OAHU: arrival-stock up water/drinks, check restaurant closed days, Check tide charts avoid jellyfish on beaches 1week/month; buy sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
*Zippy’s: Great hash brown egg breakfast, long john or crispy donut, Cornbread + Chili, portugese sausage biscuit Bfast, sweet bread Bfast, ramen; Napoleon bakery has Haupia cake; (65y/o Senior coffee), large space, cold AC J, parking
*Kenko-Ya: 46-047 KAM Hwy, Kaneohe Bay Shopping Center 4/196, good variety, Best Tofu, butter fish OMG! Sukiyaki, Teriyaki chicken, (ok unagi) A find, busy japanese sushi, near Safeway, we repeat regularly.
*Haliewa joe’s: Haiku Gardens, 46-336 Haiku Rd Kaneohe, HI 808-247-6671 Dinner only, 4:30pm-10pm get huge prime rib! (no reservations, call ahead to make sure how many prime ribs left, “med-rare, on med side, only fresh cut”), open restaurant in a garden (must use mosquito repellent esp @ dusk), split prime rib, get cesars! The Haliewa location restaurant is open both L&D, grilled salmon, fish taco. HH extensive menu 4:30pm-6:25pm for Pupus (we prefer dinner and dessert), Li Hee Mui blended Margarita is delicious. Paradise pie is in top 10 favorites!
*Morning Brew: 4/336 coffee
*Teddy’s Bigger Burgers: 46-021 Kamehameha Hwy 10-9pm, easy park, Large Strip Mall next to Safeway, Starbucks
Snow Factory 45-480 Kaneohe bay 808-247-5750 11-6pm shaved ice with toppings
Tanuki Sushi: L+D, 4.5/106, 45-556 Kam Hwy inside KooLau building CALL reserve 808-888-8812
Got’z Grindz: open @ 6am Musube to order, new
Shaka Shaka Tea Express: ’19 fresh fruit juice bar w/out all additives, bubble tea, café 10:30am -8:30pm, 4 locations -?try
*Fresh Catch: 4.5/505, 45-1118 Kamehameha Hwy, locals eat here, off the Like-like on way to Kaawa. ok Poke bowls- ?too sweet) Eat in, drive thru or cater. [we prefer Tamura’s] 2nd location on Wailaie.
Mokolii Island: north end of Kaneohe, off of Kualoa Regional Bay Park, great spot for photos, unique shape (called Chinaman’s Hat) has sea caves and two small beaches, one secluded cove facing the ocean. Low tide walk with reef shoes or kayak, climb up to the top for a stunning view majestic Koolau Mountains 20-minute climb is strenuous and leads through thick brush, dirt and lava ledges, also a seabird nesting ground. see the distinctive profile of Kamehameha’s Turtle, Mokapu peninsula. Legend has it that the turtle safeguards a secret underwater tunnel, which was used by King Kamehameha I, Hawaii’s warrior monarch, to reach the island of Molokai. Today the peninsula is the home of a marine base. FYI, small hammer head sharks.
Ko’olau Mt range: between Kaneohe and ranch, beautiful, sacred power and mana=spirit emanates from cliffs; waterfalls.
*Tropical Farms 49-227 Kamehameha 808-237-1960 variety of fresh macadamian nuts, kona coffee samples, chickens, tourist stop to crack nuts, easy enjoyable stop w/BR buy local items. 9:30am-5:30pm daily!
*Kualoa Ranch: 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy Kaneohe East side, call and reserve ahead to ride horses and ATV rides; favorite! 9-5pm 808-237-7321 [Jeep tour every 30” 1hr $27/Adult call avail @10am, jungle tour, horse ride-ck in 30” ahead, 2hr ATV – 10% off if have a resident card @ purchase: we know of falls and injuries, very dirty but the kids go every time! Wanda and Paul like it] Pat’s café, gift store and vacuum beef for sale in refrigerator.
Farm Tours and Zipline at Ranch.
Waiahole: (means water):
*Waiahole Poi Factory: 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy #808-239-2222, 10am-6pm daily, 4.5/477 (#1 or 4, share +extra side Lomi salmon), #2 Squid luau+ Laulau, best lomi salmon, authentic Hawaiian food, HIW hidden gem, sit inside or outside, to-go box, sell logo T-shirts, close to Kaaawa! Lopaka buys fresh hand pounded poi by gallon here, food made traditional way. (1st stop airport to house)
*Waiahole Nursery & Garden center: 48-190 Kam Hwy, Kaneohe. 9-6pm, 808-239-6311, plants healthy, Florist, gift shop, local, sisters run for mom, Koi-lapita fish for sale, Sat classes, Students in Trailers 3 mth program; buy local papayas and leafy greens here
Beach House 51-355 Kamehameha Hwy 96730 after you see Kaaawa Beach Park, the last house on the ocean side before gets sandy area again, opposite the Ko’olani Mts.
Kaaawa Beach: small, local spot, fishing, walking, BR, Busy road, if need to U turn, go to “Oheilkai Rd – safer to turn around, or follow road behind to exit at intersection. lots cars before 10am and after 3pm till 8pm; traffic can add 30” to any of these time estimates.
[Directions from Aston Banyan Hotel in Waikiki: 201 Ohua St @ Kuhio Condo T1-1701, (closeby Café Sweet E’s or Café Kaila bfast) make L Kapahulu, LWailaelae, H1 West (4.3 mi), take Exit #20A Likelike Hwy (#63 North) across Mts (#61 Pali Hwy also works -but prefer 61 if going to Kailua). Stay on R to Hwy 83 Kahekili Hwy, …straight up Kamehameha Hwy
Hauula: (see tall trees in Mt)
*Tamura’s: great Poke bowl $7.99 to 10.99 – our favorite = Tamura’s special, Hawaiian is spicy; great taste salmon poke and sometimes has Hamachi poke! Supermarket has Koloa rum punch from Kauai – served on HA flight. Sit at end of strip picnic tables, locals practice Hula, good meeting spot.
Gunstock Horse riding stable = next to the long beautiful Fenced road – people jog, bike etc
Trail: white fence, parallel to Hwy for walk, jog, bike with breathtaking open views with far off Mts
*Food Land: largest one in area (seniors 5% off Thur, if over 60 years)
*Cackle Fresh Egg farm: get fresh eggs here! jumbo 20 for $4.45, local bananas
Ken’s Fresh Fish: knows Lopakka, 2$ 55-730 Kam Hwy, Tu, Wed, Fri, Sat,11am-5:30pm,cash, spicy poke, ahi katsu
PCC Polynesian cultural center: half or full day tourist spot, Samoan Hx show (Alamo magazine: rental car and key, contract, one person free preview one hour) 6-7pm daily in Dec live music free. BYU and McDonalds.
Kahuku: (has the best papayas, try sunrise =red ones)
*Fumi’s Shrimp truck: 56-777 Kamehameha hwy 10am-7:30pm, Darlene’s and now Doug’s favorite!, organized, shrimp ponds all around.
*Giovanni Shrimp Truck: good, but ?Haleiwa side truck- better? Or just longer wait?
*Farm Table Café: Kahuku Farms, 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, smoothies, tables and sitting area behind, 5/448, 2$11am-4pm, try Haupia pineapple smoothie $5, half papaya w/sorbet $4.5, wagon tour, Papayas! smoothies, freshest, delicious food, vege Panini, grilled banana bread, across Romi’s shrimp, cleanest port-a-potty.
* Kahuku Farms Café and Tours: 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, farm tour AGU land next to Cafe
Climb works Keana Farms: Zipline North shore, 808-200-7910, www.keanafarms.com; Wili
Turtle Bay: resort, golf
*Roy’s Beach House: 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy 808-293-7697, 4/427, 3$, ocean view beach at Turtle Bay Resort, take-out window opened ’16.
*Green World Coffee Farm: 71-101 Kamehameha hwy 6am-6:00pm in Wahiawa, small roaster on way to north shore, mocha or cappuccino freeze (was too sweet), needs shot extra, lots of free tea and coffee samples local beans, open space. 4.5/333,
Ehukai Pillbox Hike
Haleiwa: (old Hawaii town) in North Shore H-1W, H-2, 99 to historic Haleiwa, Marketplace, cute shops, Pualani bikini wear, Aji Limo, Kua’ina, small town. [great day trip, best beaches in summer; watch giant swells in winter, beaches, tide pools, scenery, surf, Rock Jump Molokea, Pupukea, Kahuku]
Beach with Turtles but no crowds: Haleiwa boat pier across from H Joes restaurant, Kaleo and Sina’s family swim at this beach, less people and always see turtles mostly April to August, Traffic problems at Laniakea beach with tourist crossing.
*Dole Plantation: on way to North shore, pass Green Coffee; cut Pineapple demo, ice, nice Tourist stop, shop, maze,
*Shark’s Cove: tide pools, diving, shallow areas (not in winter), snorkel to see bright fish here like Haunama bay. Locals and families all go here.
*Haliewa town: expanded for blocks of shops on both sides, parking behind.
Farm to Barn Café & Juicery: 9am-3pm, closed Mon, Sun 2pm, 66-320 Kam Hwy, grassy area
*Coffee Gallery in Haleiwa: best Cappuccino Freeze (our absolute favorite! skip starbucks), Mocha Freeze (famous) dessert drink; Pearl’s favorite cold brew french- black, med’16,’17; free internet access! lots inside seating tables/ room with plugs along wall. Uncle’s handmade ice cream sandwich? Buy (Wed= free w/their cup) or bring any cup discount
*Haleiwa Bowls: ’17 moved, now across road from Haliewa Joes on Kamehameha Hwy, 4.5/245 (2nd to Beet box), made each fresh in past, Hawaiian style mix; 7:30am-6:30pm, Mon-Sun 808-551-9507.
*Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck: #1 ranked shrimp truck, see several Food trucks to the R on way to Haleiwa town. Gravel clearing, picnic tables, see writing on the truck; original famous scampi and garlic plate rice. 56-505 Kamehameha
Aji Limo – restaurant coming 2019
*Crispy Grindz: Brazilian acai food truck, 4/185 ?pastels, I go regularly near our place, 10% off fellow merchants, open daily 8:30am-7pm, $, 66-236 Kam Hwy (do not add extra fruit – $1 for a strawberry)
*Matsumoto on North Shore=most famous Shaved ice, vanilla ice cream, red bean, condensed milk, green tea flavor, long lines go fast. [Large size, condensed milk top, Lilikoi and guava= Kim, ice cream]
*Kuaina Sandwich = great burgers here, Doug gets tuna fish sandwich, pearl’s favorite grilled veggie for lunch, also can get a small green salad to go (Ward Center closed 2016)
*The Beet Box: great Acai bowl – Rio, tasty avocado toast 4*/111; one of Pearl’s favorite spots, acai, healthy foods. Sun 7-4pm, great AC, wifi, near HE>I. 2nd location in Kailua.
*Haleiwa Joe’s: 66-011 Kamehameha Hwy, 11:30-9:30pm, no reservations, dinner starts 5pm, 808-637-8005 sit down restaurant, both Lunch and Dinner at this site, prime rib @ dinner only, nice outside view, get catch of the day, fresh fish from area! 3rd Friday each month go at 4:30pm, 6pm packed for Hula and Fire show. Joe+ 3 daughters work here daily!
*Banzai Bowls: Doug’s favorite Acai ‘17- a blend, sorbet style and huge! Very refreshing, 59-186 Kamehameha hwy, sit across beach or at the thin counter @ window, limited seating, ignore personality, but fresh made.
*Banzai Bowls: 2nd site opened 2019, 62-594 Kamehameha #100, 7am-8pm, Sat, Sun 8am-7pm
*Foodland: across Sunset beach, very popular supermarket! Everyone gets poke there.
*Ted’s Bakery: 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa 96712, off R Sunset Beach, plates look good, shrimp plate lunch (just drain the oil) includes a dessert! choc haupia pie (Doug gets whole pie), macadamia nut or coconut cream pie; get whole coconut cake- soft for days, freezes well! NO to cheese cake; Open 7am-8pm Mon-sun; go early for best butter horn Danish (get the fluffiest one, different baker on Sun) – run out, #1 per Doug and Pearl, same level as malasada!
Haleiwa Beach Park: paddle, surf; St Peter Paul Church Tower and Beach areas
*Waimea Bay Beach Park: 61-031 Kamehameha Hwy, Clear waters, lots of sand, soft sand towards shore! option water-shoes! Shade near the rocks. Weigh down your towels, mats, or beach chairs -winds can get a little strong. stock up on water and food/snacks before arriving! Yes showers and foot faucets and accessible bathrooms! Locals and adrenaline junkies jump off the famous cliff jump! Baby jump further out requires swim, caution: sand has a quick deep drop and strong waves pull you out – careful.
*Sunset Beach Park: finest sand and the biggest waves. famous international surfing competitions during the winter season. The waves here reach more than 30 feet in total. incredible sunset views awesome during the warmer months. turquoise water, serene.
Surf Lessons and guided paddle-boarding lessons: glide under the famous Rainbow Bridge and close to island sea turtles.
*Kahuku Land Farms Stand: 56-781 Kamehameha local papaya, lichee, coconut, Best Kahuku Corn, fruits, heliconia; went when kids were young (GMa, side road open stands) 808-232-2202, cash only.
Sharks Cove: 59-711 Kamehameha Hwy, great Summer-time only spot beach for the family, cove is protected, in summer 1’ to 3’ surfs, located to the right of the tide pools. rocks so reef shoes needed, shallow calm water area to snorkel, Do Snorkel here to see more fish (parrotfish,chubs,jacks…) than Haunama Bay! Because marine sanctuary-no fishing. A local very popular dive (turtles, sharks, nudibranchs, slipper lobster,crab,eels…?orange cup coral) spot. Do NOT go in winter months, water swells 30’ will sweep you against rocks.
*Waimea Bay Beach park off Hwy 99 many beaches to stop at along the way; 2 rocks that people jump off of.
*Waimea Valley and Falls=hike to pools, gardens, costs to enter, have boards for use; clear water 30’ deep, optional: swim shoes for rocks, no beach, relax, favorite place to hike and swim. (per Jeannie, local serious swimmers go snorkeling to the right, swim a bit far out to the edge of the bay).
*Waimea Falls Farmer’s market: 2pm -7pm Thur afternoon farmer’s market in the best setting (love to make it here): live music, clothing, vegetables, picnic area, monkeypod trees, Job Brewer exotic woods 808-542-7069.
*Laniakea Beach – 61-676 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa 96712 “Turtle beach” “Honu sighting” Giant and baby green sea turtles year round, keep 3 feet away (do not stand like a wall of people or they stop advancing, poor vision), they stay away if strong currents, they feed on green algae, seaweed on the limestone shelves, rocks, Lock your car! watch traffic! Both sides. no sign, use phone GPS. Kim saw lots of colorful fish snorkeling close to beach. 4/18 Wanda and Paul photo 3 of them on the beach!
*Pualani Beach wear: for quality bikinis and island clothes- 2019 find!
*Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering 94-903 Farrington Hwy, Waipahu; after shopping Waikele, or if going to KoOlina 9am-3pm; on Fri, Sat till 5pm, poke goes fast 808-671-3779 4.5/695, freshest poke, spicy, limu, shoyu, garlic, fish patty, cone sushi, ocean salad, garlic chicken; best variety to cater a party! No eating area, take to-go, tied with Ono poke. Doug’s favorite.
*Waikele premium shopping outlet mall: 94-790 Lumiania St, stop on way to North shore, opens 9am-9pm, BCBG, Barneys, tommy Bahama #107 (Carlos= Assist manager 808-686-9030), Coach….
Kailua: straight across Pali Hwy = #61; very nice beach, safest, can paddle; great, clean place to live, pricey homes.
Water sports: Kailua Beach ½ day Surf camp, Waikiki Parasail, Guided Kayak adventure, Jet skiing, Scuba Diving
Beach Park: very safe, wind surf, people paddle out to Mokulua, the smaller of the 2 islands on the left to explore.
A+D jump off point: Alan Davis, Safe beach that young people jump into the water, all locals know this, Kim says not too high.
Ka’iiwa Ridge Trail = Lanikai Pill Boxes: great hike, need shoes, a great view windward coast. one of easier hikes on island also one of most scenic. Concrete guard posts.
Mokulua: 2 islands you can see to the right from the beach, can explore the small island on the left. http://surfnewsnetwork.com/ go to Lanikai Beach: Mokulua Dr Kailua has best white sand, top 10 beaches of world! see two iconic islands named Mokulua off the coast. Mokulua islands are actually seabird sanctuaries, but the larger of the two islands offer a small beach you can kayak against the current and wind to! just as beautiful to look at. best spot to snorkel is in between Mokumanu Drive and Haokea Drive. Parking lot limited, walk to L of life guard and less windy area with shallow baby water area and walk under Hwy to paddle board and see canoe club area right across from Buzz’s.
Pali Hwy: Connects downtown and windward side stop @ Queen Emma summer home and Pali Lookout
a beautiful hike to an amazing waterfall. A well-hidden gem, this 25-foot, 3 tier natural waterfall is found down the Old Pali highway built in the 1800’s, a quick and moderate hike then dip in pool.
*Uahi Island Grill: 33 Aulike St ’16, 808-266-4646 4*/227 11am-9pm red curry fish! = our favorite, ask fresh catch? Irie or garlic chicken, Ahi or Korean steak salad, great service, good groups, Moved from old spot ’16, call reservation if wkend.
*The Local Hawaii: 138 Hekill St Kailua, natural syrups no sugar added; get ginger, lillikoi, kona shaved ice card.
*Nalu Health Bar & Cafe: 131 Hekili St #109 9am-6pm daily Acai bowl 24oz “Nalu bowl” Pearl’s #1 favorite, best tasting, neat, highest quality (pure dark, not icy, smoothie style –will melt at end, fresh made to order (n/c substituted blueberries out for papaya) delicious nalo green salads (no to added meat)! wraps look very good (BR for the block is in the back! women’s code changes 01319#. Park free across and up the St in open lot near whole foods.
*Bee Tea: quality, Boba place on St.
*Teddy’s Bigger Burgers: 539 Kailua Rd, 10am-9pm (Doug-local best burger), only wipes- so starbucks to wash hands.
*Whole Foods: 629 Kailua Rd, 7am-10pm, salad bar, all types of high quality prepared food for take out, plenty of sitting areas to meet people.
*Morning Brew: 600 Kailua Rd 808-262-7770, Mon-Sun 6am-6pm, outdoor and upstairs seating, all day Bfast, Brunch, lunch; free wifi, 4/588 local place c/o Trevor, best iced coffee- Pearl’s favorite if black coffee (love peaberry). Top 6/HA
*Over Easy: brunch 418 Kuulei Rd #103 custard french toast, liliko mimosa, kalua pig hash, egg fried rice, pancake specials 4.5/151 Street park or use structure behind McDonalds 808-260-1732 No reservations, innovative brunch; our #1 Brunch 2018 Jen & Nick=Chef, owners
Easy Que: new 2019 BBQ, soft serve dessert, same owners, 767 Kailua Road, Suite 106, Kailua, (808) 762-3089,
Beet Box: 46 Hoolai St, 808-262-5000, 7am-4pm daily, Acai, Smoothies, Vegan, Lunch, like North Shore 1st cafe
*Buzz’s Original Steak House: 413 Kawailoa Rd. Kailua, 11am-3pm, 4:30-9:30pm, 808-261-4661 great Salad bar (pickled onions!), desserts, Crab Louie @ lunch only Thur (Doug’s favorite) and occasionally another day, try ribs, scampi (NO to prime rib) right across from Lanikai beach! Sit outside (ask for chop sticks to eat salad), great BR.
*Kailua Farmer’s Market: 609 Kailua Rd, behind Longs Drugs Thur 5:00pm-7:30pm music, papaya, kale, sorrel, Pig and
*Pali Lookout Nu’uanu: great place to view windward side Kailua to Kaneohe to Kahaluu
Waimanilo: awesome beach, strong waves, mixed area, one large homeless camp; most gardens and farms!
Sea Life Park Hawaii: 41-202 Kalanianole Hwy Aquariums, Parks, 9:30-4pm, $5 parking fee, gen admission $40, Alamo magazine get one free admission with rental car keys – restrictions, 808-259-2500. small but great hands-on for kids, “false killer whale and dolphin hybrid, wolphin. (do not pay for dolphin experience here)
*Ala Moana Shopping Center: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd (Neiman, Nordi, Escada, BCBG, MuiMui, Zara, something for everyone) 3 food courts – original and newer local vendors, new area near Uncle Clay’s HOPA. Kim and Mom love *Somisomi: 4.5/379, taiyaki soft serve “ah-Boong in Korea” ground floor 1450 Ala Moana Blvd; loved all Ube, taro cream in cone, frozen matcha, 10:30am-9:30pm, 7:30-Sun.
*Shirokiya Japanese Village: vibrant! huge ground level, lots of seating, fresh sushi, tempura, pearl’s favorite= grilled Miso soy butter fish, garlic chicken hand roll. Fruit and tapioca drinks; feels like we are in japan at “a mini-tokyo station.” Try Soba noodle! matured in 2019 packed w/hot pots and noodles, live music (skip the ice cream crepes)
*Longs: for sundry items,
*Honolulu coffee Co sitting area [get a french press pot for 2-4, we go to Waikiki Beach @ Moana Hotel]
Morton’s” HH“Power Hour” in the bar offers $5.50 beers, $8 wines and $9 “Mortinis” (martinis) and cocktails. This hideaway bar at Ala Moana Center, break from shopping, meet friends, free parking. Bar bites: potato chips, petite filet mignon sandwiches, tuna tacos, mini crab cake BLTs, prime cheeseburgers and a filet mignon trio—all for less than $9 each. 4 to 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing Sunday through Friday, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 349-1300
Liliha Bakery inside Macy’s – took space 2019
53 By the Sea: 53 Ahui, 4/592 lush, grand staircase, view Wakiki, surf turf 3$, try HH 53 by the Sea: 53 Ahui st, 4/577 808-536-5353, mansion, free valet park, HH for snack, drink, ambience, live music later, wedding site, $100 fix dinner service
T’s at 53, the walk-in-only bar at 53 by the Sea, happy hour posh pūpū- $15/dish. elegant seaside restaurant – fried calamari, crostini with avocado and tomatoes, and veggie tacos. view of Kewalo Basin and Diamond Head 4 to 6:30 p.m. daily, 53 Ahui Street, (808) 536-5353
Senia: 75 N King St. 808-200-5412, 4.5/105 American, 5:30pm-10pm, park Chinatown municipal lot off Nimitz up Smith St; bone marrow custard
*Akasaka: 1646 Kona St Ste B & Atkinson, behind Ala Moana shop center (go around to park in front lot, back lot is sketch & park in spots with restaurant name), 11am-2:30pm, 5pm – 12mn, get sashimi platter per Linda and Randy ’16 favorite sushi place!, 4*/334 salmon sashimi, HH special 9pm 20% off entire menu, Japan feel, older master chef.
*Moku Kitchen: 660 Ala Moana Blvd 88-591-6658, 3:30-5:30pm HH $9 all pizza, appetizers half off except seafood
Highway – local food like Helena’s but not as homemade, we wait for Helena’s
MW Restaurant: 1538 Kapiolani Blvd, 4/752 fix dinner $25pp, HH 2-5pm ; great afternoon tea; MW: 4/764, fancier, pacific fusion, yummy, great service, locally sourced, near ala moana per Carrie ’16 10:30-9pm. husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka (both formerly of Alan Wong’s), MW showcases just how wonderful and gracious Hawaiʻi fine dining can be. Menu favorites include the unagi-butterfish arancini, mochi-crusted ‘ōpakapaka, and coconut cake (featuring coconut in multiple forms and textures, much more than “just” a coconut cake).
*Morio’s Sushi Bistro: our #1 favorite 2019, 1150 So. King St #103 6:30-10:30pm 808-596-2288, 4.5/532, Lobster sashimi, fresh Uni, best value for traditional sushi/sashimi, keep calling around 2pm or reservation 1 month in advance for a weekend. only 2 seatings 6pm and 8:30pm with 14 seats; Get the omakase $80pp or ala cart, Valet only Park in building -they give a sticker so only 2 dollars, plus tip valet total $4-5.
*Lilikoi Bakery: Nimitz Hwy, take a # bakery (good, still have famous coco puffs – sweet for me), ’19 get Poi Taro donuts!! Still moist next day when bring back on plane. expanded menu @ old Sam Choy’s site, bfast (only ok).
*Imanas Tei Restaurant: 2626 S King St, Izakaya, very fresh sushi, best Nebi* hot pot, 5pm-11:30, 808-941-2626, 4.5/476, recommended by locals and Trase confirms good. Tried w/Ray Lulu ‘18 now a favorite dinner!
Halona Beach Coves: 72 Kalanianole Hwy 7” from Island Brew Hawaii Kai, see whales, jump rocks, downhill hike, some days less waves, filmed: from here to eternity, 50 first dates. Park Halona Blowhole lookout, 8699 Hawaii 72, hike down on flat rocks down.
*Shimazu Shaved Ice: 3111 Castle St – outstanding shaved ice, size (a small could feed 2 or 3), flavors, get double coconut cream! skip ice cream, Halo-halo; park lot, next Rainbow drive-inn. AC, hot dog and Poke stop, Elly’s family go here.
*Earl Sandwich: 1137 11th ave 4.5/414 – great tasting turkey sandwich per Doug ‘16, side cesars salad $3, get quality, 10am-4pm; one of top 3 sandwich spots on Oahu.
*The Curb Kaimuki: 3538 Waialae Ste 101 6:30am-7:30am 4.5/134 barista coffee, use cold brew for iced coffee; Kim says nicest people working Justin, owner Devin bought it from Sumner. 4.5/193, free wifi, 6:30am-3pm daily, 7am SS,
*Koko Head Café: 1145 C 12th Ave unique brunch food combos, fusion favors, ok coffee, clean, hip, good air conditioning, meetings 7am-2:30pm, run by top chef finalist Lee-Ann Wong but 4/992, Appetizer, Eggs Aloha, tried the corn flake French Toast + Bibim bap
Uncle Bo’s: Kristy’s favorite, 4/1,226 American, bar; 5pm-1am, calamari, prime rib
*Tamura’s Liquor Store & Deli: fresh delicious poke to-go picnic, 3496 Waialae Ave, Salmon, snow crab pike; tako kimchee, Wine and Poke market! Several locations including Kaimuki, May recommends, Jeannie – “best poke !!“ 9:30am-9pm; love Tamura’s special style Poke Bowl, winner of Hawaii’s best Poke 7 years in a row ‘16
*Town Restaurant: 3435 Waialae ave good fusion Italian, American in Kaimuki 808-735-5900 3.5* $$ hand cut pasta, menu changes daily, locals recommend for a change. Same owner of Mud Hen Water and Superette.
*Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery: 3632 Waialae Ave, 7am-9pm, 808-738-8200, park Center St R. turn up in lot 1hr free, love the Cake Bombs- guava-strawberry, good lemon, green tea, coffee ice cream, Malasadas- light, cakier style ’17 Andrew’s tip, try Lilikoi Bars.
Tonkatsu Tamafuji: 449 Kapahulu Ave 2$, 5/197, 4-9:30pm, lunch on weekends, fried foods, katsu, clam miso, free parking 1st Hawaiian bank: #1 Tonkatsu Pork per Cliff Tam, long lines start @ 4:30, Justin and Pauline tried Aug ’17, attention to detail, quality pork, panko crumbs made in-house, crisp crust; and accompaniments – a bowl of sesame seeds to grind fresh at the table, and then spoon into a plummy tonkatsu sauce.
*Kahala Mall: Apple store, Banan, CPK, Whole Foods, Cookie corner, Pearl’s Korean BBQ (eat inside the mall, less wind)
Brug Bakery: in Kahala Mall, get mochi donuts flavored
*Zippy’s: locals go for chili, portuguese sausage, sweet bread Bfast, ramen; Napoleon bakery Haupia cake; Russell’s fav long John’s dessert; Senior 50cent coffee, large space, AC, parking
*Plumeria Café restaurant @ Kahala Hotel and resort: our #1 favorite B-fast brunch and the best ambiance and view! We visit every time! stay for half the day, great beach, swim and sitting areas in and outside; tour of grounds and secret garden 10-11am; Dolphins quest great for kids; best kept secret Public Beach, wedding gazebo, photos, paddle board, get a beachside table outside: order continental $22 all papaya, parfait, smoked salmon, choc crossaint, juice; order separate latte if desired, Kona is weak now, french press only OK and a cornbeef hash =excellent; The Veranda (tea) upstairs lovely. Daily @ 6:30am.
*Olive Tree: best restaurant in the area, greek food, Soulvaka, per Trase
3848 Diamond Head Rd: near corner of Kahala Ave, Hutong Courtyard house
Doris Duke Shangri-La Estate: reservations and bus required, guided tour per Priscilla
*ARS Café (Art in latin) 4.5*/43) (top 5% coffee per Pearl, pricier) 6am-4pm beautiful wood bar,’16 local art place, real barista “Roland“ works every day and early! Great drip hot coffee black, great iced L. Americano, cold brew is light, same owners of Pioneer, Japan remodel, gelato, en suite restroom, air conditioning, no wifi so use iphone personal hotspot, tables to sit, clean.
*Diamond Head Market & Grill: market opens 6:30am-9pm. fresh moist blueberry scones per Wanda and Paul. (loaded cream cheese, ? heat in microwave, past Doug favorite) 3158 Monsarrat Ave. 808-732-0077 No latte type drinks, take out window has Bfast @ 6:30am but BBQ lunch starts 11am. ’16 finally discovered best salad to pick up and take on plane (no tomato or cucumber –seeds) back “Ahi salad or salmon tofu watercress salad with garlic soy dressing, teriyaki salmon belly (Pearl’s favorite) (run out so go early!); ok chicken musubi; try plantation tea, coconut bread pudding. (BR inside Coffee Bean and Tea next door, get stamp card large coffee or Americano, get cup of ice).
*Banan: food truck in lot across Aloha gas station, favorite custom order papaya half with swirl banan <$7
Diamondhead Crater: Hike trail is touristy, but if clear day, nice view of the southern coastline, go 7am early! 560 ft up steep Stairs, lighted tunnel, takes 60 -90 mins up and down, #1 hike on Oahu, rest of hikes all have more risk.
Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley: 4.5/120, 2250 Kalakawa Ave, Japanese, open daily 11am till 12mn, no reservations, casual, freewifi, loc in Waikiki shopping plaza 16 eateries and ramen bar ’17 15 concepts are tucked inside Yokocho, a subterranean Japanese food hall in Waikīkī featuring established operations straight from Japan. Highlights include the matcha and hojicha soft serve from *Nana’s Green Tea (the matcha parfait is a must, even if you only have 24 hours in town), tsukemen from Tsujita, musubisfrom Shichimusubi, and tempura at Kaneko Hanosuke. Little known secret: Every vendor offers a daily $9.95 lunch special.
Aston Banyan: 201 Ohua St at corner of Kuhio T-1 1701 (808-922-0555) Yee family condo. (parking pass and cabinet keys with Majorie or Cyndee in managers administrative office (808-931-3673) open only M-F, so plan ahead, will leave at front desk (will give you a one day pass if they forget!). Garage key opens Lobby level large clean BR (can change) next to Café (wi-fi, good coffee and Acai bowl) and the 6th floor sauna room. Tower II 5th Floor – laundry can change new towels and sign book for fresh beach towels and return or charged.
*Waikiki Beach Walk: Hotels and all the retail designers. Beach Walk on Lewers St btw Kalakawa and Kalia days open 10am-10pm 41 shops/restaurants [free activities: Ukelele Store free lessons 2nd floor 10:30am and 4:30pm daily, Mon Hot hula fitness on Lawn 5-6pm, Tues Quilt demo 2nd floor 10:30am-12:30pm, and Huula show 4:30-6pm, Wed Yoga on Lawn 4:30-6pm, Thur Farmers Market 4-8pm, Sat Hoopdance fitness on lawn 5pm, Sun 2x/mth music 5-6pm]
*Tommy Bahama Restaurant: 298 Beachwalk 4.5/937 nice rooftop décor with “beach seating”, $19 burger, 2-5pm happy hour @ bar only-had great fish tacos (check if specials: if spend $200 in store-y and Kalia Rd.ou get $50 @ restaurant – good food here.)
*International Market Place: visit the Historic redone Tree House, nice sitting area top floor restaurants (spend $10 so can validate 1 hr free parking, est place to park,’17 bie: $10 @ B Patisserrie and KPC)
*Matcha Love: 2330 Kalakaua Ave, inside Mitsuwa Marketplace, kiosk, waffle cone 3 flavors
*Kona Coffee Puveyors/ B patisserie: shared space, 4.5*/346 10am-11pm 2330 Kalakaua Ave, top 5 cappuccino ever! Jeannie’s favorite desserts, have black sesame Kouign Amon year round, expanding locations in Waikiki 2020.
Matcha Café Maiko: 2310 Kūhīo Ave., #143, (808) 396-8031, 4/307, 11am-9pm, freshly waffle cones, most intense flavor? uses matcha organically grown in Harima Garden in Kyoto, rare, high-quality tea, iced lattes, frappes, shave ice, Maiko Special ($9.20 L, $7.80 for med parfait pieces of matcha chiffon cake, kanten jelly, water chestnuts, shiratama mochi, sweetened azuki beans and cornflakes, topped with a swirl of creamy matcha soft serve).
Basalt: 2255 Kuhio, best breakfast in Waikiki, back of Duke’s Lane, validated parking in Waikiki 7am-10pm GO!
*Tropical Tribe: 1778 Ala Moana; 4.5/207, earliest available! open 7am-6pm 808-366-8226, most pure Brazilian style Acai bowl, also has Hawaiian blended style; location is under corner Coffee shop, Doug & Pearl’s top #1 favorite Acai bowl. If spend $20 =validate park 30mins free in lot behind in side street, or park on side pick up. Collect points w/phone or same credit card.
Hilton Hawaiian Village: every Friday 7:45pm fireworks can be seen all along waikiki and ala moana!
Royal Hawaiian Center:
*Island Vintage Coffee 2301 Kalakaua Ave great ambiance, coffee, salads, sandwiches, good acai bowls but prefer TT.
Japanese stores 14 under Waikiki business center, owned by Mau Family, Leighton, Lanette
Morimoto Asia Waikiki: Kalakaua, variety Asian food, look menu changes, get décor and location, ? try new in 2019
Kaka’ako district/ Ward Village:
*South Shore Market: 1170 Auahi St, on the Diamond Head end of Ward Village, Urban Shopping Center; study, shop, eat, wifi! Big Bad Wolf, Big Island Delights, Cameron Hawaii, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Eden in Love, Fishcake, Flotsam & Co., Holoholo Café & Market, Kealopiko, Manaola Hawai’i, MORI by Art + Flea, Salvage Public.
Lucy’s Lab Creamery: 1170 Auhai St, in South Shore Market, 4/383, try earl grey! Brioche ice cream sandwich, try coffee donut flavor.
*Nalu – 2nd location in South Shore Market, like Kailua, salad, acai, healthy meals, rest or quick meet up casual wifi café.
*Piggy Smalls: 4/108 11-3pm, 5-9:30pm 1200 Ala Moana Blvd in Ward Village 808=777-3588, ’16 get Pearl’s favorite house made pastrami dip sandwich in Pho sauce dip, Doug gets extra noodles with Pho soup. Weekly soft serve changes flavors.
*Waiola Shaved Ice: almost as good as original! Lilikoi, coconut with ice cream, condensed milk in bowl
Waikiki – Kalakawa/Kuhio Ave near beach:
[Prada, Carter, Apple, Forever 21, Coach, International marketplace, Moana Surfrider beach hotel, Royal Hawaiian complex with high end stores; buy here for low taxes=half; Duke statue on beach. Good to walk at night.
Events: March, Spam Jam end of April yearly] Hula lessons and performances @ Royal Grove 2201 Kalakawa Ave.
*Honolulu Coffee Company: 2365 Kalakaua Ave french press 100% Kona, the Moana surfrider Hotel – has open air rocking chairs, seating along a balcony. Near the Banyan.
Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin 4.5/1,705 Outrigger Regency Beach walk 255 Beach Walk 808-926-8082 Katsu, donburi, tonkatsu-don, best for pork meat Tonkatsu Ginza bairin, Pork tonkatsu 4.5, Shirley & Ed ‘16
Beach Walk St: across Tonkatsu ’17 discovered collective of food trucks, popular frozen cups of Henry’s? ice cream Ube Mango, etc HIW, near outrigger beach walk hotel, check out this street again!
*Cheesecake Factory: 2301 Kalakawa ave, always good, music, wait, value, near Apple store; appetizer chopped salad, mango smoothie, share or no room for dessert. A favorite stop!
*Prince Kuhio=Hilton: MAC 7 giant pancake challenge on TV, next door to condo, 24/7 open, large portions, ok only
*Marukami Restaurant: our favorite! discovered ’12 saw >50 people in line! fast cafeteria style, Japan 2310 Kuhio/near Seaside, well priced, walkable from the banyan condo, best tasting fresh Udon (Niku- Pearl) made right in front of you, add Squid Tempura, inari, delicious spam Musubi. Mon-sun 11am-10pm; Bfast open 7-9am!
*Hawaiian Crown Plantation: 159 Kailuani in Wakiki, 3rd tier Acai, cute small popular; 4.5/88 smoothies look good (ok acai- great toppings) smooth coffee- not strong, cute little café store produce from their farm, close walk from condo 8am-8pm
House without a Key: 2199 Kalia Rd, off Waikiki beach, $$$, sit under the tree, music and early sunset dinner on wakiki. Best Bfast in area; located in the Haelokilani Hotel, excellent coconut shrimp, cello, band and dancers who love the art. Weddings! 7am-9pm, 808-923-2311, seafood, no reservations,
*Hilton Hawaiian Village: walk or park and walk around, Flamingos, penguins, galleries, beach; Goofy Bfast: across St
Sasabune = expensive sushi, the chef at the bar is strict, eat all they give you and correctly in one bite. Some really like it. 4$ Cheresa’s favorite.
*Egg and Things: portugese sausage, eggs (omelet-dry), banana pancake piles of whipped cream, coconut syrup, several locs. 6am-2pm, 5pm-10pm, very long lines, buzzer system, Wailaie coffee $3 cup as wait, change to mug, use downstairs BR. 343 Saratoga Rd, down from Trump tower. Multiple locations, now on Kalakawa near banyan.
Hy’s Steak House: one of the best steaks on the island per Sarah B.
Orchids: 2199 Kalia Rd, great buffet king crab (see Cyndy @ Sheraton for 25% off coupon lunch= $30/person), Hawaiian, brunch, 4/515 has entertainment, coconut cake.
La Mer: French, fine dinning, steak, great service, in the Haelokilani, view, pricey french
*Lewers St: Yard House, Coffee beanery, boutiques! Great street to walk! Lots of Eggs and Things around Trump Tower
Roy’s Waikiki: Hawaiian fusion Restaurant on cornor, 226 Lewers St. Butterfish, choc soufflé 808-923-7697, 4.5/1,621 three-course, prix fixe sunset pau hana menu starts off with furikake-crusted big-eye ‘ahi tataki on Waimānalo greens, followed by flame-grilled petite filet mignon and garlic shrimp Kaua‘i prawns. Dessert is pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream. $45 per person, with an optional glass of Roy’s cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay for $12.50.
Halekulani Hotel: just beautiful, weddings; near Nobu restaurant
*Heavenly Island Lifestyle: if in the area, a good bfast benedict (skip BBQ sauce on K Pig), Open 6:30am-11pm even breakfast Late! try dinner- good, ok Acai + Salad, purple potatoes-yum, caramelized, Taro English muffin, bar has blended drinks, open organic kitchen. BR in Shoreline Hotel Waikiki. Park and walk. 808-923-1100, super nice staff.
*HiBlend: 661 Keeaumoku St, 808-721-7303, lot easy parking, past favorite Acai (style has too much toppings, needs the honey), salads, sandwiches and coffee, 9am-7:30pm,
*Sushi Murayama: 1320 Rycroft St unit 307, first hr free park cost $2, 808-784-2100, ’16 Benton says $125/person was better than $500 @ other elite places, 5-11pm; get okamakasi (starts $75 = really ok), all sashimi, what a memorable treat -BEST freshest sashimi in my life! ’17, ’18. Saba melted, black throat? neck fish, flavored so no soy, wagu, shrimp, fresh, best uni, large portions; small, out of the way 3rd floor destination. Days for best variety = Thur?… we just order what we like; dessert is extra ($14 gelato). Ryuji M owner and sushi chef. 2 Daughters work!
Kaimuki / Kapahulu Drive: (near the condo “Aston @ the Wakiki Banyan” T1-1701)
*Haili’s Hawaiian foods: off Kapahulu before Leonard’s Bakery 933 Kapahulu Ave (M – Th 5:30am – 9pm; F-Sa 5:30am – 10pm, try local food: Soyu Poke, side rice, Squid Luau, Laulau (good, prefer original place)
*Leonard’s Bakery 933 Kapahulu Ave @ Charles (M-Th 5:30am-10pm; F-Sa 11pm) Malasadas: original plain =best, cinnamon, or seasonally filled guava,mango,lilliko,pineapple, mac nut; must eat fresh and hot, within 15” best or <4hrs; always get this at least once!
*Ono Hawaiian: homestyle Lulau traditional Hawaiian food, locals, top laulau!
*Ono Seafood 747 Kapahulu ave 4.5/2,224 9-6pm, closed Sun, Mon in Kaimuki, one picnic table, set back, Doug prefers their shoyu Poke, 2nd to Tanioka’s, TA #2 in Oahu but we prefer Superb sushi!
*Wailoa Shave Ice – 2135 Wailoa Street, Honolulu (M- Su 7:30 am – 6:30 pm) Shaved Ice= Lillikoi and Lichee; moved across from safeway down 3 blocks, down an alley way, Off Kapahulu, behind the farm.
*Side Street Inn On Da Strip: 614 Kapahulu, Kaimuki across starbucks, turn L. 2nd location more upscale, valet park$5 or open lot put $2 ticket=2hrs on dash; Nalo salad! A half cesars feeds 2 people!, pasta, best garlic chicken, reg fried rice (Jas favorite); poke, ahi sashimi, sashimi clam, brownie peanut butter dessert; reservation before 7pm. 808-739-3939, open late!
*YoonCy Korean BBQ: 888 Kapahulu, box take out only, few seats outside, use BR in Safeway, opens 10:30am-8:30pm Mon-sat, sun at 8:30pm get Kalbi, sides (mac, potato, kimchee, turnip; cucumber x2, choy sum); our #1 favorite since ’15 [YoonCy pass ‘17, Br-in-law, husband works Sun]
*KCC Farmers’ Market: 4303 Diamond Head Rd Honolulu Sat 7:30 AM -11:00am the largest, best farmer’s market on Oahu!, small on Tues 4pm-7pm (get carrots, vegetables, local papaya- tree ripened, BBQ burger line), in the parking lot of Kapiolani community college, Pig and lady: Oxtail or Brisket Pho soup is the best we know. Pearl likes beef dip sandwich, Ahi Kale or muchroom chip tapas (Barbara, Jeannie), Abalone BBQ or stewed (Jerome), roasted corn, fried green tomatoes, maui onion rings, pesto grilled pizza, garlic shrimp, large wild prawns $17/cup, go @7:30am to get best flowers, Ginger! 808-260-4440. Go 7am per Jerome! Farmer’s Bureau – Cindy-Adm, Larry-manager AGU. Best flowers 7:30-8:30am or order ahead and will hold. Big Island Greenpoint, Chris Mana… Anthuriums.
Hawaii Kai: Honolulu “Windward Side” upscale homes have deck to boat
*Costco 333A Keahole St Hawaii Kai 10am-8:30pm on the water, near town center mall
*Island Brew Coffeehouse: 377 Keahole St Ste C5 6am-6pm 4.5/343 all types of local coffee, famous for Malabar mocha –with coconut milk, Americano (Pearl’s favorite) all good. best in-area acai bowl (be aware the soft style, warmer pure and honey), mac waffle and lox bagels look great too; awesome view of Kokohead, marine, water sports, has quality, great staff and Best Atmosphere- so we drive here (for Pearl ranked #1: get large to-go cup and use small mug to savor black Island brew coffee, need receipt to enter Doug’s phone for points). Open 6am-6pm. drive PAST Costco, in Hawaii Kai Town center on water marina, with huge Long’s and Safeway, turn R into lot. barista coffee, our favorite feel sitting spot (AM listen to diving test prep). fyi- clean BR across code #1018 changes.
*Hanauma Bay: closed on Tues. Go right when it opens at 7am to swim and snorkel with the fish when not crowded. Hike down or pay, conservation movie so no feeding fish. Cost $7.50/person in 2015. the clearest waters of Oahu’s marine sanctuary (no fishing allowed), natural wonder and the marine life. *Haunama Bay: 100 Haunama Bay Rd, Honolulu; snorkel safe shallow waters, colorful fish, crowded weekends, go early, trolley back up hill! Non-residents $7pp need to watch film once/year, Resident with ID = free. Volcanic crater, curved bay sanctuary. open year-round, except for Tuesdays, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Plan to arrive as early as you can or wait until the crowd trickles out in the mid-afternoon. During summer, the state park opens at 6 am and closes at 7 pm. It closes at 6 pm in winter. Parking can fill up as early as 7:30 am and costs $1 a vehicle. From the parking lot, it’s a short but steep 10-minute walk in to the beach. If you don’t want to walk, you can take a quick tram ride down for $1 and back up for $1.25.
*Bubbies: 7192 Kalanianaole hwy, local ice cream, mochi ice cream, order sundae = (triple ice cream cake) Open 12pm 808-949-8984, lines.
Roy’s Hawaii Kai: 4.5/622, 3$ 6600 Kalanianole Hwy The three-course, prix fixe sunset pau hana menu at original Roy’s in Hawai‘i Kai starts off with furikake-crusted big-eye ‘ahi tataki on Waimānalo greens, followed by flame-grilled petite filet mignon and garlic shrimp Kaua‘i prawns. Dessert is pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream. $45 per person, with an optional glass of Roy’s cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay for $12.50. (The Waikīkī location also features a pau hana menu.)
5 to 7 p.m. daily, 6600 Kalaniana‘ole Hwy., (808) 396-7697
Makapu’u Light house trail: easier trail, 2 miles, paved except at top, see islands of Moloka’I and Maui, see rocks, 45” walk paved, uphillsland, View: Koolau Mts, Manna (rabbit) Island, Kaohikaipu Island, Mokulua Islands (twin), Mokolii Island.
Koko Head Stairs Hike: esp before sunset Kaiona beach park
Ward Center in Honolulu:
*HiBlend Health bar &Café: 661 Keeaumoku, Free parking in validated lot, 4.5/557 smoothies, quality generous sized, (too?) loaded Acai bowl to share, hawaiian style texture, 2 locations: Wahiawa, Honolulu (previously in top 3 Acai). Great tasty large green salads, coffee, juice, variety, near Walmart, Costco; Daily 9am-7:30pm, no wifi (tea next door).
*Side Street Inn Original @ 1225 Hoppaka / Pikoi off Kapiolani 808-591-0253 for Locals, opens late daily, valet park in alley, fried chicken side style, (no to pork chops), love the fried rice, get Cesars salad. 10” from Ala Moana mall, serves Lunch
*AGU Ramen: 1200 Ala Moana good, Japanese style (Wanda’s favorite, Mensho SF tops)
*Izakaya Torae Torae: 1111 McCully St Honolulu 4.5/416 open until 12mn! Closed Tues. Loved cold tofu with potato, avocado/seafood salad, light vege tempura, pork belly, nigiri; super nice staff, can take groups. OMG Quality food; Omakase is all sashimi so get 2 for 3 people and add other dishes or too much. very fresh fish for a HH 10pm-12mn (get truffle teri edamame, chirashi, pork, tempura) fresh scallop. [past -very Cold AC- bring a long sleeved sweatshirt or long pants]
Alan Wong’s = best high end dining: 1857 S King St, Moiili, 808-949-2526, Baggish, Benton favorite 4.5/1456 5-10pm 1857 S King 808-949-2526 Kalbi ginger onaga coconut dessert, signature “Poke-Pines” and “Da Bag” (in which steamed clams with kalua pig and mushrooms arrives in giant foil bag that’s popped at the table), and ginger-crusted onaga (red snapper). All meals must end with the coconut-haupia sorbet and local fruits tucked in a coconut “shell” made of dark chocolate and covered in toasted coconut flakes. It’s a showstopper that tastes as good as it looks.
*Sushi izakaya Gaku: 1329 S. King St. 808-589-1329 park in back; you feel like you are in Japan! Take reservations 5-7pm then after 7pm first come first serve, for a special dinner. Excellent quality, hamachi tartar, “garlic seared toro” is amazing most special sushi (Jeanne and Patrick’s favorite and now ours!). try Uni shooter next, seared king salmon. 4.5/672 negitoro tartare (with masago, ponzu, green onions, and a raw quail egg), the uni and ikura shooters topped with shoyu jelly, and the house-made tofu.
Pint and Jigger –gastropub burgers on foodie’s lists, 1936 S King St. 808-744-9593 4/655 10am-12mn, if try only test the HH 4:30-best Monte Cristo sandwich, Dave Newman managed to open a bar loved by locals and visitors alike. It has televisions tuned to ESPN (essential for a Honolulu neighborhood bar) and communal picnic tables, but still enough sophistication — with 24 craft brews on tap, one of the best cocktail menus in town, and a burger that’s no slouch — to make it a choice first-date destination. (If things go well, or if you want to have an intimate conversation, make a reservation for Harry’s Hardware, Pint and Jigger’s cozy, speakeasy-style space next door.)
*Waiola: 2135 Waiola St –best shaved ice per Kim & Pearl, we all agree ’16, 4.5*/1100, opens 10am-6:30pm order bowl or large cup: lichee/coconut, or green tea add condensed milk and ice cream!
*Aloha Tower: take the free elevator ride to the top of the tower (inspect bags)
*Café Kaila: 2919 Kapiolani, park in Market City shopping ctr 7am-3pm 4*/1000, close to condo, (Pearl’s favorite breakfast spot! Order the “2 egg breakfast”: ham, scramble eggs, switch salad, English muffin; coffee $3.50) Doug – famous waffle w/strawberries
*Champion Malasadas 1926 Beretania St. Mo ili ili make it as order, no line, all locals say go here, 6am-7pm, sun till 4pm; better than Leonards? Denser style, your preference.
*Ice Garden’s: 2nd level mini-mall Aiea Shopping center, (near 99-115 on GPS) 99-080 Kauhale street, Aiea 808 488 5154, local best shaved ice, “like snow”, toppings oatmeal, pudding (flan custard),Taro moochi, (favorites), add ice-cream, local find, cash only, speak Japanese to elderly Gma! (daily 11-5pm, 12-5pm Thur) Taiwanese shaved ice order #5 add oatmeal (taro, moochi Kimberly’s favorite) pudding (a flan). Hole in wall (Doug declines the site)
*Aloha Stadium Flea Market: “Swap Meet “ 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd, Aiea to find and buy things, local souveniers, Wed (much smaller) and Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 6:30am -3pm, Sat and Sun=best, most venders, bring a hat/ sun umbrella, $1/person to enter; fresh coconut juice ($3 each, small, hairy brown nut requires large knife, nice lady to the R of “Lin’s” as enter will hack open and go back for the coconut meat (you put in zip lock). skip the “fake shaved ice.” Bring cash, bargain, larger bags, sunscreen.
*The Alley Restaurant Bar and Grill 99-115 Aiea Heights Drive (GPS near 99-99 Aiea, HI) 96701 808-488-6854 3rd Fl top level in the bowling alley above Ice Garden, (Kim, Pearl like “Tasty chicken”, famous lemon crunch cake (Awesome dessert window, but too sweet for my ’17 palate) Oxtail soup per Jo (Doug likes Ponsu sauce, add noodles, garlic shrimp plate, try calamari; opens late even on Sun, 7am-9:30pm, Great family Bfast options (but skip tasteless coffee) eat here after swap meet! FYI Wed AM $2 bowling.
*Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery 808-531-6688, 1027 Maunakea St in Chinatown. Macadamian nut/sesame candy, mon-sun 7am-4pm, loc in middle block on L. across Lin’s and Cindy’s Lei’s, btw N.Brittania and Maunakea (per palate – get as gifts in past)
Senia: 75 N King St, 4.5/75, 3$ American, charred cabbage, trendy, casual but excellent food, park Marin tower, next the
*Pho 97: very convenient location to visit Chinatown, AC, large fresh Papaya salad (Pearl), good Pho soup(Doug), large space, 3.5/137, (near favorite drink Thang II: no balls Mango, Papaya, half sugar soursop=plain, Doug’s favorite iced coffee and Bakery)
*Lin’s Lei shop: 1017 Maunakea St SuiteA 808-537-4112 tues-sat 7am-8pm, sun, mon holidays 7am-6:30pm, Loretta Le; less busy, double tuberose with flowers -photo well, smell so good, order in Oahu $225 for 5 lei’s, #3 choice.
*Cindy’s Lei and Flower Shop: 877-536-0007, cindysleishoppe.com, buy there or on line and ship, Fed-Ex charges ($50/up to 4 leis, $65 for 8 and $120 for 100 leis in a box) most popular Lei shop, locals #1 spot to order.
*Lam’s Kitchen: 1152 Maunakea St. @ corner, $ park in Lot, 4.5/131 Ngaw Nam Beef Pho soup w/Haw Fun (808-536-6222, 8am-4pm daily. Paul and Wanda favorite, on-line best chinese in Oahu. chow fun and youtiao (fried savory crullers) at Lam’s in Chinatown. The restaurant makes both items in-house and people drive across the island to get their fix. Pair the crisp (and super-light) youtiao with a steaming bowl of pork and century-egg jook. The chow fun shines best in the beef-choy sum stir fry, and also bathed in a tendon noodle soup entree.
Maguro Brothers Hawaii-Waikiki: 421 Lewers St, 4.5/48, 5:30pm-9pm, M-Sat, 808-230-3470, seafood market in Kekaulike market, HIW, chirashi, salmon, best Poke quality
*Maguro Brothers Hawaii: 4.5/500 seafood market deli HIW – on Doug’s list, 5:30-9pm, closed Sun, 808-259-7100, 1039 Kekaulike St #113 poke bowl made to order, Hamachi bowl, donburi, inside Kekaulike market, salmon belly! hidden deep inside Chinatown’s Kekaulike Market. At this little spot, it’s all about sashimi platters, donburi (get the king salmon sashimi with uni over rice), and poke by the bowl or pound. quality is excellent and locally sourced for the most part, outstanding knife work- donburi and poke might be served in a styrofoam box, but you won’t find such beautifully cut fish casually sold to-go anywhere else.
*The Pig & the Lady: 83 North King St Vietnamese fusion. Ranked #1 2017 in Oahu, #3TA, we agree top quality per Lalita and Huidy ’16 [edge of Chinatown] 4/1,316 2$, or go to Piggy Smalls lunch sandwich pastrami! Or booth Sat AM KCC farmer’s market, #1 sandwich on Oahu per Dania and Jana ’16, owner Alex, Get: LFC wings chicken, Octopus, sashimi, pork chop, whole chicken, Pho filet migon, dessert sundae. All excellent flavors! quality, weak service?, casual hip space in Chinatown.
Senia: 75 N. King St. 4$ french/American, quality creative, next to Lucky Belly; 50-seat restaurant Per Se alums Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush delivers two experiences in one 50-seat space: a la carte modern American small plates, pastas, and large-format platters, like glazed pork belly with beet “char siu,” in the main dining room, and a luxurious $185-per-person tasting menu (think caviar, truffles, and foie gras) at the 12-seat chef’s counter.
Brick Fire Tavern Pizza: top 6/HA, 16 N. Hotel St.#1 pizza ‘17
*Thang II: open stand inside market on L, best Mango smoothie in area +/- boba only $3.5 in ‘16 and strong Vietnamese iced coffee (also go to 2nd loc, inside)
Pho Bistro 2: 1694 Kalakaua Ave $ 4.5/657, 10:30-3pm, 4:30pm-9pm, 808-949-2727, best beef broth, oxtail. food is CONSISTENTLY top-notch. Fast and friendly service, tasty papaya salad,really good pork chops and super oxtail soup. BYOB, close to Waikiki but off the tourist track. great place to take visitors for local Asian fare.
*Don Quijote supermarket:(local, not one tourist) 801 Kaheka St Honolulu, open 24/7 on a Food strip; get Pau Pau’s Teriyaki-wasabi macadamian nuts ’17 per Christina, Stephanie; ’19 Poke bar per Trevor has fresh Poke variety
*Pagoda Floating Restaurant: 1525 Rycroft St. opens 6:30am 808-948-8356, [along ala wai, cross bridge, Kapiolani] or exit Ala moana, R on pikoi, R near strip mall Don Quijote; casual food, groups can even sit talk glass circle, waterfall Pagoda, park in lot $1 for 2hrs ticket on dash; kids feed koi fish pellets! Beef stew, green salad top with salmon’14 casual discovery. Local favorite! Great breakfast eggs benedict, can get half order! Best place watch Koi fish. Bfast special before 8:30am, local favorite casual meet up spot.
Kai Coffee: downtown, 207 S King St, R-2 808-537-3415, till 5pm, mag ranked top 3
*Brue Bar 119 Merchant St downtown and 1132 Bishop St #1511 Honolulu great coffee first floor building, 3 total locations
* Madre Chocolate: chocolatier transforms organic, lightly-processed dry beans from farms throughout the state and around the world in its Honolulu workshop. Try the coconut milk and caramelized ginger or lilikoi (passion fruit)-infused bars, or join a make-your-own-bar class. 2 loc: 8 N. Pauahi St., Honolulu; 20A Kainehe St., Kailua, (808) 377-6440, madrechocolate.com.
*Yanagi Sushi @ 762 Kapiolani 597-1525 =long-standing family place, large selection; 4/722, Randy and Linda’s favorite Japanese restaurant. The best sushi on the island per Jeannie Seo and several others! Great Toro and hamachi, get reservations. Happy hour special 10:30 to close at 2am, great butterfish and salmon, oyster shooters
*Kamaka Ukelelle Factory 550 South St Honolulu 96813 Tu-Fri 10:30am factory tour owner; Jake Shimabukuro- custom made.
*Gazen: 2840 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu; Wai-dee’s family favorite; 5-11pm, great happy hour till 6:30pm, gem of Kaimuki area, has booths! AC, clean spacious. Homemade tofu (soymilk broth), (serve fresh wasabi –yum, eat it straight), best anywhere fried fish appetizer, potato mochi earl grey sauce. Park in lot. We repeat this place.
*Livestock Tavern: 49 N Hotel, 4.5/887 Burgers, American, bar 2$ meet up place
*Lucky Belly: 50 N Hotel St @ cornor 4.5/1,695 $$ Asian fusion, oxtail dumplings, lumpia, pork belly bao, belly and beast ramen bowl, on TA. nice décor,service, clean quality food, good soup broth, large portion appetizers, reasonable prices, open late (Doug “alright to try” prefer AGU ramen)
Iolani Palace: 364 S. King St., 808-522-0822) the only royal palace US, use ID card discount, 8:30-5pm; restoration Hawaiian national identity recognized as the spiritual and physical multicultural epicenter of Hawaii. 1882 by King Kalakaua, Iolani Palace home of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs. Will tour when a group visits.
Pioneer Saloon: 691 Auahi St. Floor, 808-600-5612, at SALT plate lunches
*Hawaiian Chip Co: 1928 Republican St, 10-5pm, fresh warehouse, also at Farmers market, add own seasonings here!
Hawaiian Pie Co: 508 Waiakamilo Rd 7am-4pm, 9” pie and mini, passion pear, cinnamon rolls on St only (808) 988-7828, hawaiianpieco.com
Ubae 1284 Kalani St, Kalihi Ube cheesecake
*Superb Sushi: 1322 N King St. 7:30am-1:30pm, Mon-Sat, 808-737-0051, fresh made´poke!, one table, mostly cater. Poke by pound and bowls, ask for No salt Poke bowl, (special ask for Salmon poke – not mayo, no salt), unagi, inari-Gunny sacks seasoned rice with ginger! Poke and tako, (quality futomaki, salmon mayo too hot for me). Order tuna poke California roll for workers! Doug and Pearl’s favorite 5 poke stops. Kevin owner, Johnson so nice.
*Nisshodo Candy Store – 1095 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu #808-847-1244 (M – F 7 am – 4pm; Sa 7 am – 3pm) sells arare, fresh Mochi, chichi dango.
*Salted Lemon: 1723 Liliha St, acai is more pure, lightest and smoothest, no ice, best presentation, tons fruit, nicest guys, hipster place in middle of old Hawaii. $9 destination on way across Pali Hwy or to Bfast
*Helena’s Hawaiian Food: 1240 N. School St. in Kahili Honolulu for Hawaiian food,10am-7:30pm 808-845-8044 Cash only, Tues-Frid only!! 2$, No reservations, wait outside, 4.5/2,584, ranked #1 real local food, reasonable, famous HIW, we go every visit. My favorite Ribs!, delicious squid luau, kalua pork, tripe for Doug, fried butterfish only if group.
Mitsu-Ken Okazu: 2300 N King St, across New City Nissan, 4*/369, 808-848-5573, Bfast till 10:30am, closes 1pm; Sun &Mon closed, eggs & garlic chicken $6.50, bento box HIW Tu-Sat 5am-1pm, cash only; Kristy, Christina recommend. killer bento boxes to go, take them to the beach, on-the-go meal. takeout-only hole in the wall, garlic chicken cravings. The chicken is chopped into two-bite chunks, battered, fried until crisp, and then coated in a garlic-shoyu-sugar glaze. Mini Bento: garlic chicken, rolled egg omelet, and hot dog all served over a base of furikake.
*Young’s Fish Market: Hawaiian food option on same block, like Haiea’s, has Squid Luau frozen, fresh fish
*Thang’s french coffee & bubble tea: 1286 Kalani St, 8:30-6:30pm our favorite mango smoothies $4.5, in City Square Mall, better than Chinatown loc, thick!,AC, free parking all over strip mall; lichee coconut, iced coffee, milk tea, taro, papaya, avocado. Shop Costco 7am! Owner’s success story from Vietnam. Try new Sand Island shop!
*Palace Saimin: 1256 N King 11am-11pm old Hawaii, 415-841-9983, benches, HIW, great for plain Saimen 4.5/260 Tu-Sat; since 1946, bring family for noodle fix (skip wonton or bbq stick, super hot mustard!) just noodle and green onion) S = $4.25 XL= $6.25. near Fergusens and Costco.
*Ethel’s Grill: 232 Kalihi St. institution! cash only, 4/293 Mon closed, 6am-2pm, drive middle lane straight down Hwy 63, small parking lot, popular, cleanest HIW, our favorite Local food $, per Calvin and Trase. great specials, Doug’s Loco moco, Tataki sashimi, (Pearl-salmon Kama, Opah Belly Katsu, “Big salad+ miso soup $6.50. Mochiko chicken, $2 burger for kids! Bfast, best miso soup + salad J, winner, ask for sweet potato yam instead of rice, [NO: coffee, oxtail soup]
*Liliha Bakery: 515 N Kuakini St. 4.5/2,587 off N Nimitz Hwy, check hours! Park in lot, 6am-12mn or 8pm, closed Mon, 808-537-2488, try taro “Poi Mochi donuts” reg and maple, coco puffs- ?too sweet; stick with Bakery, skip Café.
*Shimazu’s store: 330 N School St ice cream, local top rated for shaved ice, try green tea royale, wild flavors! Huge sized shaved ice 4.5/795 11am-6pm mom pop Tues-Sun; plastic holder 50cents, find street parking.
*Costco: 525 Alakawa St (towards the airport) 10am-8:30pm, very busy, pick up local gift snacks; cheapest Gas around but long lines; food court has frozen yogurt and Acai, iced cold brew, chili.
76 Gasoline Station: 2140 N Nimitz Hwy in Kalihi – fill gas before return to airport from 92, West to H1 Airport
*Lagoons at Ko Olina- 3 man made lagoons, calm and quiet; first one has most parking, swim in lagoon #4 92-100 Waipahu Pl: 1st Lagoon future four seasons hotel, $10 parking fee in the marina, all 4 lagoons have BRs, no life guards.
Ka Mali Aini’I Shopping Center (DeBartolo):
Roy’s Ko Olina: 92-1220 Aliinui Dr Kapolei 96707 808-676-7697, choc soufflé, short ribs, misoyaki butterfish, mac nut opah, choc soufflé. Quiet, as an early bird special.
*Monkeypod: 4/3,166, 2$, 92-1048 Olani St, across from Ahlani Disney resort near Ko’olina; active 2 blocks of shops, Half off most @ daily happy hours: 3-5:30pm, 9-11pm, try the pie!
Restaurant 604: 4/1,607 brunch
Black Sheep Cream: Ka Uka Blvd, Waipahu ice cream, desserts, new cute
Wet n Wild 400 Farrington Hwy
West Oahu Leeward side:
*Germaine’s Luau: near Barber’s Point Beach Park: 91-121 Olai St, Kapolei (avoid area in day, junk yard, all industrial area)
!!!Warning from many locals! Avoid the monthly “box jellyfish” etc in waters and on many beaches, especially (Kuhio beach near wall per Waikiki researchers)! Venom stings, painful, see blue dome, come in swarms out of water to spawn on beach after the full moon for about a week. See signs posted as well.
[Beach Checklist: large bag, plastic bags, beach towel, extra towels, sun screen, large brimmed hat, umbrella, long sleeved shirt, extra clothes, undies, clean slippers, hair ties and clip, sunglasses, beach mat, beach chairs, boogie board, sand bucket, reef shoes, fins, safety vest, snorkel gear, hand wipes, travel size shampoo, and body wash, refreshments, water…]
No rocks beaches = Kailua Beach (windward side), Hanauma Bay (east Oahu), Ko Olina (leeward side), Waimea Bay (north shore), Magic Island & Ala Moana Beach Park (both in town).
BUY SOME WATER SHOES…must protect your feet in the waters of Waikiki…people step on Sea Urchins! Sites= Ko’olina Beach and Ala Moana Beach Park, Lanikai =good for young kids. Waikiki is SUPER rocky!!! definitely get reef shoes step on rocks/coral…ouch! go to the ihilani hotel, five ko’olina lagoons- manmade so bottoms are nice and sandy–very few rocks. don’t go during jellyfish season, though. Ala moana beach is great but packed with tourists, no rocks.
If you want to do a luau, go to paradise cove.
Lanai Look Out: stunning views of the waves and coastline, this lookout is named for one of the islands you can see during a clear morning. If on a clear day you will be able to see Maui, Molokai and even the Big Island
Halona Cove & Blow Hole: This natural water feature is amazing to witness. Seawater is pushed up through a lava tube in the volcanic rock and shoots into the air like a geyser. best viewed during high tide and windy weather, but is a beautiful lookout spot as many Movies like 50 First Dates and the Lost TV Series had been filmed at Halona Cove.
East Oahu attractions:
Koko crater botanical garden: 90” stroll into crater, 200 acres plants grow dry [follow koko crater stables off Kealahou St to dead end, tril entrance to park, bring water, walking shoes.
Tantalus: drive for aerial views and distance photography of Honolulu, Diamond Head
Pearl Harbour and USS Arizona Memorial – #1 tourist spot
Byodo –in Temple
App GyPSy guide hear commentary!!!
Farmer’s Markets: nts- “get vine ripen Papayas –best taste, sweet” see what is seasonal and fresh!
*KCC: Sat 7:30-11am –huge and fun, Tues 4-7pm – very small
King’s Village: 131 Kailulani M W F Sat 4-9pm
Hyatt Kalakawa Thur 4-8pm
People’s Stadium Mall, Moiliili Wed 8:15-9:15am
Manoa: 2753 Woodlawn Dr. Tues, Sun 7am-11am
Makiki: Punahou School Thur 4:30pm
Kakaako: Ward Sat 8-12
Honolulu: Ward Wed 4-7pm
Fort: Tues Frid 7am-2pm
Kekaulike: M-Sat 9am-5pm Chinatown
Pearlridge: Sat 8-12
Mililani Farmers Market: 25-1200 Meheula Pkwy Sun 8-11am
—Waialua Farmer’s Co-op Market: Wed 4:30-7, Sat 8:30-2pm only produce, 67-106 Kealohanui St. Waialua
*Haleiwa Farmer’s Market: Thur 3pm-7pm in Waimea Falls Valley (moved over), tight parking, in a rainforest, greens, artists, music, bakery, Wicked HI Slush- honey slush, our favorite ice, punch card, 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy.
—North Shore: Sat 8-2pm
—BYU: qoFrid 10:30-2pm
Windward: Wed 2:30-7:30, Sun 10am-2pm
Kailua: Thur 5-7:30pm 609 Kailua Rd
Kailua Town Sun 8:30am -12noon 315 Kuulei Rd Elementary school
Mānoa Falls, Diamond Head Crater, Kokohead—O‘ahu’s most popular trails attract crowds for a reason.
1. KULI‘OU‘OU RIDGE TRAIL Difficulty: ** Length: 5 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Dry
“The easiest of the ridge hikes,” notes hiking guru and author Stuart Ball. This mild trek may not be as bad as its Ko‘olau cousins, but you may have a Koko Crater moment when you reach the stairs at the end. Plant lovers, feast your eyes on the variety of flora, which range from alien ironwoods to uluhe ferns. Reach the summit, and get the same clear east side views, less the Lanipō struggle.
HEADING EAST ON KALANIANA‘OLE HIGHWAY TOWARD HAWAI‘I KAI, TURN LEFT ONTO KULI‘OU‘OU ROAD. PROCEED UNTIL THE ROAD ENDS IN A CUL-DE-SAC WITH A NARROW PAVED PATH AT ITS END—THIS IS THE WAY TO THE TRAILHEAD. NOTE THAT PARKING IS PROHIBITED BY SIGNS IN THE CUL-DE-SAC ITSELF, SO IT’S BEST TO LOOK FOR PARKING ALONG KULI‘OU‘OU STREET.
2. MAKAPU‘U RIDGE Difficulty: **** Length: 5 miles one way Wet/Dry: Dry
Forget the Makapu‘u lighthouse—if you want a real hiking expedition, take this coarser path from the lookout all the way to Waimānalo. It starts out steep and gets pretty narrow, but glimpses of Hawai‘i Kai and the Windward Coast await you along the way. Keep an eye out for the Cold War-era missile pad, and don’t forget to get a ride back to the lookout lot—this is a one-way hike.
HEADING NORTH ON KALANIANA‘OLE HIGHWAY FROM HAWAI‘I KAI, PASS THE TURNOFF FOR THE LIGHTHOUSE AND TURN RIGHT INTO THE MAKAPU‘U LOOKOUT PARKING LOT. THE TRAILHEAD IS LOCATED ACROSS THE HIGHWAY FROM THE LOT EXIT.
3. WAIMANO RIDGE Difficulty: *** Length: 15 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Yes, it is really that long, but fear not: This is one of the best maintained hikes around. It’s got a wide, level pathway that was originally created by the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps. What’s more, says Ball, “there’s something for everyone,” from explorable plantation-era drainage tunnels to tasty mountain apples and strawberry guava off the trees. Just don’t get too distracted and miss the view of Kahalu‘u at the ridge summit!
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING WEST ON THE H-1, TAKE EXIT 10 (PEARL CITY/WAIMALU) ONTO MOANALUA ROAD. PROCEED UNTIL MOANALUA ENDS AND TURN RIGHT ONTO WAIMANO HOME ROAD. CONTINUE ON WAIMANO UNTIL YOU REACH THE PARKING AREA ON THE LEFT AND A GUARD SHACK ON THE RIGHT. FOLLOW THE CHAIN LINK FENCE TO THE TRAIL HEAD.
4. LANIPŌ Difficulty: **** Length: 7.5 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Friends may tell you that this one is a walk in the park. Don’t believe them. Once you set out from the trailhead at Maunalani Circle, you’ll have to follow the ridge up, then down, then up, and … well, you get the picture. Don’t count on the elements to give you a break, either. The (narrow) path is muddy after rain and blistering in the sun. The payoff? Stunning views from Waikīkī to Waimānalo with the Ko‘olau range in between.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING EAST ON WAI‘ALAE AVENUE, TAKE A LEFT ONTO WILHELMINA RISE, CONTINUING ALL THE WAY UP THE RIDGE UNTIL THE STREET INTERSECTS SIERRA DRIVE. TURN RIGHT ONTO SIERRA, THEN RIGHT AGAIN WHERE IT INTERSECTS MAUNALANI CIRCLE. CONTINUE ON MAUNALANI—THE ROAD WILL CURVE TO THE LEFT—UNTIL YOU REACH THE MARKED PATH TO THE TRAILHEAD JUST AFTER A DRIVEWAY WITH A SURFBOARD MAILBOX STAND. SIGNS PROHIBIT PARKING ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE STREET, BUT NONE ARE POSTED ON THE SIDE YOU ENTER ON.
5. MĀNANA TRAIL Difficulty: **** Length: 11.6 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Mixed
Build your own adventure by going only as far as you want. Whether you’ve got the gusto to make it to the summit or feel fatigued at the picnic rest site, this route above Pacific Palisades offers some of the best ridge hiking on the entire Ko‘olau range. The most important rule? Stick to the main trail—follow a tributary path, and you may wind up in Waimano Valley.
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING WEST ON THE H-1, TAKE EXIT 10 (PEARL CITY/WAIMALU) ONTO MOANALUA ROAD. PROCEED UNTIL MOANALUA ENDS AND TURN RIGHT ONTO WAIMANO HOME ROAD. TURN LEFT ON KOMO MAI DRIVE AND FOLLOW THE ROAD UNTIL IT ENDS. THE TRAILHEAD IS REACHABLE THROUGH THE METAL GATE AT THE END OF THE CUL-DE-SAC. HERE TOO, PARKING IS NOT PERMITTED IN THE CUL-DE-SAC, SO BACKTRACK TO THE STREET FOR A SPACE.
1. LIKEKE FALLS Difficulty: ** Length: 4 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Spice up your next jog on Old Pali Road by taking an old cobblestone path up through a nearby valley to the falls. Be persistent: The sound of running water makes the falls seem closer than they are. At the end is a moderate-sized cascade with plenty of foliage and tree branches around, making it a great spot to hang out—literally.
DIRECTIONS: THE TRAIL TO THE FALLS IS ACCESSIBLE FROM THE OLD PALI ROAD, WHICH IN TURN CAN BE REACHED FROM THE PALI LOOKOUT (SEE DIRECTIONS AND PARKING FOR PALI PUKA). CONTINUE ON OLD PALI ROAD UNTIL YOU REACH A CONCRETE BARRIER AND A SET OF STAIRS. BY THIS POINT, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO HEAR THE RUNNING WATER.
2. LĀ‘IE FALLS Difficulty: *** Length: 7 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Mixed
Yup, there’s a waterfall up there! Grab a permit from Hawai‘i Reserves at the Lā‘ie Shopping Center and head up a quiet country road to find the trailhead. From grasslands to dense forests, this hike features a variety of biomes on the way to the main attraction. This isn’t the largest waterfall, so aim to go after a good rain, when the pool and cascade should be most impressive.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING NORTH ON HIGHWAY 83 TOWARD LĀ‘IE, PASS THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER AND TURN INTO LĀ‘IE SHOPPING CENTER ON THE LEFT. LOOK FOR THE HAWAII RESERVES OFFICE (OPEN 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY) WHICH GRANTS THE PERMIT REQUIRED FOR THIS HIKE. FROM THE CENTER, CONTINUE NORTH ON HIGHWAY 83 AND TURN LEFT INTO NANILOA LOOP. ONCE IN THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE POOHAILI STREET EXIT AND PROCEED TO THE PARKING LOT NEXT TO LĀ‘IE PARK. FROM THERE, YOU WILL NEED TO PROCEED ALONG THE ROAD BY FOOT TO REACH THE TRAILHEAD.
3. MAUNAWILI FALLS Difficulty: *** Length: 2.6 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
The trail itself may be muddy and uneven, but “the pool and falls are spectacular,” says Ball. Indeed, many take advantage of the swimming hole by diving from the top of the falls or from a ridge even higher up. This windward trail is crowded with locals and tourists at midday and on weekends, so plan to go very early or late and on a weekday. Don’t miss the great Ko‘olau views on the way up. A word of caution: If you’re leery of leptospirosis, this might be one to skip.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING NORTH ON THE PALI HIGHWAY, PROCEED TO THE INTERSECTION WITH KALANIANA‘OLE HIGHWAY, AULOA ROAD AND KAMEHAMEHA HIGHWAY. TURN RIGHT ONTO AULOA ROAD, THEN RIGHT ON LUNAAI STREET, LEFT ON LUNAHELU STREET, AND FINALLY RIGHT ONTO MAUNAWILI ROAD. PROCEED ON MAUNAWILI UNTIL YOU REACH ITS INTERSECTION WITH KELEWINA STREET. THE TRAILHEAD IS LOCATED AT THIS POINT. PARKING IS SCARCE AT THE TRAILHEAD, SO LOOK FOR A SPOT CLOSER TO THE INTERSECTION OF MAUNAWILI AND ALOHA OLE DRIVE.
4. LULUMAHU FALLS Difficulty: ** Length: 2.5 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
The old ruins, bamboo forest, and 50-foot waterfall make you feel like you’ve leaped right into one of the Indiana Jones movies. Look for the trailhead near where Nu‘uanu Pali Drive reconnects with the Pali Highway, and be sure to follow the trail. If you’ve lost your way, just head upstream. The ruins are the remnants of King Kamehameha III’s summer palace, known formally as Kaniakapupu.
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING NORTH ON THE PALI HIGHWAY FROM HONOLULU, CONTINUING PAST THE FIRST INTERSECTION WITH NU‘UANU PALI DRIVE. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SECOND INTERSECTION WITH NU‘UANU PALI, WHICH IS PRECEDED BY A YELLOW DIAMOND-SHAPED SIGN MARKING THE END OF THE RIGHTMOST LANE OF THE HIGHWAY, PULL OFF OF THE HIGHWAY AND ONTO THE GRAVEL PARKING AREA. THE TRAILHEAD IS THROUGH THE BREAK IN THE FENCE.
5. KOLOA GULCH: Difficulty: **** Length: 8 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Stuart Ball calls this one “somewhat more rugged and wild than other waterfall [hikes].” He’s probably right, judging from the stony stream crossings and the aquatic life around them. Enjoy the verdant valley walls and smaller cascades as you head further into the gulch, eventually reaching the 80-foot-tall Kalo Falls and pool. Pick up a hiking permit from Hawai‘i Reserves at the Lā‘ie Shopping Center but be ready for difficult, tricky going.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING NORTH ON HIGHWAY 83 TOWARD LĀ‘IE, PASS THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER AND TURN INTO LĀ‘IE SHOPPING CENTER ON THE LEFT. LOOK FOR THE HAWAII RESERVES OFFICE (OPEN 9 AM TO 5 PM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY) WHICH GRANTS THE PERMIT REQUIRED FOR THIS HIKE. FROM THE CENTER, HEAD NORTH ON THE HIGHWAY AND PARK IN THE LOT FOR LĀ‘IE BEACH PARK. WALK SOUTH ON THE HIGHWAY UNTIL YOU REACH A NARROW PAVED ROAD ON THE RIGHT, ACROSS FROM A LARGE WHITE MANSION AND JUST BEFORE THE 20-MILE MARKER. THE TRAIL BEGINS BEYOND A CHAINED PORTION OF THE ROAD.
HIKES FOR VIEWS
1. PALI PUKA Difficulty: ** Length: 1 mile round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Want the most gawk for your walk? Instead of heading straight to the Pali Lookout, find the trailhead that begins with a gap in the stone wall in the parking lot. Twenty minutes later, you’ll be rewarded with a view of the Windward Coast framed by the puka itself. Be careful, though—the trail is often just feet from a sheer cliff drop, and there are no guard rails here to keep you safe.
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING NORTHEAST OUT OF HONOLULU ON THE PALI HIGHWAY, FOLLOW THE SIGNS FOR NU‘UANU PALI STATE PARK (COLLOQUIALLY PALI LOOKOUT). EXIT THE HIGHWAY BY FOLLOWING THE SIGNS JUST BEFORE THE WILSON TUNNEL. AT THE LOOKOUT PARKING LOT, SCAN THE ROCK WALL FRONTING THE BUS STALLS FOR A CRUMBLING DIP WITH SOME BAMBOO ON THE OTHER SIDE. THIS IS THE TRAILHEAD.
2. MOKULĒ‘IA & KUAOKALĀ FIREBREAK ROADS Difficulty: ** Length: 10.8 miles one way Wet/Dry: Mixed
The Wai‘anae Range gets hiked less often than its sister mountains. That means more room for sprinting on this wide dirt road. See Wai‘anae on one side and Mokulē‘ia’s shore on the other, or come early for a stunning sunrise. Where to enter? That’s up to you: Intersections with the Keālia Trail and Mokulē‘ia Forest Reserve Access Road mean you can approach from either side of the mountains.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING WEST FROM HALE‘IWA ON FARRINGTON HIGHWAY, PROCEED UNTIL YOU REACH A GREEN METAL GATE ON THE LEFT THAT MARKS MOKULĒ‘IA FOREST RESERVE ACCESS ROAD WITH A GROVE OF COCONUT PALMS JUST OFF OF THE HIGHWAY. THE ROAD IS NOT MARKED BY A STREET SIGN—THE LAST CLEARLY NAMED STREET WILL BE MAHINAAI STREET ON THE RIGHT. THE ACCESS ROAD LEADS TO THE TRAILHEAD, BUT IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY BICYCLE OR ON FOOT. AVOID LEAVING VALUABLES IN THE CAR IF YOU PARK ALONG THE HIGHWAY, AS VEHICLE BREAK-INS ARE COMMON.
3. KUAOKALĀ–TRAIL Difficulty | ** Length | 5 miles round trip Wet/Dry | Dry
Tired of windward views? Try this Wai‘anae ridge for something new. It ends at the same point as Keālia, but the gain is more gradual and (relieved sigh) switchback free. Don’t hold out for the best views until the end—glimpses of both sides of the range are best on the way up. Forks abound, but if you always hang a left, you will survive. The top two necessities for this hike: a four-wheel drive vehicle for getting to the trailhead at Ka‘ena Point Tracking Station and a permit from the state.
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING WEST ON FARRINGTON HIGHWAY, PASS WAI‘ANAE AND PROCEED UNTIL YOU REACH YOKOHAMA BAY ON THE LEFT AND SATELLITE TRACKING STATION ROAD ON THE RIGHT. CHECK IN WITH YOUR STATE-ISSUED PERMIT AT THE GUARD STATION. CONTINUE ON THE ROAD AND TAKE A RIGHT AT THE STOP SIGN. AFTER PASSING THE SATELLITE STATION, YOU WILL REACH ANOTHER INTERSECTION WITH A DIRT LOT NEARBY. PARK HERE, AND LOOK FOR THE TRAILHEAD NEXT TO AN UNPAVED DIRT ROAD THAT DESCENDS DOWN INTO THE GULCH.
4. PU‘U MANAMANA MINI HIKE
1. ‘AIEA LOOP TRAIL Difficulty: * Length: 5 miles Wet/Dry: Wet
Hunting for an ancient hei‘au? Wondering where to find wreckage from a World War II bomber? This trail at the end of ‘Aiea Heights Drive has a variety of sites for history buffs, and the path is suitable for hikers of all abilities. For a more modern vignette, check out the bird’s-eye view of the H3. When you’re finished, pavilions make this the perfect place to picnic, post-hike.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING WEST ON THE H-1 TOWARD ALOHA STADIUM, TAKE THE STADIUM/‘AIEA EXIT ONTO MOANALUA ROAD. TURN RIGHT ON ‘AIEA HEIGHTS DRIVE AND FOLLOW IT UNTIL IT LOOPS AROUND IN KEA‘IWA HEIAU STATE PARK, WHERE THE TRAIL IS LOCATED. PARKING AND FACILITIES SHOULD BE PLENTIFUL HERE.
2. KAMANANUI VALLEY ROAD Difficulty: ** Length: 7 miles round trip Wet/Dry: Wet
Finding petroglyphs on O‘ahu is hard, but you can check some out on a boulder just off this path in Moanalua Valley. Add in some old carriage bridges and ruins from the former Damon Estate, and you’ve got a great hike made even better by fascinating archaeological sites. Experienced hikers: Motor past the official end of the trail to find the legal(ish) backdoor route to the top of Ha‘ikū Stairs, along with some of the most treacherous ridge hiking on the island.
DIRECTIONS: TRAVELING WEST ON THE MOANALUA FREEWAY, TAKE THE MOANALUA VALLEY/SALT LAKE/RED HILL EXIT ONTO ALAAOLANI STREET. CONTINUE ON ALA AOLANI UNTIL THE STREET ENDS. PARK IN THE LOT NEXT TO THE BASKETBALL COURTS. PROCEED BY FOOT ON THE DIRT PATH TO THE TRAIL.
3. JUDD MEMORIAL TRAIL & “JACKASS GINGER” POOL Difficulty: * Length: 1.5 miles Wet/Dry: Wet
This hike’s a quick one, with a sweet swimming hole just past a grove of banyan and mango trees. All were planted by territorial forester Charles S. Judd decades ago. The trailhead is off Nu‘uanu Pali Road near Reservoir No. 2. Apparently, a donkey was tethered there in the early 20th century, surrounded by (you guessed it) a bunch of ginger.
DIRECTIONS: HEADING NORTH ON THE PALI HIGHWAY, TURN RIGHT ONTO NU‘UANU PALI DRIVE. SHORTLY AFTER THE HAIRPIN CURVE, LOOK FOR A CONCRETE BRIDGE AND A SIGN ON THE RIGHT THAT READS “PLEASE KOKUA NO DUMPING” JUST BEFORE IT. THE TRAIL STARTS JUST BEFORE THE BRIDGE. PARKING IS LIMITED, SO CONSIDER OTHER SPACES IN THE RESIDENTIAL AREA BEFORE THE TRAILHEAD.
Things to do:
• See Xmas décor: the free parking available in the city’s municipal lot, with entry from the left lane of Beretania Street, just past Alapa‘i Street. If you want to park in Chinatown to see the parade, try any of the lots in Downtown
• Koko Crater trailhead ( southeast ) 1,000 steps, 1.5 miles, take 30-60 minute to go to top. Destination google: Koko Head District park. Bridge too scary, Path to right to bypass.
• Diamond head (south) 0.8 miles, 560 steps, approx 45 minutes to top
• Hanuma Bay (south)100 Hanauma Bay Drive, check site first, close Tuesday, +1 808-396-4229
North shore : big swell and surf in winter (do NOT swim or snorkel in Winter! Go in water when calm in summer)
• Laniakea Beach (north shore) supervised area to see turtles, big swell in winter, 574, 61-574 Pohaku Loa Way, Haleiwa, HI 96712 (808) 464-0840. Be careful crossing the road! Will see crowds, keep car locked and empty.
• Haleiwa beach park 66-167 Haleiwa Rd (808)768-8980 life guard, turtles, 2 main rocks see cliff diving (Kim- jump small one with Nena)
• Shark’s Cove: tide pools, swim, snorkel, dive, lots of fish! /popular Foodland across street for groceries, watch sunset
• Haleiwa Downtown
• Turtle paddle board, in Haleiwa up the Ana Hulu Stream. See trip advisor descriptions
East (Windward side)
• Kailua Beach Park-outrigger canoe tour with Kailua Ocean Adventure to twin islands to queens bath, and snorkel. Rent boogie boards, kayak with Kailua Beach adventure safe to paddle to flat island; life guard.
• Crouching Lion Hike: difficulty is *** too dangerous to hike!