Articles

Can You Visit Turtle Bay Resort for the Day?

If you can afford it, the new and improved Turtle Bay Resort is worth it. However, not everyone can or wants to spend over $700 a night for a standard room, no matter how beautiful it is. That said, you’ve heard great things and have seen all of the movies that were filmed on the property. As a result, you …

Continue reading  

Surf Museums on Oahu

Whether it started with Hawaiians or with the Tahitians who originally populated the island, Oahu is the birthplace of surfing as the world knows it. So there must be a dedicated surf museum in Honolulu, right? There was once an official Honolulu Surf Museum (established in 2009) at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel but it closed its doors a few short …

Continue reading  

3 Must-See Lighthouses on Oahu

“I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.” (George Bernard Shaw) With the inception of digital navigational systems, lighthouses may not be as altruistic as they were during George Bernard Shaw’s time. That said, they do continue to serve, even if in a purely aesthetic and historical sense. …

Continue reading  

Best Waikiki Hotels for Surfing

You’re vacationing in the birthplace of surfing. It’s only logical to stay in a hotel that conveys your affinity for the culture and lifestyle. That said, there is no longer a cookie-cutter version of what defines a surfer. The Spicoli-esque image was tossed out with the dishwater years ago. Without a pigeonhole how can we be sure that what’s good …

Continue reading  

Best Vintage Stores in Honolulu Oahu

Some people come to Oahu in search of souvenirs. Others comb through the island’s best art galleries to find the perfect artisan craft for their wall or mantle. Then there are the old souls, those who connect with items that have history and carry the mana of an era before. Are you among the latter? Certainly so, as you’re here …

Continue reading  

Is Foodland the Best Hangout Spot on the North Shore?

Why are you reading an article about a grocery store on a guide to authentic Hawaiian experiences? Because Foodland at Shark’s Cove is not just a grocery store, it’s a gathering place for locals and visitors on the North Shore of Oahu. It has been for decades. It all started in the late 1970s when the chain (est. 1948) added …

Continue reading  

Mark Cunningham’s Found Art

There is no shortage of art depicting beach scenes, seascapes, and waves in Hawaii. There are locally produced paintings, carvings, sculptures, and framed photos of salty subjects to be found in the best art galleries on Oahu. The artisan community on the island is as inspired as it is anywhere in the world. However, we want to draw your attention …

Continue reading  

Secluded Beaches on the North Shore Oahu

Hidden beaches are hard to come by on the North Shore. The seven mile miracle draws hundreds of thousands of tourists into its fold each year with annual surf contests, world class food trucks, and sea turtle spotting. Eventually adventurous visitors work their way through the natural nooks and crannies and discover stretches of sand sans footprints. Hidden gems quickly …

Continue reading  

Best Day Trips on Oahu from Waikiki

By definition, a day trip is an excursion that begins by leaving one’s accommodation in the morning to spend a full day immersed in another destination before returning at night. Upon return participators should feel content, if not triumphant, and perhaps a little exhausted. So when we see travel guides suggest the likes of Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor, …

Continue reading  

What is There to Do in Kapolei?

Kapolei is best known for being home to Ko Olina. When you search for information about what to do in Kapolei you will invariably be driven to Ko Olina. Thanks for stating the obvious Tripadvisor. The problem, is that Ko Olina is a manufactured paradise. The resort community is planned from head to toe, from palm frond to fallen coconut. …

Continue reading  

Where to Stay on the North Shore Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is a mystery to most visitors, who rarely get to spend more than a few hours along the seven-mile miracle. But within those few hours they find an undeniable charm that unfortunately fades away as they make their way back to their resort communities. This usually happens as the I-H-2 S passes Costco Wholesale in …

Continue reading  

When is the Billabong Pipe Masters?

For starters, let’s begin with an unfortunate piece of information. The Billabong Pipe Masters is no longer called the Billabong Pipe Masters. It has been renamed by the World Surf League (WSL) as the Billabong Pro Pipeline. Personally we think “Pipe Masters” sells more t-shirts, but we digress. Years from now people will continue to call the event by its …

Continue reading  

Is the New Turtle Bay Resort Worth It?

The North Shore’s Turtle Bay Resort took a time-out in 2020-21 to undergo a major renovation. If you haven’t checked rates to stay at the property since 2019 you may notice an uptick in prices. The average rate for a one-night stay is around $600-and-up for their Ocean Bungalows (standard rooms) and significantly higher for suites and detached accommodations. While …

Continue reading  

When is the Eddie Aikau Contest?

All over the island you still see “Eddie Would Go” on car bumpers, street signs, and t-shirts. By now most people know that this is in reference to big wave legend Eddie Aikau. Eddie was a waterman and lifeguard who devoted (and gave) this life to keep countless of people safe from the unpredictable power of the ocean. Given that …

Continue reading  

Kaka’ako Murals “Art Walk”

Kakaako (or Kaka’ako) has come a long way over the last decade. It has always been a place riddled with hidden gems, but ever since the 2015 arrival of SALT and its eclectic array of boutique stores, restaurants, and cafes the district is now one of Honolulu’s biggest draws. It’s the “live, work, and play” concept at its very best. …

Continue reading  

What to Do When Spending Christmas in Waikiki

You’re leaving behind the cold weather and snow this Christmas and spending it within the warm embrace of Oahu. However, you don’t want to lose that magical feeling of the Holiday season. Does the Christmas spirit exist on this particular tropical island in the North Pacific? Absolutely, especially in Waikiki Beach. While you’ll instantly note the festive vibe from the …

Continue reading  

Best Coffee Shops on Oahu

Oh boy, we’re going to ruffle some feathers with this one. Coffee shop preferences are highly subjective, aren’t they? Sorry, but that’s a cop out. When it comes to finding a place to grab a java on Oahu there are a definitive set of criteria. For one, the coffee, espresso, and accompanying goodies must be prime. That’s a given. Service …

Continue reading  

Best Galleries and Studios to Buy Art on Oahu

You’re on Oahu and want to show your support for the island’s creative community by buying authentic Hawaiian art to bring back to the mainland. There are certainly no shortages of studios and galleries to browse through, but therein lies the challenge. How are you to know which ones carry unique works of deserving local artisans? You’ve come to the …

Continue reading  

Best Oahu Hotels for Snorkeling

You don’t care as much about access to shopping and fine dining establishments while staying on Oahu. You plan on spending most of your leisure time face-down in the ocean with your eyes open while breathing through a tube. You’re here to snorkel, and Oahu is a magnificent place to enjoy your favorite vacation pastime. However, are there any great …

Continue reading  

Best Waikiki Hotels for Couples

Couples massages, facials, and mani-pedis are fine, but that’s the kind of couples’ experience you expect from every upscale accommodation in a resort community like Waikiki. Instead, you and your companion are in search of something more appropriate to your station in life, along with your interests and thirst for authentic encounters that you don’t find in a spa. Below …

Continue reading  

Best Beachcombing on Oahu

For all of the designated tours and activities to throw hard earned money at, some find greater joy exploring the sands of Hawaii in search of washed up treasure. What constitutes treasure? While entirely subjective, there’s no denying the allure of sea glass and driftwood that have been smoothed and shaped by the endless churning of saltwater and sand. There …

Continue reading  

Where to Snorkel on the North Shore of Oahu

Not into the crowds and admission prices of Hanauma Bay? Is Hawaiian Electric Beach on the west side of the island too far for comfort? Then snorkeling on the North Shore of Oahu is for you. There are famous coves that you may already know, and less familiar spots to explore without bumping elbows. Here are the top five. Disclaimer: …

Continue reading  

Which Outrigger Hotel in Waikiki is Better?

Have a look through our recommended Oahu accommodations and you’ll find one brand listed more than any others – Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. The Honolulu-based luxury hotel chain distinguishes itself from the multitude of other settlements in Waikiki by remaining genuinely Hawaiian without a hint of misappropriation. While you really can’t go wrong with any Outrigger property, you’re wondering which …

Continue reading  

What is There to Do in Ko Olina?

Let’s be honest, Ko Olina is the candy-coated version of Oahu. From the perfectly trimmed grass to its famous lagoons it has all been manufactured to paint an image of paradise. The resort community stands in stark juxtaposition to the rest of the west side. If you follow the tracks of the historic Ewa Train for just 15-minutes on-foot from …

Continue reading  

North Shore Oahu Art Walk (and Drive)

In most circles, the North Shore is known for surfing. However, the art scene comes in at a very close second. Historic Haleiwa Town is lined with galleries and boutique shops that sell local artisan wares while vibrant murals and other hidden gems can be found everywhere. With a little insight (and a vehicle) you could easily spend a full …

Continue reading  

Best Waikiki Hotels for Singles

Waikiki isn’t exactly a matchmaking hot spot. Single minglers go to South Beach Miami or Las Vegas Nevada for that kind of thing. However, a lot of people visit Oahu on their own for a variety of other reasons, and are curious about which Waikiki hotels are more comfortable for those coming solo. After all, it can be a little …

Continue reading  

What to Do When it Rains on the North Shore

There is no shortage of rainy day things to do in Honolulu, but not everyone is staying in “town”. Some of you are holed up in the country, which for the most part is the absolute best way to experience Oahu. However, when the rain pours the North Shore can be a bit of a snore, given that most activities …

Continue reading  

What to Do on Oahu When it Rains

There isn’t much of a rainy season on Oahu, unlike Kauai which can go an entire month (typically December) without seeing the sun. That said, the island does get battered by precipitation from time to time, and while tropical rains can be appealing, it can also put a damper on plans. Don’t let it rain on your parade in paradise. …

Continue reading  

Best Way to See Oahu in One Day

Are you island hopping from Maui, Kauai, and/or the Big Island and only on Oahu for a day or two? Have you spent your days by the pool of a Waikiki hotel, realized that your vacation is almost up, and are scrambling to squeeze in some sightseeing? Whatever the case may be, you want to see as much of Oahu …

Continue reading  

Best Way to Get from Honolulu Airport to Your Hotel

You’re days away from your trip to paradise and fully intend to have the time of your life. You’ve booked the right accommodations and have already planned for a few activities. You know how important preparation is to a successful vacation, which is why you also want to know what your options are when it comes to airport transportation. More …

Continue reading  

Fun Things to Do in Wahiawa

Wahiawa means “place of noise” or “rumbling” in Hawaiian, although the moniker has nothing to do with the traffic or roadwork that seems to run on a never-ending cycle in this central valley neck of Oahu. Instead, it signals the sounds of the pounding winter waves from the nearby North Shore. It’s this very proximity to the North Shore that often …

Continue reading  

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort vs Hilton Hawaiian Village

We must admit that it feels a bit crass to do a “versus” comparison between two of Hawaii’s most famous resorts. However, we’re here to serve the people, and data tells us that a large number of future visitors are online and searching “Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort vs Hilton Hawaiian Village” as if there were an up and coming UFC …

Continue reading  

Fun Things to Do in Waikiki Beach

Some may say that there is no need to create a list of fun things to do in Waikiki. After all, from the moment you step out of your hotel in the AM the beach town is bustling with activity. Turn left or right, and there’s pretty much something enjoyable to get into. But therein lies the crux. With too …

Continue reading  

North Shore Oahu Surf Contests to Watch

Updated November 2021 Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, and by default competitive surfing. Even people who are not fans of the World Surf League (WSL) plan their vacations around the Billabong Pipe Masters and the hoopla surrounding the events of the VANS Triple Crown. They are major tourism draws. But after a tumultuous 2020-21 the schedule has been thrown …

Continue reading  

Fun Things to Do in Haleiwa

Cruising into historic Haleiwa sometime soon? While it’s one of the most quaint and picturesque towns in the world, there is so much more than sightseeing to enjoy along this North Shore nook. Let’s have a look at our top picks for fun things to do. 8 Most Enjoyable Things to See and Do Around Haleiwa Town on the North …

Continue reading  

Where to Buy Authentic Souvenirs on Oahu

Let’s begin with a note about where not to buy souvenirs in Honolulu and on Oahu. Unless you’re seeking a simple token for coworkers or the in-laws, skip the ABC Stores and tacky shops on Kalakaua Avenue that hock items made exclusively in China. Instead, find something that is just as authentic as your experience on the island, and feel …

Continue reading  

Where to Buy Aloha Shirts in Honolulu

The “aloha shirt” is everything it has ever been accused of being. Some are kitsch, some are cool. They can be festive, or distinctively fashionable. They’re for dads to wear while mixing vodka tonics, and hipsters attempting to be ironic. Some say culturally significant, others say cultural appropriation. Ultimately, it’s what you make it out to be. And aside from …

Continue reading  

Kayaking to Moku Nui, Mokulua Islands

Best Place to Paddle on Oahu? “That’s my home right there” utters Bill, in a Sam Elliot-esque voice, without the southern drawl. From Moku Nui, he points across the cyan expanse to the golden shoreline where multi-million dollar villas nestle inconspicuously in between rows of palm trees. He withdraws his reach and once again rests both arms on his thighs …

Continue reading  

Where to See Sea Turtles on Oahu

Over the last decade the honu (sea turtle) population has skyrocketed throughout Hawaii. They are everywhere, yet you never grow tired of seeing them when snorkeling or walking along the sands of an isolated beach. They are equally abundant on Oahu, but it is possible to go a full week without spotting one up-close if you don’t go to the …

Continue reading  

Best Surf Lessons in Waikiki Beach

While there may be a playful dispute about which Hawaiian island reef-break first birthed surfing, Waikiki most certainly introduced the modern world to the sport of Kings (and their better halves). The playful waves that are now known as Canoes, Pops, Queens, and Publics offer all-season surfing to visitors, which makes it the most popular place in the planet to …

Continue reading  

Where to Stay on Oahu Other than Waikiki

You’ve been to Oahu and stayed in Waikiki once, twice, three times, or more. You’ve vowed to stay somewhere else the next time, with fewer tourists, fewer ABC Stores, and one less ROSS Dress for Less. That said, you don’t want to sacrifice all of the conveniences that the world famous beach community has to offer, including access to great …

Continue reading  

Film Locations to Visit on Oahu

From the moment ocean liners could carry film crews across the Pacific from the nearest harbor in Hollywood, Oahu has been featured in blockbuster movies and popular TV shows. Over the decades the island has dazzled cinema goers and sofa surfers, with celluloid driving more tourism that any Expedia ad or Fodor review. As a fan of feature films you …

Continue reading  

Most Hawaiian Hotels on Oahu

Here’s the general criteria to consider; If you were magically transported to a hotel lobby on Oahu, without being informed that you were on the island, would you immediately figure out that you were in Hawaii? If not, the property doesn’t pass the test. The following Oahu hotels however, are unmistakably Hawaiian, and therefore offer the authentic experience you’re looking …

Continue reading  

All Aboard the Historic Ewa Train

Few vacationers venture through the Ewa district of Oahu unless they’re headed to either Ko’olina for golf or to Disney Aulani Resort for seven uninterrupted days of family fun. There is relatively little to see along this leeward section of the island which feels (is) more industrial than tropical and that opinion is emphasized further when you happen upon the …

Continue reading  

Best Hawaii Vlogs and Podcasts

The popularity of vlogs and podcasts have skyrocketed of late, with viewers and listeners tuning in to keep abreast of things that are of interest to them. For the travel industry, they serve two purposes. For one, they give travelers insight into things-to-do and what to expect prior to visiting a destination. But they also provide a digital bridge to …

Continue reading  

Is Oahu Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

It’s an unfortunate question that people ask when it comes to visiting any new destination. But given that we’re talking about the land of aloha is there really any cause for concern? Is Oahu indeed safe for women who choose to travel alone? Allow us to answer the question – yes, Oahu is absolutely safe. That said, there are some …

Continue reading  

Where to Find Tiki Mugs in Honolulu and on Oahu

Tiki mugs are likely the most sought after non-edible “souvenir” on Oahu. Because of the demand you’d think that the island would be littered with these Polynesian treasures. But in all reality, they can be a little hard to come by. Sure, you can find a diluted version of them from one of the three-dozen ABC stores scattered about the …

Continue reading  

Just Dreams Waikiki – Beat the Presentation & Get Free Stuff

Do you dare sit through one of the timeshare presentations in Waikiki? If you’ve walked along Waikiki’s Kalakaua Avenue as a tourist then the chances are you’ve noticed the signs fronting a street side podium claiming ridiculously cheap prices on car rentals, helicopter tours, luaus, and dinner cruises. If you’ve stopped long enough to wrinkle up your brow in curiosity …

Continue reading  

Which Hawaiian Island to Visit First

While there are eight main Hawaiian Islands, two (Niihau and Kahoolawe) are forbidden, and two others (Lanai and Molokai) make more sense for those who have already experienced the other more populated among the archipelago. These final four are primed for first time visitors, with each boasting its unique own offering for the uninitiated. Today. we’re providing succinct but informative break down this …

Continue reading