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IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

Wish You Were Here!

Welcome to Waikiki!

Waikiki; odds are this is where you’re staying, and where most tourists spend the most amount of time; and there’s a reason for that – there’s a lot to do here! Waikiki is a lot like Times Square: iconic, flashy, and what everyone thinks of when someone mentions NYC. But if you just stayed there your whole vacation, you’d never know how awesome Jackson Heights is! But it definitely shouldn’t just be written off as played out either. Waikiki is the tourists playground; from sunny beaches with crystal blue water and world class eateries to shop-till-you-drop retail centers and festivals on the regular – such as the Aloha Festivals or my favorite, the Waikiki Spam Jam!.

Picture this: you’ve arrived at your hotel last night, and you’ve woke up ready to enjoy your Hawaiian vacation – its time for breakfast! Maybe you’ll get the hearty and protein rich loco-moco from Eggs n’ Things, or maybe a light and refreshing acai bowl from ALOH Health Bar & Cafe.

You want to go swimming, but you realize your biggest mistake: you left your swimming suit on the bed at home! Not to worry: one of your best friends in Waikiki is going to be the ABC Store: somewhere between a 7/11 and a beach themed miniaturized Walmart, these stores (located about every two hundred feet) have everything you need and then some; beach supplies, souvenirs, snacks, clothing, and plenty of grab and go alcohol (it’s always five o’clock in Waikiki)! Once you’ve got what you need, head right across the street to the beach – use Safe Beach Day to check current water and weather conditions! It’s always a good idea to wear water shoes in Waikiki; virtually all of the beaches were built on shallow reefs with sharp rocks and coral – though the risk is higher in some areas than others. After swimming around a bit, you might start to get lust a little hungry again; head over to the Musubi Cafe for a uniquely Hawaiian snack!

Next you want to go shopping. While there are plenty of standalone big-name luxury retailers around, you decide to check out the Royal Hawaiian Center, full of boutiques of all kinds! The center also puts on events such as hula dancing, musical performances, and craft activities all free and open to the public almost daily! You’ve done so much already that you head back to your hotel and rest for a few hours.

Just like that, Its dinner time! You cant go wrong with tonkatsu ramen and a “frozen” beer from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Momosan, but maybe you want to try dining like a local at the Rainbow Drive-In down the street! As the sun starts to set people flock to the beach – it’s like no other sunset you’ve seen before; a big orange ball sinking beneath a watery horizon dazzling the sky – no sunglasses required! Night falls, and you decide to walk around a bit – just see what you can see. There are tons of street performers (some paid, some out working for themselves, some just goofy regular people). Tuesdays and Saturdays you can watch the free hula show at Kuhio Beach from 6:30-7:30, and every Friday at 7:45 there’s a wonderful fireworks display at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but they can be seen from mostly anywhere in Waikiki.

After an awesome first day in Hawaii, you head back to your hotel, and start planning what fun activities you’ll do tomorrow!

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