With its combination of tropical, cosmopolitan and rustic outposts, Hawaii provides inspiration at every turn. Here are our picks for a great escape to Hawaii.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, (800) 367-7060
Opened in 1963, this 42-acre tropical paradise features six native villages and demonstrations of the arts notable in each of them. With luaus and entertainment every evening, the center has become Hawaii’s top paid attraction with more than a million visitors each year.
553 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, (808) 447-3910
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, these three restored 19th century homes – two of which are the oldest houses in Hawaii – offer a unique look into Hawaii’s history.
900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 532-8700
The museum’s permanent collection includes 50,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years of history, with emphasis on Asian artists, American and European painting and decorative art and paper and textiles.
3610 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816, (808) 946-8742
Founded in 1900 and located in downtown Honolulu, the orchestra is the second oldest west of the Rocky Mountains. In addition to its Masterworks series, it also revels in its MusicThatPOPS performances with a pop culture flair.
901 Waimanu St., Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 799-2796
A blend of a family owned museum and a brew pub, The Brewseum features a collection of military, beer and Hawaiian memorabilia. Beers include the Pilot Pale Ale and Remember Pearl Harbor Dark Lager, released on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.
1130 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813, (808) 528-0506
Built in 1922, the theater is the only one of its kind in Hawaii, highlighting musical acts, plays, comedy shows and other performances and is listed on both State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Roy's Hawaii Kai (The Original)
6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 396 -7697
With a focus on fresh seafood, local ingredients, European sauces and bold Asian spices, this casually elegant restaurant also provides a stunning view of Maunaloa Bay.
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 737-0177
Inexpensive lunch and breakfast plates are the staples at this restaurant, which has served Honolulu for 50 years. If you like them, you can also take home the restaurant’s popular Hawaiian-style Chili Seasoning and Rub and Buttermilk Pancake.
2330 Kalakaua Ave #322, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 924-1849
Chef Roy Yamaguchi is credited with creating the Hawaiian fusion movement. Located at the International Market Place, Eating House 1849 shapes his visions (including a penchant for seafood) into a menu that blends Hawaiian plantation fare and and haute cuisine.
2330 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI, 96815, (808) 800-3094
At this high-end modern steakhouse, hand-cut slices of Japanese, Australian and American beef are slow-poached in butter, then seared in Chef Michael Mina’s signature style. The same attention is paid to the cocktail menu, with all juices, syrups and bitters hand-squeezed and housemade.
412 Lewers St., Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 564-7608
The fourth restaurant by Honolulu-born chef Ed Kenney, located in the Surfjack Hotel, Mahina & Sons focuses on home cooking and island cuisine, with an eye toward using local and organic ingredients.
1450 Ala Moana Blvd #1360, Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 973-9111
Under cherry blossom trees in the Ala Moana Center Mall, diners can experience a different sort of food court, with bistros and food stalls serving poke bowls, burgers, musabi and crepes. There’s a beer garden, a bakery and an outpost for the French restaurant the Vintage Cave.
2700 S King St., Honolulu, HI 96826, (808) 941-7778
Operated by the same family that runs Koa Pancake House, this casual spot puts a spin on breakfast favorites, such as a mocha waffle topped with guava puree or a spicy eggs Benedict.
418 Kuulei Rd., Kailua, HI 96734, (808) 260-1732
With a simple menu for comfort food, Over Easy serves breakfast all day with a few lunch options, emphasizing local ingredients.
2777 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 923-9741
The second oldest public aquarium in the United States features more than 3,000 creatures in a variety of exhibits on Hawaiian marine life, including a coral farm and a habitat for the endangered monk seal.
319 Lexington Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96818, (808) 441-1000
Located on Ford Island, an active military base accessed by shuttle bus from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, this museum hosts multiple aviation exhibits, most of which concentrate on World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, (808) 259-2500
This marine mammal park and bird sanctuary near Makapu’u Point allows guests to experience exhibits with dolphins, penguins, seals, turtles, stingrays, sharks and sea lions.
151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 971-7171
Open every day except Christmas, the zoo sprawls across 42 acres between the slopes of Diamond Head and Waikiki. It’s home to more than 900 animals, including Komodo dragons, elephants and primates.
2135 Waiola Street; 3113 Mokihana Street; and 1050 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, (808) 949-2269
The staggering volume of flavor choices – including margarita, bubble gum, star fruit and lychee - makes these counter-serve shave ice and ice cream shop a local favorite. Blending flavors is almost a requirement.
Ching Young Village Shopping Center, HI-560, Hanalei, HI 96754, (808) 826-6990
Favorites at this colorful shack (with an adjacent produce stand) include pineapple and coconut juice, of course, but the acai bowls also earn raves. Transactions are cash only.
66-200 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, (808) 341-2838
Family-run bakery and juice bar on the North Shore specializes in fresh baked goods and deli sandwiches, with ingredients grown on its own farm (or, if they can’t grow it, from another local source).
400 Royal Hawaiian Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 924-3200
Day spa offers customized packages for novice and experienced spa goers alike, with unique ocean massages set in a warm saltwater pool.
2735 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 321-3297
Daily morning and sunset yoga in group and private sessions are conducted for all levels. The more ambitious visitor can also sign up for a mindfulness hike.
101 Maalaea Rd Wailuku, HI 96793, (808) 242-0955
From December through March, northern humpback whales migrate to Hawaii’s warm tropical waters. Pride of Maui is so sure of where they’ll be its packages guarantee your cruise on a 65-foot Maxi Power Catamaran will result in a sighting.
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St., Poipu, HI 96756, (808) 518-4189
One of Kauai’s most popular adventures is ziplining, and Kauai Zipline offers five line or eight line packages that soar over three different valleys with mountain and ocean views.
600 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734, (808) 261-7997
White sand beaches and calm ocean waters are the hallmark of this quiet beach, where you can snorkel, swim or just enjoy the changing hues of blues and greens.
27-717 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781, (808) 964-5233
Over 2,000 species can be found on this nature preserve and sanctuary, a 40-acre natural greenhouse that houses a true tropical rainforest.
1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818, (808) 422-3399
This memorial marks the resting place of 1,102 sailors and Marines who were killed on the USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Accessible only by boat, ticket packages are available at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Kilauea, HI 96754, (808) 828-1413
Located on Kauia’s northern coast, this wildlife preserve is a habitat for some of Hawaii’s largest populations of nesting birds as well as home to spinner dolphins and monk seals.
1 Crater Rim Dr., Hawaii National Park, HI 96718, (808) 985-6000
Tour the heart of volcano country, including the Kilauea and Mauna Loa active volcanoes, on the Crater Rim Drive, which also takes visitors to a viewpoint overlooking the Halema’uma’u Crater. There are also day hiking trails as well as back country hiking.
Honolulu, HI 96815, (800) 464-2924
For some of the best Pacific views in Hawaii, hikers head up this U.S. National Natural Monument – a volcanic “tuff cone” - for a moderate hike that takes about 1 ½-2 hours.
1161 Nuuanu Avenue between S. Pauahi and S. Beretania Streets, Honolulu, Hi, (808) 674-7156
At this eclectic Honolulu shop, you can buy or sell vintage wear, including muumuus and Aloha shirts.
2716 South King Street between Kahuna and Kahoaloha Lanes, Honolulu, HI, (808) 951-1173
This shop carries a little bit of everything: surfboards and paddleboard (for rent as well as for sale), clothing and other surf accessories.
1236 Waimanu Street between Pensacola and Piikoi, Honolulu, HI, (808) 462-4575
No colorful muumuus here. At this stylish boutique, the clothes are strictly women’s designer wear.
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 955-9517
The largest shopping mall in Hawaii is also the seventh largest mall in the United States, with stores including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96818, (808) 486-6704
Hawaii’s largest open air flea market, open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, features 400 stalls and a wide variety of Hawaiian goods.
94-790 Lumiaina St., Waipahu, HI 96797, (808) 676-1497
Outlet mall contains the usual suspects: Coach, Nike, Armani Exchange, Vera Bradley, Michael Kors and many more.
2201 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, (808) 922-2299
At this upscale mall, which has more than 110 shops and restaurants, the emphasis is on fine: fine dining, fine jewelry, fine apparel.