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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!

About Ala Moana

Today, while the name Ala Moana is nearly synonymous with the Ala Moana Center, the adjacent beach park, and the greater shopping district which it encapsulates, it was not always so. Kâlia, as the area was traditionally known as, was at one time swamp land predominantly composed of taro (a yam-like root vegetable popular throughout the Pacific) patches, though much of these were converted to fishponds buy the end of the 1800s (Hawaii News Now, 2010). Ala Moana itself can be translated to “Ocean Road” and was the result of a land reclamation scheme to create the public beach park in the late 1920s (Historic Hawai'i Foundation, 2018), officially taking its current its current name in 1947 (Pili,2023).

Accessed primarily from Waikiki via the Ala Moana Boulevard, the district is also home to several high-rise luxury condos, as well as the Ward Village living and shopping complex. The immediate vicinity also offers ample shopping for groceries and standard consumer goods, as opposed to luxury mall department store goods; a Whole Foods, Walmart, and Target are all just minutes away from the namesake park, as is the lesser known outside of Hawaii, Don Quijote, a large and colorful Asian grocery store based out of Tokyo, Japan, that offers ample takeout food and a variety of a unique items.

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