suite 304, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Never being an adventurous sushi eater, I have no problem savoring every bit of every dish I have had at Doraku Sushi in Waikiki. In fact, nearly every time I have visitors in town, I suggest we head to this restaurant. No one has left...
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Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
My one regret when traveling to Hawaii—that I didn't eat more food. From one of the many shrimp trucks that line the North Shore.
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Kapiolani Park Beach, Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis, HI 96815, USA
The Hawaiian Islands are made up of many more cultural groups than Hawaiian Islanders and white settlers. Located between Asia and North America, the blend of cultures is much different than the other 49 States. Every time I host guests in ...
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53 - 360 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717, USA
A trip to the North Shore is a must for any visitor on Oahu. It is an easy day trip from Honolulu or Waikiki to swing around Hawaii Kai up the windward (east) side of the island and make several stops along the way. The best shrimp in Hawaii is up...
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59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
A lesser known tourist stop on the North Shore of Oahu, and about an hour drive from Honolulu, is Ted's Bakery. While you can pick up some of the fantastic pies from Ted's at supermarkets around the island, there is nothing better than 'fresh' and...
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2330 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
*Unfortunately this market has closed to make way for new development. It might surprise you to know that one of the best places for your touristy Hawaiian Islands souvenirs is at the International Market; smack dab in the middle of Waikiki....
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Round Top Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
My favorite part about living in Hawaii is the view from where I live. I am tremendously blessed to have the spectacular 'perch' that I do looking over Diamondhead, Waikiki, Honolulu, and past the airport to Ko'olina. If you are looking to see...
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Maunawili, HI 96734, USA
Eons of running water are responsible for Hawaii’s escarpments and canyons. After a rainfall, innocuous streams, pools, and waterfalls can swell to impressive sizes. For an easy hike, walk along the Maunawili Falls trail on Oahu to glimpse the...
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45-550 Kionaole Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
It’s not your hometown suburban country club. Golfers at any of Oahu’s dozens of open courses may be distracted by all the surrounding beauty—or the setting might inspire their game. Either way, there’s a course for all levels, from the nine-hole...
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2760 Round Top Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
You are lucky the sun only rises and sets once a day on Hawaii—otherwise, you’d spend all of your time transfixed by the horizon. Hike to the leeward (eastern) side of any island on a clear evening and train your eye over the ocean in search of...
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Hanauma Bay, Hawaii 96825, USA
Hawaii's waters boast an exciting wealth of biodiversity, accessible with a swimsuit and a snorkel. The rocky shores of Richardson Beach on the Big Island are a favorite jumping-off point for humans and sea turtles alike, while the island’s...
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Honolulu, HI, USA
There's a certain kind of peace that one feels when basking in the Waikiki sun. You go there, banana daiquiri on one hand, and a trusty old camera on the other. You capture the moment and say to yourself, "ahh...this is paradise."
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1185 Kaluanui Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Couples can retreat into a different world for the day by exploring Hawaii’s mountains. The meandering, rain forested trails of the Koo’lau Mountains are a quick drive from Honolulu—the Mariner’s Ridge Trail opens to reveal...
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Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Sunbathing—throwing down a towel, propping up a beach umbrella, and idly sifting sand through your toes—remains one of the greatest pleasures of visiting Hawaii. Lanikai beach on Oahu ranks as one of the world’s best, inspiring devotion with its...
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Makapuu Lighthouse Rd, Hawaii Kai, HI, USA
For some reason (beyond jetlag), I wake up very early in Hawaii. Perhaps it's the promise of early morning view like this one, after a pretty simple hike.
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2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
These days, any spa worth its sea salt offers Lomi Lomi massage, but knowledge of the technique was once restricted to five Hawaiian lineages. Westin Moana Surfrider therapists train with these families, keeping the tradition strong. 2365 Kalakaua...
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2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A stroll down Kalakaua Avenue is always great for people watching, shopping, and dining. In September 2013, the Royal Hawaiian Center reopened the Helumoa Hale and Royal Grover on Kalakaua. This beautiful grove provides authentic Hawaiian hula,...
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Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, USA
Before I moved to Hawaii, I was able to take a short "scouting" trip to sort out where I wanted to live and learn about the island of Oahu. I stayed with some generous friends on Kaneohe Bay on the windward side of the island who had a lovely view...
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Ka‘Iwa Ridge, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
Starting a day with a hike on the Lanikai Pillbox Trail is a popular way to get out of Honolulu for a magnificent morning sight. Although the view is beautiful any time of day, most people prefer to visit the pillboxes (bunkers constructed during...
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2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Duke Halapu Kahanamoku remains one of the most iconic figures from Hawaiian history. He is credited with spreading the sport of surfing and represented Hawaii as a five-time Olympic athlete who even took home the gold medal in swimming. Duke's...
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Pearl Harbor, HI 96701, USA
On my first day in Hawai'i, I stopped by the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It was sober reflection of what transpired on that fateful day. This was an experience never to forget.
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Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Great way to start a morning. A nice little walk to the Diamond Head peak.
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423 Kaumakani St, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Unlikely as it may be, if you climb the steps to 1208ft (or 368m) at Kokohead, there is quite a bit of street art...er, trail art. Usually spotting the tagging at the conclusion of an intense and beautiful hike is a disappointment, but the...
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1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA
this was an amazing and very humbling visit to Pearl harbor. the ferry ride to the Arizona will get you to shed a tear for sure. prepare to be choked up.
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2255 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
For an evening out that includes tropical concoctions, a brilliant sunset venue, a warm and passionate atmosphere, and a beachside locale in Waikiki, I enjoy spending an evening at RumFire at the Sheraton Hotel. The people watching is plentiful...
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2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
“Drinks by the pool” has a lovely ring to it doesn't it? To those of us who are “old-time kama'ainas,” it reminds me of a simple era when grownups bedecked in Ray Ban Cats and Lauhala label ensembles would wander over to our house to enjoy a drink...
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2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Everything about the Blue Hawaii cocktail at the Shore Bird Restaurant says "tropical island paradise." The icy blue color of the blue curaçao is enough to cool any sunburnt skin down and providing for a relaxed mood to enjoy the sun's decent into...
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2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The Hilton Hawaiian Village has built a little kingdom associated with the resort property on the beach in Waikiki. Pools, restaurants, shops, a beautiful beach, and well maintained landscapes allow guests to meander seamlessly from one activity...
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8483 Highway 72, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Before landing in Honolulu and visiting Oahu for the first time, it is important to note that the island is 44 miles long and 30 miles wide. To reach the North Shore, visitors will either want to arrange a tour, rent a car, or be prepared for a...
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3435 Waialae Ave #104, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
For folks who want to leave Waikiki for exotic drinks, Town is a classy favorite of the locals. Located on Waialae Avenue, the warm and intimate atmosphere will have patrons ordering several cocktails, like this grape caipirinha to cool off after...
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2815 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The War Memorial Natatorium was originally built in 1927 to remember those who fought and served in World War I. It is a (now closed) saltwater swimming pool built right off the beach and into the Pacific Ocean. The Duke Kahanamoku, renowned...
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1130 Bethel St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
In case of inclement weather, Honolulu has a beautiful indoor entertainment option at the Hawaii Theatre. Shows include opera, concerts, plays, ballets, and nearly anything that can be performed on a stage! The historic vaudeville theater was...
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11 Arizona Memorial Dr, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA
Many people go to the USS Arizona memorial, watch the film, and then take the shuttle out to the sunken ship, but plan to spend a bit more time at this park. The museums here are excellent, the grounds are beautiful, and pay the extra admission...
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5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
One of the prettiest spots on Oahu.
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417 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Known today as the Hawaii Five-O headquarters façade, Aliiolani Hale means "house of the heavenly king" in the Hawaiian language. The building was designed under King Kamehameha V and served as a palace with government offices for the Kingdom of...
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45-550 Kionaole Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
Camille's on Wheels is a roving food truck. Undoubtably, the blue and green truck will be on Oahu, but finding Camille's location can be like a game of hide-n-seek. Camille cooks for film crews and caters events. Her food is prepared from scratch...
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Waialua, HI 96791, USA
There is no better way to end the day than with a Hawaiian sunset on the north shore of Oahu.
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Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Ala Moana Beach Park is a long skinny thread of land on the beachfront between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. The atmosphere is much calmer than Waikiki, though large events are often held at the Park—like the Floating Lantern Memorial and the...
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Laniakea Beach, North Shore, HI 96712, USA
On a lovely Hawaiian Sunday afternoon, my sister and I made our way up the windward side of Oahu to spend a day sightseeing, scoping out surf spots, and meeting friends at Ted's Bakery (http://tedsbakery.com). Along with our haupia pie, we also...
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940 Auahi St #140, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
I first visited Wahoo's Fish Taco in Denver and have been going back ever since. It seems much more appropriate that Wahoo's, with its surfboarding theme, has a location in Hawaii. The location I frequented is in Ala Moana. Time permitting, I...
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Ala Moana, Honolulu, HI, USA
The Mai Tai is the state of Hawaii's signature drink. Some airlines (Alaska Airlines) even provide complimentary mai tai beverages just prior to landing for passengers who are flying to the Islands. Mai Tais are a mix of tropical fruit juices...
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Getting around Oahu was a breeze on my Vespa scooter. My 250cc engine was enough to easily get me over the Koolau Mountain passes and zip to the grocery store. For experienced drivers, a big scooter or motorcycle ride around Oahu feels like an...
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Maunalaha Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
In the land where the sun shines and the temperatures rarely require a sweater, decorating for the holidays in Hawaii takes on a different look and feel than it does throughout the rest of North America. I drove by this little arrangement every...
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31 N Pauahi St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Of all the little cafes and restaurants in Honolulu, we picked HASR Bistro to celebrate a friend's birthday over lunch. The chef has started several Honolulu restaurants and teamed up with HASR Wine owner for this little treat. We all loved our...
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2055 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
When my friends came through Honolulu and said they had a room at the Hale Koa, I had an opportunity to see what the resort is all about. The Hale Koa is dedicated to providing service men and women of all ranks with a place for rest and...
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2424 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Every afternoon about 5:30 PM, islanders and connoisseurs of sunsets arrange themselves at their favorite beach side vantage point on the west and south shores of Oahu for a chance to see the legendary “green flash”. In all of my years of living...
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An unexpected ethnic cuisine in Honolulu can be found at Soul de Cuba. Not only is a taste of Cuba available, but the restaurant serves up amazing food! My favorite lunch item is the pan con bistec - a simple beef sandwich with just the right...
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310 Kamakee St, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Local Hawaiian Barbecue is easy to come by in the Islands. And, no fast food or plated lunch chain makes it easier to taste a bit of Island food than L&L Barbecue. Menu favorites include Kailua Pork and Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken. To try something...
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1050 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
It might be the middle of the City, and it might be at the major concert hall in Honolulu, but Wednesday evenings are typically reserved for the Ward (aka Honolulu) Farmers Market. Tents go up, and local food vendors and farmers display their...
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601 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
It's late and you're out with friends or bringing the family back to the hotel after a long day at the North Shore. Everyone's hungry for a filling snack—or a late dinner. Back on the U.S. mainland, you might consider dropping by a Denny's, but in...
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925 Maunakea St # C2, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Once a week I allocate $3.65 for my favorite lychee bubble tea. The frozen beverage with black tapioca pearls tastes so delicious on a hot day. And, I also found that it provides a great deal of headache relief. The mom and pops store is run by a...
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41-037 Wailea St, Waimānalo, HI 96795, USA
A trip on Oahu's windward side to the North Shore is not complete without a stop at the yellow Shrimp Shack. Two wonderful women operate this truck and serve up locally sourced fresh shrimp and other delicious food. As a warning, the meals are...
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Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
The Pali Puka trail is a short distance, but the trail was much more exposed and challenging to negotiate than the length of path suggests. The trail is hidden beyond the parking lot at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout and follows along the ridge line of...
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49-227 Kamehameha Hwy # A, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
For one of the best tours in Hawaii, I send my friends and family to Tropical Farms. The talented, laid back, and comical tour guides provide an entertaining history of the Hawaiian Islands through the fruits that grow on the Islands - including...
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49-479 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
For an out of the way place to enjoy a lazy day, head to the Kualoa Regional Park. The open spaces allow for unbelievable views of the Koolau Mountains and the Chinaman's Hat (Mokolii) Island. It is also a great place to bring a picnic lunch, play...
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2863 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Tiki torches light up this lanai (patio) at the Hau Tree Lanai where dining is extraordinary and Island spirit is at its finest. Guests at the Hau Tree sit nestled in the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel's property behind a large leafy hau tree that...
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226 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
For a beautiful and tasteful evening out, Roy's Restaurant prepares extraordinary meals. The Hawaiian fused flavors are inspired by Asian cuisine with local aloha. This Lakanilau roll is made with fine ingredients and the presentation is...
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A lei is basically any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn. This explains why I received not only the more typical flower leis but also some non-flower leis on my last visit. However, the most popular concept of a lei in...
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Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI, USA
In Honolulu it seems like any reason is a fantastic reason to have a parade on Oahu. Traffic is held up and diverted all over Waikiki's slim peninsula, and the streets are flooded with brilliant colors and the sounds of marching bands. The...
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1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Several traditional shopping malls dot Oahu including Ala Moana Center. Across from the Ala Moana Beach Park, it's easy to spend a day shopping and sunbathing! The open air walkways and tropical shops indicate shoppers are in Hawaii, but most...
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4211 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
If you visit Kahala Mall, you might come across this statue of Jack Lord. Known for his role as Steve McGarrett on the original Hawaii Five-O. The mall is a traditional shopping center with department stores and shops on the edge of Kahala's high...
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2522 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
There's really "no worries" if you leave anything at home when you come to Hawaii. ABC Stores have nearly everything a traveler could want, plus every sort of Hawaii souvenir you can think of. Not only are the stores well-stocked, but they're...
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98-1005 Moanalua Rd, Aiea, HI 96701, USA
The only monorail in Hawaii goes to the mall. Actually, Pearlridge is only the second largest shopping mall on Oaha (Ala Moana is bigger). There are three mall areas in the complex that includes five major department stores and a multitude of...
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330 Royal Hawaiian Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
You don't have to be at an airpot to go duty-free shopping. Always beautifully decorated, duty-free T Galleria carries such major brands as Burberry, Tumi, and Michael Kors. You'll find everything from clothing and accessories to wine and premium...
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1 Aloha Tower Dr, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
The Aloha Tower is an iconic and historic landmark in Hawaii. Built to show the Aloha spirit to Honolulu in 1926 and to house the Harbor Master’s traffic control center for Honolulu Harbor, the tower still stands to serve those initiatives. The...
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47-200 Kahekili Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
Every time I drove by the Valley of the Temples, I was curious about what lay beyond the sign for the memorial park. One day, when driving around the Island, I drove in and saw the beautiful cemetery grounds nestled under the Koolau Mountains. The...
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37 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
One of the shortest and usually easiest hikes on Oahu is on the Manoa Falls Trail. The trailhead is easy to find, with the Rainbow's End Snack Shop nearby. The trail can be a little treacherous in wet weather. The muddy path becomes quite slick. A...
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2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Paddleboarding is an easy water sport to learn in Hawaii. After you get on your board, all you have to do is sit and paddle around the bay. For the slightly more adventurous soul, you can stand and paddle parallel to the shoreline, maybe even ride...
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2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
An esteemed and award-winning hotel, the Halekulani will treat guests to a perfect stay in Honolulu. Located just off the Waikiki strip, the quieter atmosphere allows guests to soak up the Island peacefully with easy access to the attractions that...
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1329 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Bring your taste buds and your sense of culinary adventure to Sushi Izakaya Gaku. Izakaya means "sake shop." This shop is full of beautiful seafood and a more social dining environment than traditional restaurants. Dishes, prepared right in front...
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3660 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
For a special evening out, or just to enjoy a well prepared and elegantly presented meal, book reservations at 3660 On The Rise. The Euro-Island fusion restaurant blends the flavors of Europe and Asia on an exquisite menu. Every dish comes out of...
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2028 Kūhiō Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
With great service and flavorful Thai food, visit Keo's Thai Cuisine on the Ewa (west) side of the Waikiki strip on Kuhio Avenue. The restaurant has generous seating and accommodated a group of eight when I visited. Their food tastes great and...
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2552 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar is ranked among one of the best restaurants of its kind. While in Waikiki, the walk to Sansei is rewarded with dishes like Lobster Ramen, and phenomenal sushi rolls, and ahi poke. Gluten free and vegan...
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2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The vibe in Waikiki is the most frenetic of all the spots in the islands, but there is an escape. The scene at the current iteration of the classic Hawaiian hangout, Duke's, is a step back even by Oahu standards. Best approached via the beach to...
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600 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
My favorite coffee shop on Oahu is Morning Brew in Kailua. They make a wonderfully flavored latte and a delicious bowl of oatmeal, too. The atmosphere is lively, but warm and comfortable. Wi-Fi makes it easy to peck out an email back home, or...
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1001 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Brewing Kona Coffee, the Honolulu Coffee Company has locations throughout the City. The cafes also have a selection of baked good inspired by the Islands. For something different than Starbucks, Honolulu Coffee Company is an excellent choice to...
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Kaka'ako, Honolulu, HI, USA
Kakaako is a beautiful area of Honolulu. Thus far it has been slow to develop, but most of the area is slated for high-rises and shopping centers. Walking around the park can be a great way to unwind during a business trip, or take the family...